On To Valencia

Press Release | November 3, 2009

The following is from Yamaha…The highs and lows of another stunning MotoGP season draw to a close this Sunday at the traditional season-ending finale at Valencia in Spain. The Fiat Yamaha Team of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have swept all before them this year, dominating the season by taking ten race wins between them and putting on some of the most entertaining racing displays of recent years. Rossi clinched his ninth World Championship title last time out in Malaysia and, with the Teams’ title already in the bag and Yamaha looking odds-on to confirm the Manufacturers’ title this weekend, the Japanese marque is hoping to take its second consecutive ‘Triple Crown,’ the third since Rossi joined in 2004.A ninth world title shows that Rossi’s star shows no sign of waning yet but the 30-year-old admitted in Sepang that this season has been one of his toughest, due largely to his determined young team-mate. His six wins this year are less than he has taken in any of his other eight championship-winning seasons but he will be determined to try to increase that by one and round off the season on the highest possible note this weekend by finishing on top of the podium. The Italian hero admits that the tight and twisty track is not one of his favourites but he has two wins to his name there and a further three podiums, including third place last year.Lorenzo’s second season in MotoGP has been even more spectacular than his first, with four wins and some stunning battles with his much older and more experienced team-mate. The 22-year-old has never won at the Ricardo Tormo circuit but has some great memories from the track, having finished as runner-up in 2005 before clinching the first of his two 250cc titles there in 2006. The Mallorcan needs just one point from this last race in order to confirm second place in the championship, which he says will be more than enough of a prize for him in just his second MotoGP season, but he, too is determined to end the year on a high note and will be aiming for the podium at the very least.The championship will wrap up in the usual spectacular Spanish style in front of some 130,000 race-day fans, packed into the unique stadium-style surroundings of the track. The layout is characterised by a never-ending burst of tight corners connected by short straights, whilst the long penultimate looping left-hander and the fast entry to turn one contrast with the otherwise geometric flip-flop chicanes and slow speed corners of the infield.Valentino Rossi – “The end of a great season”

“I am very happy to be going to the final race with the championship won and the pressure off, now we can just enjoy ourselves. It’s been a fantastic year and now we just have one more weekend before we start work for 2010. Valencia hasn’t been a great track for me in the past and I’ve had some bad times there, but at the moment we’re in great shape and our bike is working well everywhere we go, so I hope it will be the same at Valencia. It’s a great place to finish and the atmosphere is amazing, so we will just do our best and hope for another good race to end off a great season. On Monday we will start working on the new M1 and I’m very excited to try it!”Jorge Lorenzo – “An amazing place to finish”

“Valencia is an amazing place to finish the Championship, at home, with your fans. I’ve never got a victory here and I know that it’s not one of the best tracks for Yamaha, but I am confident that I can try to change that and finish the championship in the best possible way. The last two races haven’t been great for me and I really want to get over that. Furthermore, I need one point to become ‘vice-champion’ and I would really like to do that with a podium or a win. That’s my aim in Valencia. My best race here was in 2005, when I finished in second place but I think my best memory was in 2006 when I won the championship there. 2009 has been an amazing year for me and for Yamaha and I am looking forward to celebrating with my fans at a home race.”Davide Brivio – “The culmination of a lot of hard work”

“We’re finally at the end of the championship and it’s great to be going there with our job completed and the championship won. Sepang was a great moment for everyone, the culmination of a lot of hard work from everyone and another incredible effort from Valentino, who never stops trying to be the best. It would be great to finish the season with a good result so we will be working as hard as ever this weekend, and then on Monday we will begin work on our 2010 campaign with a two day test with the new evolution M1.”Daniele Romagnoli – “Prepared for a good last race”

