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Rain the talking point as Valencia set for MotoGP finale

Marc Marquez

Valencia, November 16: As the battlelines were drawn for the last showdown of the FIM MotoGP World Championship season, there were plenty of talking points in the pre-event press conference before the lights go out.

A pre-event that saw some riders face down a new challenge with some local flavor - a visit to the Pelayo trinquet.

Later in the press conference, world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was joined by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) as he returns from injury.

With rain coming down throughout the day and that seemingly set to appear more throughout the weekend, that was a key talking point - as was debriefing Sepang and the Malaysian GP.

Reigning champion Marquez acknowledged teh weather factor. "It's a track where in the past we've struggled a bit now we're here in Valencia and it looks like the forecast isn't the best which is a shame because we prefer dry conditions. But we'll try and approach the weekend in the best way. You never know, you have to be ready for all conditions."

Incredible consistency

Incredible consistency

The man Marquez beat in Sepang was next on the mic. Rossi, whose laptimes showed incredible consistency before a crash out the lead, was positive about Malaysia despite his result - and wants to reconfirm positives ahead of winter.

"Malaysia was very emotional, a long day. Unfortunately it wasn't a good end for me but it remains a good race and it's important to understand if in Valencia we're competitive and we've found something, because it's one of the toughest tracks of the year and the conditions could be difficult. The forecast is very bad but we'll try and be ready in all conditions.

More competitive

More competitive

More competitive is something that perfectly describes Rins' second half of the season. The Spaniard has been incredibly consistent of late, and took another podium at Sepang.

"Sincerely, before starting the season I was thinking that maybe we could be very strong with the Suzuki with some podiums and good races but the important thing is that since Misano we've been very consistent and always in the top six and this is very good for us, for me and the Suzuki, we're on a good level and fighting with the top guys," said the number 42.

Difficult races

Difficult races

Zarco, who was back on the rostrum for the first time since Jerez said some more difficult races were starting to look up again.

"I'm happy, but even if I was struggling in the middle of the season, to be here fighting for the top five in the Championship and for top independent Team rider could mean it's a great season."

Last time

Last time

Five-time world champion Lorenzo tried to come back from injury at Sepang but was ultimately unable to race, but now - at a track where he's had some incredible results - he's back and ready to fight it out for the last time in red.

"I will be riding on Sunday, I think I'm quite well to be able to ride. The injury has improved a lot in the last ten days so now I feel good enough to try and achieve the best result possible for the team".

The lights end an era for some and begin a new one for others on Sunday in the Valencia GP. The race will be held at 2pm local time (6.30pm IST).

(With a special arrangement form Dorna Sports)

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    Story first published: Friday, November 16, 2018, 11:33 [IST]
    Other articles published on Nov 16, 2018
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