The Grand Final of MotoGP takes place this weekend in Valencia, Spain. One race decides everything and determines who will be crowned the World Champion. It is Italy versus Spain. On Thursday, Marquez felt as though his approach was to try approach the weekend exactly the same as the other races and to give 100%. He is already thinking about the party at 2pm which is the Marquez style of thinking as races in front of a large amount of cheering fans. As we know with Valencia, the crowds come out to the event with passion and an incredible display of rider gear, face painting and loud vocals. It truly is a master piece of art when it comes to crowds for a racing event. Marquez knows that he has to finish the race, the pressure is totally on his shoulders to stay upright and that it will be difficult. The Spanish rider is not walking in to the battle with a fake sense of reality. Instead, he is going to manage the practice sessions, qualifying and race to the best of his ability. A true professional in every way.
On the other side of the fence is Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. Mugello was the turning point for the Italian rider and he is very happy, proud and humble about the season as he prepares to try and win his first MotoGP World Title. The season has been a rollercoaster ride and with that said Dovi has never given up. He is a really nice guy and after some ups and downs has transformed his ability to be a top rider once again. The hard work is paying off. Winning the race at Valencia is going to be like pushing a heavy trolley uphill with no brakes. This is a task Dovi is ready to attack. He doesn’t really feel so much pressure because he is happy about the progress in 2017 and knowing that his ability to ride the Ducati is cemented in history. He has won races, the team has won races, the bike is performing at a high level and working under pressure is something he has mastered over time. A superb athlete and with so much more growth to come.
In terms of the voice of MotoGP. Riders, teams and fans say goodbye and good luck to Nick Harris as he steps away from the commentary box to retire and remain in one location for a lot longer than usual. His voice has been the narrator of many historic races, battles and it has been a privilege to listen to Nick’s antics, laughter and excitement over a very long period of time. With a smile, he says adios though deep down he will miss what he calls family. In other news, Jonas Folger is making a steady recovery and will be aiming to fight hard and strong in 2018. The German rider has been conducting a lot of research with specialists in Munich to diagnose his illness that put him into a state of complete tiredness and distress. Originally, it was thought that Jonas was suffering from the Epstein-Barr virus however it has been confirmed that he has a strain of Gilbert Syndrome which directly affects his live. This is a genetic disorder apparently that affects 2-5% of the population. It puts immense stress on the liver as it is unable to process toxins in the body properly. It appears that it will take time for Jonas to recover as he undergoes a cleansing of his body to flush his liver. Moving forward he will have to monitor his diet and in addition to this will have to take time for his vocal cord to recover as he damaged it in a crash at Aragon. They say 1-2 years before his voice is back to normal which is quite a significant injury. Regardless, Folger is positive and just happy to move forward as he misses riding his bike and seeing friends and family in the paddock. The German rider is strong!
As we prepare for a showdown between Marquez and Dovizioso, will we see a charge from Jorge Lorenzo to win at Valencia, Valentino Rossi to enjoy fighting before the season is over and Dani Pedrosa potentially help Marquez to seal the victory as he is the holder of six victories across various classes at the Valencia circuit. Could the Baby Samurai chop and charge at the others to win and go out on a high before the winter break? Right now, we know that it is game on! With 21 points separating Marc and Andrea, who knows what could take place between now and Sunday. What we do know is that Lorenzo will be there to support Dovi like Pedrosa is for Marc. It is clear that if Jorge is fighting at the front, he will look at his pit board and dashboard as Ducati is a team not just a garage full of individual members. It is a family and if there is a chance for Dovi to win, it will be exercised. Total commitment is in motion. Be sure to tune in as the Valencia race is guaranteed to be filled with excitement across all classes.