Valentino Rossi arrives in Spain with the intention to defend his second place in the championship.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP returns to Spain to wrap up the 2014 MotoGP season this weekend at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
With just 12 points separating Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in their battle for second in the championship, the Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo Circuit sets the scene for an intense battle on Sunday. However, the teammates won’t only be battling for their own glory: also the Team Title is still up for grabs for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP.
After three successful weekends overseas Valentino Rossi arrives in Spain with the intention to defend his second place in the championship by claiming another podium finish. The very experienced nine-time world champion has taken two premier class wins at Valencia in 2003 and 2004 and claimed multiple other podiums there, with a second place in 2002 and 2009 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
I’m second in the championship and being 12 points ahead is good, but this gap is not sufficient enough to play a passive role this weekend.
Having won a phenomenal race at the Valencia track last year, teammate Lorenzo arrives in his home country with confidence. He looks forward to the support of the passionate Spanish crowd as he aims to finish the season with another thrilling battle for victory. So far Lorenzo has claimed two premier class victories at this circuit in 2010 and 2013 and a third place podium position in 2009.
The final showdown at the Ricardo Tormo circuit is always enjoyable for the riders, thanks to its unique atmosphere. Valencia became the traditional closing stage of the MotoGP calendar in 2002 and is known to draw record crowds. Its layout ensures all parts of the circuit can be seen from every stand, so fans won’t miss any of the final racing action. Completed in 1999, the 4.005 m MotoGP track is run anti-clockwise, with five right and eight left hand corners and a 650 meters straight.
Valentino Rossi - championship: 2nd / 275 points: “It won’t be an easy race! I’m second in the championship and being 12 points ahead is good, but this gap is not sufficient enough to play a passive role this weekend. Jorge is in a good moment. During the second part of the season Jorge was very fast and he wants to win in Spain and try to take the second place from me. We must focus on finishing the season with a victory just like we aim to do at all races! My team and I will do our best, as usual. Valencia isn’t one of my favorite tracks, but that doesn’t bother me. In this season we were strong also in the tracks that aren’t favorable to me. The three races in a row went well, I won another race, and for this reason I think that we can do a good race in Valencia! I am confident!”
Jorge Lorenzo - championship: 3rd / 263 points: “Finally we face the last race of the championship and it’s always exciting to come back to Spain to close the season. We have already saved third position in the championship after the race in Sepang and I hope to fight for the win again in Valencia. I think this is a better track for our Yamaha M1 than Sepang. I won here last year and hopefully we get to try this again this year. The second position of the championship is still a possibility, but I need to get the victory and wait to see what Valentino’s result will be like. I would like to close the championship in a better way than I started it, especially in front of the big crowd that always visits us in Valencia!”
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director: "We are now at the end of the season and head to Valencia for the final race. Not only will second and third place in the championship be decided between Vale and Jorge, but we’re also in with a shot to claim the Team Title. We want to get the best results possible and start the weekend off strongly. During the races overseas Valentino has proven to be in great shape.
Especially his win at Philip Island was a stunning performance that showed the high level of his riding, but both our riders have a great pace. Jorge’s win at Motegi was magnificent and he’s been consistently fast in every session. The team and riders did a great job this season and we are motivated to work hard this weekend to give it one final push. It will be important that we give Valentino and Jorge the possibility to compete at the front from the beginning, so we can close the season in the best way.”
Espargaro and Smith ready to fight at the final shootout in Valencia
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will compete this week in the all important season finale at Valencia as they aim to conclude the year as highest non-factory riders in the final standings.
With many memorable battles having occurred at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana in recent years, this weekend promises to be an exciting end to the 2014 MotoGP season for both Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders in front of the ever passionate Spanish crowd.
Pol Espargaro will look to close his rookie year with another fiercely contested result at Valencia after heroically riding through his pain threshold to finish sixth in Malaysia despite having fractured a bone in his left foot. This weekend, the reigning Moto2 world champion will intend to clinch the top satellites honours in order to be successful in his quest for the sixth position in the championship standings. Meanwhile, Britain’s Bradley Smith will aim to continue his impressive run with a fight to land a top six result in Sunday’s 30 lap sprint in order to seal his ambition of finishing sixth in the world championship standings.
Pol Espargaro - Championship Standings: 6th / 126 points: "We will finally return to Europe this weekend where my debut season in the premier class comes to an end. It goes without saying that I aim to finish with a strong performance to underline the progress we made during the last 12 months. Luckily I have had some time to recover and the most significant thing is that I didn’t require any surgery, after the injury I sustained in Sepang. Although I still may not be 100% fit, I am fully determined and confident of riding to a top result in order to clinch sixth in the championship.
Furthermore, I also want to thank my team for the great job this year by finishing in a high scoring position. The event at Valencia is always a notable one and the fans are very enthusiastic which gives me even more motivation for this race. The Yamaha will be strong here due to the meandering nature of the track but the competition will be tough as always. After a positive season of learning a huge amount, I am ready to intend once again to finish as the leading satellite bike in my last appearance as a MotoGP rookie."
Bradley Smith - championship: 7th / 119 points: "I’m very excited to go to Valencia this weekend for the important last race of the year. My performances over the previous two rounds have been strong and I fully intend to continue this form at the season finale. Yet, I must say that I’m a bit disappointed that we are close to the end as the racing calendar seems to pass by far too quickly, as always! Valencia is a track I enjoy riding at and I have had good success there in previous years in all classes, but particularly in 2010 where I won the 125cc race from third on the grid. I undertook an extremely productive test last season after the final GP, so we already have a strong base setting and a lap time which we must chase. Obviously the conditions do change with every visit, but I feel optimistic for the challenge. Furthermore, I am determined to close 2014 on a high note and win the fight for sixth position in the championship standings."
NGM Forward Racing arrives in Spain for Valencia GP season finale
With eight months and seventeen races having passed since the 2014 season-opening round in Qatar, the NGM Forward Racing Team is heading to Spain for the final event of the year, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
The Valencia Circuit, a stadium-like facility housing a relatively tight track that runs in an anticlockwise direction, will welcome teams, riders and MotoGP fans with its extraordinary season-finale atmosphere.
For the NGM Forward Racing Team, Valencia will be the perfect place to celebrate the Open class title clinched by Aleix Espargaro with one race before the end of the season. The title, won in Malaysia two weeks ago, crowned an exciting season that saw the Spaniard among the protagonist of the MotoGP class with one podium finish and a pole position.
The Valencia GP will be an important appointment for Alex De Angelis, who rode a very good race in Malaysia, despite the final result that saw him obliged to retire on the last lap for a technical problem when he was close to the top ten.
Aleix Espargaro - Championship: 8th / 117 points: “Valencia is a small track, it’s not fast but it’s technically demanding. It’s not one of my favorite but it’s always nice to race in Spain and the atmosphere is exciting. Valencia will be my last race with the team; I hope to make a good result to thank them for this great season together.”
Alex De Angelis - Championship Standings: 19th / 14 points: “I have scored good results at Valencia so I have good memories and it will be great to return on board of the Forward Yamaha. It’s a tight track for the MotoGP machines and you don’t need all the power so I think this could be an advantage for us. It’s my last race of the season so I arrive with more experience on the Forward Yamaha. I look forward to make a good result.”