Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: When will Valentino Rossi win again?

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


When will Valentino Rossi win again?

It’s the question you get asked half a dozen times a race weekend, usually by expectant Rossi fans, hoping for a positive answer: when is Valentino going to win a race?

The answer is obvious: I don’t know. But when you follow that with an offhand remark, suggesting that maybe he won’t win another MotoGP race, their faces collapse into gloom.

I hope VR does win again and, if he does, I hope it’s a straight victory, not a victory of circumstances, due to weird weather or other riders burying themselves in the gravel.

But it’s a tall order. It’s hard to see anyone squeezing more speed out of the Yamaha than Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard is a 21st century ‘Steady’ Eddie Lawson – so glassy smooth that he looks slow, when in fact he’s the fastest rider in the world.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Comments

i wish he wins more races in WSB

He is still very fast, but he is not the same guy he was at his peak. he may win the odd race, but what good is that for a champion of his caliber?
He races to win... championships, and Wsb is the way to go in my opinion.
i only hope he realizes that before he thinks rallying is a better option than the street based bike championship.

Total votes: 116

Reasonable explanation..

..given that his widely recognised style is as a late/good braker, then Mats explanation seems totally 'on the money'. Heavier bikes/soft front tyre construction/shorter wheel base preference...and not to forget, all this after 2 years of something completetly different.
It took his team quite a few races before they showed that Rossis original switch to Bridgestones was the correct choice...
Give him a bit more time before you write the 9 x Champion off.
He can, and will win races.

Total votes: 119

Nope sorry, don't want to see

Nope sorry, don't want to see Rossi go to WSB . It's a backward step , If he's had enough , just retire but I believe even being top 4 in the world is fantastic and he has after all 9 GP Titles to his name.
No one wins for ever , but I say let him be, he's my hero and I'm 64 !!!!

Total votes: 120

Rossi likes bricks for tires

Rossi likes bricks for tires (hard, stiff casing). Colin Edwards said as much when they were team mates. Colin never liked the tires Rossi chose.

We are 1/3 through the season and Burgess and crew should have already solved Rossi's setup issues on the brakes. You have to wonder if this season is a write off for them.

Total votes: 104

My only hope

Is that VR gets it sorted in time - started watching because of him snd became a raving MGP fan because of all of their skills. But this "racing" is terrible. Scapel sharp and engineering feats are of course to be admired, but I am not an engineer and thus want to see a battle.

As someone who hasn't missed a lap in about a decade, i can't stomach this stuff. MM93 is my only hope for action.

I'm done after my last trip to Laguna.

Total votes: 106

What to do?

Yes, I remember reading that somewhere.
Valentino likes very stiff tyres.

Seems like a tyre is a pivotal issue.
I wonder to what extent set-up tweaks can compensate for a squishy tyre?

Total votes: 94

Just my opinion, but the

Just my opinion, but the mono-tire rule is extremely stoopid and always has been.

Bridgestone should provide 3-4 front tire options due to riding styles, manufacturers and preferences.

The changed front tire exacerbated the front-end woes with the Ducati especially.

Back during the tire war, it was Ducati who stuck with and stood by Bridgstone when Michelin was pepeatedly humiliating them. Now, the Bridgestone(Japanese Co.) tires suit the Japanese Manufacturers a little more so.....go figure.

So much for saying something about loyalty. Bridgestone sucks!

Total votes: 107

Stick a fork in him, he's done.

He will never win another dry, straight up race in Moto GP again. Sorry folks, that's the sad truth. Age has cought up with him. He doesn't have the passion or hunger he once had. He's unwilling to ride as close to the edge as he once did. It's kind of sad to see him hang around. Guys like Roberts and Lawson raced to win and when it became clear that their dominating days were over, they left. I understand that he loves the sport and all that comes with it, but I hate to see his career diminished by looking like an also ran. The Ducati adventure didn't do his legacy any good and now he's back on the Yamaha trying to redeem himself. Only it's not working so well for him. It would be a blast to see him in SBK. It would be interesting to see the fan shift. I'm certain it would be significant.

Total votes: 128

Sounds like something one

Sounds like something one would say with no competitive drive and ambition. You must have never won at anything.....

