Valentino Rossi starts the Valencia MotoGP season finale with a twelve-point lead over Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, in a battle for second in the world championship.

Both riders have taken two wins this season, Rossi having a slight edge in terms of overall podiums with twelve to Lorenzo's eleven.

Rossi has made clear that securing second behind only Marc Marquez is 'personal' because of the high calibre of opponents this season. It would also avenge last year's loss to Lorenzo, who became the first ever team-mate to finish a MotoGP season ahead of a fully fit Rossi.

"It won't be an easy race! I'm second in the championship and being 12 points ahead is good, but this gap is not sufficient enough to play a passive role this weekend," said the seven time premier-class title winner. "Jorge is in a good moment. During the second part of the season Jorge was very fast and he wants to win in Spain and try to take the second place from me.

"We must focus on finishing the season with a victory just like we aim to do at all races! My team and I will do our best, as usual. Valencia isn't one of my favourite tracks, but that doesn't bother me. In this season we were strong also in the tracks that aren't favourable to me.

"The three races in a row went well, I won another race, and for this reason I think that we can do a good race in Valencia! I am confident!"

Former double MotoGP champion Lorenzo has also stated that finishing second in the world - behind Honda's Marc Marquez - is nothing to be scoffed at. But while Rossi has been a championship frontrunner since the opening round in Qatar, Lorenzo has clawed his way up the standings from 16th after round two in Texas.

"Finally we face the last race of the championship and it's always exciting to come back to Spain to close the season," said Lorenzo, who took victory at Valencia last season despite riding a tactical 'go-slow' race to try and overturn Marc Marquez's points advantage. "We have already saved third position in the championship after the race in Sepang and I hope to fight for the win again in Valencia.

"I think this is a better track for our Yamaha M1 than Sepang. I won here last year and hopefully we get to try this again this year. The second position of the championship is still a possibility, but I need to get the victory and wait to see what Valentino's result will be like.

"I would like to close the championship in a better way than I started it, especially in front of the big crowd that always visits us in Valencia!"

Team director Massimo Meregalli added: "Not only will second and third place in the championship be decided between Vale and Jorge, but we're also in with a shot to claim the Team Title.

"During the races overseas Valentino has proven to be in great shape. Especially his win at Philip Island was a stunning performance that showed the high level of his riding, but both our riders have a great pace. Jorge's win at Motegi was magnificent and he's been consistently fast in every session.

"The team and riders did a great job this season and we are motivated to work hard this weekend to give it one final push. It will be important that we give Valentino and Jorge the possibility to compete at the front from the beginning, so we can close the season in the best way."



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