5-times world 500cc champions, Mick Doohan, makes very few appearances in the media these days, preferring the quiet life in his Gold Coast palace, but, when he does speak, people still listen, as they should. So it was with some degree of perplexity that I opened up news.com.au yesterday and found this article.
Now, I’m not one to criticise Mick, I have way too much respect for him to do that, but I just can’t fathom his maths here. On Sunday, Casey will turn 26. He has won one world title (2007). He looks almost certain to clinch his second next weekend. BUT, if he is to surpass Rossi’s haul of 9 titles (1 x 125, 1 x 250, 7 x premier class) the he would still have to win 7 more, a very difficult task. And, even in the miraculous event of him winning them all on the trot over the next 7 years, he would be 33 years old when he was done. Now I don’t profess to know Casey personally, I only know of him what I see and hear in the media, but I just can’t see Casey hanging around that long in road racing. I believe that, one day, we’ll wake up one morning and the news will scream “Stoner retires”. Yep, one day Casey will get tired of the media BS and the constant attention that he loathes and he’ll just pack up and walk away. And it could happen fairly soon.
And I can’t see Casey eclipsing Rossi’s win record either, although his record is second only to Rossi amongst current competing riders. Debuting in the class in 2006, Stoner already has 31 Grand Prix victories out of 98 starts, an astonishing strike rate. But Rossi has 79 victories, amassed from 180 starts, so that would also take a while to overhaul.
So I think Mighty Mick has let his enthusiasm over-ride his sense here. Casey is good, probably the best, after Rossi. Should he continue to ride on for another 6 years till he reaches Rossi’s age now, he could easily add another couple of titles and certainly many more wins. But I can’t see him hanging around long enough to surpass either Rossi’s bag of championships or his total of wins.
However, Casey DOES stand to move up the ladder of all-time winners in the premier class. At 31 victories he currently sits 5th on the list having just equalled Eddie Lawson. Ahead of him are only his hero, Mick Doohan, (54 victories) who he could easily surpass before he retires then the three “greats” Hailwood, Rossi and Agostini who are probably out of reach. So he could retire as the 4th winningest rider in MotoGp/500cc history. Not bad for a little kid from the Hunter Valley, eh?
Overnight the FIM announced the full technical regulations for Moto3 next year. Looks like we’re headed for another ultra-control formula.
As well, it has announced that the Moto2 regulations will change in 2013 to allow other manufacturers to supply engines (subject to the same controls, of course)