Valencia is set to be something of a derby for Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. The two Yamaha riders will be battling it out for third place in the championship at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The Doctor is currently two points ahead of the Spaniard, so there is everything to play for. Despite his crash at Sepang, #46 appears confident ahead of this final round.
It's also true that the Spanish track is not one of the nine-time champion's favourites, but Valentino prefers to remain optimistic: “We have already arrived in Valencia. For us it will be an interesting weekend because it's a circuit on which we usually aren't very fast, but in the last races we have seen some improvements. In Malaysia we were very fast during the whole weekend and also in the race. Unfortunately the race didn't end well, but there remain positive aspects."
The final round will serve as a launch pad into the new season: “In Valencia we will try to do our best. We would like to finish the season with a positive result. Then there will be tests in Valencia and those in Jerez, so some intense weeks."
Maverick Vinales is very keen to do well in front of his home crowd. In Australia, the Spaniard scored the win and hopes for a repeat performance this weekend: “The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. Ending the season in the third position after such a difficult season as this one would be a small success for us.”.
He is nevertheless well aware of the stiff competition: “We've worked hard during the lasts months and the bike is competitive. Last year it wasn’t a good race, but this year I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with another victory. My goal now is to get the third position in the World Championship and we are very close."