Lessons in life..
Old wosi has been paying attention for quite some time and would wager he's ridden more bikes than Eddy's had wanks over his photo's, although it's probably close..
The natural order of things mean we all grow older, slow down, get a few more aches & pains..usually becoming a little more sensible and aware of our vulnerability along the way.
Top sportsmen have to deal with this well known fact in condensed terms. Their sell-by-date comes around a lot quicker and it is probably one of the hardest things to judge when you should quit, especially if you're still at the top.
Like Jockeys, riders are but part of the equation in their sporting success. The horse does the running like the bike covers the miles. Lorenzo didn't sprint 170 laps of Sepang at the test..he piloted his bike. They are not fighters or rugby players, whose bodies are everything..and, if they stay largely injury free and still have the motivation, can extend careers beyond the competitive norm.
Rossi must be aware he's approaching an age where many have retired..I think in 'modern times' only Phil Read, nearly 40 years ago, has won the title at a more advanced age than Val is now. It won't be easy and he has said as much.
A broken leg, the first big injury of his career, and Marco have only seved to heighten this awareness, probably altering the way he rides a little. At Ducati, he simply was not prepared to try and ride the bike over it's ill defined limits to get 4th or 5th, like previous riders.
In practice/testing, he crashed more often than at any point in his career other than the start..so he was trying to identify that limit.
Herein lies Ducati's problem..Due to lack of front end feel, world class riders keep crashing the fkn thing because the tipping point is so vague.
Marquez fell losing the front and said he knows where the limit is now. Not so at Ducati.
The new Ducati riders will have to re-assess parameters and it is going be a painful learning curve.
The pain will be all the greater for realising it doesn't matter how brave or determined they are, the same thing is going to happen time & time again..as the opposition disappear into the distance.
That can break a Man's spirit..and with nothing on the horizon to change things, this year will be a real test for Dovi and Spies.