4 November 2010
MotoGP arrives in Valencia
The Repsol Honda rider has the best chance of finishing second in the Championship, holding a 19-point advantage over third-placed Rossi, but he's still recovering from his collarbone injury having only made his return to racing in Portugal after sitting out three races.
"I'm happy to be back here at Valencia, where I did a good race last year," said Pedrosa. "I think we will have a great Sunday, because the crowd is always amazing, especially for the Spanish riders. This year I'm coming from injury, so I don't know what is my level, but I hope to do a great race."
Nicky Hayden is currently sixth in the championships standings, tied on points with compatriot Ben Spies.
The Ducati rider could well surpass his fellow American this weekend, as Spies is riding injured after dislocating his ankle in a sighting lap crash at Estoril just one week ago.
Hayden finished fifth aboard the GP09 Desmosedici last year at Valencia, a track that holds fond memories for the Ducati after he clinched the MotoGP title here in 2006 but is aiming higher this weekend.
"Sixth in the championship isn't bad, but not spectacular; certainly the goal at the beginning of the season wasn't sixth place" stated Hayden. "It's been a big step from last year; we've learnt a lot and I've enjoyed parts of it but still, it's been frustrating not being able to make that next step, but it's not over yet. The race on Sunday is a big part of the season, so we need to go out and be strong right from the gun tomorrow morning and try and do a good weekend."
Also at the press conference was home star Hector Barbera. The Páginas Amarillas Aspar rider hails from a nearby town and grew up at this circuit, where he has won in both 125cc and 250cc classes, with last year's victory clinching him second place in the 250cc World Championship standings.
This will be Barberá's first MotoGP appearance at Valencia and, after showing signs of improvement in Portugal, he is desperate to carry this momentum into his home race.
"I have very good memories here in Valencia, because I've won here in the 125cc and 250cc classes before," said Barberá. "Winning in MotoGP on Sunday is almost impossible, but I will try my hardest to secure the best possible result for my team and everyone."
Also taking place in Valencia on Thursday was the 'Day of Champions'.
As MotoGP's official charity, Riders for Health enjoyed its traditional end-of-season event at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Attendees visited the pit lane and paddock, where they were able to chat to the MotoGP stars and collect the autographs of their favourites.
The riders were also present at a fundraising auction giving away race memorabilia, with all profits going towards Riders' work in Africa assisting in the delivery of vital medical supplies.
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