Loris Capirossi believes that Valentino Rossi is in the best form of his career as he bids for a seventh MotoGP World Championship title.
The Italian is battling with Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for the title, with Rossi currently holding a 12-point advantage. Rossi has been supremely consistent this season and has secured four race victories and has finished on the podium in all 12 races thus far.
The 36-year-old may be in the final years of his illustrious career, but Capirossi, who spent 12 years in motorcycling's premier class, feels that he is racing better than ever despite not possessing the physicality he may once have had.
"On a single lap he doesn't have the strength he used to have 10 years ago, but with age that's inevitable," Capirossi told Italian publication Motosprint.
"If you know your limit perfectly, it's not easy to go beyond it.
"But as for everything else, he is the same and even better than the Rossi I knew on track."
Capirossi is of the opinion that while Lorenzo may have a speed advantage over Rossi, it's the Italian who is in the better position to claim the title as he is stronger in every other area.
"Lorenzo is quicker in ideal conditions, but is more fragile than Rossi," explained the former 250cc World Champion.
"Psychologically Valentino is definitely more prepared, he is working so hard in order to win this world title, and every time he gets a chance he launches his attack.
"He is still a monster. Thirty-six years of age is a lot and he has won plenty.
"He doesn't have the hunger of an 18-year-old boy, yet he keeps looking for every little bit and puts it all together in order to keep on improving and be able to take the fight to two super strong and younger rivals."