Rossi "more beatable" the longer he stays in MotoGP - Stoner
Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner thinks it’s “disappointing” Valentino Rossi will end up at a satellite team in 2021 and feels he is "more beatable" the longer he continues.
Rossi has lost his place at the works Yamaha team to 2019’s breakout rookie Fabio Quartararo, though is set to take the Frenchman’s place at the satellite Petronas SRT with full backing from Yamaha.
While Rossi had originally planned to evaluate his performance after the first six or seven races in 2020 before the season was delayed by coronavirus, the Italian is now likely to pen a deal by the end of the month.
But, speaking to FOX Asia, Stoner doesn’t like the idea of a rider of Rossi’s stature to race for a satellite squad, but believes he can still fight for victories.
"I believe if he left the sport a little earlier he would have left a legacy, which he still always will," Stoner said.
"But now he's showing himself to be very beatable.
"It's disappointing to see someone, who anyone would have wanted to be in their team and paid an absolute fortune to have him, now [likely] demoted to a satellite team."
"I think Valentino still has potential to get some great results and maybe push to some victories in the future, without a doubt. You don't just lose it.
"It is sad to see him not necessarily threatening for the podium as much as he used to."
Rossi only scored two podiums last season and ended up seventh in the standings as the third-best Yamaha rider – his worst championship placement since his first year at Ducati in 2011, when he scored just one podium.
The nine-times grand prix motorcycle world champion has also yet to register a win since the 2017 Dutch TT, marking the longest dry spell of his career.
Stoner caused a stir earlier this month when he suggested he was forced out of his test rider role with Honda by Marc Marquez.
When asked if he would be able to beat Marquez on track, Stoner said: “I've always been asked that question.
"Do I think I can beat Marc [in] some races? Yes, the fact that Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] has, Jorge [Lorenzo] has, Valentino has, Dani [Pedrosa] has ... if other people can beat Marc, of course I can.
"But, over a championship, Marc - especially in the last few years - has become extremely consistent, ironed out a lot of his weaknesses and he'll be very tough to beat."
Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team and Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team
Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation
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