“We’re prepared for a good last race! The championship already has its winner but our job isn’t finished yet, we need to score at least one point in Valencia in order to make sure Jorge finishes second in the championship. In theory it shouldn’t be a difficult task but anything can happen and our aim now is to finish the season in the best way – on the podium. Racing in Spain will give Jorge extra motivation and I have no doubt that we will put on another great show for the MotoGP fans, as we have all season!”The following is from Suzuki…Rizla Suzuki has travelled back to Europe for the final installment of the 2009 season with both riders in contention for seventh position in the World Championship.Loris Capirossi currently sits in eighth place in the championship race, but is level on points with current seventh place incumbent Marco Melandri, whilst team-mate Chris Vermeulen is only three points behind Capirossi in 11th place. With four other riders all in with a chance of seventh, the final round will certainly present a race within a race as the six will be going all out to get the best finish possible.Vermeulen will be making his final appearance for Rizla Suzuki at Valencia and is in a determined mood to leave the team on a high. He is currently the only rider in this season’s championship to have scored in every round and will want to continue with that record as he aims to give his crew, the team, Suzuki and all the fans something to remember in his last outing on the Suzuki GSV-R.Valencia is now the traditional end of season venue for MotoGP and a huge crowd can always be expected to fill the enormous grandstands that surround the only stadium track on the calendar. Situated near the village of Cheste, just outside Valencia in Spain, the 4,005m Ricardo Tormo circuit is a mix of many tight corners where every tenth-of-a-second really counts as it is one of the most intense tracks that the riders visit. Valencia is also famed for its amazing race-end firework display which is traditionally started by the race-winner and can be heard from kilometres around.Rizla Suzuki takes to the track on Friday afternoon and then Saturday morning for the two free practice sessions available to the riders. Saturday afternoon will feature an hour of qualifying to determine grid positions for Sunday’s 21-lap race. The main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 8th November.Loris Capirossi:”I am heading to Valencia in a totally fixed and determined state of mind. Last time at Malaysia was disappointing for the race, but the work we did in the dry leading up to race-day was very important and we will be able to use that info in Valencia. I am really confident that we can make a big impact at the last race and give the whole team something positive to take into the winter and on to 2010.”Chris Vermeulen:”I am totally focused on going out on a high at Valencia. This will be my last race in MotoGP – for at least a couple of years – and I want to make sure it is one that I can be proud of. My time with the Suzuki team has been great and my crew has worked tirelessly throughout my time here to give me the best bike they can whatever the conditions, so a good result will be as much for them as for myself. I have scored points in every race this year and want to make the last one the highest points scoring one. I will certainly be going for a podium this weekend, I know that will be tough, but that’s the target and one that I would really love to achieve!”The following is from Repsol Honda…The Repsol Honda Team has its sights firmly set on closing out the MotoGP season this weekend with a race victory at the traditional year-end finale at Valencia. Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso head to the Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo circuit fully motivated to end the 2009 campaign on a high, and also to win their private battles for third and fifth places in the World Championship standings.Pedrosa knows he can count on fever-pitch levels of support from his home fans at the third race of the season to be held in motorcycle-mad Spain. Valencia’s stadium-like layout guarantees an incredible race-day atmosphere, and Pedrosa will be seeking to delight the crowd with the same form that has seen him win the race from pole position on half of his eight previous Grand Prix appearances here, including the 2007 MotoGP race.With four top-three finishes from the last four races this season – including his debut wet weather podium at the previous round in Malaysia – Pedrosa is in confident mood as he attempts to overturn the 11-point lead Casey Stoner holds over him for third place in the championship. Stoner is looking back to his best recently so it won’t be an easy task, but the 24-year-old Spaniard isn’t preoccupied with the maths as he heads to Valencia – he will simply be targeting the race win on Sunday.Dovizioso is looking to take the positives from the last race in Malaysia – where he was running in a strong third for much of the race – and establish himself once again where he belongs in MotoGP’s leading pack this weekend. The 23-year-old Italian came home in fourth place in last year’s race at Valencia and, although this is not a circuit he rates as one of his favourites, Dovizioso also enjoys a big lift from the support of the 120,000-stong fans that pack the grandstands at the 4.005km (2.489-mile) track on race day.The battle for fifth place in the World Championship is one that Dovizioso will be keen to win this weekend, and he goes into the final round with a four-point advantage over Texan Colin Edwards. In the Constructor’s championship Honda is in second place with an 11-point lead over Ducati, and the Repsol Honda Team has a 31-point advantage over the Ducati Marlboro Team in the race for second place in the Team classification.The Repsol Honda riders’ weekend begins at Valencia on Thursday as they support the fundraising activities of the Riders for Health charity. First practice for the main event then takes place at 13.55 on Friday, with further practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s 30-lap race, which begins at 14.00 local time (GMT + 1 hour).DANI PEDROSA – World Championship position: 4th 209 points”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.” ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship position: 5th 152 points”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.”The following is from Ducati…The Ducati MotoGP Team makes the relatively short road trip to Spain this week in preparation for the final round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship, the “La Comunitat Valenciana GP”. In recent years the Ricardo Tormo Circuit has become the traditional venue for the championship curtain call and, at the same time, an opportunity to glimpse into the future as the teams immediately begin their winter testing programme for the season ahead.Tortuously slow and twisty, on paper Valencia looks unsuitable for the power of a MotoGP bike and in particular that of the Desmosedici, yet this is the circuit where the Ducati MotoGP Team has celebrated some of its most famous successes. Other than in 2005, with a best result of fourth, the team have been represented on the podium every season they have competed there, including a sensational one-two in 2006. Casey Stoner, who arrives in Spain on the back of consecutive victories in Australia and Malaysia, scored the first win of his career at Valencia in the 125cc in 2003 and finished second for Ducati in MotoGP in 2007, following up with a win in 2008. Nicky Hayden has been on the podium twice here before, taking second place in 2005 and third place in 2006, when he also clinched the title.CASEY STONER, Ducati MotoGP Team (3rd in the championship on 220 points)

