In 2015, at the age of 36, Valentino Rossi was past his prime physically and not very capable of keeping up front. This was proven by his two seasons at Ducati and a poor return to Yamaha. The VR46 racing team was enough proof that Rossi was looking more towards retirement instead of another championship, or so it seemed. With pundits and fans across the world voicing their opinion about how he was done with racing, it seems he was also training harder than ever and spending a lot of time at his dirt track in Tavullia riding a Yamaha R1.
Rossi paid close attention to the results of the VR46 race. Even with all the money, he could ever want and a super-model girlfriend, he still has a burning fire for racing at his core. He proved his critics wrong by managing his season quite well. He rode wonderfully at Motegi, extending his lead over Lorenzo and coming second to Dani Pedrosa. When he got off his bike, it was obvious the race at taken a lot out of him. The pressure of holding Lorenzo at bay was taking its toll. He was parroted by the media and MotoGP, which was starting to get on his nerves. Then Rossi cracked during a press conference by first attacking Marc Marquez, accusing him of trying to help Lorenzo win the race. Marquez’s response to his attack was the complete opposite of what Rossi had expected and the two tangled in the Sepang race. He caused Marquez to crash during the Sepang race, which caused Rossi to get a penalty and had to start at the end of the grid in Valencia.
For the first sixteen races in 2015, Rossi behaved and raced like the true champion he is. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his last two races. Sepang and Valencia are black marks against his season, but they should not overshadow his incredible achievements this past year.