Season finale gets underway in Valencia

The final round of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship kicked off in Spain today, as the curtain came up on the traditional season-ending Grand Prix in Valencia. Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards had a less than perfect start to the weekend however as they lacked traction and finished the day eighth and thirteenth in the combined standings.

A cold start to the morning gave way to strong sunshine and blue skies, a weather pattern which looks set to continue throughout the weekend. Rossi finished this morning's first practice in sixth, with Edwards in ninth, but this afternoon the pair failed to make any further significant progress and both riders will need all the available minutes remaining if they are to try for a victorious end to the season on Sunday. The fastest lap of the day was set by Casey Stoner in a time of 1'32.968, with Rossi 0.652 seconds down in 8th and Edwards further off the pace in thirteenth.

Valentino Rossi, Position: 8thTime: 1'33.620 Laps: 52, "Today was quite difficult and we really hoped to start in a better way here! We're pushing at the maximum but at the moment it's quite hard to ride the bike how I want to. The main problem is that we don't have grip and, although some tyres and settings are better than others, we're still sliding a lot. We've tried some very different set-ups today but so far we haven't made much progress so we're going to have to keep going. Our bike isn't the fastest and I think we can improve the setting more, but the main problem is to find a way to use the tyres so that we're in a position to fight. Everyone wants to try to finish the season on a high note so we will look closely at the information we have tonight and try to improve things for tomorrow."

Colin Edwards, Position: 13thTime: 1'33.972 Laps: 52, "I think it would be pretty hard to put into words how hard I'm trying out there - I think I'd need to write it in red ink for starters! We're on the limit but we really can't seem to do anything with it at the moment. I felt like I was going out there with the constant risk of a crash today and I kept pushing because it was the only option to try to find the key, but so far no luck. We've got one tyre that's good on the right and one that's good on the left but we can't find a combination that works. We didn't start well this morning and then we made no progress this afternoon so we're going to have to come up with something radical to fix it for tomorrow!'
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