Riders reflect on the Valencia MotoGP Finale

Round 19 – Valencia – Rider Quotes

Marc Marquez – P1

“A perfect end to a perfect season with the victory! I put a little extra pressure on myself with the gold helmet, so I needed to be extra smart! We did exactly what we wanted to do and won the Team Championship, taking the Triple Crown in this amazing season. Always the Riders Championship is the first objective, but I was happy to help win the Team Championship, not just for them but also for Jorge who has been a great champion, a hard rival and a great teammate. It will be difficult to improve on this year because we rode in a perfect way.”

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Marc Marquez – Image AJRN

Fabio Quartararo – P2

“I knew yesterday that Marc was going to be really strong, but if we couldn’t win then I would have been happy with second – and being the first Yamaha is a nice bonus too. We weren’t so far from the victory, so I can be very proud of the result. It’s an amazing end to the season. In 2018, a lot of people told me that I didn’t deserve a seat in MotoGP and that I wasn’t ready for it – but I think now with seven podiums and six pole positions I can show them they were wrong! I’m so happy with the entire year and it’s something the whole team should be proud of.”

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Fabio Quartararo – Image AJRN

Jack Miller – P3

“To finish on the podium today is an amazing way to wrap up my MotoGP season! We had 5 Podiums this year which is more than I’ve ever had in one season, but today in Valencia would have to be one of the best podiums yet, it was a fast and furious race the entire way! This weekend really caps off what I’ve been pushing so hard to accomplish this year, from the first session to the last putting in the work with the Pramac Racing boys and today we really showed how important that is with this result. Another memorable weekend and year, I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support!”

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Jack Miller with mum Sonya – Image AJRN

Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“All in all I’m happy with our speed in the race: our pace was very constant and in the end the gap to Marquez wasn’t very big. I tried to catch Miller for third but he was riding very well and was quicker than me in several places, so he deserved the podium. I’m satisfied with the way we finished the season because both at Sepang and here at Valencia we were fast. We have confirmed a solid second place, unfortunately with a very big gap from Marquez in the standings, but also with a large gap over the third-placed rider, despite two zeros at Barcelona and Silverstone that were not our fault”.

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Andrea Dovizioso – Image AJRN

Alex Rins – P5

“For sure, this year has been really good, I was fighting for 3rd in the championship. I tried hard today to take back 3rd in the standings, and I was able to beat Viñales who was my nearest rival for that. I was battling with Dovizioso right up to finish line, but it was very difficult to pass him. Let’s keep working and prepare for the new season!”

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Alex Rins – Image AJRN

Maverick Viñales – P6

“Actually, my main objective was to try to be third in the championship. We did it today, we forgot a bit about being on the podium or winning. My objective was to finish the race well. It was a difficult race, I struggled a lot with the rear grip, which happens sometimes for us and today again, so we have to check that. Today I was very concentrated on finishing close to Rins and trying to get the maximum points. I’m very pleased to be the first Yamaha and to be inside the top 3 again. I can’t wait to test the new bike. We face this new test season with a lot of motivation, a lot of enthusiasm, and that is the most important. We have very important tests coming up here and in Jerez, and I feel great on the bike. So, we need to create a good atmosphere again and keep challenging, because I think with Yamaha we can do a really good job this winter and prepare for next year.”

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Maverick Vinales – Image AJRN

Joan Mir – P7

“This race was a bit frustrating for me, because I couldn’t find the same feeling as I had during the practices. It was a shame, but I was still able to fight well, and I was close to the Top 5 and close to riders who have won races this year. I thought I had something more to offer in this race, but I’m happy regardless. This rookie year has been really nice, and I’m looking forward to next year already. I’m very excited for the test next week too.”

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Joan Mir – Image AJRN

Valentino Rossi – P8

“More than with the weather we struggled with the grip. This has happened to us before, earlier this year. I didn’t have enough rear grip and after some laps I had to slow down because my tyre lost a lot of performance. In the second half of the season we suffered a lot from this and at the end we were not able to fix it. Today was more or less the same, so we have to work from next Tuesday to start the new season well. We have two important tests here in Valencia and in Jerez before the end of the year. We hope we’ll have good weather and we’ll try to improve. We’ll have some new stuff from Yamaha, and also in the team we’ll have a new Crew Chief. These tests will also be important for us to understand how to work, and we’ll try to return stronger next year.”

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Valentino Rossi – Image AJRN

Aleix Espargaro – P9

“After a weekend with a lot of crashes, I was very cautious in the race. Finishing this long season well was important and I am pleased that I managed to do that. The track conditions were very treacherous today too. I saw other riders ahead of me crash as soon as they tried to increase the pace. Overall, finishing in the top ten is a good result for me and for the guys on the team who have worked hard all season.”

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Aleix Espargaro – Image AJRN

Pol Espargaro – P10

“It was not a race like we wanted today. We were missing a lot of grip, traction and turning. We have been faster this year than 2017 in the qualifying, even with my ‘highside’ we were faster on one lap and that’s fantastic because we have gained a lot in stopping but we are struggling a lot on the grip side. The year has finished and we took 100 points in the championship, which is not bad, 11th position and it was not a bad season but we need to improve for 2020. We did three good years but next year it should be better, it must be better. We need to fight for that top six-seven in the championship constantly and be more consistent.”

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Pol Espargaro – Image AJRN

Tito Rabat – P11

“It was a good race in general, we got some points as we finished 11th so I am happy and eager to start working for the 2020 season”.

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Tito Rabat

Mika Kallio – P12

“Yesterday I said I needed to collect some points and we managed to do it but there was some help from other guys crashing in front of me so I’m still not that satisfied with 12th position. I could not feel the grip from the tyres today. I want to say thanks to KTM for letting me ride these six races. It was a nice journey but not as successful as I wanted it to be. Anyway I enjoyed it and we got some points today. The atmosphere was there all the time and that was nice.”

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Mika Kallio – Image AJRN

Jorge Lorenzo – P13

“Today was a special day. On the grid I had a very different feeling to all my other races and certainly in the opening laps I was more cautious than other races because the conditions were very difficult and I wanted to finish my last race. I focused mostly on myself in the race and I am pleased to end with some points certainly. It is great to help the Repsol Honda Team win the Teams Championship after an unbelievable season from Marc. I want to say thank you to all of Honda as they have treated me with the utmost respect and professionalism. I wish them all the best for the future.”

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Jorge Lorenzo – Image AJRN

Karel Abraham – P14

“It’s good to get these 2 points after suffering some technical problems specially in the first corner, that made my lose a lot of time in the beginning. I lost positions and I had to push to arrive to the top riders. From there on, I made a lonely race, I gave my best but Lorenzo was too far in front and Syahrin was too far behind so it was a difficult race to manage but at least I got two points”.

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Karel Abraham – Image AJRN

Hafizh Syahrin – P15

“2019 is done, I’m really, really sorry to my team, especially my crew, because they were pushing so hard, but for me it was very difficult to find the rhythm to be consistent compared to my first year in MotoGP. I can only say I’m sorry, I tried my best! This race was very slow for me. One point is better than nothing in the end, but we were hoping for a lot better race pace. Anyway, thank you to everybody to support me and believe in me and also especially Hervé for giving me this opportunity for two years. I will try to come back stronger, so this is part of my journey now. Hervé built up my experience and my confidence. I just wish all the best to the team! I will miss this family! Thank you very much also to KTM for trusting in me, I’m sorry, that I couldn’t show my best this season.”

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Hafizh Syahrin – Image AJRN

Andrea Iannone – DNF

“I am rather happy with the race today. In spite of starting from very far back, I was able to recover a lot of positions and engage in a fun battle with my teammate for the top ten. Compared to yesterday and Friday, we were able to find a good pace, although the front tyre temperature dropped quickly when I was leading the group. In the direction change between turn 9 and 10, I pushed a bit harder to defend my position and I crashed. It’s a pity about the final result, but we had a good race all the way down to the last lap.”

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Andrea Iannone – Image AJRN

Franco Morbidelli – DNF

“The crash is a pity because I was feeling fast in the race and I was rapidly catching the guys in front of me. Sometimes without someone in front of you to help with the wind, your front tyre temperature can get very cold. I knew it was happening and I had two choices; to stop pushing and drop back, or to push and hope it warmed up again – and unfortunately I reached turn four and crashed like I had just left the pits. I was aiming for the podium as I was hunting down the guys in front, and the positive from the weekend is that we were feeling capable of being in the top three.”

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Franco Morbidelli – Image AJRN

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“I feel ok. It was disappointing to crash here in the race in the last round in Valencia. Ironically, I felt quite good in the race, but I braked a bit late going into turn one and went into a dirty part of the track. I nearly saved the bike, but didn’t quite manage to and so now we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to the test, I don’t know what the full testing schedule is yet, but we’ll be trying to improve the bike for next year”.

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Cal Crutchlow – Image AJRN

Johann Zarco – DNF

“I’m ok, I think the injury could have been worse. It was a difficult race. I knew it was going to be a long race, so I thought that with a used tyre maybe I would have the right pace. Thankfully I was around the tenth position which was good. After overtaking Pol Espargaro I tried to get a better pace, I saw (Danilo) Petrucci crash and I don’t know if I lost a bit of focus because a little bit later I also crashed in the corner. I was sliding and thinking it was a shame I’d lost the race, and I didn’t check on the bike and then the bike of (Iker) Lecuona totally took me away. I had big pain on the left ankle and I was scared, but now it’s not so bad as there are no broken bones. We’ll have to do some more tests tomorrow, but it’s ok I think. It’s a shame to finish the season in that way.”

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Johann Zarco – Image AJRN

Danilo Petrucci – DNF

“That was really a pity, because it was an important race for the team. Unfortunately, at the start the launch control failed to engage so I lost a lot of positions right away. I was making up places over the next few laps, and my pace was really good, but unfortunately after passing Rossi I crashed without understanding the reason why. I feel bad about ending the championship in this way, but in any case it is still the best season in my career in MotoGP: I know I must still improve in a number of different areas but now I can’t wait for the new season to start”.

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Danilo Petrucci – Image AJRN

Michele Pirro – DNF

“For sure it wasn’t a positive Sunday for us: my race was ruined right from the start when I didn’t feel well. Already on the sighting lap I had a drop in my blood pressure and when I started the race I felt sick, so I decided to return to the pits and pull in. I’m disappointed because my target was to finish in the top 10 and I felt I could have achieved it and maybe do even better. Unfortunately, that’s the way things went, we’ll try again next year”.

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Michele Pirro – Image AJRN

Iker Lecuona – DNF

“I feel sorry for the team because I crashed. I didn’t want to finish this weekend like this, as it was amazing! First, it was my first race in MotoGP and second because I was fast all the weekend with the team, that helped me a lot, so thanks for all the good work! I crashed, honestly, I don’t know what happened, because I didn’t brake later or changed the line, but first Petrucci crashed in this corner, then Zarco on the same place and behind it was me. I don’t know what happened, but I’m happy to stay here. I’m just sorry for the team for it! Now we continue working for next year!”

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Iker Lecuona – Image AJRN

Team Managers

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It was a very challenging race day for us here in Valencia. Maverick and Valentino made the most of a tough GP. It’s difficult to understand why we had a problem with rear tyre grip with both riders, because this didn’t occur in the other cold sessions, including the Warm Up. It‘s a shame, because we had really hoped to end the season on a high note and today‘s results aren‘t very exciting. That said, the effort our riders put in was not in vain: Maverick and the team maintained their third place in the championship rankings. We should also give credit to Fabio, because his second place today helped Yamaha earn second place in the championship standings, the result of a Yamaha-family effort. It‘s quite the achievement, especially considering that Petronas SRT is a new team, Fabio a rookie rider, and Franky new to Yamaha. Despite facing difficulties this season, we have kept our work mentality and fighting spirit high. However, we would have liked to end the season closer to the front in this race, so we can‘t afford to linger during the crucial Valencia Test that starts this Tuesday.”

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Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow – Image AJRN

Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas SRT Team Manager

“It’s been an incredible season, with seven podiums, Rookie of the Year, Independent Team and Rider – all the items on our wishlist. I’m very proud to say what we’ve achieved, not only with Fabio and Franco but with the entire team. If you look over the year, there were no human error mistakes at a single race and for a rookie team, that’s incredible. We’re over the moon to finish the season with second place in Valencia. Our focus is already on testing, and 2020 will be very interesting!”

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Fabio Quartararo – Image AJRN

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“What a weekend it was in Valencia! Unfortunately, it was a disappointing result in Moto3 as we struggled for pace all weekend and both John and Ayumu had tough races. John ended his season fifth in the rider standings and we’re fifth as a team which is the best we’ve achieved in Moto3. Our sights were a little higher, but we have a very strong basis for John and Khairul Idham Pawi for next year. We bid Ayumu a fond farewell, and look forward to seeing him in a new uniform next season. Adam gained more experience in Moto2 and continues to climb a steep learning curve. The last seven races have been invaluable to him and perfect preparation for CEV next year. Beyond that, we’d love to be able to welcome Adam back for a ride in the future. We’re really excited to test with Jake Dixon and Xavi Vierge for the first time later this week. We’re looking forward to some very strong performances from them next season. In MotoGP we’re yet to get the elusive win, but taking second again is a very good result all things considered! It was an unfortunate end to the race for Franco after showing so well throughout the year, but we believe that he can have a very strong season in 2020. We’ve come out of our rookie season with best Independent Team, top Independent Rider, Rookie of the Year and a fantastic fourth in the overall team standings. We also helped Yamaha to take second in the constructors’ award, which is great. 2020 will be a challenging year again, and the target will be to be on the podium every weekend. We all know what we need to do and we’re looking forward to the new challenge starting on Tuesday at the test.”

