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Parrish: 'Enigmatic' Rossi might be lucky – but you make your own luck

It takes a combination of supreme skill and a healthy relationship with Lady Luck to claim nine world championship titles, but Steve Parrish contends that FIAT Yamaha MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has always made his own luck...
As a rider with a staggering nine world championship titles to his name – and at barely 30 years of age into the bargain – it is arguable that Valentino Rossi has been blessed with good fortune throughout his motorcycling career, but former British 500cc Champion Steve Parrish points out that sometimes, you make your own luck.

Rossi heads into 2010 bidding to claim a third straight premier class crown with FIAT Yamaha – and on the basis of pre-season testing, he looks to be in fine form to do just that, having paced all four major days around the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia thus far.

It is indisputable that up against hungry and younger pretenders of the likes of Ducati Marlboro duo Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden – ex-champions both – Repsol Honda rival Dani Pedrosa and his own team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, 'The Doctor' is likely to have things far from his own way over the coming months, but still the legendary Italian is considered to be the favourite heading towards the curtain-raising showdown at Losail in Qatar in a month's time.

With good reason, contends Parrish, but Barry Sheene's former team-mate goes on to caution that Rossi can only physically and mentally remain at such a phenomenally high level for so long, and that one day – perhaps not even too far into the future – he will find that the desire is beginning to fade.

“He is an enigma,” the bike and truck racer-turned-BBC commentator told Radio, when asked about the 103-time grand-prix winner's prospects for the forthcoming campaign. “I wouldn't have believed he could have done it for this long, actually. He is such a bright, intelligent man who has everything that is required of a motorcycle racer.

“You see him on the track, at times when it looks like everyone else is overloaded, and he seems to have more space left on his C-Drive than anyone else. He just has that ability to absorb what's going on, and we all say he has a lot of luck, but you make a lot of luck, and he seems to be able to just look at the situation and work things out.

“I don't know; he certainly has the capability [to win again], but it's whether or not that fire in his belly is still burning strongly enough – that will be the thing that marks not necessarily the demise of Valentino Rossi, but certainly the youngsters coming through. The likes of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo in particular have got so much youthful exuberance and pure skill, and probably their fuse won't blow quite as early as Rossi's nowadays.”

by Russell Atkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Steve Parrish, Spanish MotoGP 2007
Parrish, The Blades Airobatic display team, Silverstone WSBK 2007
Rossi, Sepang MotoGP tests, 25-26th February 2010
Rossi, February 2010, Photo courtesy of Yamaha
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP Test, 2009
Rossi, Spanish MotoGP Race 2009
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March 05, 2010 7:35 PM

You don't win 10 world titles through luck,you win 1 world title through luck.Yes the guy may have a great team of people around him but he's the one that rides the bike and has to tell that team what the bike is doing,what it's not doing and what he wants it to do.Winning the first race of 2004 first time out on the Yamaha,a machine that handled badly and wasn't classed a race winning machine proved pretty much just how good Rossi is as a rider.To then go on and win the title on it that year also proved he is a damn fine development rider.He's the number one rider and personality in Moto GP because he's that good.His records wont be equaled for many years to come let alone beaten.Legend.


March 05, 2010 6:33 PM
Last Edited 2702 days ago

As Dirk quoted, it's Valentino himself that will one day end his winning ways. But despite how long Vale has been at it, it's important to remember how young he really is. If he keeps his motivation up, he's just beginning the stage of his career when history has shown a top roadracer begins their prime years, able to put all of the skills and wisdom they've accumulated to (even more) devastating use. Just look at Doohan, Bayliss etc. Riders who, in the twilight of their careers, were at their best. Based on Rossi's 2010 testing results so far, i'd say he literally looks even more capable than in past seasons, which is saying a hell of a lot!

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