Tag Archives: Valencia MotoGP

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

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
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
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.


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
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
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.


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?


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
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
13 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex SPA 58
14 Simone CORSI Kalex ITA 53
15 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex ITA 52
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
30 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex MAL 1
31 Edgar PONS Speed Up SPA 1
32 Niki TUULI Kalex FIN 1


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

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
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
9 Albert ARENAS KTM SPA 107
10 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM SPA 102
11 Andrea MIGNO KTM ITA 84
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
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

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.


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
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


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


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.

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


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.

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

Marquez tops a wet Friday at Valencia MotoGP finale

MotoGP 2018 – Valencia Friday Report

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completes Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as the fastest man in some tough and wet conditions thanks to his FP1 time of 1:39.767, with the Spaniard heading Alma Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci with the top three split by just 0.140 on Friday.

MotoGP Valencia Fri Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Just like FP1, the FP2 session was red-flagged in the early stages due to unsafe track conditions. This came after debris was left on circuit after Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed at the tricky Turn 12, but the Frenchman was ok and returned to the pits. A short delay followed before the riders headed back out, but with the rain heavier than it was in FP1, none of the riders were able to improve on their morning times and the top three – and ten – were decided for the day.

Marc Marquez – P1

“Honestly, it was a difficult day because not only were there wet conditions with a lot of water, but also because it was very cold. When there’s so much water on track, it’s a kind of lottery, and the only thing you can do is try not to crash. This situation made things more complicated, but luckily the track here in Valencia has very good drainage and very good grip all things considered, and this allowed us to actually ride today. That said, I felt very good on the bike and was able to feel the limit and be fast, which is very important. It looks like the weather will be a bit better tomorrow, only to worsen again on Sunday, so we need to be ready for whatever condition we may find if we wish to fight for the podium.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Jack Miller had clocked the second fastest time in the FP1 session and looked as though he was going to the top of the charts after lighting up the red helmet late in the session before a fall cost the Australian his chance. 

Jack Miller – P2

“The feelings are very positive. This morning we did very well and in the afternoon we preferred not to do too many laps not to wear out the soft rear tyre in sight of qualifying and the race. I’m satisfied.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Danilo Petrucci topped the wetter FP2 session by a significant margin, 0.407 was the gap back to Marquez with Valentino Rossi the only other rider within a second of the Ducati rider in the second session. It was P12 overall for ‘The Doctor’, however.

Danilo Petrucci – P3

“The conditions we found in FP2 are better for me. However, I have to admit that in some parts of the circuit it was not easy as the visibility was really limited. But I am happy because the feeling was very good from the start”.

MotoGP Valencia Fri Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) sits fourth overall and the Italian was P12 in FP2, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completing the top five on Day 1 despite conditions that have often been more difficult for the newly-inducted Legend this season.

Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“This morning, despite the rain, the track had good grip but in the afternoon we encountered different conditions: there was really a lot of water and I didn’t have a particularly good feeling with my bike. In any case we managed to do a few tests with the tyres: the session was useful for this reason, especially because this year we haven’t lapped much in the rain, and we picked up some good indications for Sunday’s race, should it be wet.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Dani Pedrosa – P5

“It seems it’s going to rain quite a lot this weekend! The track changes when the water increases, and in some points it’s a bit difficult to ride. That was the case this afternoon, so I just did very few laps. On the other hand, when there’s a bit less water, like at a certain point during FP1, you can be much faster. So we must wait and see what conditions we’ll have over the weekend. This will also affect the tyre choice and the rhythm of the race.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – fourth in FP2 – ends P6 on the combined times, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ending the day as the fastest Yamaha rider in P7 overall.

Andrea Iannone – P6

“Today was not so bad, and it’s only Friday. The conditions are a bit difficult, but that’s the same for everyone. We worked well today and found a few areas we can improve on – especially on the braking point and cornering. So for tomorrow we hope we’ve found the solutions for these areas. We’ll give our best for qualifying and my feeling is positive and good. The grip on the track is really good, but when there’s a lot of water we get some spinning, especially on the straight. But we just have to deal with these conditions.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Maverick Vinales – P7

“I didn‘t feel so bad, and honestly it was better than I expected. In the morning I was a bit faster than I was this afternoon, because there was a lot of water on the track. There are still some things to improve on, but I‘m actually happy. Let‘s see if we can take another step tomorrow. Our objective is to be in the top-5, if it‘s raining and conditions are similar to today, that result would be great. Today I announced that next season, and starting from next Tuesday at the Valencia test, I will be riding with a new number: 12. The reason why I decided to change the number is that I used to ride with number 12 when I was a kid, for at least five or six years, and I was really successful. I also feel that number 12 identifies me a bit more, though I‘ve been riding with number 25 for quite a few years.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Wildcard and Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro sits P8 overall thanks to his FP1 time, a strong showing for the Italian, as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro grabs a provisional Q2 spot by ending Friday in P9. A P6 in FP2 – along with teammate Bradley Smith’s P8 – caps off a good day for the Austrian manufacturer in the wet conditions.

Michele Pirro – P8

“It was a day with really a lot of rain, but this morning we worked well in any case and in the afternoon we tried a few things in view of the race that might be useful because on Sunday it seems as if the conditions could be similar to today. With such changeable weather it was important to finish the day inside the top 10: I managed to do this, I’m eighth and this is positive. Let’s hope we can continue to work like this also tomorrow.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Pirro
Michele Pirro

Alex Rins (Team Ecstar Suzuki) rounds out the top ten, but just 0.002 ahead of compatriot Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P11.

