Mick Doohan on Valentino Rossi

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Rossi has dazzled the biking world since he started his second 500 campaign inJapan on April 8. He won in thrilling style at Suzuka, then again at Welkom andJerez, attracting fulsome praise from hard-to-impress former 500 king MickDoohan.

Here's what Doohan had to say of young Valentino before this weekend's round four of the GP series at Le Mans in France...

"Valentino is riding the bike the way a 500 needs to be ridden and he'sriding it to its full potential," says the Australian, who took fiveback-to-back 500 crowns under the guidance of crew chief Jerry Burgess, nowRossi's mentor. "A lot of other 250 World Champions haven't made a reallybig impact in 500s because they've struggled to get away from their 250 ridingstyles. Valentino has thought about it; he picks up the bike from the apex andrides it to the outside of the track, rather than making a continuous curve ofthe corner.

"He really works at it, much more than I ever did! He watches a lot of videos,from way back, he watches what guys like Schwantz, Rainey and me used to do andhe picks out the pieces of our styles that he wants to use. And he's in thegarage till all hours of the night, working with the crew. I think it's goingto be hard for the other guys to run with him, well, maybe not run with him,but it's going to tough for them to really attack him."

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