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It’s going to be an emotional weekend for many at the Gran Premio Nolan del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna. Sunday the 24th of October will see Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) take part in his final MotoGP™ race on home soil, at his beloved Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
The nine-time World Champion announced he would be hanging up his leathers at the end of this season during August’s Styrian GP, with the second Misano instalment – a track Rossi grew up on and lives 20 minutes from – acting as his final farewell to his adoring Italian fans.
Rossi, a three-time winner at Misano, is expecting a tougher weekend than what the riders faced a month ago on the Adriatic coast, as conditions are set to be cooler. The aim for The Doctor during his Italian farewell weekend is to try and be more competitive than he has been, and while a win or a podium seems unfortunately unrealistic for Rossi, his team and his fans, a solid points-scoring ride will signal a successful weekend for the 42-year-old.
“It’s been good to have these two weeks without races, as we had some busy times – including travelling to the USA, which was a really demanding race,” comments Rossi, previewing the upcoming race at Misano. “During this time I’ve been training hard at home to make sure we can face the final three races of this season in the best physical condition.
“This second race in Misano will be tougher than the first one because it is likely to be cooler than one month ago. We need to work to give our best, try to be a bit faster than in the last races and fine-tune the settings to be more competitive. The previous race in Misano was already a really emotional moment for me and, of course, this one will be a special race at home and I really hope the Italian fans can enjoy it.”
You can hear from Rossi in the pre-event Press Conference on Thursday afternoon at 17:00 local time (GMT+2), before watching the number 46 on track all weekend.
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