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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Rossi and Hayden to battle it out
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi
Valencia MotoGP
Qualifying, BBC Interactive, Saturday - 1255
Race, Sunday, BBC Two - 1230
The MotoGP season reaches its climax in Valencia on Sunday when five-time champion Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden battle it out head-to-head.

Only Italian superstar Rossi or American rider Hayden can win the title at the Ricardo Tomo circuit.

The 27-year-old Rossi goes into the final race with an eight-point lead and has another championship in his sights.

Hayden, 25, can win the title if he wins the race outright and Rossi finishes no higher than third.

Rossi looked to be out of this year's championship early in the season but his hopes of winning a sixth title were lifted after Hayden suffered a cruel twist of fate.

Hayden could have won the title at the Portuguese GP a fortnight ago but Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa sent him skidding into the gravel after they ran into each other.

I've got nothing to lose, I have to win and wait for Rossi to have a bad weekend

Nicky Hayden
Hayden could only look on in horror as Rossi finished second and took the lead in the championship for the first time this season.

Rossi said: "Now I have only one chance, it's big pressure for everyone but it's great for the show.

"Valencia isn't one of my best tracks and we also know that Hayden is really strong here, so it's not going to be easy."

In some ways, the Estoril incident has taken the pressure off Hayden, who led Rossi by a massive 51 points after his victory at Laguna Seca in July.

"I've got nothing to lose, I have to win and wait for Rossi to have a bad weekend," said Hayden.

"I know it's a small possibility but we're not going to give up until the chequered flag."

The MotoGP championship will not be the only title decided in Valencia this weekend - Spain's Jorge Lorenzo and Italy's Andrea Dovizioso will battle it out for the 250cc crown with the Spaniard enjoying a 13-point advantage in the standings.



SEE ALSO
MotoGP coverage on the BBC
18 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes
MotoGP goes down to the wire
25 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes
Hayden demands help from Pedrosa
16 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes
Rossi on top after Hayden crashes
15 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes
Rossi confident of victory charge
10 Oct 06 |  Motorbikes


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