10 MotoGP Quotes: Valencia MotoGP Pre-Race Press Conference

Six premier-class riders addressed the media on Thursday in Spain. Here is what they said.

MotoGP press conference
Prior to the press conference, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta retired the number 65 used by Loris Capirossi throughout his career. Ezpeleta also presented the riders with a gift commemorating 25 years of partnership between the FIM, Dorna, MSMA, and IRTA.Photo: Andrew Wheeler

Of the six MotoGP riders who attended Thursday's pre-event press conference at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, only one, Avintia Racing's Hector Barbera, has yet to win at least one premier-class race this season.

The others—Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, and Dani Pedrosa—have racked up a total of 12 victories. Cal Crutchlow, Maverick Vinales, Andrea Iannone, and Jack Miller are also among the record nine different riders who have won races this year.

Will there be a 10th on Sunday? Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro is arguably the most likely candidate with three top-five performances. Winning the final race of the season was on everyone’s mind, as were two days of testing scheduled for next week at the same racetrack.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda and Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha
Marc Marquez (left), Repsol Honda and Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar YamahaPhoto: Andrew Wheeler

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: "These last two races was not the best way to celebrate the title. Looks like I need some pressure to always concentrate and finish all the races, like when I was fighting for the title."

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: "I want to try to win, for sure. The second half of the season was not so bad. I did a lot of good races, but I wasn't able to win. Valencia is always difficult because it's one of the circuits that is more tricky for me."

Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha: "We arrive at a track that suits me very well, especially in the last years. If the weather keeps like this and the tires are working, I think we have a great chance for victory or at least for the podium."

“Valencia is strange because the 2016 season ends, and, in one day, 2017 starts,” Valentino Rossi said. “Before, you have to concentrate on the race because it is very important to finish with a good result. But, from Tuesday, you start the next season.”Photo: Andrew Wheeler

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team: "In the past, Valencia wasn't the best track for us, but in the last three races, at three completely different tracks, our competitiveness was quite good. The tire will make a big difference about the competitiveness of our bike."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: "The first two weeks were the hardest because of the collarbone. Also, because of the legs—the right and left foot—I wasn't able to move. To have three injuries in one crash was quite a lot. But I am happy to be here."

“I’m not feeling super strong,” Dani Pedrosa admitted, “but I hope I can ride. The track is mostly left, so I am hoping this can be a little bit of a benefit.” The Misano GP winner is returning this weekend from injuries suffered at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.Photo: Andrew Wheeler

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: "The bigger difference for me was the tires. Also, the weather: Sometimes was wet or dry to wet or wet to dry. This year was special that nine different riders arrived to the victory. I think that is great for the championship."

Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha: "Obviously, it's a mix of feelings. I am a person who thinks about the present, and now the present is this weekend. I want to finish in the best way possible this long career with Yamaha.

Hector Barber, Avintia Ducati: "This is my best season in MotoGP. This bike is incredible. With this bike, two times I finished in the fifth position. The last race I arrived in fourth, my best place in MotoGP."

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati TeamPhoto: Andrew Wheeler

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team: "The two victories are very important for us, but, apart from that, we finished this season in a good way. It is really important to make a good test on Tuesday with the new bike to start with a good feeling."

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: "Tuesday and Wednesday starts already the 2017 season, so we must be very concentrated to try and improve our bike. I think we have many things that we can improve, we just need to find a way."