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15 days ago

Doing a Doohan

Mick Doohan defied the odds more than once during his incredible career, now Rossi needs to look to the Australian for inspiration.

Can Rossi do a Doohan?

When Mick Doohan was forced to retire in 1999 after crashing in Jerez, his hyper experienced crew led by Jeremy Burgess became free agents. In a heartbeat, 500cc World Championship rookie Valentino Rossi signed them up for his debut campaign in 2000. They’d stay with him through thick and thin, going from Honda to Yamaha to Ducati and back to Yamaha with only a few changes along the way. He has almost the same team as Doohan, but can Rossi emulate one of the Australian’s most defining seasons?

In 1998 the Doohan suffered three DNFs, the same amount he’d had during the total of the previous four seasons. But Doohan was unstoppable, winning eight races and taking second in three others. This incredible season would not only be Doohan’s last title, but also the last time a rider has won the premier class title with three DNFS.

As the MotoGP™ World Championship heads to Germany for round nine, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) arrives in an almost identical situation to Doohan all those years ago. He’s had three DNFs, two wins, two seconds and a fourth and trails championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) by 42 points. Can he do a Doohan to take a famous tenth title?