Rossi has Doohan's record in his sights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rossi has Doohan's record in his sights

By Simon Baskett 04/11/2005 03:54:13 PM Comments (0)

Valentino Rossi will be out to crown another world championship winning campaign by equalling Mick Doohan's record of 12 wins in a season in the final MotoGP of the year in Valencia on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Italian, who wrapped up his fifth premier class world title in Malaysia in September, matched his own record of 11 wins in a season with his victory at Phillip Island last month and now has Doohan's mark in his sights.

But Rossi, who has won in Valencia for the last two years and has been on the podium in 15 of this season's 16 races, will face some serious opposition from young guns Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden who are scrapping it out for the runners-up place in the championship.

Melandri leads the American by nine points in the standings after notching his maiden MotoGP victory with his win in Istanbul last time out and the two riders are shaping up as the most likely candidates to challenge Rossi next year.

"Some new young riders have come to the front of the field over the last few races and I'm sure we'll have another big battle in Valencia," said Rossi.

"Of course I'm not old and I hope that I have a few more years at the top yet.

"In Valencia we will really try for the win again. I like ending the season with a victory. It's still possible for me to equal Doohan's win record and beat my own, and this is my aim for the last race."

Valencia will also be the last chance for Sete Gibernau to collect his first win in what has been a frustrating season for the Spaniard who finished runner-up to Rossi in 2003 and 2004.

"I will be doing everything to end the year on a high note," said Gibernau who has finished second in four races this season.

"I hope that with the backing of the fans I can have a good weekend and achieve the result we've been looking for all year."

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