MotoGP World Championship leaders Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso have differing views on how the return of Valentino Rossi can affect the title race.

Rossi will attempt to race at Aragon this weekend after missing the last round at Misano due to a broken leg sustained in a training bike accident.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez says that while he is glad to see his rival back this weekend, Rossi’s return ‘changes nothing’ in terms of the championship picture.

“For me, nothing changes. Of course it is good news because to have all the riders on the track always is better, but nothing changes,” he said.

“The championship is so tight and all the riders are important to beat because all the points are important, so no change on my mentality.”

However, Dovizioso said Rossi could have a big say in the title outcome once he begins to regain full fitness.

“I think it can change because it is another rider that can be fast in the middle of us. If he feels good, maybe nor Aragon but at the next races like Dani [Pedrosa], [Johann] Zarco, Danilo [Petrucci] – a lot of fast riders can be in the middle of us, so it can be different,” said Dovizioso.

“But everybody has to think about himself to do the maximum, but for sure in some races if you are not so fast you can lose some more points, some really fast riders are in front of you.”

Rossi’s team-mate, Maverick Vinales, said the nine-time world champion’s return was important for Yamaha in the manufacturer’s bid to secure the team award.

“From our side it is really good that Valentino comes back already in Aragon, it is good for the team. Also it is a good point of reference as Valentino has been fast this year, always in the front, so it is good for me because we have one more bike on the track and Valentino can be on the front fighting, so also he can be difficult to beat,” he said.

“For sure 40 points is a lot but [in the] remaining five races, anything can happen, so he decide quite good, he has to try, and also the team championship is important for Yamaha so I hope he can be at 100 per-cent and he can be again fighting for the victory.”


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