MotoGP Set For 2007 Finale In Valencia

The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, on the outskirts of Valencia in Spain, plays host
to a transitional moment in MotoGP over the course of the weekend of Sunday
November 4th. It is there that the MotoGP teams will do battle in the final round of
the 2007 season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, before
shifting their focus to 2008 the following day.

The culmination of a long season will see the final classification confirmed in all three
categories; MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc, whilst in the latter the title itself will be
decided in what is sure to be an epic battle between team-mates.

In MotoGP there is no doubt who will be lifting the new World Championship trophy
designed for the introduction of the 800cc era. Casey Stoner has already been
confirmed as this year?s winner, and has won every race since sealing the title on
September 23rd in Japan. The Australian opened his win account in the premier class
with victory at Losail in the first race of 2007, and book-ending the season with win
number eleven would be the perfect conclusion to his breakthrough year.

The 22 year-old?s Ducati team completed a memorable one-two at last year?s visit to
Valencia, an Australian victory setting the scene for things to come. Stepping in for
the injured Sete Gibernau in a one-off final appearance in MotoGP, Troy Bayliss took
victory from second on the grid, ahead of Loris Capirossi. Stoner retired from the race
on lap seven, but has previously been on the top step of the podium in the World
Championship with a 125cc win in Valencia back in 2003.

Second and third place are all-but-decided, with Valentino Rossi 24 points ahead of
Dani Pedrosa in the overall standings. The Italian returns to the scene of a nightmare
race last year, where he conceded the MotoGP World Championship to Nicky Hayden
after an early crash, and will be keen to avoid what would be his worst placing in a
premier class season. The odds are in his favour, with Pedrosa needing to win his
home race ?something that he has never done in five attempts in the premier classand
hope that Rossi finishes outside the points.

A quartet of riders are in with a mathematical chance of the fourth spot in the overall
classification; Marco Melandri, Chris Vermeulen, John Hopkins and Loris Capirossi.

Whilst Capirossi will have to depend on the fortunes of others if he is to overcome a
19 point deficit on current fourth placed rider Melandri, the Gresini Honda man and
the Rizla Suzuki duo are separated by just five points heading into the final round of
the season. Melandri has previously stepped up to the plate at Valencia, taking
second place overall in the final race of 2005 courtesy of a win at the Spanish track.

Hopkins will be riding his final race for Suzuki, as will Capirossi for Ducati before
beginning testing with the Japanese team.

Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros complete the current top ten in
MotoGP, with Hayden returning to the scene of his crowning moment in MotoGP after
a difficult season. Few would begrudge ?The Kentucky Kid? a race victory to end his
title defence on a high note, with the American having been one of the most diligent
testers and held his head up high over the course of 2007.

The BMW M Award for combined times in qualifying and the Official Test in Jerez will
be decided on the Saturday of the race. Casey Stoner currently leads the way over
Rossi by half a second, with a BMW M3 Coupe up for grabs in the annual competition.

Following the race, a number of teams will stay on for testing with their 2008 bikes
and lineups, with preparation for next season already beginning in earnest.

The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana takes place on Sunday
November 4th, with practice beginning this Friday.

Share Button