Embattled MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi crashed out at the end of Valencia MotoGP qualifying, but he’s forced to start from the back of the grid anyway due to a penalty from an incident in Sepang. Meanwhile, his main championship rival Jorge Lorenzo took pole position with a record-breaking lap of 1:30.001.
Lorenzo must make up a seven point gap to MotoGP legend and championship leader Rossi in order to prevent Rossi from winning another title. Lanesplitter has this informational run-down of all the different points possibilities here, if you’re curious as to where both riders would have to finish for Rossi to still win the championship.
Starting from pole while Rossi starts from the back makes this considerably easier for Lorenzo to pull off, however, Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate isn’t going down without a fight.
According to Autosport, Rossi had set out to treat qualifying as normal anyway. Unfortunately for him, he fell in the second qualifying session, ending up 12th in the times.
What about Rossi’s other rival (more so from a good ol’ fashioned feud than in championship points) this season, Marc Márquez? Márquez will be starting from second position. The only upside for Rossi is that he probably won’t be anywhere near Márquez for at least a little while at the start.
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