Rossi at the Back of the Grid in Valencia, the Tension Mounts

The Gran Premi de la Comunitat Valenciana is not only the last race in the 2015 MotoGP calendar but also the most important one. The title will be decided in Valencia between Rossi and Lorenzo. Still, the battle has just become way harder for the Italian after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected his penalty appeal.
After the Sepang incident, the Race Direction handled Rossi three points of penalty, with a motivation you can read in the document below. Rossi already had one, so at Valencia he should start from the last position on the grid.

The Italian rider filed an appeal to the CAS, asking for his penalty to be removed or at least reduced to one point. Still, the CAS rejected his request for a stay, and the Lausanne body issued a press release minutes ago stating that the "sanction imposed by FIM will have to be served at the next Grand Prix in Valencia."

"The arbitration procedure is still in progress"

CAS' paper ends with the following phrase: "The arbitration procedure is still in progress and a final decision on the merits will be rendered at a later stage." This clearly means that the whole Sepang deal is not over yet, but how the final ruling will affect the outcome of the season is still a thing of mystery.

What is, however, certain, is the fact that Rossi will begin his final battle this year with a major handicap. He will have to deal with a lot of riders before he can even think about attacking the front runners.

Some of the guys on the Valencia grid support him, and they might think about letting him pass without too much opposition. Others support Lorenzo and Marquez and will not give way too easily.

We already told you how the 2015 title can be won, but here we go again:

If Lorenzo wins the race, then Rossi needs to finish second to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes second then, Rossi needs to finish on the podium to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes third, then Rossi needs to finish sixth or better to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes fourth, then Rossi needs to finish ninth or better to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes fifth to ninth, then Rossi needs to finish no more than six places further back to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes lower than ninth, then Rossi will be world champion.

Two things before we start counting how many beers we need on Sunday

First of all, Rossi might have a chance to set up his bike better, no longer caring about FP1, 2 and 3 or the Qualifying sessions results, and will use the lap times for comparison.

Make sure that MotoGP's commentator Nick Harris will be more than happy to let everybody know how Rossi's lap times stack against the rest. Even if Rossi's bike is on par with Lorenzo's, the Spaniard will have the upper hand.

The Doctor's machine will not break a sweat passing the slowest riders on the grid, for sure, but by the time he gets through, JL99 might have already escaped ahead. As to whether MM93 will be his wingman or not, this is anyone's guess. Frankly, this looks like a risky business, as Race Direction will most likely be out looking for anything that breaks the sporting laws.

On the other hand, there is still math at play in the 2015 championship. Rossi's chances for the tenth crown may have dwindled seriously after his request for a stay was denied, but there is still drama to be witnessed at Valencia.

One of my buddies is already betting that Lorenzo will crash out of the race, and it looks like he has more such radical scenarios on his list. We still have until Sunday or so to place the bets, but man, this is going to be a hard choice.

Pedrosa and Marquez might also be eyeing a shot at glory at the Ricardo Tormo, and at least one of them might not be that thrilled to give up a podium placement without a serious fight. Depending on how the grid will look, Lorenzo might also have a bit of a fight for his place in the race, too.

As for Dorna, this is what the riders have been told after being summed by the Permanent Bureau:

"First and foremost, sport must prevail. This Sunday is the last race of the year, and it is sport that needs to win.

We are proud of the magnificent races you have given us this year. They continue to foster interest in our championship all around the world. We also want to thank you for that.

Over the past days, there have unfortunately been some controversies that have surpassed the limits of a healthy passion and, on occasions, logic itself. You have millions of followers all around the world. They watch and admire your achievements on the track. And they also listen closely to what you say.

What you do and say could have consequences that are not in keeping with the noble values of our sport.

In the name of the Permanent Bureau, the FIM and the promoter, Dorna, I would like to remind you that we are the only sporting organisation in the world that draws up its regulations for one of its flagship Championships with the agreement of all parties. That is the role of the Grand Prix Commission, where the FIM, Dorna, MSMA and IRTA are all represented. We know that the rules can always be improved, and having said that, I repeat that every change will be made with the consent of those concerned. In addition to the GP Commission, we have also set up the Safety Commission, in which riders are consulted on a regular basis about safety issues. Here too we are pioneers in the world of motor sport.

Once again, we want you to be aware that we intend to pursue our policy of keeping the doors open in order to hear your opinions and to allow you to contribute to making this great Championship even better. We would like to emphasise, that for next year, some changes will be made to prevent this from happening again.

We also want to remind you of the values of our sport: exemplarity, fair play, sportsmanship and courtesy. Our officials will be vigilant in observing the fair play and sporting behaviour of every one of you and will be very strict with any infringement of our sporting rules.

We must remember that we organise and practise sport at the professional level, not only because it is entertaining and extraordinary but also to showcase the values we believe in. The next race will be broadcast live and followed by a very large number of spectators. We therefore have ahead of us a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the world the highest values of our sport, and in so doing, to set a great example. We would also like to assure everybody that this weekend we will pay even more attention to what occurs on the track for the benefit of the sport.

Thank you all and have a good race!"

Beer and popcorn, money spent at the bookies, refusing to even watch the race because of the CAS ruling, anything goes this Sunday. Actually, this Sunday is the most exciting race day we had in MotoGP for so many seasons!
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