Someone with no competitive spirit will never understand these athletes and what drives them. So I guess you'll get a pass out of naivete.

Total votes: 94

Really ?

If "He's unwilling to ride as close to the edge as he once did"...
Then you'd expect him not to have fallen off at all during races, practicing and testing, like Colin Edwards seemed to do for ever at one point.
Falling off = up to and over the edge.

Total votes: 112

Rossi

Well, the race has happened and he did alright. Not 'alien' good but alright. Compared to his legacy, he has lost a step. Needs to make one last change. That change is to stop looking at the bike so much and start focusing harder on how he can change to match the bike. This whole article sounded like it should have been titled,

"Rossi! Can the old dog learn new tricks?"

Sadly, and I say this as a Rossi fan, it seems like there is a HIGH possibility that time has caught up to him. He has always been a front tire rider. But now everyone has the same front tire selection. Meaning there are no longer special tires like he and Stoner used to use with harder side walls, or even side walls like the previous control Bridgestones had. Which means other hard brakers are having the same problems, he just has to deal with some of it and find a way to deal with it better than others. There is no way in the world that anyone can convince me that riding this Yamaha with squishy front tire is the same as the Ducati's schizophrenic front end problems.

There are problems with setup and getting 100% comfortable with the bike, but the other racers (aliens), have improved while he lay rotting in his own self imposed hell at Ducati, (don't hate the company, but very confused by just how STUCK the Motogp Team is).

Rossi will have to dig deeper in himself than he has had to in his entire life if he is to become a winner again, let alone a title contender, (which at this point even I am beginning to loose all faith in.) I personally believe he still has the talent, but his attitude towards things will have to change. He is no longer the young magical elf that he used to be. He is now one of the elder statesmen of the class and will need to come at it from that perspective using all the years of experience minus the self centered emotion.

Did not mean to ramble, but since this is an article on Rossi. Just had to express a deeply rooted need to see Rossi be competitive again. If not, just proves time waits for no one. It happens to all.

Total votes: 124

You only had to see his smile at Doha

and his to know he hasn't given up.
The soft casing explains a lot - these guys need the bike tuned to them. To force a standard solution on everybody makes no sense when every other part is adjusted to their personal preferences.
Rossi still has 'it' IMO - and I am not his greatest fan, I just appreciate quality.

Bridgestone needs to respond to the complaints (which are not just Rossi's) about the casings - not wait until someone gets hurt trying to ride around the problem.

Total votes: 80

A harder front (or back to 2011 specs)...

But now with 1000cc engines and the extra kilos on board might just be the right overall balance, but would it then put a stop to Jorge's first corner charge on a tire that needs more time to warm up?
The balance of power seems to rest on a knife's edge, where minor changes can tip the balance significantly.

Total votes: 82

Rossi continuing failure

Enough already,I'm tired of reading on numerous blogs how much Valentino as to offer,fact is he's got nothing to offer he's depriving an excellent rider who shows week in week out what winning means on a bike he will never win on. He now seems unable to out qualify even the dukes and given he his starting from the third row he hasn't got a chance and is already seconds of the pace by the end of the first lap in a championship were 10th's matter.He only achieved 4th last week because yet again Cal having to push to hard threw it down the track.Fact is he didn't even win the title in is last year with Yamaha so the writing was on the wall then and to say what he achieved at Ducati was nothing short of an embarrasment similar to an English effort at a football tournament.I want to see the best riders on the best bikes with young talent like Pol and Scott and others fit enough and young enough to bash elbows hopefully not on the lines of Bautista who seems to be out of his depth trying to follow Marco's footsteps RIP. Vali do yourself and JB a favour go talk racing for Italian TV alongside your old buddy Biaggi.

Total votes: 87

Great Racing

When I want to see it, I watch old 500 races. Lots of gas, big balls.
When I watch MotoGP races I know I'm watching entertainment. Big difference.

Total votes: 91

When will Rossi Win Again?

TODAY!!!

Total votes: 83

Ditto!

Lovin' it!

Total votes: 74

A little subtle for most I

A little subtle for most I suspect David.... Brian Lunt gets a special mention..

Total votes: 77

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