The MotoGP title race is heating up with five races to go and with Jorge Lorenzo trailing Valentino Rossi by 23 points this weekend's Aragon Grand Prix could potentially be a pivotal race in the outcome of the championship.
Lorenzo needs to win this race to make his stand against Rossi. Circumstances and the weather have played against him of late but the double MotoGP champion has shown he has the speed advantage to win races and get back to level terms with Rossi. The Italian has however shown that he has the consistency and ability to grind out results to stay in front. It's a fascinating fight and both riders gave their thoughts on the season at Aragon.
“That was where I have to try to go as fast as possible, against a rival that was so fast everywhere and in every condition," said Rossi when comparing to previous title fights. "So it's more like with Stoner. The difference with 2008 is that Stoner had a different bike and this time, with Jorge, we are on the same bike. Comparing with my championships before that, it was a bit different fighting against Biaggi and also Gibernau. Because at that time I was a little bit faster than them. So it was a little bit the opposite to now. I think that for sure this year is the most difficult.”
Far from shying away from the importance of this weekend's race Lorenzo stressed how pivotal this race could be at the press conference.
“For me Aragon is a very important race because, depending on the result, it can be more possible or much more difficult to win the world title,” Lorenzo said. “So in this race it is very important that I finish in front of Valentino and then we will arrive at the races outside Europe, that are always very important, and I always have the impression that there a lot of things can happen there. I don't know why, but I have this impression. So for sure it is important to try to finish in front of Vale here and then we will see what happens in the flyaway races.”
Reigning world champion, Marc Marquez, weighed in with his thoughts on the title protagonists by saying:
“I would say Jorge is faster because his speed is really good, but on the other side Valentino is doing his 100% and has finished in front [of Jorge] in the last two races,” Marquez replied. "It will be difficult and interesting because we know that in Motegi, Sepang and Philip Island it can be a wet race. That is a question mark for everybody. From point of speed maybe Jorge, but from point of experience and managing the situation maybe Valentino.”