LOL at those photos of The Doctor! The expression on his face... too funny.
Regarding 2015, I have a very different view of that year than you two guys. I'm no Valentino fanboy, but I know what I saw (it goes back to the Argentine post-race attacks early in the year, not to mention Assen and others).
More importantly, my opinions are influenced by the analysis of the great moto journalist Dennis Noyes, who at the time was employed by Spanish TV as a MotoGP analyst. Noyes got into trouble with his Spanish employers, but to his credit, he stood by his analysis of the warfare between Marquez and Rossi, who started what, and who was fair or unfair and when.
Regardless, that water is under the bridge now; 2015 is in the rearview mirror; MM/93 achieved his goal of tilting the championship to Lorenzo; and VR/46 failed to achieve his 10th world championship crown. It's done and dusted.
I never talk about "The GOAT." It's a concept that I reject, because trying to rank drivers or riders from different eras is a fool's errand. But clearly, without any room for debate, Valentino dominated his era, and it was a rather long era too. In addition to his on-track accomplishments, I agree with the esteemed journalist David Emmett (www.motomatters.com
) when he declares that Rossi is the most important man of MotoGP ever, in terms of positive impact on the sport.
The ultimate irony is that Rossi's career was probably extended by the arrival of the age of electronics (traction control, etc.) which became increasingly important over the decade of the 2010's -- but at the same time, the electronics dampened his domination of the sport prematurely -- by permitting super-aggressive young riders to survive and stay out of hospital and actually finish races.
Ciao e grazie, Valentino.