Nine-time world champion Rossi leads Yamaha teammate Lorenzo by 14 points with four Grands Prix remaining in 2015, one of that quartet of races coming at the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island from October 16-18.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Australia’s 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner, along with compatriots and MotoGP race-winners Troy Bayliss and Chris Vermeulen, believe the battle for the championship will rage until the final race of the season in Valencia next month.
“I’ve been in this game 40-odd years, and I’ve never seen it so close before,” Gardner said.
“If there were two different manufacturers and different bikes, you might be able to read it a bit better.
“I’d like to see Jorge win because he’s the most incredible rider in smoothness and talent, but you can’t underestimate Valentino and the push in the last few races. It’s really flip a coin on this one. I think it’s going to be a nail-biter down to the last race.”
Bayliss, who will host the Australian Motorcycle Finance Troy Bayliss Invitational GP flat track event to accompany next week’s 16th round of the MotoGP championship, feels the 36-year-old Rossi can secure his first MotoGP title since 2009.
“Personally I’d really like to see Valentino have a win as he’s getting late in his career, and he’s proved to everyone that he’s still actually got it,” Bayliss said.
“He’s certainly on form, but it’s not going to be easy for him.”
Lorenzo has beaten Rossi 7-6 in the 13 races where both riders have finished this season, and Vermeulen believes that outright pace will see the Spaniard overhaul ‘The Doctor’.
“When (Lorenzo) is dominant … he’s been leading races from start to finish, and we have to expect another one or two of them this year. If you asked me to put my money on someone, I’d say Lorenzo by the end of the season.”
Episode 44 of the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast also saw Vermeulen assess Jack Miller’s maiden MotoGP campaign, while Gardner spoke about the immediate future of his 17-year-old son Remy, who is competing in Moto3 this season.
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