While all eyes will be focussed on the MotoGP title fight between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at Valencia on Sunday, the closest points battle in the top ten is between Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Iannone.
The Repsol Honda rider is holding fourth place by just two points ahead of Iannone, with the Ducati rider planning to 'focus his race' on beating the Spaniard.
“The Valencia track is a favourable one for us: last year with the GP14 I led for the first ten laps and remained in the leading positions for the next 5, so I hope to be able to fight with the top guys again this year,” Iannone said.
“I think that the GP15 has a good potential at Valencia and I will try to make up the two-point gap separating me from Pedrosa. For me it's vitally important to finish fourth in the championship, so I will focus my race on Dani and try and finish ahead of him.”
By contrast, Iannone's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso needs to overcome an 18-point difference if he is to snatch sixth place from Bradley Smith.
“We are going to Valencia with the firm intention of getting a good result, even though it's not going to be easy because for the last few races my feeling with the GP15 hasn't been the same as it was in the early part of the season,” said Dovizioso, who took four podiums from the first five races but made only one rostrum visit since. “In any case I will give my all, as always, because I want to finish this season in the best possible way.”
Valencia will also see the return of Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro, who will race the Desmosedici GP15 for the third time this season as a wild-card.
“I am pleased to take part in the final race of the MotoGP season at Valencia, because for me it is very important to be able to confirm the progress of the GP15 and the form I showed at Misano, unfortunately only in practice,” Pirro said. “I want to make amends for the misfortune I had in the San Marino GP and I am confident I can have a good weekend.”