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We have been putting the heat on a few riders of late for their race craft or lack of. Well maybe they all need a lesson from the Doctor.

The performance the great Valentino Rossi delivered at the Austrian GP was nothing short of heroic! On top of that, he delivered a lesson in how to race a motorcycle.

The crash that has the MotoGP world talking came oh so close to tragedy for the 9 time world champion. Vale was obviously shaken and no doubt a near miss of that magnitude would have made him question if he was going to go back out and even continue racing for good.

I don’t think there would be a person out there who would have blamed Rossi one little bit if he decided to sit out the restart. After what he has achieved in the sport, how long he has been going, his age and not to mention incidents he has seen. Particularly the loss of his good friend Marco Simoncelli ☹ an incident that unfolded right in front of him.

Valentino Rossi - The Doctor / the Legend - image Russell Colvin #783 Media

Rossi has achieved it all, for him to still have the fire burning after so long and burning bright enough for him to still race at the highest level is seriously out of this world.

It’s hard enough for top riders to stay motivated for 10 years, let alone 25 years after all he has seen. Incredible!

Add to this Rossi has had his tough years where he struggled and things didn’t go well at all. That would have been very hard to swallow for someone that was once unbeatable. However, he has dusted himself off, worked his butt off and now the old war horse is super competitive once again.

How he got back on that bike and delivered a performance like he did on Sunday is incredible. All the power to you Vale 46!

The Lesson

Now here is the lesson, even with every single excuse under the sun not to perform. Even though he didn’t quiet have the ultimate race pace to go with the leaders, he did something that every racer needs to aspire to. He maximised the pace he had, delivered a very strong result and never gave in.

Rossi’s fastest lap in the 20 lap restart was a 1:24.601. In all but 3 laps of the entire 2nd leg Rossi lapped within 0.5secs of that time despite all that was going on around him, changing fuel loads and of course tyre wear, fatigue etc.

Rossi made minimal mistakes. A hallmark of a great performance is mistakes are few and far between. When they do occur, they are very small costing hardly any lap time and almost not even noticeable on the TV.

Rather than override and blow more apexes than we can even count, Rossi extracted the absolute best from himself and the bike that he had on the day.

It’s not always possible to perform to this level of precision time after time. However, a top rider does it more often than not. A great rider does it when the chips are down.

And a Legend does it on a day like Sunday 16/8/2020 at the Red Bull Ring.

Congratulations Valentino Rossi on such and amazing performance and thank you for the master class in riding😊

Side Note: Speaking with my old mate Toastie Tony. Toastie is one of those one eyed, mad keen Rossi supporters, you know the ones 😉 Anyway Tony was saying he might not ever win another race but wow, he has been something special.

Well Tony, I wouldn’t be so sure he won’t win again. And hopefully it’s not too long before Vale is on the top step of the podium again. I for one wouldn’t be surprised if we see it again sometime soon.

Rossi delivering a Master Class at the Red Bull Ring - Image FAlePhoto - Alex Farinelli / MotoGP


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