MotoGP legend Mick Doohan, who was chasing a sixth consecutive 500cc world title when he suffered a career-ending accident during qualifying at Jerez in 1999, has revealed that he almost made a comeback several years later.
The Sydney Morning Herald
reports that the 44-year-old Australian - who won all his titles for Honda - made the admission after watching seven time F1 champion Michael Schumacher complete the second race of his comeback.
The SMH reports that Doohan was contacted 'a few years' after his enforced retirement, by a 'satellite Honda team'.
"I told them to give me some time to think about it," Doohan is reported as saying. "I don't think it would have taken me long to get up to speed - I hadn't forgotten how to ride a bike."
But he then added: "I was quite relieved when the team found someone, and I could then stop thinking about it.”
Doohan is third, behind only Giacomo Agostini (8) and Valentino Rossi (7), in terms of premier-class world titles, a position he also holds for premier-class race wins, thanks to his 54 victories.
However, Doohan still holds the all-time record for premier-class poles, with 58 to his credit compared with 48 for nearest rival Rossi.