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MotoGP Portimao II: 'From next year my life will change’ - Rossi

Valentino Rossi’s penultimate MotoGP race provided the opportunity to battle with younger brother Luca Marini around Portimao.

The Petronas Yamaha legend is set to bow out after a legendary 26 year career next week, and while he would obviously have preferred to spend his final season running at the front, he admitted he enjoyed racing with his brother throughout Sunday’s Algarve GP.

“The first target was try to arrive on the points and we take some points,” Rossi said positively on Sunday evening. “The race was very fast and I had a good pace during all the race compared to the practice. I was able to make some overtaking and I was able to go behind my brother. He was a bit faster but I was able to go with him so we did a good race together and at the end, I was able to recover. I can maybe try to attack in some way, I don't know but at the end have the red flag, but it's okay like this. We take some points, the pace was not too bad and is a positive race.


“The tyre choice was the right one because I don't have a good pace with the medium,” he continued. “I have to go with the hard, that have some slide but it was very constant, so I think that was the right choice.

“The red flag arrived two laps to go. I was behind my brother and I want to try to attack him but I don't know, because I have some point where I was faster than Luca but in the last part, in the fast part, Luca was a bit faster than me so I don't know if I'm able to overtake. Without red flag I can try for one position more but it's okay like this.

“It's very important, the result, is very important if you are stronger, is very important if you can fight for the podium and for the top five,” Rossi reflected on his ongoing drive in MotoGP and initial hopes for his final year. "This season was tough for me. I expect and I hope to be a bit stronger. So I think is the right choice, [to retire] but I'm okay.

“I'm quiet. It’s just one race to go. From one side is a bit sad because I know that from next year my life will change but from the other side is okay because anyway, it's a long season, and it's always very difficult, very tough. The level is very high, but I feel good. Valencia is a difficult track for me but I want to try the maximum, I try to stay concentrated to take some points also there.

“Valencia is always a special weekend and can be a difficult race in different aspects, especially as it is always the final round of the year – apart from last year when we ended in Portugal. However, it is somewhere that I have had some very good times. I hope that I will have the chance to say ‘Ciao’ to my fans in a good way and to say thank you for the support.”

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