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Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa all spoke to the world’s media ahead of the Valencia GP.
The sold out Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo circuit has played host to a number of dramatic end of season finale’s in the past, but surely the final round of the 2015 MotoGP™ season has to be one of the most anticipated races in the history of the World Championship. For all of the permutations that will result in either Rossi or Lorenzo becoming champion, check out our handy interactive guide.
The Valencia GP saw the traditional Pre-Event press conference cancelled to allow the Permanent Bureau of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship to address the entire MotoGP™ field after the incident in Sepang. With this in mind, Movistar Yamaha teammates and title rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, along with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, all spoke individually to journalists after the meeting.
Rossi found out his appeal for a stay of execution on his Sepang penalty had been denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport before he addressed the media. This means that the ‘Doctor’ still holds a seven-point lead over his rival Lorenzo, but will have to start from the back of the grid come Sunday’s race: “Yes, unfortunately starting from the back of the grid makes everything very difficult. Already it’s difficult but starting from last make the things in the race a lot harder. But you know I’m here and we have to try the maximum and stay concentrated to try to make a good job during the weekend to arrive as fast as possible for the race. Then start and see what happens.”
The ‘Doctor’ also discussed if the incident and its fallout has affected his plans for next season: “This situation doesn’t modify my passion or my thinking for the future. I will race next year because I have a contract and during next year a lot of things will change, maybe the level too. After I will decide to continue or not.”
Lorenzo arrives at Valencia on the back of four consecutive podiums and boosted by the news that Rossi’s penalty will be upheld. The two-time MotoGP™ World Champion admits though it is now time for all of the talking to stop and for him to get focused on Sunday’s race if he is to lift his third title: “Well we have to respect the decision that they decided. To be honest I arrived here with the thinking to just focus on the weekend, which is an important thing for me. I don’t want to speak about anything else apart from what can happen in the future on the track. I look forward to tomorrow and Friday. About the past, I just want to say that it was a mistake the gesture I made on the podium, I regret that and I want to say sorry to the people who watched this on TV because it’s not a sporting example, especially for young people around the world. Sorry for this gesture. Apart from this I don’t have anything else to say, other than concentrating on the weekend.”
Lorenzo also responded to rumours about a rift within his team: “My intention is to continue with Yamaha forever, not only till I retire but also later. This is staying in my mind. Naturally all marriages have some moments of disagreement but our relationship in the future will be the same. Valentino and myself form one of the best teams in the world.”
Marquez has already secured third in the Championship standings and says he wants to put the last two weeks behind him, with his aim at the Valencian GP to simply try and achieve his sixth win of the season: “Honestly it has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life, especially after Malaysia. I try to forget and concentrate to prepare for the last race and honestly it wasn’t possible to prepare in a normal way. Like everyone knows it was difficult, but ok now I’m here and with my second family; my team. This helps me a lot to prepare for the weekend and try to finish the season well. Try to fight for victory or the podium like every weekend.”
The double MotoGP™ World Champion also talked about what the 2015 season has taught him: “What I learned is sometimes a third or fourth is good for the championship. I also learned that during the season is very long and we didn’t start so well. The biggest mistake for us was the first six races and I tried to be there when the bike wasn’t perfect. Maybe in those races if we had managed the situation better, since Assen I was competitive. From Assen I could fight for the title. The first six races showed the championship is long.”
Pedrosa is the man in form having won two of the last three races and has an excellent record at Valencia with three MotoGP™ victories to his name. Despite winning the Malaysian GP, the Spaniard admitted he is not bothered by the fact his victory played second fiddle to the furore around the #SepangClash: “I’m not really racing for getting all the attention of people, I race because I like it and I like to win. I like these feelings and these emotions when I win. Sure it was less in the press about my victory than the action on track, but my emotions were the same! Super happy for it. I’m happy because I stuck to my attitude and values, I always want to do the things the way I feel and it is nice people recognise that.”
The MotoGP™ on-track action kicks off at 9:55am local time on Friday with Free Practice 1. Click here for the full schedule for the Valencia GP.
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