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The racers of today have a massive advantage most are fortunate enough to have parents with a few bucks to spare and in Rossi's case his father was a reasonably successful racer so the dna was there and starting at an early age also gives one an advantage.
Hailwood was also fortunate as his father was a millionaire.
I had a cousin who raced and about the only thing that beat him was the booze. Sad really. 600s just starting c u later back race red flagged.
Yes racing today is a totally different ball game circuits rather than roads much much better tyres, brakes, etc plus a hell of a lot more money. I still reckon the Honda 6 and the Yamaha v4 given the tyres and brakes would give todays 250s a run for their money and also Honda had at least 4 works bikes sometimes 6 throw in 2 Yams 2 or 3 Suzuki's and a couple of MZs made for a good race.