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Mick Doohan casts his eye back to the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix

Mick Doohan casts his eye back to the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix

Mick Doohan casts his eye back to the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix

I´m in Florida at the moment after flying halfway round America but at last I have time to sit down and think back to the Grand Prix in Rio last week, where Valentino Rossi became World Champion for the second season running. When you look at the race in the cold light of day, it seems like a pretty desperate plight for the other riders. They really need to pick up their game if they are ever going to catch this guy some time in the future, never mind next season, and he shows time and again that he is head and shoulders above the rest, he doesn´t get panicked out and he has excellent bike control.

What Rossi also now has is a supreme mental edge, to the point where he has races won even before they have started. We have seen in Rio with Carlos Checa and in Portugal with Sete Gibernau that they are worried when they are in the lead, instead of remaining focussed and concentrating on bringing the bike home. Experienced riders should know their limits, but these guys went beyond the point of no return because they thought it was a do or die moment for them. In that situation it is best to forget what is behind you and concentrate on what is in front, but Valentino has these guys under his spell.

I am looking forward to congratulating Valentino in Motegi next week, and I am sure he will be looking to celebrate his title with another win. It will be tough for the other guys to break him down because he is flying high on confidence and free from the pressure of riding for the title. It should be another great race and I hope to see many of you out there.

MotoGP, 2002, Mick Doohan

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