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Mick Doohan gives his thoughts on the Czech Republic Grand Prix

Mick Doohan gives his thoughts on the Czech Republic Grand Prix

Today was a massive result for Valentino Rossi in the quest for the World Championship title, and a huge blow to Max Biaggi who looked to be in great shape going into the race. Max´s performance in qualifying was breathtaking, but Valentino gave himself every chance by sticking his bike next to him on the front row and did well to stay with him in the early stages of the race.

Max has proven that he is very quick out of the blocks and Valentino had to make sure he didn´t escape at a circuit where Biaggi´s track record speaks for itself. To set the circuit record just when Max looked like he might get away will have given him great confidence and put pressure on Max. Whether it was that pressure which led to the crash I´m not sure, but Max was riding on the limit and sometimes losing the front end is the price you pay for that.

Looking at the points difference I think it´s fair to say that Valentino isn´t racing against Max anymore. Max was getting very close to him in the Championship and I think this was worrying Valentino because he thought that he had to go out on the track every time and race Max. Now he just has to make sure he consistently finishes on the podium from now until the end of the season, and unless Max can finish in the top two positions at every race he should have it wrapped up. My advice to Max is that there are still six races to go and nothing is impossible, but for me Valentino is as clear a favourite as he ever was right now.

From HRC´s point of view it was good to see Alex Criville getting on the podium again. He has struggled a little this year and has been unlucky on a couple of occasions, but as he showed in Jerez he is still a capable rider and the aggression he showed when taking on Capirossi and Abe on the last lap proves he still has the hunger for racing on the limit.

It promises to be a thrilling end to the season – see you in Estoril.


500cc, 2001

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