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Rossi believes win is possible at Valencia

Rossi believes win is possible at Valencia

Rossi believes win is possible at Valencia

In under a week's time, the destination of the 2007 MotoGP World Title will be known. It is one of the few certainties of the season, which has been as unpredictable as it has been exciting. Reigning champion Valentino Rossi is eager to complete his heroic comeback to pip riva Nicky Hayden to the crown.

Since being knocked from his bike in the first corner of the first race at Jerez, the Italian has been through virtually every emotion known to a motorcycle racer. A dramatically unpredictable season of twists and turns has seen Rossi visit the gravel traps, the hospital and the top step of the podium in almost equal measures, with technical problems also robbing him of vital points in the first half of the season. However, since finding himself a massive 51 points behind Hayden after round eleven at Laguna Seca, the five-time World Champion has shown his true colours with a string of five consecutive podium finishes.

"Things went very well for us in Estoril - we've achieved our goal of coming here still fighting for the championship and for this I have to thank everyone in the team so much," says Rossi. "Each person has worked at 100% to bring us back to this position and now we're all very excited about this final race. Of course it's not going to be like other times, when I have won the championship with some races to spare and less pressure. Now I only have one chance. It's a big pressure for everyone but it's great for the show.

"Valencia isn't one of my best tracks and we also know that Hayden is really strong there, so it's definitely not going to be easy. On the other hand we know that the M1 works quite well there and in the race last year it was very good in the second half of the race especially. If we can start from the front then I think we can try for the win, but whatever happens it's going to be a really exciting race. Hopefully Colin and I can be at the front together like in Estoril and we'll just see what we can do!"

Colin Edwards will once again be looking to play the role of good team-mate after his star performance at Estoril just over a week ago. The Texan was back to his best form in Portugal, qualifying second on the grid and providing a crucial helping hand to Rossi in the early stages of the race – only to narrowly miss out on his second rostrum of the season as he took fourth place at the line. This weekend Edwards' clear objective is to go at least one position better and make sure he is celebrating alongside Rossi on Sunday evening.

"I'm pretty excited about the last race of the season, it's going to be pretty close I reckon," says Edwards. "Estoril worked out well for the team and I was able to help Valentino out, which was the number one aim. Obviously I was disappointed not to be on the podium but my bike worked great and I think that we're in good shape to do it all again at Valencia.

"I've raced at Valencia for years so I know it really well and I know I am quite fast there. Like in Estoril, the aim is going to be to get on the front row alongside Valentino and then just to help him out in the race as much as possible. Of course this time out I want to be on the podium too, a Yamaha one-two would be the perfect end to the season!"

For Camel Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio the Grand Prix of Portugal epitomised the togetherness and spirit shown by his riders and staff since bouncing back from the brink of failure midway through the season. With just one round remaining the Italian is asking for one final, definitive push before a well-earned break and the start of the new 800cc era in 2007.

"Since the summer break we have just taken the races one-by-one, working our hardest and keeping our focus, and the results have been excellent," reflects Brivio. "Our objective from Brno onwards was to keep fighting until the end of the season and try to get to the last round with a mathematical chance of winning the title. After Portugal that mathematical chance is a lot stronger than we expected but it is not over yet and, as we all know from our experience this season, anything can still happen.

"It looks like being another dramatic weekend but from our point of view the objective is just the same as it has been for the last five or six races – to keep our heads down, work hard and stay focused on the job of giving our riders the best possible package for Sunday. If we can do that then I'm sure Valentino and Colin will do their part too, and hopefully we can celebrate together on Sunday."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Valentino Rossi

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