Valentino Rossi has promised to help team-mate Jorge Lorenzo on Sunday as the Spaniard bids to secure his third MotoGP world title in a row at Valencia.
Lorenzo lies 13-points behind championship leader Marc Marquez and, with the Honda rider only needing a fourth-place or better finish, faces a tough task of retaining his title in Spain.
But Rossi has vowed to do everything in his power to help his former foe and ensure the riders’ title stays in Yamaha hands.
The two endured a tempestuous first relationship at Yamaha, when the Spaniard was the young pretender to Rossi’s crown, but that time has passed.
“The Doctor” is enjoying his racing despite being just outside the fastest riders, and he seems to accept Lorenzo not the bullish young pretender anymore, but a world champion in his own right.
“Usually Valencia is not one of my best tracks but I have had some good podiums there and some wins,” said the nine-times world champion in a Yamaha press release.
The 33-year-old has previous experience of losing a title on the final day.
In 2006 he was actually leading the championship but a fateful race saw him slide out on lap five and when he rejoined he could finish no better than 13th, as Nicky Hayden went on to win his solitary world crown.
The Italian has vowed to do everything in his power to ensure Lorenzo doesn’t suffer the same fate as the he did seven years ago.
“As always we have to try and do the maximum for the weekend. If I am strong enough I want to try and help Jorge as much as possible on Sunday and also to arrive on the podium.”
Rossi will finish the season in fourth place regardless of what happens at Valencia.
The classification will be a welcome return to the top-end of the standings after a disastrous two years at Ducati.