Tag Archives: MotoGP

A new era for MotoGP as testing for 2019 gets underway

This morning was a very big start to the next stage in many riders careers as testing got underway at Valencia ahead of MotoGP season 2019. 

For Moto2 graduates such as Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Ducati) and Miguel Oliveira (KTM) the first opportunity to get a taste of the mind-bending performance that a 1000cc MotoGP machine making almost twice the horsepower that a Moto2 can muster had to wait. Fellow debutante Joan Mir (Team Suzuki) had already thrown a leg over the GSX-RR earlier this year in Japan so he has a little head start on his fellow class of 2019 newcomers. 

Early morning rain had left the circuit damp when pit-lane opened and it was a couple of hours before any machines turned a Michelin around the 14-turn, 4.005km Circuit Ricardo Tormo, also known as Circuit de Valencia.

After a stellar year for KTM in Moto3 and Moto2 the Austrian brand double up their efforts in MotoGP for season 2019 with now four riders astride the KTM RC 16. Their testing program will also receive a major boost with Bradley Smith becoming a full-time test rider along with five wilcard appearances during the season, while Dani Pedrosa will also join KTM as an official test rider next year. 

Both Tech3 Yamaha riders have moved over to KTM with Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin in orange for 2019. It was Zarco that first braved conditions as he turned his initial familiarisation laps with the KTM RC16. The track now dry, but a moment for the 28-year-old showed that grip was still at a premium. After a couple of laps Zarco was back in to the pits for some adjustments, this first day will largely be spent getting the Frenchman comfortable on the Austrian machine. Of course the KTM is quite unique, it utilises a steel trellis frame to house its V4 engine and runs on WP suspension, so the RC16 will certainly feel very different to the Tech3 Yamaha he is familiar with. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Johann Zarco GPT AN
Johann Zarco exits pitlane on the KTM – Image by AJRN

Pol Espargaro continues with the KTM squad he rode with in 2018 while KTM’s Portuguese Moto2 rider Miguel Oliveira graduates to the premier class. With Espargaro already holding the #44 plate in MotoGP, Oliveira elected to double his regular number from Moto2 to #88 for MotoGP. 

MotoGP Tech Syahrin Oliveira
Red Bull KTMs in test livery ready for debutante Miguel Oliveira and young Malaysian star Hafizh Syahrin at Valencia

Yamaha had their troubles in season 2018 and a lot of people suggested that Yamaha’s lack of a European test team was a contributing factor to their problems. Today marks the start of a new Yamaha Factory Racing European Test Team with rider Jonas Folger. Despite a one-year absence, the 25-year old German is familiar with the YZR-M1 as he rode a Tech3 Yamaha throughout the 2017 season.

Lin Jarvis – Managing Director, Yamaha Racing

“It is no secret that Yamaha has had a challenging season in 2018. Though we made progress towards the end, we are convinced that the extra support from a European test team will be greatly beneficial to the development process of the YZR-M1. Jonas Folger will be Yamaha’s new European MotoGP test rider and he will start his duties here in Valencia during the official IRTA Test. We are very pleased to welcome him back to Yamaha‘s MotoGP programme. Jonas showed great skill and excellent speed when he was a Yamaha satellite rider in 2017. His past experience with the YZR-M1, as well as his youth and drive, will surely make him a great asset to our 2019 campaign. We look forward to having him working closely with our four MotoGP-class riders and our development engineers to further improve the YZR-M1.”

Jonas Folger Will Not Race in 2018
Jonas Folger

With Tech3 making the switch to KTM machinery Yamaha have partnered with the new Sepang International Circuit Racing Team which will race under the banner of Petronas Yamaha SRT. 2018 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Franco Morbidelli and MotoGP debutante Fabio Quartararo at the controls of latest spec YZR-M1 machinery for the Malaysian funded team. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Fabio Quartararo GPT AN
Fabio Quartararo checks out his new machine at Valencia this morning – AJRN Image

Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales both continue with the existing Movistar MotoGP Yamaha squad but the Spaniard has switched to a new crew chief.  Vinales has poached Esteban Garcia, Bradley Smith’s crew chief from KTM. The pair had previously worked together when Vinales was in Moto3 back in 2013. 

Vinales’ previous crew chief Ramon Forcada has switched to Yamaha’s new SIC Racing satellite team to work with Franco Morbidelli. The 23-year-old Italian starts the test on the YZR-M1 Maverick Vinales rode at last weekend’s Valencia MotoGP.

MotoGP Valencia Test Franco Morbidelli GPT AN
Franco Morbidelli with Ramon Forcada – Image by AJRN

Vinales made the decision to split with Forcada back in July after a frustrating season, but the Spaniard then got the monkey off his back late in the season and started scoring results, thus it will be interesting to see if he regrets his earlier frustrations that caused him to jettison the very well regarded Forcada. 

MotoGP Australia Vinales Forcada
Maverick Vinales with crew chief Ramon Forcada, Vinales sacked the well regarded technican and wanted a new crew chief after being frustrated by his lack of results in season 2018.

Over at Honda of course the big news is Jorge Lorenzo joining the Factory Repsol squad alongside World Champion Marc Marquez.

It is without doubt that Lorenzo will achieve success on the Honda, it is just a matter of how long it takes him to adapt and achieve it. We all witnessed his turn-around in form when he found a solution at Ducati, from zero to hero in one foul swoop. How long will it take him to find form on what seems to be a very difficult to ride Honda…?

As Repsol Honda fired up their machines this morning at Valencia in their first warm-up procedures it was humorous to see senior Ducati and KTM technical personnel crowd around as close as they could get to the new Honda. HRC boss Tetsuhiro Kuwata came out and made some friendly gestures suggesting that they piss off somewhere else but it all seemed in good humour, for the cameras anwyay…

At Ducati Danilo Petrucci makes the step up from the satellite Alma Pramac squad to take over Lorenzo’s spot in the Factory garage. 

Joining Jack Miller at Alma Pramac Ducati is debutante Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia. The Australian was on 2017 machinery in 2018, and will jump straight to the latest 2019 spec’ machine for next season, bypassing the 2018 model altogether. A much smoother power delivery has been promised by Ducati for 2019. 

MotoGP Valencia Test Jack Miller GPT AN
Alma Pramac squad getting ready for action this morning at Valencia – AJRN Image

Andrea Iannone has moved from Suzuki to Aprilia where he joins Aleix Espargaro, while previous incumbent Scott Redding heads to British Superbike with Ducati. 

Taking Iannone’s spot at Suzuki is 21-year-old Spaniard Joan Mir. Alex Rins seems to be particularly excited about the prospects of the 2019 iteration of the GSX-RR with a big boost in engine performance expected for the new season. 

Tito Rabat and Karel Abraham will ride for Reale Avintia Racing Ducati.

Takaaki Nakagami and Cal Crutchlow continue with LCR Honda while at today’s test Honda test rider Stefan Bradl is also on an LCR machine. 

With all of the high profile changes and the new blood coming into the category MotoGP season 2019 has plenty of promise. The absolutely stellar season we enjoyed this year though will certainy take some beating. 

Today’s test will finish up at 0300 AEDT Wednesday morning and we will be here to report what went on tomorrow morning. At the time of publishing the piece, 2200 AEDT, there was five hours remaining on the clock, and still only Zarco had been on track to turn a couple of laps. All other riders remained in their pit garages awaiting better conditions. 

2019 MotoGP Entry List
Rider Nationality Team Machine
4 Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team Ducati
5 Johann Zarco French Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
9 Danilo Petrucci Italian Ducati Team Ducati
12 Maverick Vinales Spanish Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
17 Karel Abraham Czech Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
20 Fabio Quartararo French Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
21 Franco Morbidelli Italian Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
29 Andrea Iannone Italian Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
30 Takaaki Nakagami Japanese Lcr Honda Idemitsu Honda
35 Cal Crutchlow British Lcr Honda Castrol Honda
36 Joan Mir Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
41 Aleix Espargaro Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
42 Alex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
43 Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
44 Pol Espargaro Spanish Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
46 Valentino Rossi Italian Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
53 Tito Rabat Spanish Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
55 Hafizh Syahrin Malaysian Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
63 Francesco Bagnaia Italian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
88 Miguel Oliveira Portuguese Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
93 Marc Marquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda
99 Jorge Lorenzo Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda

Source: MCNews.com.au

2019 MotoGP Entry List | MotoGP | Moto2 | Moto3

FIM Logo

FIM Grand Prix World Championship

2019 Provisional Entry Lists, November 2018

2019 Moto3 Entry List
Rider Nationality Team Machine
5 Jaume Masia Spanish Bester Capital Dubai KTM
10 Dennis Foggia Italian Sky Racing Team Vr46 KTM
11 Sergio Garcia Spanish Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
12 Filip Salac Czech Redox Pruestel Gp KTM
13 Celestino Vietti Italian Sky Racing Team Vr46 Ktm
14 Tony Arbolino Italian Team O Honda
16 Andrea Migno Italian Bester Capital Dubai KTM
17 John Mcphee British Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda
19 Gabriel Rodrigo Argentinian Kommerling Gresini Moto3 Honda
22 Kazuki Masaki Japanese Boe Skull Rider KTM
23 Niccolo Antonelli Italian Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda
24 Tatsuki Suzuki Japanese Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda
25 Raul Fernandez Spanish Angel Nieto Team KTM
27 Kaito Toba Japanese Honda Team Asia Honda
40 Darryn Binder S-African Cip Green Power KTM
42 Marcos Ramirez Spanish Leopard Racing Honda
44 Aron Canet Spanish Max Racing Team KTM
48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Italian Leopard Racing Honda
54 Riccardo Rossi Italian Kommerling Gresini Moto3 Honda
55 Romano Fenati Italian Team O Honda
61 Can Oncu Turkish Red Bull Ktm Ajo KTM
69 Tom Booth-Amos British Cip Green Power KTM
71 Ayumu Sasaki Japanese Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda
72 Alonso Lopez Spanish Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
75 Albert Arenas Spanish Angel Nieto Team KTM
76 Makar Yurchenko Kazakhstani Boe Skull Rider KTM
77 Vicente Perez Spanish Reale Avintia Academy KTM
79 Ai Ogura Japanese Honda Team Asia Honda
84 Jakub Kornfeil Czech Redox Pruestel Gp KTM
2019 Moto2 Entry List
Rider Nationality Team Machine
3 Lukas Tulovic German Kiefer Racing KTM
4 Steven Odendaal S-African Nts Rw Racing Gp NTS
5 Andrea Locatelli Italian Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
7 Lorenzo Baldassari Italian Pons Hp40 Kalex
9 Jorge Navarro Spanish Speed Up Racing Speed Up
10 Luca Marini Italian Sky Racing Team Vr46 Kalex
11 Nicolo Bulega Italian Sky Racing Team Vr46 Kalex
12 Tom Luthi Swiss Dynavolt Intact Gp Kalex
16 Joe Roberts Usa American Team KTM
18 Xavier Cardelus Andorra Angel Nieto Team KTM
20 Dimas Ekky Pratama Indonesian Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Honda
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Italian Speed Up Racing Speed Up
22 Sam Lowes British Federal Oil Gresini Kalex
23 Marcel Schrotter German Dynavolt Intact Gp Kalex
24 Simone Corsi Italian Tasca Racing Scuderia  Kalex
27 Iker Lecuona Spanish American Team KTM
33 Enea Bastianini Italian Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
35 Somkiat Chantra Thai Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex
40 Augusto Fernandez Spanish Pons Hp40 Kalex
41 Brad Binder S-African Red Bull Ktm Ajo KTM
45 Tetsuta Nagashima Japanese Sag Team Kalex
62 Stefano Manzi Italian Forward Racing Team MV
64 Bo Bendsneyder Dutch Nts Rw Racing Gp NTS
65 Philipp Oettl German Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
72 Marco Bezzecchi Italian Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
73 Alex Marquez Spanish Eg 0,0 Marc Vds Kalex
77 Dominique Aegerter Swiss Forward Racing Team MV
87 Remy Gardner Australian Sag Team Kalex
88 Jorge Martin Spanish Red Bull Ktm Ajo KTM
89 Khairul Idham Pawi Malaysian Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex
96 Jake Dixon British Angel Nieto Team KYM
97 Xavi Vierge Spanish Eg 0,0 Marc Vds Kalex

2018 MotoGP Entry List
Rider Nationality Team Machine
4 Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team Ducati
5 Johann Zarco French Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
9 Danilo Petrucci Italian Ducati Team Ducati
12 Maverick Vinales Spanish Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
17 Karel Abraham Czech Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
20 Fabio Quartararo French Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
21 Franco Morbidelli Italian Petronas Yamaha Srt Yamaha
29 Andrea Iannone Italian Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
30 Takaaki Nakagami Japanese Lcr Honda Idemitsu Honda
35 Cal Crutchlow British Lcr Honda Castrol Honda
36 Joan Mir Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
41 Aleix Espargaro Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
42 Alex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
43 Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
44 Pol Espargaro Spanish Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing KTM
46 Valentino Rossi Italian Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
53 Tito Rabat Spanish Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
55 Hafizh Syahrin Malaysian Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
63 Francesco Bagnaia Italian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
88 Miguel Oliveira Portuguese Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 KTM
93 Marc Marquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda
99 Jorge Lorenzo Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda

Source: MCNews.com.au

Moto2 prepares for the start of 765 Triumph era at Jerez

Triumph 765 Moto2 official test later this week


Following the 2018 final round at Valencia, a Moto2 press conference was held to shed further light on the Triumph 765 powered class for the 2019 season ahead of the Jerez test this weekend, discussing the engine, electronics and aims for the class in the new year.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Toseland GP AN
Triumph Moto2 – Image by AJRN

Moto2 was born in 2010 and after nine seasons, 2019 heralds a new era, with the Triumph Moto2 765cc powered racer just around the corner.

