Rossi vs Vinales for third in championship

'My goal now is to get the third position in the World Championship and we are very close' – Maverick Vinales, Valencia MotoGP.
Rossi vs Vinales for third in championship

Valentino Rossi will start the final round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship at Valencia this weekend holding third place in the world championship by just two points over team-mate Maverick Vinales.

The Spaniard, who broke Yamaha's victory drought in Australia, now has his sights set on overhauling Rossi to conclude a difficult season with 'a small success'.

"I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood," said Vinales. " The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well.

"Last year it wasn't a good race, but this year I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with another victory. I‘m feeling very confident.

"My goal now is to get the third position in the World Championship and we are very close. Ending the season in the third position after such a difficult season as this one would be a small success for us."

For Rossi, who fell while leading last time at Sepang, Valencia represents the last chance to avoid what would be his first winless season as a Yamaha rider.

"For us it will be an interesting weekend because it's a circuit on which we usually aren't very fast, but in the last races we have seen some improvements," said the Italian. "In Malaysia we were very fast during the whole weekend and also in the race.

"Unfortunately the race didn't end well, but there remain positive aspects.

"In Valencia we will try to do our best. We would like to finish the season with a positive result. Then there will be tests in Valencia and those in Jerez. It will be very intense weeks."

Team director Massimo Meregalli said: "The atmosphere is really amazing [at Valencia], and our team gets a lot of support, especially Maverick, as it's his home race.

"Both he and Vale are in the running to take third in the championship standings. It's a fight just between the two of them, so the team will push hard to provide our riders with the means to close the season in the best way possible."

Rossi was fifth and Vinales twelfth in last year's Valencia race.

Marc Marquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) are already mathematically confirmed as first and second in the 2018 standings, while fifth place Alex Rins (Suzuki) cannot catch the Yamaha riders.