Mick Doohan is one of the legends of motorcycling, with five consecutive titles in the 500, from 1994 to 1998. The Australian champion almost met up with another legend on the track: Valentino Rossi. Mick, in fact, decided to retire the year before the Doctor joined the premier class.
How would it have ended if the two heavyweights had clashed in the ring (and on the same bike)? That's what Chiris Doohan - who stopped riding and is now a journalist (HERE's the complete interview) asked Doohan.
"I don't think it would've been a problem. I would've been on my side of the garage, with another sponsor," Mick answered. Valentino inherited the team led by Jeremy Burgess from him.
"Valentino was fast. He was right from the beginning, but that's the reason why I would've liked him as a teammate ," the Australian rider continued. "It would've been a tough challenge. I'm sure he would've been a nusaince forme and I for him."
This challenge will always remain a dream, but Rossi has had many in his career. The last was to continue racing after 40. If he decides to do it in 2021 too, he'll have to do it with the Petronas team.
“Yamaha will certainly give him the best material, even if he's in a satellite team, and there's no one better than him for developing the bike. He's perfect. He's also still competitive, and I admire his dedication. It's good for sports. He's experienced. Even if he qualifies 8th, he can still get on the podium. But, at the moment, it's hard to tell if he or someone else has Marquez's speed," he smiled.
He was 35 when Doohan retired.
"Valentino is 41. 20 years are a lot at the highest levels. I've only done a few, and I know the pressure. He'll need a year of vacation when he stops," he said, jokingly.
Mick then talked about the current MotoGP, how much it has changed since "his" 500.
“Dorna has a good vision. It went in the right direction, but I would like to see more tire suppliers coming back. The Michelins are good everywhere but not extraordinary. When I raced, the Dunlops almost made the difference. Now they all have the same tires. I would call, and they would send me the ones I needed in that race. Maybe it was a bit extreme."
Another point on which fans are divided is the increasing importance of electronics.
“The current bikes are extraordinary. How many could ride them without electronics?" Doohan asked. "Some riders need them. Marc could certainly do without them, but it would be difficult, especially in qualifying."