Valentino Rossi looks to end Valencia jinx

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Valentino Rossi will be hoping to bury his Valencia jinx and take his 2008 victory tally into double figures in the season’s final MotoGP clash in Spain this weekend.

Rossi returns to the scene of his soul-destroying last round title defeat to Nicky Hayden in 2006, and the circuit where he surrendered second place in the ’07 world championship with a retirement 12 months ago.

Rossi’s retirement saw him fail to claim a top two world championship finish for the first time in his premier class career, and his breakdown at the end of a torrid debut 800cc campaign with Yamaha saw him issue quit threats unless things dramatically improved for 2008.

Rossi, who has returned to form in spectacular fashion this season, winning nine races and the world title with three races to spare, is now looking to settle an old score with the Valencia track.

The 29-year-old said: “I have had two bad years at Valencia and I have some memories I would like to forget with a good result there this year – I have an account to settle!

“In 2006 I crashed and lost the championship and then last year I broke my hand and lost second place in the championship! It’s not the best track for us but I won there with Yamaha in my first year with them and I would like to do the same again this weekend.

“It’s been a fantastic season and the win on Sunday in Malaysia was great, but I am not finished yet and I want to reward my team, Yamaha and Bridgestone for a fantastic season with the best possible result on Sunday. Then we can all celebrate with a big party!”

Rossi won’t want to be having too much of a hangover though as he’d due to test the 2009 YZR-M1 prototype at a two-day test session next Monday and Tuesday.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt