Loris Capirossi admits his thoughts are still with fellow countryman Marco Simoncelli ahead of this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix, two weeks after the accident in Malaysia which took his life. The season finale will also see the curtain come down on Capirossi's 21 year career and the 38 year old is hoping to sign off in style.
“It will be difficult to be in the paddock without Marco, as everyone will miss him. No one will feel like going on the track, but we have to do it for him and for all fans of motorcycle racing. It will be my final race, and I still don't know what will be going through my head, but I want to do it as well as possible.”
Teammate Randy de Puniet will also have Simoncelli in his thoughts this weekend but accepts that the show must go on.
“I share Capirex's thoughts; it will be really difficult to race at Valencia without Marco, but part of our job is to continue on. I'll try my best to finish off the season with a good result.”
Pramac Racing technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini is expecting a sombre atmosphere at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit but agrees with De Puniet that the race must take place.
“Unfortunately, Valencia takes on a new meaning after what happened in Malaysia. Anyway, we have to honour the last round of the season. The Valencia track isn't particularly technical, so it shouldn't be difficult to identify the right setup for the bike. It will be an unusual race for Loris, as it will be the last of his career. It was supposed to be a party, but no one will feel like celebrating anything.”