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Mick Doohan analyses another stunning performance from Valentino Rossi

Mick Doohan analyses another stunning performance from Valentino Rossi

Just when Max Biaggi seemed to be on a roll, Valentino Rossi stopped him in his tracks with another outstanding performance at Donington Park this weekend. That he was starting from eleventh place on the grid was obviously a disadvantage, but I didn´t think it would be too much of a problem for him because for one reason or another he usually seems to end up back there after the first few corners anyway. Still, he deserves full credit because he knew the limitations of his motorcycle and rode a very intelligent race to finish with a two second advantage over Biaggi.

The result will have dented Max´s confidence, there´s no doubt about that. He was on top form going into the race, was happier than he has ever been with the Yamaha and starting from pole position will have given him plenty of reason for optimism. He will have been dismayed to see Valentino pull up alongside him at the halfway stage and frustrated when he pulled away. However, Max knows that this was only one race. He will look at Sachsenring as another chance to pull the Championship standings back and I don´t imagine his self-belief will be too severely damaged.

Kenny Roberts did his usual trick of leading the early stage of the race and then going backwards down the field. I have said in the past that I don´t think he knows how to ride the bike when the tyres go off, but he is clearly lacking some power from the Suzuki and as World Champion he must be getting more and more frustrated with the situation as time goes on.

I was disappointed for Jeremy McWilliams, who crashed out of the race when fighting for the podium. I think Katoh was probably already out of his reach but I was sure he could fight with Melandri and Rolfo for the other spot. It was a shame for the British fans but I think they had a good day anyway and fortunately the rain stayed off.

Next up is Sachsenring and I´ll be returning from a trip to America to make the race so I hope to see you there.


500cc, 2001, Valentino Rossi

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