MotoGP Valencia: Rossi: Tyres, weather to thank for special year.

Valentino Rossi says the switch to Michelin tyres this season in MotoGP coupled with changeable weather was the catalyst for a remarkable nine different race winners. There is still one race to go this weekend at Valencia in Spain and the chance of an incredible tenth winner, but regardless of what happens, this season will be remembered as one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. Nine-time world champion Rossi, who secured the runner-up spot in the standings behind Marc Marquez in the penultimate race at Sepang in Malaysia, said 2016 will go down as special year in the history of the MotoGP World Championship, which saw eight consecutive different race winners from Mugello in May (Jorge Lorenzo) through to Misano in September (Dani Pedrosa). 

“I think that it is different factors together. The biggest difference for me was the tyres because it changed the balance and also the weather: sometimes it was wet or wet and dry," Rossi said. 

Rossi's team-mate and bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo will have his final race for Yamaha this weekend before moving to Ducati. Although the Italian unsurprisingly stopped short of heaping any personal praise on Lorenzo, he did concede that both riders had learnt from each other during their time in what he labelled a 'good team." 

“I think that we won a lot, we always are very competitive from the first moment. We stay together for a long time and I think that we learned a lot both from each other," Rossi said. 

“Always [Lorenzo was] a great motivation because two top riders together in the same team. In some different seasons we had the bike to win the championship so we fight also for the championship, so especially for the results it was a good team." 

Turning his attention to Sunday's race, Rossi admits he would love to sign off with a win, although the 37-year-old is mindful that the Ricardo Tormo circuit has not been one his strongest venues in the past. 

“I want tot try because the second half of the season was not so bad and I did a lot of good races, but I wasn't able to win unfortunately. Here in Valencia it is always difficult because it is one of the circuits that is more tricky for me. 

“We need to work well, to concentrate from tomorrow and hope for the good weather. We will try as always to make a good race and fight for the podium." 

Rossi and soon-to-be new team-mate Maverick Vinales will ride the 2017 Yamaha in next week's official two-day test, and the Doctor is anticipating an especially intriguing glimpse into the new season with a number of leading riders having their first outings for different teams. 

“As always in Valencia it is strange because the 2016 season ends and in one day, the 2017 season starts. Before that you have to concentrate on the race because it is important to finish with a good result," he said. 

“From Tuesday, we start for the next season and in our team everybody waits for the new bike that arrives just for this test so it will be interesting. Also, a lot of the top riders will change bikes so it will be an interesting test as always." 
Any copying and use the material without coordination with administration of the site is strictly forbidden.