When Valentino Rossi steps off the Yamaha M1 at the end of the 2010 Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday, he will be ending one of the most successful and iconic chapters in the history of MotoGP – before starting an all-new one next week…
Seven years after his defection from Honda, Rossi will embark on his 117th and final race for the Yamaha before he switches to Ducati from 2011.
Though he won't be ending the season on top having been forced to concede his crown to FIAT Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi admits it'll be an emotional weekend for him as he brings his hugely successful tenure to a close in Spain.
Naturally, Rossi is aiming for one last victory – a 47th on the M1 – before he swaps blue and white for red next week.
"So here we are, my last race with Yamaha and it will be an emotional weekend for all! Of course I would really like to try to win this final race because it would be a great end to this partnership, which has had so many beautiful moments.
“We improved the setting of our bike again in Estoril so I hope we will be in good shape in Valencia, although it hasn't been the best track for me in the last few years. Anyway this is a special weekend so we will do everything that we can.
“I am third in the championship after Estoril and second is not impossible, although we know Dani is strong in Valencia and he is still 19 points ahead."