One of the harder parts about getting old is watching your idols start to get old too. Michael Jordan, Fedor Emelianenko, and Anderson Silva all made me feel a little nostalgic when their careers started to wane. Now Rossi. I could be that the NBA game, fight day or race day couldn't get here fast eonugh. Now, while I like the racing, especially this past week end, watching your hero struggling sucks. Granted, I think with a good bike Rossi would be more competitive but that is just one thing we'll never know for sure. I hate to say it but another 2 or 3 years of the Doctor and he'll be out I think.
Well Rossi is Rossi. Even at 40, give him a competitive bike and he'll compete for the championship. Look at how many years he finished 2nd to Marquez. Marquez on a Repsol Honda (Always the best bike in the paddock imo). Yamaha haven't held the "best bike" title since Rossi's 2nd year with Yamaha in 2005. Rossi still has it. Give him a powerful enough bike that handles, and he's picky on the front end being super stable for his riding style, and he'll go toe to toe with Marquez or anyone else and challenge for the championship. MotoGP in 2019 is hyper competitive. Competition so stiff I don't care who you are, if your bike doesn't have the minerals podiums are all you are going to get barring rain. And you'll have to override the bike to get on the podium. Control tires, spec ecu and software. The ECU and software completely leveling the field so you need a spectacular chassis and a monster of a motor.
Jordan, with the Bulls never faltered. He was 35 years old when he won his last NBA championship. I remember that year, where Iverson crossed him up, and got him. ESPN, etc, made a big old deal about it and I laughed. Jordan was 35, Iverson was like 21 or something. 14 year discrepancy and it was one play. Jordan was still the best player in the league at 35.
When he joined the Wizards and decided to play, it was only an effort to get in the owners box. During that run he was still one of the ten best players in the league. Probably #10 to be fair. Still had 50 point games and his last season
he averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 37.0 minutes per game. Pretty phenomenal.
Basketball isn't motorcycle racing. Motorcycle racing is all between the ears. You must be lean (Rossi has always been painfully lean on purpose since he is taller than most riders) and fit, but it's mostly between the ears. The desire has to be there to win and he has it. He still has it, but he is running out of time. Now is when he could win the title but not without a bike capable. Even at 40 years old, he is still the first Yamaha in the championship standings. His teammate is 16 years younger than him, and is 32 points behind him in the championship.