Jorge Lorenzo may feel he has one hand on the title after his record breaking pole position in qualifying ahead of the season finale in Valencia.
The Spaniard set an unbeatable time of 1 minute 30.011, fending off nearest rival and countryman Marc Marquez, who was nearly half a second slower and his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in third.
Valentino Rossi was able to take part in Q2, despite his penalty which means he will start at the back of grid. The Italian only managed to go 12th fastest before crashing out of his final lap run. Whether this was his true pace is hard to tell but with it being a redundant session, Rossi’s position for tomorrow remains unaffected. Although knowing his teammate and title rival will be starting in the best possible position can’t be good for the psychological warfare.
The six-time MotoGP champion hasn’t written off the title chances just yet but admitted to BT Sport that “the first three [positions] are quite impossible”.
As a rider who enjoys working his way through the field to take victories and podiums, Rossi may well succeed in doing so tomorrow however if Lorenzo achieves a perfect start from the line and in classic Lorenzo fashion builds a sizeable enough lead, he has a chance to have a clear race and seal the world title. But Rossi of course won’t make it that easy.
Who could have foreseen such an intense ending to the season? Even throughout Rossi’s many, many testing battles with Marquez, the pair always seemed to find a way to laugh it off, giving the impression that the fighting was simply an on-track affair.
Marc Marquez tomorrow will play a very important role, by starting on the front row, both he and his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, who has been extremely strong these last few rounds, taking the last two victories. Both will be seeking nothing but a victory, all this proving very key in the championship when it comes down to numbers and who ends up where.
Aside from the Malaysian-affair, Rossi has proved a worthy world champion, and a tenth world title is rightfully his, this season. His performances right from the beginning have been a marvel to watch, from his victory in Qatar to the dominating weekend at the Cathedral of Speed to the stunning win in the wet at Silverstone. With 15 podiums to his name, including 12 back-to-back, Rossi years of experience have shone through. Along the way he’s endured some pretty exciting battles, namely with Marquez. Sadly, it got the better of him in Malaysia but it shouldn’t take away from his achievements this season. This is of course not to take away from Lorenzo, with six victories to his name this season, rose to the challenge to take on his teammate, right to the wire. May the best rider on Sunday win!