Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi is still a dangerous opponent, believes former arch-rival Jorge Lorenzo, who won’t retire this year if the coronavirus break carries on deep into the season.
Lorenzo, who is now Yamaha’s European test rider, says Rossi is still a man to be feared even in middle age and likened him to footballer Maradonna.
“Valentino is a little like Maradona, he has a very unique character that makes him special,” said Lorenzo.
“Of course, as with everyone, age is slowly becoming noticeable, but last year he almost won a race, even if he wasn’t quite as fast as Fabio Quartararo or Maverick Viñales
“But that can change at any time. Maybe the new tires or the new motorcycle will give him the necessary advantage and he will win races again. And if Valentino wins races, he’s a very dangerous opponent for the title.
“I think he will continue because we may not be racing anymore this year. I haven’t spoken to him since the Sepang test, but if there aren’t any races this year, I don’t think he’ll stop like this.
“I know that in the first races of the year he wants to see how he does and can’t go without trying it.”