This weekend’s 2015 MotoGP Championship season finale at Valencia Ricardo Tormo Circuit may be the most anticipated round in all of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.Either Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot – Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo – will earn the title. Only seven points separate the nine-time World Champion Rossi from two-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, which has built the anticipation.
But this anticipation has built further due to the recent controversial clash between the 36-year-old Italian Rossi and the 22-year-old two-time reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.During Sepang two weeks ago, Rossi and Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) battled intensely, but this came to at turn 14 on lap six. Rossi ran wide, and contact occurred between him and Marquez. The Spaniard crashed out, suffering his sixth DNF of 2015 MotoGP, and Race Direction later penalized Rossi three points.Due to also incurring a single penalty point at Misano (slowing Lorenzo during qualifying), Rossi now has four penalty points. This means he must start from the rear of the grid during the 2015 Valencia MotoGP – something that may have the largest impact on this year’s title hunt. Rossi appealed the decision, but was denied.With the controversy at the forefront, the 2015 Valencia MotoGP press conference got underway Thursday with Rossi speaking first.Valentino Rossi says: “Yes, unfortunately starting from the back of the grid makes everything very difficult. Already it’s difficult but starting from last make the things in the race a lot harder. But you know I’m here and we have to try the maximum and stay concentrated to try to make a good job during the weekend to arrive as fast as possible for the race. Then start and see what happens.”Rumors surfaced saying Rossi wouldn’t race at Valencia, or he would alter plans for next season. But these were just rumors: “This situation doesn’t modify my passion or my thinking for the future. I will race next year because I have a contract and during next year a lot of things will change, maybe the level too. After I will decide to continue or not.”With Rossi starting from the back, Lorenzo has a greater opportunity to secure a third MotoGP title. He says the team has to respect the Race Direction decision, but his focus needs to be on racingJorge Lorenzo: “Well we have to respect the decision that they decided. To be honest I arrived here with the thinking to just focus on the weekend, which is an important thing for me. I don’t want to speak about anything else apart from what can happen in the future on the track. I look forward to tomorrow and Friday.“About the past, I just want to say that it was a mistake the gesture I made on the podium, I regret that and I want to say sorry to the people who watched this on TV because it’s not a sporting example, especially for young people around the world. Sorry for this gesture. Apart from this I don’t have anything else to say, other than concentrating on the weekend.”Lorenzo also responded to rumors about some drama within the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team: “My intention is to continue with Yamaha forever, not only till I retire but also later. This is staying in my mind. Naturally all marriages have some moments of disagreement but our relationship in the future will be the same. Valentino and myself form one of the best teams in the world.”The last to talk was Marquez, who is seeking his sixth win of the season: “Honestly it has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life, especially after Malaysia. I try to forget and concentrate to prepare for the last race and honestly it wasn’t possible to prepare in a normal way. Like everyone knows it was difficult, but ok now I’m here and with my second family; my team. This helps me a lot to prepare for the weekend and try to finish the season well. Try to fight for victory or the podium like every weekend.”Marquez then talked about the lessons he learned in 2015 MotoGP: “What I learned is sometimes a third or fourth is good for the championship. I also learned that during the season is very long and we didn’t start so well. The biggest mistake for us was the first six races and I tried to be there when the bike wasn’t perfect. Maybe in those races if we had managed the situation better, since Assen I was competitive. From Assen I could fight for the title. The first six races showed the championship is long.”For more, visit our 2015 Valencia MotoGP Preview – Rossi Vs. Lorenzo.
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This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena gives us his impression of the outrageously cool-looking new Indian Scout Rogue. The Rogue features a larger front wheel among several other changes, and the bobbed-looks and excellent 100 horsepower motor make the Scout Rogue an interesting—and very real—competitor to the offerings from Milwaukee.
In the second segment Neale Bayly brings us the third and final segment from Brian Slark—the man who helped bring Norton motorcycles to America. Having spent 27 years and counting at the Barber Museum in Birmingham Alabama, Brian talks us through the final part of his career, that of course includes how the museum got started and where it’s going.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!