“Valencia is a circuit I’ve always liked – it is tight and slow but surprisingly flowing and I think it’s a good circuit for a MotoGP bike. Apart from anything it is a great viewing spectacle for the fans, who can follow the bikes around practically the whole circuit. My Ducati has always run really well there and I’ve been on the pace for the past couple of seasons – in testing and in the races – so obviously we’re hoping that trend continues, even though we will have to make a few small adjustments to the bike. We’re finally at the end of the season and already looking forward to the next one, so if we can win this race then great, if not we’ll try and finish the year with a podium and then start working towards next year.”NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati MotoGP Team (13th in the championship on 93 points)

“I love Valencia and for obvious reasons it is a place that holds very special memories for me but I don’t just like it because it is where I won the title in 2006 – I actually just like the circuit itself. I guess it will be my first ‘Ducati anniversary’ and it will be interesting to see how far we have come since that first test a year ago. I can’t wait to get there – it is a great Grand Prix with a special, welcoming and party atmosphere. Hopefully I can have a good race and enjoy myself. If I can manage a good result there’s a chance we can finish the season in the top ten, with ninth place just twelve points away. I won’t be easy but we’ll see what we can do.”LIVIO SUPPO, MotoGP Project Director

“Valencia has always been a good place for our team and I hope it is again this year. Casey and Nicky both go well here and my dream would be to see them on the podium together in what would be a wonderful way to finish 2009. They deserve it, as does everybody at Ducati Corse. We’ve had some good moments and some difficult ones over the course of this season but in both cases we have just continued to do our job, giving our maximum at all times and I think that the results in the last two races are the proof that our motto of “never give up” always pays off.”THE TRACK

The Valencia circuit, named after Spanish rider Ricardo Tormo, has been a fixture on the World Championship calendar since 2002, having been used for the first time in 1999. Measuring 4.005km, it is an unusual circuit, built within a stadium style complex that makes it possible to see virtually any part of the circuit from any seat in the house. Whilst on the one hand this makes it a great venue for the fans, the track layout is constantly forced back on itself, making for a series of tight corners separated by short straights that require plenty of low revs, short gear ratios and provide little opportunity to fully open the throttle. In fact, the short back straight and slightly longer front straight are the only two high-speed points on the circuit. Unlike most circuits, it also runs anti-clockwise.

By Press Release