#2020: the year of 'The Doctor’?

Next season will be Rossi’s 25th, and he remains very much in the hunt at the front

Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has won 115 Grands Prix, is a nine-time World Champion across four categories and one of the greatest ever to grace the racetrack – but even a Champion of his calibre still has a dream or two left to achieve. One of those came true in 2019 as the number 46 rode through his hometown of Tavullia on his M1, making his way to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in style.

Another dream for ‘The Doctor’ remains that elusive tenth title. In Malaysia he battled it out with compatriot Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) for the podium as the two went toe-to-toe throughout one of the toughest races of the season, and although it was the number 04 who ultimately came out on top, Rossi was positive – excessive rear tyre consumption that had dogged him throughout the season seemed much improved. The result? The number 46 was right back in the fight at the front.

In 2020, there are some important technical aims for the Iwata marque too: a more powerful M1, allowing the factory to get on a par with the likes of Ducati and Honda in terms of top speed – so Rossi’s 25th season could be his fastest yet. And it doesn’t end there – there’s a new Crew Chief in town for ‘The Doctor’ next year too, with David Muñoz moving up from Sky Racing Team VR46 in Moto2™ to take on one of the most high profile jobs in pitlane. The outgoing Silvano Galbusera, meanwhile, moves to head Yamaha’s test team – so his input will remain both accessible and likely crucial.

40 years old now and turning 41 before the lights go out for the first Grand Prix of the season in Qatar, Rossi’s career is already the stuff of legend – and he’ll be fighting to add another slew of trophies to his stacked-full cabinet, from the first session to the final corner. He’ll also have a weapon in his arsenal that no one else does: 20 years of experience, an incredible ally as he takes on another generation of rivals.

Could 2020 be the year of 'The Doctor'? The stars may yet align…

Fancy keeping up with all the 2020 preseason testing action and the 2020 season proper? Look no further than VideoPass!