Valentino Rossi is riding as well as he has ever done throughout the course of his MotoGP career, reckons Yamaha managing director Lin Jarvis.
After years of being out of championship contention, Rossi finds himself level with teammate Jorge Lorenzo on points at the top of the riders’ standings with seven races remaining on the calendar, putting him firmly in the running for an incredible eighth premier class title and a tenth in total.
Jarvis says he thinks Rossi – who dominated the sport in the early 2000s, securing five straight championships between 2001 and 2005 before adding two more in 2008 and 2009 – is now back at the peak of his powers, praising the way he has reinvented himself at his age after years in the doldrums.
Current MotoGP points:
|1||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||211 (5 wins)|
|2||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||211 (3 wins)|
|5||Bradley Smith||Tech 3 Yamaha||106|
“To see him come back after effectively five years of defeat, with his last championship win back in 2009, is incredible,” Jarvis told MotoGP.com.
“To be leading the championship up until the last race, it’s quite phenomenal for somebody of 36 against these younger riders who has been through a period of difficulty for several years.
“This season he is riding exceptionally well, 11 podiums, plus the four at the end of last season, so his consistency is excellent.
“His motivation is huge, his attention to detail is still the same, and for me personally he is riding as good as he ever has in the past.”
Asked if he felt the battle between the pair would be resolved at the final race, Jarvis said: “Yes, I think it definitely could.
“If we look at the last six or seven races, nobody has been able to break away and open up an advantage. So if we look at the next six or seven races, we could find ourselves coming into Valencia in a very similar situation.”
Remaining MotoGP races:
|18 October||Phillip Island|
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Jarvis also gave his take on which of two Yamaha riders would be favoured at each the remaining seven circuits on the calendar.
“Silverstone is Jorge’s track, but I think things are more equal at Misano,” said the Brit.
“Aragon and Motegi belong to Honda, but between Vale and Jorge maybe there’s a slight advantage to the latter.
“Phillip Island is Valentino territory, and Sepang is more favourable to Rossi, although Honda will be strong there too.
“As for Valencia, I don’t want to think about it if the title is decided there!”