Valentino Rossi focused on clinching title

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Valentino Rossi will be hoping to complete a dramatic turnaround by wrapping up his sixth MotoGP world title in this weekend’s Japanese GP.

Four successive wins mean the Italian can clinch the title on Sunday at the Twin Ring Motegi having opened up a massive 87-point lead on Ducati rival Casey Stoner.

Success will complete an incredible year for Rossi, who lost the 2007 title to Stoner at last year’s Japanese clash.

The 29-year-old, who broke Giacomo Agostini’s all-time premier class winning record with a 69th success in Indianapolis earlier this month, said: “We have had a fantastic run of races and now here we are finally, with a ‘match point’ for the championship, and in Motegi once again!

"In 2005 I was in the same situation but I crashed and had to wait for Malaysia to win the title, and then last year we lost the championship in Japan. I really would like to win in Motegi, especially as it’s such an important race for Yamaha and it would be a great reward for them for all of the work they have done.

"However, we cannot put too much pressure on ourselves and I will try to treat it like another normal race. We have a good margin of points, but there are still four more races so it is still not over!” 

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt