How Rossi can win the title from the back of the grid

Author: Oli Rushby in Valencia Posted: 06 Nov 2015

Rossi could still win the title this weekend

Valentino Rossi’s hopes of taking a tenth MotoGP world title aren’t over despite the fact he will start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s final race in Valencia.

The Italian had appealed the penalty slapped on him after the controversial incident with Marc Marquez two weeks ago in Sepang, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the request yesterday.

While this makes Rossi’s quest to win his seventh premier class title difficult, it’s not completely out of reach. In fact, if Lorenzo doesn’t finish first or second, Rossi doesn’t even have to finish on the podium to be crowned champion and with the Hondas on form these past few races, this isn’t as unrealistic as first sounds.

Honda riders have won the last three races and taken victory six times in the last nine outings in comparison to Yamaha’s three.

The first laps will be crucial for Rossi; he’ll need to pass a good handful of riders off the line before making use of the slow corners at the start of the lap to pick off a fair chunk more. Top ten by the end of the first lap is entirely possible and if he can do that the championship is within his grasps so long as he can pick off the remaining factory bikes.

Rossi could still beat Lorenzo

“When you start last it is very difficult to work on strategy!” Rossi explained on Thursday. “First of all I have to work hard in the practice and be competitive and have a good pace. The race is very long, it’s 30 laps and for sure when you start last it is a lot harder. I will try to recover but it is very early to stay. I need to understand my potential and make the right choice for the settings and the tyres and we will also see what the conditions are. After that we will give our maximum on Sunday.”

On the other side of the garage, Lorenzo says Rossi’s starting position changes nothing. He said he’ll ride the same race he would have ridden had Rossi be starting alongside him. “I will try to do the best race of my career,” he told the press.


  • If Lorenzo wins, Rossi must finish second to take the title
  • If Lorenzo finishes second, Rossi must finish third to take the title
  • If Lorenzo finishes third, Rossi must finish no lower than sixth to take the title
  • If Lorenzo finishes fourth, Rossi must finish ninth or better to become world champion
  • If Lorenzo finishes between fifth and ninth, Rossi must finish no more than six places behind him to take the title.
  • If Lorenzo finishes lower than ninth, Rossi will take the title.

Will he do it?  or