Lin Jarvis: ‘The unthinkable happened to Valentino, we’re still in the fight’

While 23 points is considerably more than what Nicky Hayden overcame in order to beat Valentino Rossi to the 2006 MotoGP title, Lin Jarvis is not losing hope of a miracle in Yamaha’s favour this time around.
Valentino Rossi, Styrian MotoGP, 5 August
Valentino Rossi, Styrian MotoGP, 5 August

Fabio Quartararo, who had been atop the MotoGP standings for most of the season, lost the lead to Francesco Bagnaia in Phillip Island after crashing out of the race. 

The deficit he was facing then grew to 23 points after Bagnaia won last time out in Sepang, which now requires Quartararo to win in Valencia on Sunday whilst needing Bagnaia to be lower than 14th. 

In 2006 the margin between Rossi and Hayden was only eight points before the former crashed - Hayden then finished third which was enough to secure the title - but there’s still a chance that drama could unfold on Sunday and thus lead to another stunning finish. 

Let’s not forget that Marc Marquez nearly crashed out of the season-finale race at Valencia in 2017 which could have opened the door for Andrea Dovizioso to win the world title, although the Ducati rider at the time went on to crash out of the Grand Prix anyway. 

So while overturning 23 points to win the championship in the final race would be the most ever, Jarvis is holding onto previous experience for hope.

"We're still in the fight," said Jarvis. "We should be happy about that. You never know, but we have to win the race, which is not easy, and our rivals will have to have a sort of setback, which is not the ideal way to win either... but in this sport anything can happen. 

"When we went to Valencia in 2006 Valentino was going to almost simply complete a formality by winning the race but the unthinkable happened, Valentino crashed and Nicky took the title. 

"I know that Valencia is a very difficult track, so anything can happen."

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