Almost seven months after that night race in Qatar, which opened this season, the World Championship draws to an end with the Valencia Grand Prix. The last race will be the third "at home" for the Repsol riders, at one of the circuits where the ...
Almost seven months after that night race in Qatar, which opened this season, the World Championship draws to an end with the Valencia Grand Prix. The last race will be the third "at home" for the Repsol riders, at one of the circuits where the presence of crowd is felt the most on the track, and where Dani Pedrosa, on the podium in the last four races held there, goes with the clear aim of ending the year with a win.
The Repsol rider won at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia two years ago and 12 months ago, on the Honda RC212V wearing the classic Repsol colours, he finished on the podium again, but this time on the second step. After a more difficult season than expected, Pedrosa wants to top the work done with a final victory, which should leave a good taste in the mouth for the months of work ahead, during which the competition stops until next spring.
His team mate, Andrea Dovizioso, has also had a more difficult season than expected. However, as a result of the hard work done in the Repsol Honda Team garage, the results are getting nearer. A fall just seven laps from the end was an unfair prize in the last race, when he was riding in conditions to achieve a podium finish. A result that will stimulate the tireless Italian at the Ricardo Tormo. Once again, rain is expected but Dovizioso has already won in the wet, and Pedrosa achieved his last podium finish under these conditions.
In the lowest of the three categories, the Repsol riders will also make the most of the final race of the season to get a good result. Both Marquez and Redding, who have had podium finishes this season, as well as Rabat, who is having an excellent end of season, consistently riding in the front group, hope to show their full potential in the race in Valencia. A race in which Cameron Beaubier will have it a little easier than the previous two, as he will be riding on a circuit that he rode on the previous two years.
"I always look forward to the Grand Prix here, and this year is no different. It's a circuit I really enjoy riding at, even though it's quite a tight layout, but what makes it really special is the way that you can feel the support from the fans all the way round the circuit. And of course, being a Spanish rider, I get a lot of positive attention here which gives you some extra motivation too. I've had some good results at Valencia in the past, and this weekend it would be great to finish off the year with a win - that's what I want.
It's not been the easiest of seasons and we haven't been able to challenge for the championship so I'm even more determined to sign off on a high note. The result at the last race, where I got on the podium for the first time in wet conditions, has given me a lot of confidence too. We know it can rain at Valencia, so we're ready for anything this weekend."
"The atmosphere at Valencia is always incredible and that makes it a special way to finish the season. I'm really looking forward to the race, even though this is not actually one of my favourite tracks because the layout is quite slow and twisty. The grandstands around the track are always packed and the spectators can follow the action and see all of the race, so it's kind of like a stadium environment.
I'm coming into this weekend with mixed feelings after the last race. I could have had a good result in Malaysia if I hadn't crashed so I'm really determined to do well here, for myself and for the team. I'd like to finish the year with a good result to thank my guys, and also Honda for all the work done this year. I had a decent result here last year so I'm determined to be fighting at the front this weekend again."
"It's the last race of the season and I'm sure that all the riders are looking forward to it, so from the start, we'll focus on doing a good job that will allow us to have a good race. It's one of the Grand Prix races at home, on a circuit that I know well and where I'm sure I'll have a lot of support, so if the bike accompanies us too, it could be a little easier.
We'll try to keep up the level we had in Malaysia, and although it'll be a difficult weekend, we'll make sure that all the fans that come have a good time."
"It's the last race of the year, and at home, and I'm really looking forward to competing there. We've been doing quite well in the last few races, fighting in the top ten positions, in the leading group, so we'll try to be there again.
I like this circuit a lot, it's one of my favourite tracks, and all of the fans and friends will be supporting us, so we'll try and give them a reason to be happy."
"The last Grand Prix of the year in Valencia is a good race for me, as riding in Spain is like riding at home, both for the team and myself. After racing in the CEV and training there a few times, it's a circuit I know and like. It's an important race, because considering how the year has gone, we'll have to work hard to get a good result.
I like the track, although if you don't get a good set up, it can be difficult. The crucial spot is the last turn, the long left before reaching the straight, that closes and you have to brake in the turn, because you can lose a lot of time and that's where races are decided."
"I know the circuit quite well because I've had the chance to ride there several times, both in the Rookies Cup and the Spanish Championship, so I hope to score in this race.
We'll start the weekend as strong as possible to get to the level of the rest quickly. It's a circuit that I like a lot, and that also makes it easier to start with a good pace."