Mick Doohan rode a Honda RC213V MotoGP bike today, at the Philip Island Circuit. The five-time 500cc world champ said he was rusty, but enjoyed riding the bike...
Among Australian riders who’ve won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world championship, there’s Wayne Gardner, who won the title in 1987, Casey Stoner, who took the crown in 2007 and 2011, and then there’s Mick Doohan, who won the 500cc world championship in 1994. And in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. That’s right, the former Gold Coast resident won five 500cc world championships on the trot in the 1990s, earning the nickname ‘Dominant Doohan.’
Doohan retired from the 500cc GP class in 1999, when he only participated in the first two races of the season, leaving Spaniard Alex Criville to win the world championship that year. And now, at 47, Doohan is back. Well, just for the weekend, for a few exhibition laps around the Philip Island Circuit aboard the current Honda RC213V MotoGP bike, but for Doohan fans it was still a treat to see the old warrior ride the way he used to.
‘I was rusty, but it felt good. The last time I rode a Grand Prix bike at all was in the mid-2000s in Japan, so it’s been a long while. Repsol Honda gave me a fantastic opportunity to ride this year’s bike and I can’t thank them enough. It was a lot of fun, but I’m glad I’m not trying to line-up and go and qualify later this afternoon,’ said Doohan, speaking to SpeedCafe. The five-time 500cc world champ was lapping the circuit about 13 seconds slower than reigning MotoGP world champ Casey Stoner.