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Joan Mir – Image AJRN

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“This last race wasn’t bad, and both riders finished in good positions, with Alex fighting for the Top 3 at times. It’s a pity we couldn’t end the season with another podium, but I want to thank both the riders, and the entire team, for all the great results we’ve had together this year. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we have a test, and we’ll be trying the latest version of the engine and we will mostly concentrate on that.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We’re pleased about our results today. Alex was up with the top group and very close to the podium, but it was difficult to get into the Top 3 and he gave the maximum, still managing 5th. It’s another important and strong finish for us. Joan made a lot of progress this year, and that is very exciting for 2020. We’re looking forward to continuing this advancement with him..”

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Iker Lecuona – Image AJRN

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“It has been a long season but with some highlights for us. Pol’s result of 10th was our tenth top ten finish of the year and eleventh in the championship is good, very good actually, and the first time we managed to get three digits for points. Pol made a great season and the team did a good job all year, even if it was a difficult race today and hard conditions. It is tough to make Q2 and we did it fourteen times: this is an indicator that our package becomes more and more competitive and we are playing more and more in the top ten. We have to say thanks to Mika; he managed to get into the points and did these last six races for us. On the Tech3 side Iker did a great job through all the sessions and not crashing in difficult conditions. He made his first race experience and did good lap-times. It will be an experience he can take into the winter and he will be focussed for next year. Hafizh is leaving so thanks for all his effort he did this year. We wish him all the best in the Moto2 and Brad comes the other way and we’re excited to start our project with him. From Tuesday the new season starts and we are looking forward to it already.”

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Iker Lecuona – Image AJRN

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“Just one word: what a shame! What a shame, because Iker did a more than perfect weekend until he went on that part of the track, that was greasy or with some oil, where these guys crashed without any warning. I don’t know what to say. It was the end of a perfect weekend, the lap times were unbelievable. He could have almost ended up in the top 10, but anyway, you need to finish a race before talking about results. But what he showed today and the whole weekend is, that Iker is a great talent, he is for sure going to be a very, very strong MotoGP rider in the near future. The good news is, that he’s got a lot of laps under his belt now before we start the proper 2020 testing on Tuesday here in Valencia. Let’s look at what’s going to happen soon. We are now in 2020, it was not an easy year, but I think the journey was interesting together with KTM. One year ago, there was the first touch of the bike and I think we made a lot of progress, which people sometimes don’t really see and realize. We missed Miguel this weekend, although we were happy to have him physically with us. We wish to have him back as soon as possible back with us. I want to say a big thank you to Hafizh Syahrin. It was not an easy season for him, but he was always full of joy, he was a very positive and constructive rider. I wish him the best of luck for 2020! There is also something, that I would like to mention before we finish; apparently from Tuesday we will have Dani Pedrosa on Miguel’s side, because Miguel is not fit to ride and this is something that is going to be very, very interesting and it’s a great honor to have a legend like Dani working with us. I believe we will do a great job and hopefully enjoy a fruitful collaboration. So, thanks to the whole team, thanks to Red Bull, thanks to KTM, thanks to Elf, thanks to Hafizh, Miguel and of course Iker! Try to celebrate and enjoy tonight before we start 2020!”

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Iker Lecuona – Image AJRN

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“That has drawn 2019 to a close and what an extraordinary weekend to finish with. The temperatures were so cold here this weekend, the tyres had to work very hard to generate enough heat to give the riders the grip they needed and they did this extremely well. We saw all rear compounds used in today’s race and although only the front medium was used, all three were still a raceable option, so we produced a range to meet the demands of this difficult circuit and the demanding winter conditions we experienced, even though we had to choose the allocation as far back as March! I want to thank all the Michelin team for the hard-work and dedication this season, we have had a very successful season with many new records set – including two today – and are already looking forward to 2020. We now begin preparations for 2020 with a two-day test here at Valencia, before moving to Jerez next week. We still have a lot to evaluate before we make a final decision on the new rear construction for next season, so hopefully we will have some good weather so we can get some valuable data collected. We will also be starting to assess a new construction for the front which we hope to introduce in 2021.  Congratulations to Matteo Ferrari on becoming the inaugural MotoE World Cup Winner, the races have proved very popular and provided exciting racing. It is an honour for Michelin to be involved in the field of sustainable energy racing and we are extremely pleased with the performance the Michelin Slick MotoE have given the riders this year.  Today also saw the last race for Jorge Lorenzo, he provided us with some very high points during his time using Michelin tyres, On behalf of everyone at Michelin, I would like to thank him for his input and dedication and wish him all best in his retirement.”

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Valencia MotoGP 2019 – Image AJRN

MotoGP Results / Standings

Source: MCNews.com.au

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