Valentino Rossi heads into the second half of the MotoGP season as title favourite, reckons his former rival Loris Capirossi.
With wins in Qatar, Argentina and the Netherlands under his belt so far in 2015, Rossi holds a 13 point lead over factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo with nine rounds to go, having finished on the podium in each race so far.
Capirossi, whose 21-year long MotoGP career came to an end at the close of the 2011 season, believes his compatriot has shown the necessary speed and consistency to go on and seal what would be his eighth premier class crown and his 10th in total.
I think Rossi is favourite for the title, but Lorenzo will do everything to get back on top.
“Valentino has impressed me,” Capirossi told GPOne.com. “He has been enormously competitive on track and he has the mental strength; he hasn’t made a single error.
“I think he is favourite for the title. However, Jorge Lorenzo will do everything to get back on top, starting at Indianapolis.
“They are both winners and whoever is more consistent [of the pair] will take the title.”
As for the chances of reigning champion Marc Marquez, who languishes 65 points behind in the title chase, the 42-year-old added: “He still has a lot of points to catch up and if Jorge and Valentino don’t make mistakes, it will be difficult to close the gap.”
No cause for alarm at Ducati
Capirossi also said he is confident that his former team Ducati, for which he rode in MotoGP from 2003 to 2007, will be able to recapture the form that allowed Andrea Dovizioso to take three successive second places in the opening rounds of the championship.
“I don’t think there is cause for alarm,” he said. “The last few tracks didn’t suit their bike and they are suffering with a slight lack of rear grip.
“But I’m convinced that we’ll see them back where they were at the start of the season at Indianapolis.”