Triumph Chief Engineer Stuart Wood, Technical Director from ExternPro Trevor Morris, Magneti Marelli Motorsport Bike Systems Manager Marco Venturi and MotoGP Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli gathered and talked through the project, the new ECUs and the goal for the intermediate class. First to speak was Stuart Wood of Triumph.

Triumph Moto

Stuart Wood – Triumph Chief Engineer

“The engine is built to develop more power torque and revs, less inertia and is lighter weight. There are more than 80 new components. Our testing and development has had three major phases. Development work has been going on for two years; rig testing and a lot of track testing. We’ve done over two and a half thousands race pace laps at a range of circuits and much more than that on development rigs.

“We now have an engine that’s reliable, consistent and is producing 140 PS. So that’s a good step and a step for the championship but more than that you have completely different torque delivery with much more throughout the whole rev range. That’s the character of the triple and that’s what we think will make this so exciting.”

The Moto2 engine from Triumph is described as a 'significant development of the race-winning Daytona 675R'
The Moto2 engine from Triumph

Triumph signed the three-year contract with Dorna and MotoGP to supply the dedicated race-tuned 765cc Triumph triple engine based on the powerplant from the latest generation of Triumph Street Triple. Based on the highest specification 765cc powerplant from the Street Triple RS, it has been developed for Moto2 with the following modifications:

  • Modified cylinder head with revised inlet and exhaust ports
  • Titanium valves and stiffer valve springs for increased rpm
  • New crank
  • New pistons
  • New con-rods and balancer shaft
  • Nikasil plated aluminium barrels
  • Revised gearbox
  • Low Output race kit alternator for reduced inertia
  • Race developed slipper clutch which will be tuneable
  • Revised engine covers for reduced width
  • Different sump to allow for improved header run
Triumph's 765cc triple-cylinder Moto2 powerplant
Triumph’s 765cc triple-cylinder Moto2 powerplant

Next to speak was MotoGP Technical Director Corrado Cecchinelli, who delved more into the reasoning behind the change, a lot of which comes down to the technical content of the class and positioning Moto2 correctly between the lightweight class and the premier class.

Corrado Cecchinelli – MotoGP Technical Director

“It’s an important step and I’m happy to be here for this exciting moment. Moto2 has been a success so far and for sure this series has some content we have to make sure we don’t lose like fair racing, a good show, and budget sensitivity. We have to be careful not to build a category where if a huge spender comes, he can win everything. So there are things to lose but a lot to gain.

“We expect some performance improvement but that’s not exactly the goal. We don’t have a problem with performance, what we’re looking for with this new engine is to take a step in terms of the technical content of Moto2. Ride-by-wire is what helps us really make a step because it introduces different concepts of torque management, for the first time staff and riders will learn in Moto2 that there’s a chance to make the engine do what you like.”

MotoGP Valencia Conf Trevor Morris Corrado Cecchinelli Stuart Wood Marco Venturi
Technical Director from ExternPro Trevor Morris, MotoGP Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli, Triumph Chief Engineer Stuart Wood, Magneti Marelli Motorsport Bike Systems Manager Marco Venturi

Corrado Cecchinelli further described the goal with torque maps and engine braking as being, “Something more than Moto3 but delivered in an easier format than MotoGP.”

Marco Venturi of Magneti Marelli was the next man on the mic, talking of the Moto2 Electronic Control System Kit

Marco Venturi – Magneti Marelli

“This has been a big challenge for us because the request was to improve the level of technology and the technical level of Moto2. The knowledge on how to build it and what to select directly comes from our experience matured in MotoGP. We’ve tried to make the Moto2 closer to MotoGP, from the choice of the parts and the performance of the parts.

“We’ve worked on the system for more than a year, on the test bench on ExternPro premises and we made additional steps on bikes, working on bikes prepared for the occasion and following some tests for different chassis manufacturers. Some work on the running road, and finally some tests on track to make optimum calibrations. We are starting to use the system and we’ll see when it’s in the hands of the teams, I think it will improve their performance and knowledge of the bike and make Moto2 closer to MotoGP.”

MotoGP Valencia Conf Moto ECU
The Moto2 Electronic Control System Kit

Finally, Trevor Morris from ExternPro explained the new era had been a little while coming…

Trevor Morris – ExternPro

“We could see what we needed to go forward in Moto2, and the work we’ve been doing over the last few years… it started a few years ago when we wanted to find a replacement engine. The Honda engine served its purpose very well, but we knew we had to move forward. The Triumph engine was so easy to choose.”

Moto2 head out for their first Official Test of the new era from the 23rd to 25th November at Jerez.

MotoGP Triumph Moto engine handover
Triumph Moto2 engine handover complete prior to November Jerez Test

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP riders & Team Managers on Valencia season finale

2018 MotoGP – Round 19 – Valencia

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start
Rins got the early jump at Valencia

MotoGP Rider Quotes

MotoGP Valencia Andrea Dovizioso Podium
Andrea Dovizioso

Andrea Dovizioso – P1

“Today’s was truly a spectacular victory! I have finally managed to win at Valencia, which for me and for Ducati has always been rather a tough track. The first race was very difficult, because Rins started off really strong. I stayed clam however and reeled him in, but Rossi was also recovering and he was very quick so I had to manage the situation while the rain was increasing lap after lap. In the second race we managed to make all the difference because we were able to use a new tyre we hadn’t used in the morning warm-up as well as making a small change to the set-up. I’m really pleased with the way we worked together with the team and to have been able to give them this win, which really helps cheer everyone up. It was a great way to finish the season!”

MotoGP Valencia Andrea Dovizioso Vinales Espargaro
Andrea Dovizioso

Alex Rins – P2

“I’m very happy and we made had an incredible weekend. During the first part of the race I was leading for twelve or thirteen laps and I pulled a good gap, but when the rain came Dovizioso and Rossi caught me. For the second half of the race, after the stoppage, I had more or less the same strategy; I tried to get the best start possible, and I pushed a lot because I really wanted the podium and fifth place in the championship. It feels great to have another podium. I hope next year I’ll be at the front in almost all the races, we got a lot of experience this year and I think we’re ready for it.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Podium Rins
Alex Rins

Pol Espargaro – P3

“It’s unreal. I felt good all weekend in wet and dry conditions. I was playing around all weekend with a few Yamahas and I was fast; I could do good lap-times. To always be in the top eight was building my confidence up. It was wild out there. The red flag was like a ‘message’ because the bike was still working after that big crash and I said to myself ‘man, this is your opportunity, take it’. I just pushed and Valentino was so fast, super-fast. I stayed in that position and was safe, then I fought with Dani but could finally finish in third position. After this year it is unbelievable for me, for my team, wife and all the crew around me. Finally we are super-happy with the results for KTM today. You don’t know how much effort and investment they are putting in the project and for them to finish the year in those positions was amazing.”

MotoGP Valencia Pol Espargaro Podium
Pol Espargaro

Michele Pirro – P4

“It was a difficult race because I crashed in the first part, damaging the bike a bit, but I was able to get back on and then the race was interrupted. After the restart, I managed to run at a good pace and I’m disappointed only because I missed out on a podium by just over a second. I’m very pleased however because after my crash at Mugello I once again did a good MotoGP race and Ducati won again at Valencia after many years, which is important for all of us.”

MotoGP Valencia Michele Pirro
Michele Pirro

Dani Pedrosa – P5

“For sure I had a particular feeling before today’s race, knowing that the moment of my final race had arrived. Well, actually it turned out that I had two! Unfortunately the weather was really tricky. In both races, I struggled so much with the rear and couldn’t really get on the gas. I was actually expecting to have a better feeling in the second race, as there was less water on the track. But we changed the tyres and I had no grip, so I could only try and finish the race with no crashes. It’s a bit of a shame, but when I got back to the pits, I found everybody waiting for me—the team, my family, my people—and there was a very emotional atmosphere. I was pleased to see their emotion. It meant a lot to me. Now I’ll have several events to attend, but after that I’ll try and have some time to myself and relax a bit before next year.”

MotoGP Valencia Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Takaaki Nakagami – P6

“It was really tough. I was scared on every lap, each corner, but it’s an amazing feeling. It’s a little bit strange, I never thought I’d finish as the top independent rider, but it’s an amazing day for me and a great race. There was a lot of pressure, but last night Cal (Crutchlow) texted me and told me to concentrate, make no mistakes and, because I had nothing to lose, push hard. That was great, so thanks to him, and also to my team, it’s an unforgettable day. It’s so good to finish the season like this and now we will look to next season, starting with the test here on Tuesday. But tonight we will definitely have a party!”

MotoGP Valencia Dani Pedrosa
Takaaki Nakagami chases Dani Pedrosa

Johann Zarco – P7

“It has been a tough Sunday. We had a lot of rain in the grid and I got a good feeling on the first start. The rain was so strong and the level of the water on track was pretty complicate to control. We saw many crashes happen. I could do my laps and have a good position. After the restart the others were faster than me and I could not follow them, but the target was to finish the race, be the first independent rider, which was our main goal at the beginning of the year and I’m so happy I managed to fulfil it. It’s pretty good for me and the team, plus our history with Yamaha, because we did the last two years on a very great level. I’m really proud and happy about that situation. It was possible to fight for the top 5 in the championship, but this weekend, Alex Rins has been very fast. He rode perfectly, so congratulations to him! He deserves this position. Finally, I want to say, thank you to everybody for the two amazing years I had together with Tech3. I’m happy about the move for next year, because we will still share very good moments, even if we are not in the same garage during the race weekend.”

Bradley Smith – P8

“Some things are just meant to be. I was pushing back to get to bike No.2 just to finish the race because there was only fifteen guys at that point. I did not want to ‘go out’ like that, with a crash and thinking ‘what could have been’: that’s not what I’m about. I was running inside the top ten and my ambition this weekend was to get six points so I might be able to beat Pol in the championship. I got eight but he did a fantastic job today. It was obviously great to see and great for the team and all the boys. I’m happy I go out on my ‘high’ this was my best result. I cannot ask for much more.”

Stefan Bradl – P9

“First of all I would like to say thank you to HRC and LCR for the support and help I have received after replacing Cal for these two races. I also wish Cal well and hope he can return next year even stronger on the bike. I enjoyed working with LCR again, there are still a lot of things I remember from the past. Today was an incredibly difficult race as you could see from the track condition, the amount of water there was incredible and there were many crashes. My confidence in the wet was not great because I don’t have any experience riding the MotoGP bike in the wet, so for this reason I needed some laps to feel good. It took a while, but in these conditions it’s easy to make mistakes and I’m happy I finished the race in ninth position. It’s ok and thanks to the team for all their efforts.”

Hafizh Syahrin – P10

“First of all, I just want to say thank you very much to my team. We didn’t expect, that we can arrive in the top 10 in wet conditions. There was a lot of drama, many riders crashed. We stopped the race and I was in P10. We believed that we can give a challenge to the other riders. For me, it was the first time, that I could do a full race in the wet, I learned many things. In the end, I’m just four points behind the best rookie, Franco Morbidelli. Congratulations to him! Anyway, I did my best. I want to thank all our sponsors, all my family and fans, that come to support me. I’m really happy to be here in MotoGP. Next week we start a new journey and I will keep on working hard. Thank you very much to everybody!”

MotoGP Valencia Lorenzo Syahrin Bradl
Hafizh Syahrin chases Jorge Lorenzo

Scott Redding – P11

“This was a rather dangerous race. At the start, I couldn’t see anything, there was so much water being kicked up by the other bikes. Only when I had some free track in front of me was I able to pick up the pace a bit. The bike was doing a lot of aquaplaning, like the others were, and the numerous crashes are a demonstration of that. I think it would have been right to stop the race earlier than it was. The conditions were truly risky. I think that my biggest limitation today was the rear tyre cooling down. I was constantly at the limit with grip, even trying to take it very easy on the throttle. After the second start, things were substantially the same for me and, considering the many riders who retired, at a certain point I was just thinking about taking home the best possible result.”

Jorge Lorenzo – P12

“So we’ve arrived at the end of my period in Ducati and I wasn’t able to do the race that I wanted. The conditions were really complicated and it was easy to make a mistake and crash so I preferred not to take too many risks, given the state of my wrist. I did the best I could on this track but I was unable to be competitive. I feel bad for the team because I wanted to say goodbye to them with a good result, but in any case I want to remember all the positive things in the last two years. Even though we know we weren’t able to obtain what we wanted to achieve when I joined Ducati, this year’s wins were really special and I will always have a special place for them in my heart. The rapport with the team has been magnificent: they have always helped me in difficult moments and we have established a friendship that goes beyond mere racing. The professional level of all the engineers and technicians is very high and together we were able to make the Desmosedici GP one of the most competitive bikes on the grid, something that makes me very proud. I also want to thank all the Ducatisti for the support they have given me since the very first day I came to the factory at Borgo Panigale. I will never forget these two years together and a part of my heart will always be a Ducatista.”

MotoGP Valencia Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Valentino Rossi – P13

“The feeling was very bad, because the conditions were tricky with four laps to go. We needed this result for my team and Yamaha, to finish the season in a nice way, but unfortunately I made a mistake. It’s a great shame. It was a very similar crash to the one in Malaysia. We don’t understand very well what happened. Maybe at the end we need to pay more attention. Still, it remained a good performance. Until that moment I enjoyed it, because I was strong, and I remained in third place in the championship, which is important.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Dovizioso Rins Rossi
Valentino Rossi alongside Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Rins

Karel Abraham – P14

“The race was very hard, because in the first part I was riding on a wet track and I was doing well against several top riders. When it started to rain, it became more difficult. In the second half I started well and I felt comfortable, but when it started to rain again I focused on finishing the race and getting back among the points. In the end, we finished, we took two points and I’m happy. This is a sad moment because I’m leaving the team with which I have spent two years, after some great moments with them. I will see them again in the paddock but it won’t be the same. I’m very happy and I want to thank the Ángel Nieto Team for two great seasons. I hope that in the future our paths will cross again. The whole team are amazing and have done a great job. It feels bad to leave them, but the next chapter is waiting for us.”

Jordi Torres – P15

“Today was a good day. Yesterday I rode six or seven laps in dry conditions and I had no force left in my hand whatsoever. We were aware that dry conditions would be difficult for us, but in the wet I knew I would be able to finish the race. I had a good start, but on the first laps there was zero visibility because of the spray from the other bikes. Visibility improved with every lap and I tried to follow the group in front of me, but as everybody could see, it was quite easy to crash in today’s conditions. Then they decided to stop the race. In the second heat I tried to ride as smoothly as possible, because the target was to finish the race and to secure our first point, which we did. I want to say a big thank you to my team because they did a fantastic job to adapt the handlebar to my hand and to Dr. Mir, because he did a master job with my hand and only one week after the surgery I was able to race”.


Non Finishers

Marc Marquez – DNF

“Today I had a big high-side, but the shoulder was okay, just a bit painful from yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a mistake that I chose the medium rear tyre on the grid, as that turned out not to be the best option. I said sorry to the team, as it was my decision; I had felt really good on it in FP3, but when it began to rain heavily after the start, everything became very difficult and got worse and worse, as it was difficult to keep the temperature in the tyre. Anyway, now it’s time to enjoy these final moments having achieved the Triple Crown, which is something really special. The season has been very good, one of my best, without too many mistakes; today’s was probably my worst one. I’m really proud of my 2018 season, but a new one begins on Tuesday.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Dovizioso Marquez Espargaro
Marc Marquez chasing Andrea Dovizioso early on

Andrea Iannone – DNF

“I wanted to end the season in a good way, but it couldn’t be done. I was recovering positions and I was at the front of my group, but the conditions were really hard and I lost the rear of my bike. In any case, racing can be like this sometimes. I didn’t want to give up and I wanted to push hard, and perhaps this was the reason. This year has not been very easy but we’ve had a lot of really positive moments and it’s been a pleasure for me to work with these incredible people and this great factory. On Monday I’ll start a new chapter and a new adventure. Good luck to Alex, Joan Mir, and Suzuki for the future.”

Aleix Espargaro – DNF

“I am angry because today we had a great opportunity. We showed that we were strong and competitive throughout the weekend, even in the warm up session. With good sensations, a good pace, consistent and fast in the wet. With that rain, I tried to be careful in the early laps and maintain my position, anticipating a race that was sure to be very long. I had a high side on turn three, which is a bad place to crash, but the track conditions were really at the limit and visibility was practically zero. I think that the red flag should come out before the riders start crashing and that it should be used to prevent the accidents.”

Maverick Vinales – DNF

“After the crash, I feel OK. I have no big injuries, only some pain in my shoulder. Anyway, it’s been difficult, because I had a technical problem that didn‘t allow me to be faster at the start of the race. But then I concentrated so well, and I tried to ride very fast. I risked a lot, because for the championship I just needed to be in front of Valentino and he was riding really fast. It was a pity I had this issue, because without it, I would have been at the front fighting with Álex and Dovi. Anyway, we have to be happy that this is the third wet race where we are challenging at the front. I came back very strong from towards the back. Honestly, I’m happy the last five races have been so good. I was consistent and I felt very confident. We understand the bike and found out in which direction we needed to go, and we regained our confidence, so that’s something to take away from 2018. It’s important to understand what happened at the beginning of the season, so we can be smart and don’t make the same mistakes. Now it’s important to try the engines during the upcoming test, but I’m very happy with Yamaha. We are excited to start and I’m very motivated!”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Franco Morbidelli – DNF

“This was good race for me. It was exciting and I was having fun because I started from 15th position was in fifth when I went out. When the heavy rain came and conditions started to get dangerous I didn’t slow down as I should have so I ended in the gravel and didn’t get the bike back to the box in time for the re-start. I was fast in the wet conditions and this makes me very happy.”

Tom Luthi – DNF

“The final race of the season ended little early but there were some positives because I could fight with and overtake some other riders. The crash was a sad moment but I had aquaplaning with the rear wheel and high-sided. The conditions were quite tricky and I was not the only one to crash like this. I didn’t score any points but I was determined to get the best out of this race so it was important to take a chance and feel the limit.”

Álvaro Bautista – DNF

“It was a shame to end the season like that, but that’s racing. In the end, these things happen in the wet. In the first race it started to rain too much and they did well to stop. In the second part I felt better, with more confidence, but at Turn 12 the rear stepped out and I was thrown off the bike. It has been a good year and we have to be happy with what we have achieved. I’ve loved the people in the World Championship during my time here, and I’ve received a lot of affection from the fans. I hope they continue to love me as much -or more- next year when I’m in Superbikes.”

NB: Yet to receive quotes from Miller and Petrucci


Team Managers

Herve Poncharal – Tech3 Team Manager

“Finally the 2018 season is over. It was almost a season that never wanted to stop, because we thought we would have our last start in Valencia and then we had another start. So, as I was telling some of our guests, don’t complain, you have two starts for the price of one. Anyway, it’s been in a way a difficult weekend, because the weather was not what you expect for the big finale, not what you expect in sunny Valencia, but at the end of the day, it made it very exciting, very unpredictable, of course with a lot of crashes, when you have so little grip. But overall, I think it made the races maybe even more interesting and exciting than what it would have been in the dry, because you saw some strange results and a different podium. I want to say, that I am very happy and very proud that for the second year in a row Johann Zarco managed to clinch the best independent rider, sixth in the championship. I think this is quite an achievement. Today he was again the first Yamaha. I know we were not the fastest, but it was important to stay on your wheels today and finish the race and this is what Johann did. Two years ago we started the adventure with Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger and after two years with Johann we are twice best independent rider and last year’s rookie. I think we did a good job together and I’m proud of what we have done. I just want to thank Johann a lot for his two seasons with us. He has been a very professional rider, he has been fast, he has been clever and I wish him good luck for his new challenge. On the other side, Hafizh Syahrin had a tough weekend, because he almost never rode the MotoGP bike with the Michelin tyres in the wet, so it was a good weekend to learn and I think he learned a lot. His nickname is ‘Pescao’, which normally means fish and usually a fish is happy when you have a lot of water. But clearly, although tenth position is maybe not what he was dreaming of, but I think he had a solid weekend and from FP1 on Friday to today the improvement of his riding style, of the gap to the top has been unbelievable. Clearly, this guy has a very special feeling on the wet and the feeling he was having in the Moto2 is coming in the MotoGP. I’m also very glad, that he could witness how good his future bike is on the wet condition, because this is a big challenge for all of us. Hafizh is part of this challenge and from Tuesday morning we will start a new chapter of our life as a team. Before ending my quote, I would like one more time to thank Yamaha a lot from the bottom of our hearts from the whole team, our two riders: big, big thank you to everybody, Yamaha management, engineers, because all what we’ve done during these last two seasons with Johann and this year with Hafizh has been possible because of the great support we had from Yamaha. So, this is the end, again thank you very much.”

Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager

“It was a great win in a really tough race: conditions today, especially in the first part, were so difficult and Dovizioso was on top form and he managed to administer a very complicated situation in an intelligent way. Making a mistake in these conditions is always easy but Andrea was simply perfect. Pity about Jorge, who unfortunately struggled in his last race with us, while I’m so pleased with the fourth place by Michele Pirro, who after a crash in the first part made an extraordinary recovery to finish the race just off the podium.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Dovizioso Rossi
Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It’s disappointing to end both the race weekend and the season in this manner, especially considering how well Valentino and Maverick were riding in the first race. After this morning’s Warm Up, we knew that Vale had a good chance to be competitive at the front, even though he had to start from 16th on the grid. To me his riding was super impressive – he was fighting for the lead! But then the red flags came out, so that meant he had to start from third. He was again strong in the restart, so it’s a great shame that he didn’t get the result today that matched his pace and also his efforts. Maverick was very unlucky in the first race. He managed to ride around the problems a technical issue was giving him and was competing in fourth place. Had just set a new personal best lap when he crashed at very high speed. Of course, the first priority is that he’s OK, and we’re glad that he didn’t sustain any major injuries. However, it was a pity that he crashed during lap 12 and the restarting grid was based on the results as of the start of lap 13. Clearly this is not the way we wanted to finish the season, but our riders really pushed hard in very difficult conditions today, so we couldn’t have asked for more. It was a difficult season overall, but towards the end we made progress, which is the direction we will continue to work in starting from the first official testing days, held this Tuesday and Wednesday.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start Rossi Miller
Valentino Rossi

Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager

“For the whole KTM group and Red Bull this was a fantastic day. We knew a result like this would be possible because we were ‘there’ in dry and wet conditions, especially with Pol but Bradley was there as well. To finish the season with a podium and eighth position for Bradley is very nice. It is great that he leaves in that way and we wish him all the best with his future. I don’t think we expected this podium but it was super-crazy and for Pol to recover from a crash, come in and focus again and perform again to make the podium is a wonderful story that I don’t think anybody would have believed this morning!”

MotoGP Valencia Pol Espargaro Podium
Pol Espargaro

Pit Beirer – KTM Motorsports Director

“I said all year that we are better than we could prove on paper because we had injured riders and we were not so lucky. We fell into a big hole in Sachsenring at a time when we were first in warm-up with a new bike and we thought ‘now we’ll make progress’ but Pol injured himself at the next race. Everything went wrong. There was a critical moment two months ago when we looked at the new bike and elements like the chassis and, together with strong people at the factory, we decided to stick to the plan because we were sure we were on the right way. It was important not to lose the direction and today was the first big payback. We had Pol completely free of pain and with a good feeling. In this sport you need super-fit riders to compete on this level. This is a big payback for the whole company. I think every single department in KTM was somehow integrated to make this project work and the whole race team and everybody else put in so many hours. Third place is perhaps more than we expected today but this is the best way to give something back to racing people: a result. It means so much and it is difficult to find the right words how I feel.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Pol Espargaro Marquez Vinales
Pol Espargaro leads Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“From Motegi to here we’ve managed to take four consecutive podiums and three consecutive second places – this is incredible and I’m very happy. Today was Andrea’s last race with us and unfortunately he crashed despite performing well. I want to thank him very much for these two years together, I’ll never forget working with him. Alex has matured so much this season and achieved a lot, so we’re really looking forward to next year, we feel a win is coming!”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Podium Rins
Alex Rins

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We’ve achieved another podium, which is a great way to finish this season! We got nine in total, which is a record for Suzuki in the MotoGP era. Four of these nine podiums came from Andrea and today was a real pity for him, because he showed good speed and I feel we could’ve had both riders at the front. I’m really sorry for Andrea that his race ended in this way, and I want to say thank you to him for these past two years together. He gave an important contribution to our development thanks to the internal competition that Alex and him created, I want to wish him all the best for his carreer. Alex’s attitude in these very tricky conditions was impressive, he was able to push and control everything well. In both parts of the race he was very strong and I’m really pleased with his performance. We hope to keep hold of this happy feeling throughout the winter.”

