In only his second season on a 500, Honda’s Valentino Rossi won 11 races and the World championship. In the process, he won the last five races in a row, and the last, pure 500cc two-stroke championship race last weekend.
Rossi is now clearly and firmly at the top of motorcycle roadracing. He is a dominating force . . . no less than Mick Doohan was a few years ago. Able to win on every kind of track, with both the right set-up and the wrong set-up, on the right tires and on the wrong tires. He is a class of one.
If he can master Honda’s four-stroke MotoGP machine next year, and if the bike is as good as we expect it to be, the rest of the field will be riding for second place. Don’t forget, Rossi has been very quick on four-strokes, as well, while competing in the Suzuka 8-Hour race (his lap times were right there with former WSB champion Colin Edwards on Colin’s bike this year).