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November 04, 2013 | By MotoGP.com
In Valencia this weekend at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, MotoGP fans the world over will enjoy a final-race title decider for the first time in seven years, as Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez looks to hold off the charge from Yamaha Factory Racing’s reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The last time such a showdown occurred was in 2006 when Honda’s Nicky Hayden claimed the ultimate honour as Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi made a rare mistake. Seven years on, more drama is certain as Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo go head-to-head at the climax of what has been a riveting season. Marquez heads to Valencia with a championship-leading advantage of 13 points, meaning a single fourth place would guarantee the title no matter what Lorenzo is capable of.
Looking at the rookie’s track record this looks to be a certain, however if Valencia’s rain-hit race of last year is anything to go by, anything can happen. It was Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa who won the race last year, and will this year be out to prove a point, as he saw his title chances go after his third place in Motegi. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi could prove to be a big factor in the outcome of the race, as he looks to hold off Marquez’s charge and help out his teammate Lorenzo.
Another player could be Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who has not only cemented fifth place in the championship, but also contests his last race on board a Yamaha before his switch to Ducati. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista has been continually improving throughout the season and will hope to impress his home fans, whilst LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl should be much closer to full fitness after fracturing his right ankle in Malaysia.
Nicky Hayden will aim to have a good weekend on his last for the Ducati Team and get one over on his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, whilst the Ignite Pramac and Energy T.I. Pramac machines of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso will hope to hold off Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has already collected top CRT honours, but will aim to celebrate that with another spot in Parc Ferme in front of local support. The grid will be two riders stronger, as Michele Pirro lines up for the Ducati Test team, and Austrian Martin Bauer makes another appearance with his S&B Suter with the Remus Racing Team.
World Championship Standings MotoGP
1 - Marc Marquez SPA Honda 318
2 - Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 305
3 - Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda 280
4 - Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 224
5 - Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha 188