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start Rins
Alex Rins streaked away from the field at the first running of the race
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2018 Valencia MotoGP Results

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, 27 laps, 108.1 km (1 lap: 4.005 km)
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team Win
2. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +2.750
3. Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +7.406
6. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +32.288
7. Zarco J. Monster Tech 3 +32.806
8. Smith B. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +33.111
9. Bradl S. LCR Honda +36.376
10. Syahrin H. Monster Tech 3 +37.198
11. Redding S. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +44.326
12. Lorenzo J. Ducati Team +46.146
13. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +52.809
14. Abraham K. Angel Nieto Team +1:10.628
15. Torres J. Reale Avintia Racing +1:16.739
DNF Bautista A. Angel Nieto Team Accident
DNF Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha Accident
DNF Morbidelli F. Marc VDS Racing Team Accident
DNF Iannone A. Team Suzuki Ecstar Accident
DNF Marquez M. Repsol Honda Accident
DNF Petrucci D. Alma Pramac Racing Accident
DNF Luthi T. Marc VDS Racing Team Accident
DNF Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Accident
MotoGP Valencia Michelin Podium Dovizioso Rins Espargaro
MotoGP Race Results
1 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) DUCATI 24’03.408
2 – Alex Rins (SPA) SUZUKI +2.750
3 – Pol Espargaro (SPA) KTM +7.406
2018 MotoGP CHampionship Standings
Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 321
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 245
3 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 198
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 193
5 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 169
6 Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 158
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 148
8 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 144
9 Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 134
10 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 133
11 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 117
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 105
13 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 91
14 Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 51
15 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA 50
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha MAL 46
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 44
18 Bradley SMITH KTM GBR 38
19 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 35
20 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 33
21 Scott REDDING Aprilia GBR 20
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 14
23 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 12
24 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 10
25 Mika KALLIO KTM FIN 6
26 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha JPN 2
27 Xavier SIMEON Ducati BEL 1
28 Jordi TORRES Ducati SPA 1
FIM Award Ceremony Marquez
Now seven-time World Champion Marc Marquez
MotoGP Team Standings
Pos Team Points
1. Repsol Honda Team 438
2. Ducati Team 392
3. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 391
4. Suzuki MotoGP 302
5. Alma Pramac Racing 235
6. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 204
7. LCR Honda 191
8. Angel Nieto Team 104
9. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 89
10. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 64
11. Estrella Galicia 0,0 50
12. Reale Avintia Racing 37
MotoGP Valencia Repsol Honda Triple Crown
Repsol Honda
Constructors Championship Standings
Pos. Team Points
1 Honda 375
2 Ducati 335
3 Yamaha 281
4 Suzuki 233
5 Ktm 72
6 Aprilia 59

Source: MCNews.com.au

Valencia MotoGP Race Reports | MotoGP | Moto2 | Moto3

2018 MotoGP – Round 19 – Valencia

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) claimed the final MotoGP victory of 2018 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, finishing ahead of an on-form Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and a stunning result for Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as the Spaniard took his first premier class podium and the first for KTM in MotoGP.

Andrea Dovizioso – P1

“Today’s was truly a spectacular victory! I have finally managed to win at Valencia, which for me and for Ducati has always been rather a tough track. The first race was very difficult, because Rins started off really strong. I stayed clam however and reeled him in, but Rossi was also recovering and he was very quick so I had to manage the situation while the rain was increasing lap after lap. In the second race we managed to make all the difference because we were able to use a new tyre we hadn’t used in the morning warm-up as well as making a small change to the set-up. I’m really pleased with the way we worked together with the team and to have been able to give them this win, which really helps cheer everyone up. It was a great way to finish the season!”

MotoGP Valencia Andrea Dovizioso Podium
Andrea Dovizioso

The dramatic race was red-flagged and restarted in heavy rain at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and saw a large number of riders fall foul of the tough conditions – not least reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi. But the show had to go on – delay notwithstanding – and go on it did.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin
Valencia MotoGP – Michelin technician

MotoGP Race Report

On the original start, Rins had destroyed the field to gain a huge lead after only a couple of corners, and the rain was falling but not heavy.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start
Rins got the early jump at Valencia

The conditions remained difficult, however, and a good few big names – including some wet specialists – found themselves sliding out.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Pol Espargaro Marquez Vinales
Pol Espargaro leads Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales

They included a highside that skittled Marquez into the gravel from podium contention, and a high-speed tumble for Viñales after a good initial getaway.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start Rins
Alex Rins streaked away from the field at the first running of the race

Pol Espargaro crashed out of P4 at Turn 3 after a stunning start, but incredibly he was able to re-join.

Brother Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), teammate Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also all crashed out and couldn’t get back in it, but Rossi? At that stage, he was only getting faster as the rain was getting worse.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Start Rossi Miller
Valentino Rossi

Eventually, however, the volume of rain was starting to beat the circuit’s ability to drain and the Red Flag came out. The race was eventually re-started for 14 laps, and the grid would be decided by the standings as of the last completed lap – meaning it was Rins on pole, Dovizioso second, Rossi third and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) lining up fourth in his final race. 14 laps and the end of an era for many…

MotoGP Valencia Start Pol Espargaro
Riders head out of pit-lane for the re-start

The front row held station as the lights went out for ‘Race 2’ and all 16 riders safely negotiated the opening exchanges, with Rins leading.

However, Dovizioso was once again able to get the power down on his GP18 to slice past Rins heading onto lap 2 – with Rossi in close pursuit. The three leaders quickly gapped fourth place Espargaro by 2.9 seconds, and Pedrosa tucked in behind the KTM in P5.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Crowd
Valencia MotoGP crowd

By then, the rain was starting to fall once again and conditions were still incredibly tough. Nevertheless, the leading trio were all lapping in the low 1:43s – two seconds quicker than anyone else as it soon became a three horse race for the final win of 2018.

MotoGP Valencia Michelin Dovizioso Rossi Rins
Andrea Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi, Alex Rins

On Lap 6, Dovizioso then pulled the pin to create a one-second gap back to Rins – a 1:49.921 creating that gap, with 1.5 seconds then splitting the trio.

MotoGP Valencia Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Another fastest lap soon followed for Dovi, as Rossi made his move past Rins at Turn 4 – 1.5 down on ‘DesmoDovi’.

However, with six to go, the gap was up to 2.4 and a lap later, the Ducati rider’s lead was over three seconds.

But then, the drama hit again and ‘The Doctor’ was down at Turn 12 – rider ok, but lifting Espargaro and KTM up to a podium place.

MotoGP Valencia Start Pol Espargaro Nakagami Lorenzo
Pol Espargaro

As the last lap began, Dovizioso’s advantage was four seconds to Rins as both safely waded their way to the finish line – the Italian taking his first win since Misano and Rins grabbing a fifth podium of the year to claim P5 in the Championship.

Then, emotional scenes followed as Espargaro kept Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) at bay to take both his and KTM’s maiden MotoGP podium – phenomenal from rider and factory alike after the number 44 rider had crashed earlier, remounted and dueled both Repsol Hondas. After a difficult season for the Austrian marque with injury struggles, it made for an incredible dose of oxygen, so said Espargaro.

MotoGP Valencia Pol Espargaro Podium
Pol Espargaro

Behind him and Pirro came the new MotoGP Legend: Pedrosa. The ‘Little Samurai’ took home a hard-earned P5 from his farewell Grand Prix ride on home soil as he helped Repsol Honda secure the triple crown.

MotoGP Valencia Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Behind the three-time Champion was fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), the Japanese rookie taking home a career-best P6 as top Independent Team rider in the race, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) taking the overall 2018 Independent Team rider honours after crossing the line in P7. That result will be much to the chagrin of the injured Cal Crutchlow who saw that honour slip away from him while on the sideliness after his Phillip Island tumble. 

Zarco held off Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who grabbed his best KTM result on his final ride for the team.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda Castrol), replacement rider for Cal Crutchlow crossed the line in P9, with Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) rounding out the top ten – a great ride, but not quite enough to beat Morbidelli to ‘Rookie of the Year’.

On his final Grand Prix appearance, Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) claimed a season-best P11, with Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) bringing his Ducati career to an end with a tough P12 on the comeback from injury.

Rossi remounted to ride to P13 and P3 in the Championship is the nine-time World Champion’s, with Karel Abraham (Angel Nieto Team) and Jordi Torres (Reale Avintia Racing) claiming the final point-scoring positions.

Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) crashed out of his final Grand Prix race with seven to go.

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Valencia MotoGP Results

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, 27 laps, 108.1 km (1 lap: 4.005 km)
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team Win
2. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +2.750
3. Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +7.406
6. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +32.288
7. Zarco J. Monster Tech 3 +32.806
8. Smith B. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +33.111
9. Bradl S. LCR Honda +36.376
10. Syahrin H. Monster Tech 3 +37.198
11. Redding S. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +44.326
12. Lorenzo J. Ducati Team +46.146
13. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +52.809
14. Abraham K. Angel Nieto Team +1:10.628
15. Torres J. Reale Avintia Racing +1:16.739
DNF Bautista A. Angel Nieto Team Accident
DNF Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha Accident
DNF Morbidelli F. Marc VDS Racing Team Accident
DNF Iannone A. Team Suzuki Ecstar Accident
DNF Marquez M. Repsol Honda Accident
DNF Petrucci D. Alma Pramac Racing Accident
DNF Luthi T. Marc VDS Racing Team Accident
DNF Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Accident
MotoGP Valencia Michelin Podium Dovizioso Rins Espargaro
MotoGP Race Results
1 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) DUCATI 24’03.408
2 – Alex Rins (SPA) SUZUKI +2.750
3 – Pol Espargaro (SPA) KTM +7.406
2018 MotoGP Championship Standings
Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 321
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 245
3 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 198
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 193
5 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 169
6 Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 158
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 148
8 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 144
9 Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 134
10 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 133
11 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 117
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 105
13 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 91
14 Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 51
15 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA 50
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha MAL 46
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 44
18 Bradley SMITH KTM GBR 38
19 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 35
20 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 33
21 Scott REDDING Aprilia GBR 20
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 14
23 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 12
24 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 10
25 Mika KALLIO KTM FIN 6
26 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA Yamaha JPN 2
27 Xavier SIMEON Ducati BEL 1
28 Jordi TORRES Ducati SPA 1

MotoGP Team Points

The falls for Vinales and Rossi cost Movistar Yamaha dearly in the MotoGP Team Standings and their mistakes were enough for Team Ducati to pip them to second place in the Team Standings by a single point. 

It was Repsol Honda however that again topped the MotoGP Team Standings for the season, 46-points clear of Ducati. 

2018 MotoGP Team Standings
Pos Team Points
1. Repsol Honda Team 438
2. Ducati Team 392
3. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 391
4. Suzuki MotoGP 302
5. Alma Pramac Racing 235
6. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 204
7. LCR Honda 191
8. Angel Nieto Team 104
9. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 89
10. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 64
11. Estrella Galicia 0,0 50
12. Reale Avintia Racing 37

Constructors Championship

Honda also won the Constructors Championship from Ducati which gives them back-to-back MotoGP Triple Crowns, of riders championship, teams championship and constructors crown. 

MotoGP Valencia Repsol Honda Triple Crown
Repsol Honda
2018 MotoGP Constructors Championship Standings
Pos. Team Points
1 Honda 375
2 Ducati 335
3 Yamaha 281
4 Suzuki 233
5 Ktm 72
6 Aprilia 59

With that, the curtain comes down after another sensational end to the 2018 MotoGP World Championship – and another magnificent season draws to a close. There’s not long to wait before 2019 begins, however, as engines fire up for testing – and 2019 – on Tuesday.


Moto2

In his 50th Moto2 race, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) produced a faultless ride to take his third victory of the season in the 2018 finale at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Portuguese rider won by an impressive 13 second margin over first-time podium finisher Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors), as Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the podium – despite crashing out of the lead.

Miguel Oliveira

“Alex made a mistake and I was able to cruise until the last lap. It was definitely hard to keep focus. I was trying to control the pace and the advantage. I’m glad we finished the season on a high. It is definitely a nice goodbye to the category and the guys on the team deserve this title because they worked non-stop through race weekends, tests and at the factory. I’m glad for these last three seasons and I want to thank them all. Moving onto KTM and MotoGP I feel ready, I just need time and then we’ll see what happens.”

MotoGP Valencia Moto Oliveira Win
Miguel Oliveira

Moto2 Race Report

Straight away in the last race of the season, drama. Before the race had begun, Fabio Quartararo (HDR Heidrun – Speed Up) had an issue on the grid which saw him start from the back. Then, just after the lights went out, poleman Luca Marini’s (Sky Racing Team VR46) front end washed away under braking at Turn 2; the Italian hitting the back of teammate Francesco Bagnaia – the latter staying on but running wide – while further back, the exact same happened to Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). The Spaniard went down, with Mir himself then collecting Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) as the pair followed Marini into the gravel and out of the race.

After a busy opening handful of laps, we were then eventiually left with Oliveira at the front and the top four consisting the Portuguese rider, Marquez, Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Lecuona in a class of their own – the only riders lapping in the 1:48s. It was Marquez who soon took over the baton at the front though, and the Spaniard then upped the pace, putting in consecutive fastest laps in the 1:47s to give himself a 1.5 second buffer over Oliveira with 10 laps gone.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Oliveira Marquez
Miguel Oliveira leads Alex Marquez

Lap 12 ticked by and it was another fastest lap for Marquez, a 1:47.342 edging the gap to Oliveira to almost two seconds, with Vierge a further two seconds behind the KTM rider at this stage. That was until the Spaniard lost the front at Turn 8 while under pressure from Lecuona, the latter now up to P3, but Lecuona soon ran well wide at Turn 14 and dropped to eight seconds off the lead.

At the front, Oliveira and Marquez exchanged fastest laps at the mid-stage, the gap fluctuating between 1.5 and 2.0 seconds. But then, on Lap 15, Marquez suddenly crashed. Turn 14 was the corner but – such was the advantage the leaders had – the Spaniard was able to remount and rejoin the race in P3, still on for a podium and just ahead of Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team). It did, however, leave Oliveira in control of the race, with an 8.5 second gap between him and second place Lecuona.

From there on, the 2018 Moto2 runner-up kept his cool to stride home for his third win of the season, taking the chequered flag by over 13 seconds back to Lecuona but the Spaniard earning a fantastic maiden Grand Prix podium. After the crash, Marquez was also able to salvage the podium, with Pasini taking a commendable P4 on what could prove his final Grand Prix race.

Fifth place went to Tech 3 Racing’s Remy Gardner, the Australian’s career-best result after he got the better of the recovering Quartararo, who took a phenomenal P6.

MotoGP Valencia Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

After starting from the front row, Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) crossed the line in P7, while it was a home race top ten finish for Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) in P8. Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) and Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) rounded out the top ten in the final Moto2 race of the season. Meanwhile, 2018 Champion Bagnaia clawed his way to P14 on his final Moto2 ride after getting caught up in the drama at Turn 2 early on.

Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Xavi Cardelus (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), replacement rider Tommaso Marcon (HDR Heidrun – Speed Up), Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors), a super fast Joe Roberts (NTS RW Racing GP), Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder, Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and a charging Niki Tuuli (Petronas Sprinta Racing) also crashed out – rider ok.

A dramatic final Honda-powered Moto2 race of the year ends with Oliveira ending his intermediate class career on a high, while also ensuring Red Bull KTM Ajo are the Moto2 2018 Team Champions.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Miguel Oliveira KTM Moto Teams Champ
Miguel Oliveira

Oliveira ran Bagnaia close – nine points the final margin – as the two now move to MotoGP. So who will be the ones to watch at the beginning of a brand-new Triumph powered era in 2019?

spain

Moto2 Results

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, 25 laps, 100.1 km (1 lap: 4.005 km)
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Oliveira M. Red Bull KTM Ajo 45:07.639
2. Lecuona I. SWI +13.201
3. Marquez A. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +22.175
4. Pasini M. Italtrans Racing Team +28.892
5. Gardner R. Tech 3 Racing +30.106
6. Quartararo F. HDR Heidrun-Speed Up +32.126
7. Schrotter M. Dynavolt Intact GP +33.086
8. Fernandez A. Pons HP40 +33.950
9. Locatelli A. Italtrans Racing Team +35.707
10. Corsi S. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +37.019
11. Aegerter D. Kiefer Racing +43.844
12. Nagashima T. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +45.871
13. Odendaal S. NTS RW Racing GP +49.113
14. Bagnaia F. Sky Racing Team VR46 +53.288
15. Raffin J. SAG Team +1:08.712
16. Vinales I. Forward Racing Team +1:25.666
17. Cardelus X. Marinelli Snipers Team +1:32.166
18. Danilo J. SAG Team +1:47.502
19. Fuligni F. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +1 l.
20. Tulovic L. Forward Racing Team +1 l.
DNF Tuuli N. SIC Racing Team Retired
DNF Vierge X. Dynavolt Intact GP Retired
DNF Roberts J. NTS RW Racing GP Accident
DNF Navarro J. Federal Oil Gresini Accident
DNF Marcon T. HDR Heidrun-Speed Up Accident
DNF Lowes S. SWI Accident
DNF Binder B. Red Bull KTM Ajo Accident
DNF Pawi K. I. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Accident
DNF Marini L. Sky Racing Team VR46 Accident
DNF Baldassarri L. Pons HP40 Accident
DNF Mir J. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Accident
MotoGP Valencia Moto Podium Oliveira
Moto2 Race Results
1 – Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM 45’07.639
2 – Iker Lecuona (SPA) KTM +13.201
3 – Alex Marquez (SPA) KALEX +22.175
Moto2 Championship Standings
Pos Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex ITA 306
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 297
3 Brad BINDER KTM RSA 201
4 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 173
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex ITA 162
6 Joan MIR Kalex SPA 155
7 Luca MARINI Kalex ITA 147
8 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex GER 147
9 Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 141
10 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up FRA 138
11 Xavi VIERGE Kalex SPA 131
12 Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 80
13 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex SPA 58
14 Simone CORSI Kalex ITA 53
15 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex ITA 52
16 Sam LOWES KTM GBR 49
17 Dominique AEGERTER KTM SWI 47
18 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex SPA 45
19 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 AUS 40
20 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex JPN 27
21 Romano FENATI Kalex ITA 14
22 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex SWI 10
23 Hector BARBERA Kalex SPA 10
24 Stefano MANZI Suter ITA 8
25 Danny KENT Speed Up GBR 8
26 Isaac VIÑALES Suter SPA 7
27 Joe ROBERTS NTS USA 5
28 Steven ODENDAAL NTS RSA 4
29 Bo BENDSNEYDER Tech 3 NED 2
30 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex MAL 1
31 Edgar PONS Speed Up SPA 1
32 Niki TUULI Kalex FIN 1

Moto3

It didn’t seem like a day for history to be made when the Circuit Ricardo Tormo began to wake up to a rain-soaked Sunday. It seemed like a day to endure, to be cautious; to take the points and not the risk.

It seemed a day more likely to be defined by attrition rather than heroics, but Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ensured it becomes much more than that. Taking his first win as a wildcard, in his first appearance, at 15 years and 115 days old, the Turkish rider is the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, the first rider to win his first race since Noboru Ueda in the 125 race in Japan in 1991, and the first Grand Prix winner from the Asia Talent Cup.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü

If that wasn’t enough, he did it in some serious style – crossing the line four seconds clear of reigning Champion Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) in second and another two ahead of John McPhee (CIP – Green Power).

Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

“I was not taking much risk. I was riding normal. It’s a really nice feeling to write a new story as the youngest rider ever [to win] and to finish on the podium means I am two-times happy! In the Rookies I learned how to fight and to ride the KTM, as well as manage the races and not to crash. To be here was my dream and there are some incredible riders, incredibly fast. I’m ready to see how we will be next year.”

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü

Moto3 Race Report

It was Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) who took the holeshot from pole, although Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) looked threatening in second as McPhee lost a place and Öncü sliced through into third. Soon the Turk was also starting to threaten Bezzecchi as Arbolino started to make an early gap in the wet conditions, but the number 12 started to pull away again initially – until drama struck. Suddenly sliding out early, the former title contender was down and out of contention, with Arbolino left over two seconds clear of Öncü.

McPhee was then in third, leading Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and teammate Martin as both Gresini riders made top starts, but the duo were soon past the Scot although the trio remained close. Then there was more drama up ahead and all eyes switched back to the front as Arbolino suddenly highsided out – having been over six seconds clear. Who did that leave in the lead? Debutant, wildcard and imminently impressive Öncü, nursing his own lead – and then starting to increase it.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü

Soon Martin was past Diggia and McPhee followed suit, but it remained the Turk’s to lose and behind the front few the gaps became even bigger. Nervous faces down at Red Bull KTM Ajo watched the laps tick down towards history being made and records being broken, but Öncü held firm and stayed calm – until a huge wobble on the final lap…

That saw the reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion immediately back off, with time in his pocket to play it safe. Crawling round the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the final time, he eventually crossed the line four seconds clear for his first Grand Prix win, taking his place in history.

Martin took second in his only lightweight class race as reigning Champion, followed by McPhee in third after another impressive performance in the wet from the Scot. ‘Diggia’ ended the year and his Moto3 career just off the podium but snatched second overall from Bezzecchi, with Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) just behind in fifth.

Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubia) wrapped up the Rookie of the Year title by taking sixth after his rival for that crown – Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) – didn’t finish, with youth getting ahead of experience as Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took P7.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü

Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia), who leaves the paddock for pastures new next season, took his best ever finish in eighth after a stunning race and impressive weekend, with Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) and Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the top ten.

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) crashed out together in some early drama, and Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was another early faller. Bezzecchi ended his lightweight class career with two crashes in tough conditions, and teammate Jakub Kornfeil almost went down but was able to rejoin, taking the last point on offer in P15.

A new era now begins for many on the grid after a classic, goosebump-creator of a season finale.

The Martins and Bezzecchis of the Championship move on to Moto2 and the rookies and newcomers become the experienced runners, but the race leaves most with the distant sound of the Jaws theme after Öncü’s debut: the Turk becomes a full time rider next season – and he’s already a Grand Prix winner and a record breaker…

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü
spain

Moto3 Results

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, 23 laps, 92.1 km (1 lap: 4.005 km)
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Oncu C. Red Bull KTM Ajo 43:06.370
2. Martin J. Del Conca Gresini Racing +4.071
3. Mcphee J. CIP Green Power +6.130
4. Di Giannantonio F. Del Conca Gresini Racing +12.897
5. Bastianini E. Leopard Racing +14.735
6. Masia J. Bester Capital Dubai +21.984
7. Antonelli N. SIC58 Squadra Corse +26.641
8. Atiratphuvapat N. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +30.758
9. Ramirez M. Bester Capital Dubai +33.411
10. Vietti C. Sky Racing Team VR46 +39.008
11. Sasaki A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +42.332
12. Nepa S. CIP Green Power +48.931
13. Fernandez R. MRW Mahindra Aspar Team +54.434
14. Migno A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +54.585
15. Kornfeil J. PruestlGP +56.424
16. Masaki K. RBA BOE Skull Rider +57.222
17. Rodrigo G. RBA BOE Skull Rider +1:00.541
18. Dalla Porta L. Leopard Racing +1:35.093
19. Binder D. Red Bull KTM Ajo +1 l.
20. Bezzecchi M. PruestlGP +1 l.
DNF Perez V. Reale Avintia Academy Accident
DNF Oettl P. Sudmetall Schedl GP Racing Retired
DNF Arbolino T. Marinelli Snipers Team Accident
DNF Ikmal I. Petronas Sprinta Racing Accident
DNF Arenas A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 Accident
DNF Toba K. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Accident
DNF Foggia D. Sky Racing Team VR46 Accident
DNF Canet A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 Accident
DNF Lopez A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 Accident
DNF Suzuki T. SIC58 Squadra Corse Accident
MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu Podium
Moto3 Race Results
1 – Can Öncü (TUR) KTM 43’06.370
2 – Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA +4.071
3 – John McPhee (GBR) KTM +6.130
Moto3 Championship Standings
Pos Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Jorge MARTIN Honda SPA 260
2 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda ITA 218
3 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM ITA 214
4 Enea BASTIANINI Honda ITA 177
5 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda ITA 151
6 Aron CANET Honda SPA 128
7 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM ARG 116
8 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM CZE 116
9 Albert ARENAS KTM SPA 107
10 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM SPA 102
11 Andrea MIGNO KTM ITA 84
12 John MCPHEE KTM GBR 78
13 Jaume MASIA KTM SPA 76
14 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda JPN 71
15 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda ITA 71
16 Philipp OETTL KTM GER 58
17 Darryn BINDER KTM RSA 57
18 Tony ARBOLINO Honda ITA 57
19 Dennis FOGGIA KTM ITA 55
20 Ayumu SASAKI Honda JPN 50
21 Adam NORRODIN Honda MAL 46
22 Kaito TOBA Honda JPN 37
23 Alonso LOPEZ Honda SPA 36
24 Can ONCU KTM TUR 25
25 Celestino VIETTI KTM ITA 24
26 Nicolo BULEGA KTM ITA 18
27 Vicente PEREZ KTM SPA 16
28 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM SPA 16
29 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda THA 12
30 Makar YURCHENKO Honda KAZ 9
31 Kazuki MASAKI KTM JPN 9
32 Livio LOI KTM BEL 8
33 Somkiat CHANTRA Honda THA 7
34 Manuel PAGLIANI Honda ITA 6
35 Stefano NEPA KTM ITA 4
36 Ai OGURA Honda JPN 1

Source: MCNews.com.au

FIM Awards Ceremony brings the curtain down on 2018

Sunday at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana saw another three incredible races to close the season, and in the evening the FIM Awards ceremony brought the curtain down on 2018 – with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) headlining the show.

FIM Award Ceremony MotoGP Marquez Dovizioso Rossi
Valentino Rossi, Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso with their medals

Marquez received his MotoGP World Champion trophy after taking the title in style in Japan, capping off another record-breaker of a season for the Spaniard.

FIM Award Ceremony Marquez Ezpeleta
FIM Awards Ceremony – Marc Marquez

The 2018 Awards were hosted by Gavin Emmett, with Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM President Vito Ippolito in attendance to present the range of awards throughout the evening to all the winners this season.

Moto Champions Francesco Bagnaia Miguel Oliveira Brad Binder
L-R: 2018 Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia with Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder

Youngest ever seven-time World Champion Marquez took top billing as he received his record-breaking 2018 MotoGP trophy, along with Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) after their incredible seasons.

Moto Champions Jorge Martin Fabio Di Giannantonio Marco Bezzecchi
L-R: 2018 Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi

The top Independent Team rider title went to Johann Zarco, as it did in 2017 when he was a rookie, following another impressive season ahead of a new challenge in 2019.

FIM Award Ceremony
All the winners on stage together

This year’s MotoGP Rookie of the Year award was presented to a man who also visited the stage last season but for his intermediate class successes: Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile, was also honoured as a Legend.

MotoGP Legend Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa, named a MotoGP Legend ahead of his retirement

In Moto2, EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Joan Mir – another who took to the stage in 2017 – was crowned Rookie of the Year, with Jaume Masia taking that honour in Moto3 after a great race at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

FIM Award Ceremony Marquez
Now seven-time World Champion Marc Marquez

The BMW M Award for best qualifier in the MotoGP class went to Marquez for the sixth year in a row, and the Tissot Pole of Poles went to Bagnaia in Moto2 and Martin in Moto3.

The Repsol Honda Team picked up the MotoGP Team world title trophy, and Honda took the MotoGP Constructor Title in the premier class. Kalex came out on top in Moto2, and Honda in Moto3.

MotoGP Valencia Repsol Honda Triple Crown
Repsol Honda

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Can Öncü, runner-up and twin brother Deniz Öncü and third-placed rider Xavier Artigas were honoured for their fantastic seasons in the Cup – with Can Öncü also having stunned the field and become the youngest ever Grand Prix winner earlier in the day, and as a wildcard.

MotoGP Valencia Moto Can Oncu
Can Öncü

Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion, Australian Billy Van Eerde, and inaugural British Talent Cup Champion Rory Skinner were also applauded for their seasons.

Asia Talent Cup Billy Van Eerde Champ sign
Billy Van Eerde – 2018 Asia Talent Cup Champion
FIM Award Ceremony Billy Van Eerde
Billy Van Eerde on the stage with all the MotoGP and World Champions – Billy is second from right in this shot

Now the page turns on another incredible season and the engines switch off – but only for a day. Then, testing for 2019 begins on Tuesday in Valencia, with a whole new year of challenges up ahead and plenty to get excited about.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Remy Gardner ends season on a high with fifth at Valencia

Remy Gardner Ends Season With Career Best Moto2 Finish In Valencia

Remy Gardner ended his time with the Tech3 Moto2 Racing team with a stunning ride to fifth, his best ever result in the FIM Moto2 World Championship, in today’s twenty-five lap race in Valencia.

Building steadily throughout the weekend, Remy was well inside the top ten after Free Practice, before qualifying seventeenth, for his final race aboard the Mistral 610 machine.

MotoGP Valencia Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

With rain continuing to fall as the grid lined up it was clear that the conditions would suit the #87.

Making one of his typical fast starts, Remy ending the opening lap in fourteenth before finding his rhythm moving forward through the field and into the top ten by the time the race reached half distance.

MotoGP Valencia Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

Fully focused, he produced the race of his career, lapping as fast as the leaders in the second half of the race to move into the top six with only a handful of laps remaining.

Another perfectly executed move saw Gardner move into fifth, where he remained, crossing the line a fraction of a second behind eventual fourth place rider Mattia Pasini, to end the season with his best ever Moto2 result.

MotoGP Valencia Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

Clearly ecstatic, he will savour the moment before regrouping for 2019 where he joins the SAG Racing team aboard a Kalex.

Remy Gardner

“I was a little disappointed to only qualify seventeenth but knew if it continued to rain for the race we could get a good result. It was a long race but I am super happy to finish fifth, by far my best race and my best race finish in Moto2. It was a fun race and good to end the year and my time with Tech3 this way. Big thanks to them, and big thanks to everyone who has been supporting me. Time to relax a little now and then come back even stronger next year where I will be with a new team.”

MotoGP Valencia Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 Team Manager

“Finally, a very positive result for Remy and the Mistral in the Moto2 class. We were so disappointed and sad after doing so well in Australia, but not finishing the race. The same happened again in Malaysia. WE know the bike is working well in Valencia. We knew Remy likes the difficult conditions we had today, but you can never be sure. There were so many crashes today. He started quite low, but we could see him coming and catching a lot of riders. But we also saw many crashes in front, so we were praying for him to go up the order, but also not pushing too much and I think in the end, he did the best race he could have done. He’s been passing anyone, he never did any mistake and he never gave up. When following him, he looked quite safe. To finish the race top 5, which is the last race of the Mistral 610, the last race of Remy with us, the last race of the Honda era – this is a fantastic result. I think the whole team deserves that, Remy deserves that and we are very, very happy. We would have liked Bo to be there as well, but we understood what happened and the reason why. We would have liked Hector to be there, as it was an important race for him, but I think he has seen what the team can do and I think this has been a good weekend for him anyway. I’d like to thank Hector for replacing Bo, for trying hard. Unfortunately he crashed and he was physically not fit to ride today, but I hope he comes and join us to celebrate tonight that great way of ending the Moto2 adventure with Mistral. Thanks to all the guys and very special congratulations to Remy.”

spain

Moto2 Results

Circuit Ricardo Tormo, 25 laps, 100.1 km (1 lap: 4.005 km)
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Oliveira M. Red Bull KTM Ajo 45:07.639
2. Lecuona I. SWI +13.201
3. Marquez A. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +22.175
4. Pasini M. Italtrans Racing Team +28.892
5. Gardner R. Tech 3 Racing +30.106
6. Quartararo F. HDR Heidrun-Speed Up +32.126
7. Schrotter M. Dynavolt Intact GP +33.086
8. Fernandez A. Pons HP40 +33.950
9. Locatelli A. Italtrans Racing Team +35.707
10. Corsi S. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +37.019
11. Aegerter D. Kiefer Racing +43.844
12. Nagashima T. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +45.871
13. Odendaal S. NTS RW Racing GP +49.113
14. Bagnaia F. Sky Racing Team VR46 +53.288
15. Raffin J. SAG Team +1:08.712
16. Vinales I. Forward Racing Team +1:25.666
17. Cardelus X. Marinelli Snipers Team +1:32.166
18. Danilo J. SAG Team +1:47.502
19. Fuligni F. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +1 l.
20. Tulovic L. Forward Racing Team +1 l.
DNF Tuuli N. SIC Racing Team Retired
DNF Vierge X. Dynavolt Intact GP Retired
DNF Roberts J. NTS RW Racing GP Accident
DNF Navarro J. Federal Oil Gresini Accident
DNF Marcon T. HDR Heidrun-Speed Up Accident
DNF Lowes S. SWI Accident
DNF Binder B. Red Bull KTM Ajo Accident
DNF Pawi K. I. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Accident
DNF Marini L. Sky Racing Team VR46 Accident
DNF Baldassarri L. Pons HP40 Accident
DNF Mir J. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Accident
Moto2 Championship Standings
Pos Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex ITA 306
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 297
3 Brad BINDER KTM RSA 201
4 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 173
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex ITA 162
6 Joan MIR Kalex SPA 155
7 Luca MARINI Kalex ITA 147
8 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex GER 147
9 Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 141
10 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up FRA 138
11 Xavi VIERGE Kalex SPA 131
12 Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 80
13 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex SPA 58
14 Simone CORSI Kalex ITA 53
15 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex ITA 52
16 Sam LOWES KTM GBR 49
17 Dominique AEGERTER KTM SWI 47
18 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex SPA 45
19 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 AUS 40
20 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex JPN 27
21 Romano FENATI Kalex ITA 14
22 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex SWI 10
23 Hector BARBERA Kalex SPA 10
24 Stefano MANZI Suter ITA 8
25 Danny KENT Speed Up GBR 8
26 Isaac VIÑALES Suter SPA 7
27 Joe ROBERTS NTS USA 5
28 Steven ODENDAAL NTS RSA 4
29 Bo BENDSNEYDER Tech 3 NED 2
30 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex MAL 1
31 Edgar PONS Speed Up SPA 1
32 Niki TUULI Kalex FIN 1

Source: MCNews.com.au

Dani Pedrosa – Last Race in MotoGP

Hoy ha sido un GP especial, ¡bueno de hecho han sido como dos! Ha sido una carrera peculiar, y difícil de gestionar en la que era importante no caerse. Al llegar al box estaba todo el mundo esperándome y ha sido muy emotivo. Una vez más, gracias a todos vosotros por estar ahí, por todos estos años de apoyo incondicional. Habéis formado parte de una etapa muy importante en mi vida y os llevo en el corazón./ Today it was a special GP, well in fact they have been like two! It has been a peculiar race, and difficult to manage in which it was important not to crash. When arriving at the box everyone was waiting for me and it has been very emotional. Once again, thanks to all of you for being there, for all these years of unconditional support. You have been part of a very important stage in my life and I carry you in my heart
#DP26 #MotoGP #ValenciaGP #RepsolHondaTeam #EyeLoveTommy @ Circuit Ricardo Tormo


Source: Dani Pedrosa on Facebook

Valencia MotoGP Race Day Guide | Race start midnight AEDT

Valencia MotoGP 2018
Race Day Guide

MotoGP Race starts at midnight AEDT

It is currently a wet track and raining at Valencia

After passing though Q1 for the sixth time in 2018, Maverick Viñales has qualified on pole position for the sixth time in the premier class – the 17th time of his career – and the first time since Aragón last year. 

MotoGP Valencia QP Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales became the second rider since the current qualifying format was introduced in 2013 to qualify on pole position after passing through Q1, along with Marc Márquez in Thailand earlier this year. On Sunday, he will be aiming to become the fourth rider to win the race after passing through Q1 with Jack Miller (Assen – 2016), Cal Crutchlow (Phillip Island – 2016) and Marc Márquez (Buriam - 2018). In this morning’s wet warm-up Vinales was 11th quickest. 

Álex Rins has qualified in second, which is his best qualifying result since he stepped up to the MotoGP class in 2017. This is Suzuki’s best starting result since Andrea Iannone was second on the grid in the Americas this year, after Marc Márquez was given a three-grid positions penalty. Rins was 12th quickest in the wet morning warm-up. 

MotoGP Valencia QP Rins
Alex Rins

2018 MotoGP runner-up, Andrea Dovizioso completes the front row on the grid, which is his first front row start since he was on pole position in Japan. He will be aiming to become the first Ducati rider to win at Valencia since Casey Stoner back in 2008. Dovizioso was fifth quickest in this morning’s wet warm-up. 

Highest-placed Independent Team rider, Danilo Petrucci heads the second row on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was also fourth in Austria earlier this season.

MotoGP Valencia QP Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

After crashing in Q2, Marc Márquez has qualified in fifth place. Since the opening race in Qatar, Marc Márquez has always qualified on the first two rows on the grid. The World Champion was quickest in this morning’s wet warm-up. 

MotoGP Valencia QP Marquez
Marc Marquez

Top KTM rider, Pol Espargaró has qualified in sixth on the grid, equalling the best qualifying result for KTM since the Austrian joined the MotoGP class, from Australia last year.

MotoGP Valencia QP Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Andrea Iannone, who also passed through Q1, heads the third row on the grid and will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time at Valencia since 2016 when he finished in third place.

Aleix Espargaró has qualified eighth, which is the best qualifying result for an Aprilia rider since he was seventh in Assen this year. In addition, this is the first time that six current manufacturers have filled the top eight on the grid. Aleix Espargaro was second quickest in this morning’s wet warm-up session.

MotoGP Valencia QP Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

The most successful rider at Valencia with seven Grand Prix wins, including last year – his last podium finish so far – Dani Pedrosa has qualified in ninth on the grid, his best qualifying result since he was seventh-fastest in Thailand.

Second across the line at Valencia last year, Johann Zarco, who is leading the Independent Team rider classification, starts from eleventh on the grid after a crash in Q2. It’s his lowest qualifying result since he was 14th in Aragón.

MotoGP Valencia QP Zarco
Johann Zarco

The highest-placed Ducati rider across the line last year at Valencia, Michele Pirro, completes the fourth row on the grid.

Valentino Rossi, who was in Q1 for the third time this year, has qualified in 16th, which is his worst qualifying result since he was 18th in Aragón earlier this season. This is Rossi’s worst starting position on the grid at Valencia since he was 26th in 2015 after having been given a penalty. Valentino Rossi though salvaged some honour this morning when he was third quickest in the wet warm-up session. 

Jorge Lorenzo, who missed the last four races, has qualified in 13th on the grid. Jorge Lorenzo has won four times in the MotoGP class at Valencia. The last of them was in 2016 on his last appearance for Yamaha.

Tom Lüthi has qualified in 17th on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was 15th at Silverstone earlier this year but the race was cancelled due to weather conditions.

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MotoGP Q2
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 313.7 1’31.312
2 Alex RINS Suzuki 312.0 1’31.380
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 318.5 1’31.392
4 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 314.3 1’31.414
5 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 315.9 1’31.442
6 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 315.0 1’31.577
7 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 311.6 1’31.629
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 308.2 1’31.630
9 Dani PEDROSA Honda 314.3 1’32.140
10 Jack MILLER Ducati 311.0 1’32.145
11 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 313.1 1’32.179
12 Michele PIRRO Ducati 318.4 1’32.310
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MotoGP Q1
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Andrea IANNONE  Suzuki 313.6 1’31.382
2 Maverick VIÑALES  Yamaha 314.9 1’31.858
3 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 315.4 1’31.900
4 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 307.6 1’31.928
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 308.8 1’32.385
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 311.7 1’32.452
7 Thomas LUTHI Honda 308.9 1’32.545
8 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 313.6 1’32.547
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 314.3 1’32.568
10 Stefan BRADL Honda 319.0 1’32.708
11 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 312.1 1’32.749
12 Bradley SMITH KTM 309.2 1’33.011

Lap

Records
Fastest Lap: Lap: 6 Andrea IANNONE 1’31.382 157.7 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2016 Jorge LORENZO 1’31.171 158.1 Km/h
Best Lap: 2016 Jorge LORENZO 1’29.401 161.2 Km/h

Moto2

Luca Marini has qualified on pole position for the second time on what is the 54th start of his Grand Prix career. This is the sixth front row start in Marini’s Grand Prix career.

Xavi Vierge has qualified in second on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was also second in France earlier this year. Vierge will be aiming to win his first Grand Prix race on what is the 59th GP start of his career.

Marcel Schrötter completes the front row on the grid, which is his seventh front row start since the opening race in Qatar.

Heading the second row on the grid is the 2018 Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia. This is the 17th time this year Bagnaia qualified on the first two rows of the grid.

Lorenzo Baldassarri starts from the middle of the second row, which is his best qualifying result since he was also fifth in Japan.

The highest-placed KTM rider, Sam Lowes has qualified in sixth on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was fourth in Germany earlier this season. Lowes finished in fourth place in the Moto2 race two years ago at Valencia.

2018 Moto2 runner-up, Miguel Oliveira, who won the Moto2 race in Valencia last year, starts from tenth, which is the 15th time this year he has failed to qualify within the top six.

Oliveira’s teammate Brad Binder, who stood on the podium for the third successive time in Valencia last year in third place, has qualified in 11th on the grid, which is his lowest qualifying result since he was 16th at Silverstone.

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Moto2 Qualifying Results
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Luca MARINI Kalex 257.8 1’35.777
2 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 260.2 1’35.804
3 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 259.2 1’35.945
4 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex 257.4 1’36.173
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 257.8 1’36.270
6 Sam LOWES KTM 257.3 1’36.335
7 Joan MIR Kalex 258.7 1’36.336
8 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 260.2 1’36.380
9 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up 255.6 1’36.396
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 259.7 1’36.429
11 Brad BINDER KTM 260.2 1’36.464
12 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex 256.6 1’36.499
13 Simone CORSI Kalex 256.1 1’36.515
14 Mattia PASINI Kalex 261.5 1’36.532
15 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex 258.8 1’36.572
16 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 258.8 1’36.580
17 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 252.0 1’36.595
18 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 258.3 1’36.638
19 Joe ROBERTS NTS 255.0 1’36.656
20 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 259.8 1’36.667
21 Iker LECUONA KTM 255.7 1’36.671
22 Steven ODENDAAL NTS 258.2 1’36.819
23 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 258.0 1’36.909
24 Dominique AEGERTER KTM 260.0 1’36.976
25 Hector GARZO Tech 3 253.0 1’37.444
26 Niki TUULI Kalex 257.5 1’37.457
27 Tommaso MARCON Speed Up 254.1 1’37.483
28 Federico FULIGNI Kalex 252.3 1’38.351
29 Isaac VIÑALES Suter 254.7 1’38.406
30 Xavi CARDELUS Kalex 253.9 1’38.718
31 Jules DANILO Kalex 255.9 1’39.275
32 Lukas TULOVIC Suter 250.6 1’39.600

 

Moto2 Records
Fastest Lap: Lap: 18 Luca MARINI 1’35.777 150.5 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2014 Thomas LUTHI 1’35.312 151.2 Km/h
Best Lap: 2016 Johann ZARCO 1’34.879 151.9 Km/h

Moto3

Tony Arbolino has qualified on pole position for the first time since Argentina earlier this year. This is Arbolino’s second pole position on what is the 36th start of his Grand Prix career.

Arbolino’s pole position at Valencia is the 15th for a Honda rider since the opening race in Qatar, equalling last year. The last time Honda have had more than 15 pole positions in a single season was in 2015 with 16.

Nakarin Atiratphuvapat has qualified on second on the grid, which is the best qualifying result of his Grand Prix career. He equals the best ever qualifying result by a Thai rider in any class of Grand Prix racing, which had been set by Ratthapark Wilairot in the Moto2 class at Assen in 2010.

The highest placed KTM rider on the grid is John McPhee, who starts from the front row for the fourth time in 2018, one more time than last year. McPhee is looking to finish on the podium for the first time since he was third in Germany earlier this season.

Wildcard at the Valencia GP, Can Öncü heads the second row on the grid, which is the best qualifying result for a Turkish rider in Grand Prix racing since Kenan Sofuoglu was the fourth-fastest qualified on his Grand Prix debut in the Moto2 class, in Portugal back in 2010.

Arón Canet, who was on pole position for the first time in his Grand Prix career in Valencia two years ago, has qualified in fifth on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was third in Misano earlier this year.

Second in the Championship, Marco Bezzecchi completes the second row on the grid. This is the 11th time this year Bezzecchi has qualified on the first two rows on the grid.

2018 Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martín has qualified 13th, which is his worst qualifying result since he was also 13th in Thailand earlier this year.

Bezzecchi’s closest rival for second overall, Fabio Di Giannantonio, has qualified in 15th, which is the fourth successive time he has failed to qualify on the first three rows of the grid.

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Moto3 Qualifying Results
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 219.0 1’46.773
2 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 215.3 1’47.017
3 John MCPHEE KTM 215.8 1’47.116
4 Can ONCU KTM 214.1 1’47.336
5 Aron CANET Honda 215.6 1’47.431
6 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 215.9 1’47.776
7 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 219.0 1’47.783
8 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 217.6 1’47.796
9 Albert ARENAS KTM 215.9 1’47.826
10 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 213.7 1’47.880
11 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 213.0 1’47.896
12 Vicente PEREZ KTM 215.6 1’48.069
13 Jorge MARTIN Honda 219.0 1’48.124
14 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 216.7 1’48.216
15 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 214.7 1’48.357
16 Jaume MASIA KTM 216.6 1’48.435
17 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 220.6 1’48.543
18 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 216.3 1’48.614
19 Darryn BINDER KTM 213.3 1’48.772
20 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 218.4 1’48.894
21 Kaito TOBA Honda 211.5 1’49.027
22 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 217.2 1’49.469
23 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 215.4 1’49.696
24 Celestino VIETTI KTM 215.0 1’49.802
25 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 217.2 1’49.980
26 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 217.0 1’50.011
27 Philipp OETTL KTM 214.5 1’50.145
28 Andrea MIGNO KTM 216.7 1’51.870
29 Stefano NEPA KTM 213.0 1’52.119
30 Izam IKMAL Honda 214.8 1’53.093

 

Moto3 Records:
Fastest Lap: Lap: 17 Tony ARBOLINO 1’46.773 135.0 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2017 Marcos RAMIREZ 1’39.109 145.4 Km/h
Best Lap: 2017 Jorge MARTIN 1’38.428 146.4 Km/h

Source: MCNews.com.au

Vinales tops scintillating MotoGP qualifying session at Valencia

MotoGP 2018 Valencia Qualifying

It was seven-time Champion Marquez who led the field onto the first flying lap but then at Turn 4, the 2018 Champion suddenly lost the front and went down. The pain and anguish was writ large on the Spaniard as he clutched his limp left arm, his shoulder dislocated yet again, but this time looked more painful than ever as he returned to his motorhome. But minutes later Marquez was back on track, and back on the pace… What a machine.

In the absence of Marquez, it had been Dovizioso was setting the pace, but then Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) got the better of his compatriot to set the first 1:31 of the session before blitzing the field again on his next lap – a 1:31.531 becoming the time to beat.

MotoGP Valencia QP Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Then with six-minutes to go, a warrior emerged in the form of Marquez as he left pit-lane and all eyes were on the seven-time Champion. Before the 93 crossed the line though, Viñales shot to the top to take provisional pole…

MotoGP Valencia QP Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Red sectors were lighting up the screens in the final minutes of the session though and it was Viñales who went quicker again to make 0.068 his margin at the top, with the miraculous Marquez climbing back up to P3. The World Champion was going for it again to take pole but then another moment at turn one put an end to his chances.

But there was still time for change elsewhere as Rins was then threatening to take pole on his final lap. In the end, however, a breathless qualifying ended with Viñales spearheading the grid after his first pole on a Saturday since Aragon last year, with his Americas GP pole this season resulting from a Marquez penalty.

Maverick Viñales – P1

“Great to be back on pole and to be on the front row. The target for today was to be on the first or second row, and in the end we got pole, so that’s something amazing and unbelievable. I’m so happy, to finish the season in that form, feeling really strong. Honestly, I can’t say anything more than that, I’m just happy. However, I will take it session by session. We did good in the qualifying and I’m excited about tomorrow, but tomorrow is another day. It could rain, or maybe not, we don’t know – we have to be ready for all conditions. I think the bike, in the rain, still needs to be improved. The bike we have right now is in the top-10, but let’s see. I’m curious what will happen. It’s very important to start from pole, because if you’re at the front in the first laps it’s better. I’ll do my best, but there’s no pressure. It’s the last race of the season. I will give everything, but I don’t pay too close attention to the championship standings right now, I’m just going to enjoy the time on the bike and let’s see if we can be at the top.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Rins and ‘DesmoDovi’ complete the front row, and Petrucci is top Independent Team rider in fourth, gunning for that title on Sunday too.

Alex Rins – P2

“I’m happy. For sure I would’ve liked to get pole, I was very close to it. But the most important thing is that after the second crash of the day I’m OK, it was quite a heavy fall and I wasn’t feeling great afterwards. Luckily I was still able to get 2nd place. The bike was working well today, despite the mixed conditions. Tomorrow will be wet but I think I can stay in the lead group, the target will be the podium. I’d like to finish this year in the best way possible.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Rins
Alex Rins

Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“The qualifying session went well and I’m very happy, because starting up at the front is always important, especially here at Valencia. This morning we made a big step forward in the rain, and it was important to be ready in case of a wet qualifying session. In fact, Q2 was held on a dry track surface and we were able in any case to find a good set-up and set a good time. For the race we have a good chance, but it will almost certainly rain and in that case anything can happen.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Danilo Petrucci – P4

“I am very satisfied because we did well in both wet and dry conditions. Honestly there is a bit of disappointment because I could have won the front row but that’s okay. We are competitive but it is clear that in rain I will feel better this week end”.

MotoGP Valencia QP Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Marquez’ miracle top-five performance sees him remain well in the mix.

Marc Marquez – P5

“Qualifying today was a bit unlucky as I crashed in the first right-hand corner on my first flying lap, and I soon felt something strange in my shoulder. Luckily, when I got back to my truck and tried a few movements, we realized it wasn’t that bad and I started to feel better. When the doctors arrived and checked it, it was all back in its place and I was ready to get back on my bike. I didn’t push as usual though, as it was better to stay on the bike! Only one tenth off the pole isn’t bad so tomorrow, race day, will be another day.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Marquez
Marc Marquez

Just behind the reigning Champion, sixth made it a great day for Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) with the Spaniard just 0.265 from pole in KTM’s equal best qualifying performance.

Pol Espargaro – P6

“With everything we have been through this season this feels a bit more than a [great] qualification session for us. It means quite a lot and I’m feeling happy, and for the boys in the pitbox. I think we did the maximum today – just two tenths from first place – and we didn’t expect to be so close in the dry. We were always in the top ten in the wet and in very tricky conditions. We are good here and it means we need to think about what we can copy for the other circuits. Most of it is to with the fact that I am coming back to my normal speed. I think we are in a position for a nice result. I don’t think we have had an opportunity like this so far with KTM but we must take it calmly tomorrow.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro just ahead of Q1 graduate Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P7, with Aleix Espargaro’s (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) P8 the final piece in the puzzle that saw all six manufacturers inside the top eight, split by just 0.318.

Andrea Iannone – P7

“For sure it’s been a difficult day because I had a crash, and in the wet conditions it’s very tricky. In Q1 I had a better feeling with the bike and I was able to get a great lap time. When it came to Q2 I didn’t have the same pace, and I used a different tyre so the feeling was different. But in any case, tomorrow I’ll start on the 3rd row and it’s OK. Set-up is not easy here, especially when it’s raining or half-wet, half-dry. We’ll try to stay in the top group tomorrow, let’s see what happens!”

MotoGP Valencia QP Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Aleix Espargaro – P8

“I’m happy with how the entire weekend has gone and not just because of the performance today. Yesterday we were consistently competitive even in the wet. This morning in FP3 I crashed right in the final moments. I raced back to the garage and with the second bike I managed to do the ninth time and go through to Q2, so that is positive and very important. Then, in qualifying I struggled on the first turn, but despite this, we finished just three tenths behind the pole position time. My RS-GP worked well both in the wet and on dry asphalt. We have a good pace and that makes me confident for the race, but I am also happy with the many indications that we are gathering in view of the tests next week and for the 2019 bike.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

In his final ever qualifying, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) claimed P9 to start from the outside of the third row after some difficulties in FP4 that affected his QP, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) suffering his fourth crash of the weekend to start P10 but automatically through to Q2 once again.

Dani Pedrosa – P9

“Today in the dry FP4 I had an issue with the bike’s setup that we weren’t able to adjust before qualifying, so I went out still struggling a bit. I did my best but didn’t manage to get a better position for tomorrow. If it rains tomorrow track conditions will be the key, as whether there’s a lot or a little water on the asphalt will affect the feeling a lot. This morning I ultimately found a good feeling in the wet, but it took me a long time. So let’s wait and see how the weather is and see what we can do tomorrow.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Jack Miller – P10

“I’m disappointed. I was convinced that I could qualify well and I pushed hard but I crashed. I have to find a better feeling with the front tyre but the race pace is very interesting. I am confident that I can have a good race tomorrow”.

MotoGP Valencia QP Miller
Jack Miller

While on a lap that was 0.3 under, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also crashed at Turn 10 to start P11 – rider ok, with Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) settling for P12 after making it straight into Q2 from Free Practice.

Johann Zarco – P11

“Saturday in Valencia has been a good day. In FP3 we did some great work with the team and I could manage the decisive practice well, caught a top 5 result and made it to Q2. So I was happy, but at the same time there was not so much water on the track. This gave me great confidence, although the bike was not perfect. In the afternoon, we had dry conditions. I enjoyed it and was quite competitive. I began the Qualifying not too good, because something was missing on the bike. We tried to change it a bit to get an enhanced feeling. When I restarted with the second new tyre my feeling improved immediately a lot. I could control the bike better, but trying to be fast on the first flying lap, I crashed in turn 10. It’s a right corner, so maybe the front tyre was still a bit cold and also because the conditions were not 100 percent clear. It’s a pity, because the potential for the first row was there today. Now we start in 11th position. Anyway, we will see what happens tomorrow and hope to have a strong race from the beginning to the end in order to play with Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Zarco
Johann Zarco

Jorge Lorenzo narrowly missed out on going through to Q2.

Jorge Lorenzo – P13

“We went out on track for Q1 without any real data because in all the other sessions the track was wet. I think I did a good time, which was quite a surprise, and for just a few thousandths of a second I couldn’t get into Q2. In the end it was Viñales who knocked me off the top 2 spots in Q1 and then he set pole, so for this reason I think that if I had gone through I would have been a lot further up the grid. In any case it’s highly likely that tomorrow’s race will be held in the rain and we’ll find completely different conditions to today so we’ll try and bring home the best possible result.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Another star failing to make it through Q1 was Valentino Rossi, The Doctor starts P16 after a tough day at the office. 

Valentino Rossi – P16

“It was a difficult day, very tough. On the wet yesterday I felt comfortable, so I was quite optimistic this morning that I could finish in the top-10 because it was still wet. I tried to push at the beginning and I crashed with one bike, but apart from that I was not fast enough in FP3 anyway to go through to Q2. After that the conditions changed and it became drier, so from the morning to the afternoon we changed something on the bike, but in reality I never felt good and couldn’t push 100% in the afternoon. At the end, I improved my lap time in Q1, but it wasn’t enough to get into Q2, so we start from very far back, which will be hard. We have to work and try as hard as possible, and we also have to wait and see what the conditions will be like tomorrow morning, because the forecast is very bad.”

MotoGP Valencia QP Rossi
Valentino Rossi

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MotoGP Q2
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 313.7 1’31.312
2 Alex RINS Suzuki 312.0 1’31.380
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 318.5 1’31.392
4 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 314.3 1’31.414
5 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 315.9 1’31.442
6 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 315.0 1’31.577
7 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 311.6 1’31.629
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 308.2 1’31.630
9 Dani PEDROSA Honda 314.3 1’32.140
10 Jack MILLER Ducati 311.0 1’32.145
11 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 313.1 1’32.179
12 Michele PIRRO Ducati 318.4 1’32.310
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MotoGP Q1
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Andrea IANNONE  Suzuki 313.6 1’31.382
2 Maverick VIÑALES  Yamaha 314.9 1’31.858
3 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 315.4 1’31.900
4 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 307.6 1’31.928
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 308.8 1’32.385
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 311.7 1’32.452
7 Thomas LUTHI Honda 308.9 1’32.545
8 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 313.6 1’32.547
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 314.3 1’32.568
10 Stefan BRADL Honda 319.0 1’32.708
11 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 312.1 1’32.749
12 Bradley SMITH KTM 309.2 1’33.011

Lap

Records
Fastest Lap: Lap: 6 Andrea IANNONE 1’31.382 157.7 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2016 Jorge LORENZO 1’31.171 158.1 Km/h
Best Lap: 2016 Jorge LORENZO 1’29.401 161.2 Km/h

Moto2

The clouds loomed for Moto2 qualifying but it stayed dry and as the clock ticked towards the 10-minute remaining mark, it was Marini who led the way. Schrötter then took over at the top to better the Italian by 0.080 but he wasn’t going down without a fight. Straight away the Malaysian GP race winner leapfrogged the German to head the field again – 0.007 the gap. Then, the Italian went quicker once more to move the goal posts further, with 0.201 his advantage over the field.

Vierge was then on a mission, but could he topple Marini’s time? Nearly, but not quite. The Spaniard crossed the line just 0.027 off to go to P2. Personal best laps were incoming, but nothing would trouble Marini at the summit – a second pole of the year was the Italian’s, with Vierge’s time also unable to be bettered. Schrötter tried to climb up the front row but despite setting his best time on his final lap, the German would remain P3 – 0.168 off pole.

2018 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) managed to launch himself up to P4 at the chequered flag as he prepares to go into battle for the final time in the intermediate class on Sunday and compatriot Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) also managed to improve on his last lap to go from P7 to P5. He now starts one place ahead of Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) in P6 after Lowes’ best qualifying result since the German GP. But just 0.001 behind the British rider was Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in seventh, who in turn was just 0.044 ahead of countryman Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) – another top result with P8 for the Spaniard getting him into the top ten in the latter stages.

Fabio Quartararo (HDR Heidrun – Speed Up) was ninth, with the two Red Bull KTM Ajo machines next up – P10 for Miguel Oliveira, P11 for Brad Binder.

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Moto2 Qualifying Results
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Luca MARINI Kalex 257.8 1’35.777
2 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 260.2 1’35.804
3 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 259.2 1’35.945
4 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex 257.4 1’36.173
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 257.8 1’36.270
6 Sam LOWES KTM 257.3 1’36.335
7 Joan MIR Kalex 258.7 1’36.336
8 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 260.2 1’36.380
9 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up 255.6 1’36.396
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 259.7 1’36.429
11 Brad BINDER KTM 260.2 1’36.464
12 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex 256.6 1’36.499
13 Simone CORSI Kalex 256.1 1’36.515
14 Mattia PASINI Kalex 261.5 1’36.532
15 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex 258.8 1’36.572
16 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 258.8 1’36.580
17 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 252.0 1’36.595
18 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 258.3 1’36.638
19 Joe ROBERTS NTS 255.0 1’36.656
20 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 259.8 1’36.667
21 Iker LECUONA KTM 255.7 1’36.671
22 Steven ODENDAAL NTS 258.2 1’36.819
23 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 258.0 1’36.909
24 Dominique AEGERTER KTM 260.0 1’36.976
25 Hector GARZO Tech 3 253.0 1’37.444
26 Niki TUULI Kalex 257.5 1’37.457
27 Tommaso MARCON Speed Up 254.1 1’37.483
28 Federico FULIGNI Kalex 252.3 1’38.351
29 Isaac VIÑALES Suter 254.7 1’38.406
30 Xavi CARDELUS Kalex 253.9 1’38.718
31 Jules DANILO Kalex 255.9 1’39.275
32 Lukas TULOVIC Suter 250.6 1’39.600

 

Moto2 Records
Fastest Lap: Lap: 18 Luca MARINI 1’35.777 150.5 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2014 Thomas LUTHI 1’35.312 151.2 Km/h
Best Lap: 2016 Johann ZARCO 1’34.879 151.9 Km/h

Moto3

It was a hectic start to the Moto3 qualifying session as several riders went down in the opening exchanges on a drying Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PreustelGP) was the man to lead the opening exchanges, but he crashed his KTM machine at Turn 8. 2018 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) then took over at the summit, but he also went down at Turn 8 – the Turkish rider able get straight back on track but the Italian having to get his bike fixed.

As they have been all weekend, the track conditions were tricky but with no rain falling, a slight dry line started to appear as the times continued to tumble, with Atiratphuvapat sitting 0.2 clear with 12 minutes remaining. However, with his bike repaired, Bezzecchi then took over at the top but by only 0.027.

The track was getting drier and drier and the times started to get faster, with Raul Fernandez (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) taking over at the top soon after and from there on in, the red sectors were coming from across the board as five minutes remained. Pole position? Anyone’s guess at that stage – but there were still no gamblers changing from wets.

With two to go, it was Atiratphuvapat on top by 0.188 but half the field were lighting up the timing screens with red sectors as some began to gamble on slicks. Arbolino was one of them and he moved the goal posts by over a second, so could that be beaten? Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) got within 0.3 of the Italian as they homed in, before Arbolino went even quicker to set a 1:46.773; the insurmountable time that would earn the Italian pole.

Öncü then leapt up to a stunning P2 on his final run, before McPhee and then Atiratphuvapat just bumped the 15-year-old wildcard down to fourth and the front of the second row. He’s joined by Canet who ended the session P5 after the late flurry of times, with Bezzecchi starting from the outside of the second row in his last Moto3™ race – P6 for the Italian.

After a crash, Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) managed to get himself up to P7 at the end of the session, with Kornfeil settling for eighth. Ninth went to Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3), the Spaniard another rider to crash during the session, with teammate and wildcard Fernandez rounding out the top ten in another impressive showing.

The sensational qualifying session ends with some big names down the order: 2018 Champion Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) starts P13, with teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio P15 and Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) sandwiched between the two in P14. 

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Moto3 Qualifying Results
Pos. Rider Bike Km/h Time
1 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 219.0 1’46.773
2 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 215.3 1’47.017
3 John MCPHEE KTM 215.8 1’47.116
4 Can ONCU KTM 214.1 1’47.336
5 Aron CANET Honda 215.6 1’47.431
6 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 215.9 1’47.776
7 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 219.0 1’47.783
8 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 217.6 1’47.796
9 Albert ARENAS KTM 215.9 1’47.826
10 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 213.7 1’47.880
11 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 213.0 1’47.896
12 Vicente PEREZ KTM 215.6 1’48.069
13 Jorge MARTIN Honda 219.0 1’48.124
14 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 216.7 1’48.216
15 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 214.7 1’48.357
16 Jaume MASIA KTM 216.6 1’48.435
17 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 220.6 1’48.543
18 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 216.3 1’48.614
19 Darryn BINDER KTM 213.3 1’48.772
20 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 218.4 1’48.894
21 Kaito TOBA Honda 211.5 1’49.027
22 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 217.2 1’49.469
23 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 215.4 1’49.696
24 Celestino VIETTI KTM 215.0 1’49.802
25 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 217.2 1’49.980
26 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 217.0 1’50.011
27 Philipp OETTL KTM 214.5 1’50.145
28 Andrea MIGNO KTM 216.7 1’51.870
29 Stefano NEPA KTM 213.0 1’52.119
30 Izam IKMAL Honda 214.8 1’53.093

 

Moto3 Records:
Fastest Lap: Lap: 17 Tony ARBOLINO 1’46.773 135.0 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2017 Marcos RAMIREZ 1’39.109 145.4 Km/h
Best Lap: 2017 Jorge MARTIN 1’38.428 146.4 Km/h

Source: MCNews.com.au