Hayden and Rossi on MotoGP title showdown

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The last time the MotoGP world championship went down to a final round shootout in Valencia back in 2006, it was underdog Nicky Hayden that prevailed in an emotional and tension-fuelled race after Valentino Rossi crashed out.

Rossi had gone into the race with an eight-point lead, but Hayden took third to lift the crown after the factory Yamaha rider’s shock error.

The 2013 MotoGP world championship will be decided in nail-biting fashion this weekend, with Marc Marquez and reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo battling for glory in Valencia on Sunday.

Marquez holds a 13-point lead over Lorenzo and a top four finish on Sunday will ensure he becomes the first rookie to capture the premier class crown since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978.

Hayden and Rossi have both given their views on this weekend’s dramatic final round showdown and the American told MCN: “As a fan I love to see it go down to the last race and it is a similar situation to me. I had nothing to lose and Lorenzo has nothing to lose playing from behind

” Lorenzo is riding incredible and Marc hasn’t been off the podium in any race he’s finished, so it’s a tough spot for Lorenzo. I’m not sure whose spot I’d rather be in at Valencia. It is a tight track and lots of guys can be fast there and the weather could be anything.”

Rossi, who lost the chance to win a sixth successive MotoGP title back in 2006, said: “I hope that for Marquez the situation is not like mine in 2006. Marc has more of advantage than I had and he is very strong, so Marc is still the favourite. But when you play for the world championship in just one race absolutely anything can happen.

“Valencia is a difficult weekend, because it’s late in the year, it may be raining, it’s cold, and it could be a race with mixed conditions like last year. So anything can happen.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt