My opinion of the last race is that VR is far from 'old' or finished as VR haters are repeating since Nov 2007 (I can't tell you how annoying this mantra is in italian websites). After 2007, he went on to win 2 more Championships and, last year, before injury to the leg was losing to JL 2 wins to 1 - taking also into account that the injury to the shoulder happened after the first race of the season. As for what VR is doing on the ducati compared to what CS did. What did NH did in 2010 and in 2011? That's the only constant in that bike, and that constant shows that in 2011 he is going slower.
As for the reason why I think nobody will replace rossi: VR is the most complete rider in the last 10-15 years, and he gives spectators the most incredible show - I've never seen CS, JL or Pedro doing anything like e.g Catalunya or Laguna - and bear in mind those two races were when he was already OLD accoding to critics. Does any of you (hater) experts remember Doohan? He started winning at 29 and went on till he was 34, and would not have stopped if not for that terrible injury once again. VR is 32 this year. LOL.
Sorry, but VR is like Maradona. There may be Zidanes, Ronaldinhos and Ronaldos, but there's only one Maradona, and the day VR retires is gonna be a blow for whole motorracing, not so with the likes of CS or JL, like it or not. Think about it, VR is the unit of reference, if you want to say someone is REALLY a champion, you say he can beat VR. You don't say he can beat CS or JL.
I just can't wait for the remaining of the season. It's like 1967 when everybody was saying the beatles were over because they hadn't published a record in a while. Behind closed doors, the four were just laughing coz they were working on Sgt Peppers. Same here, I'm just laughing. I only wish the VERY same haters who criticize VR after the first race will have the courage to turn up when he shuts up everybody once again. Coz that's typical of forums (at least italian ones): VR haters flourish when things seem to be going bad for him, they just disappear as if by miracle when he proves once again he is the true champion. There's one ali, one beatles, one maradona, one rossi.