Alex Rins – P10

“I’ve been feeling very good today, both in FP1 and FP2. The bike is working well and we’re preparing for race day. It looks like it will be wet all weekend but we are ready for that. It’s really difficult to ride in these conditions, and during FP2 the track was so wet that all of us riders were experiencing a bit of aqua-planing and spinning on the straight, but I think the track will be OK for the race. I came into the box towards the end of the session because the risk was a bit higher and my feeling was already good.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Aleix Espargaro’ – P11

“Today I really felt good. Finishing FP1 close to the top 10 and fifth in FP2 is a great sign. The bike’s grip is very good and I was fast, confirming that we have made some steps forward from this point of view because the grip problems get worse in the wet. If the weekend should continue along these lines, we’ll be able to aim for important positions in the race.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro’

Valentino Rossi – P12

“It was a busy day and fully wet. It’s actually a good thing, because it looks like the weather will be very bad on Sunday, so we need to understand which tyre we will try to use and also work on the balance of the bike. This morning the track was a bit faster because there was less water on it, but unfortunately I didn’t feel fantastic with the bike, it wasn’t a perfect combination. But we made some good modifications so in the afternoon I was stronger. It’s a shame we couldn’t improve our laptime from this morning. I’m outside of the top-10, but with a good feeling and also a good pace, so in the end it’s not so bad.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Rossi
Valentino Rossi – The effectiveness of the chin spoiler on the back of the bottom fairing can be seen here in this shot of Rossi in the rain at Valencia

Jorge Lorenzo for the moment had to settle for nineteenth place with a time of 1’41.782 in his return to the MotoGP grid, and his final appearance with Ducati before the Spaniard joins Repsol Honda for season 2019.

Jorge Lorenzo – P19

“Undoubtedly these aren’t the best conditions for my come-back, because the track today was treacherous. My wrist still hurts, especially under braking and coming out of the corners, and even more when I do more than five laps continuously. I can’t be too aggressive and I have to make smooth movements that make me lose speed. With very little water on the track I feel better, but when it rains a lot everything becomes more complicated. Let’s see if conditions improve a bit tomorrow and we’ll try and get inside the top 10 to go straight through into Q2.”

MotoGP Valencia Fri Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

A completely wet day in Valencia looks like it will set the tone for the weekend.

Valencia Day One MotoGP Combined Free Practice
  1. MARQUEZ  Marc SPA Repsol Honda 1’39.767
  2. MILLER Jack AUS Alma Pramac Ducati 1’39.873 / 0.106
  3. PETRUCCI Danilo ITA Alma Pramac Ducati 1’39.907 / 0.140
  4. DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA Ducati Team 1’40.179 / 0.412
  5. PEDROSA Dani SPA Repsol Honda 1’40.467 / 0.700
  6. IANNONE Andrea ITA Suzuki Ecstar 1’40.685 / 0.918
  7. VINALES Maverick SPA Movistar Yamaha 1’40.772 / 1.005
  8. PIRRO Michele ITA Ducati Team 1’40.836 / 1.069
  9. ESPARGARO Pol SPA Red Bull KTM 1’40.892 / 1.125
  10. RINS Alex SPA Suzuki Ecstar 1’40.965 / 1.198
  11. ESPARGARO Aleix SPA Aprilia Racing Gresini 1’40.967 / 1.200
  12. ROSSI Valentino ITA Movistar Yamaha  1’41.015 / 1.248
  13. ZARCO Johann FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’41.146 / 1.379
  14. ABRAHAM Karel CZE Angel Nieto Team 1’41.160 / 1.393
  15. SIMEON Xavier BEL Reale Avintia Racing 1’41.277 / 1.510
  16. BRADL Stefan GER LCR Honda 1’41.479 / 1.712
  17. SMITH Bradley GBR Red Bull KTM 1’41.489 / 1.722
  18. MORBIDELLI Franco ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’41.713 / 1.946
  19. LORENZO Jorge SPA Ducati Team 1’41.782 / 2.015
  20. NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN LCR Honda 1’42.471 / 2.704
  21. BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA Angel Nieto Team 1’42.617 / 2.850
  22. REDDING Scott GBR Aprilia Racing Gresini 1’42.857/ 3.090
  23. LUTHI Tom SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’43.000 / 3.233
  24. SYAHRIN Hafizh MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’43.727 / 3.960
  25. TORRES Jordi SPA Reale Avintia Racing 1’45.001 / 5.234
MotoGP Valencia Fri Times MotoGP
Valencia Day One MotoGP Combined Free Practice


Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) impressed in tough wet conditions after his FP1 time saw him end Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana at the summit of the Moto2 combined standings. Because of the heavier rainfall in the afternoon, FP1 times would remain the fastest of the day for the intermediate class and Lecuona’s 1:46.705 in the morning was enough to see him better Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.798, despite a crash for both. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) sits third quickest on the combined times – 0.912 off Lecuona.

Fourth overall and P4 in FP2 was American rider Joe Roberts (NTS RW Racing GP), who showed his incredible pace in the wet once again, despite a crash. He was just ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40), who was fifth on Day 1 and third in the second, trickier session. World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) ends Friday in P6 overall but was P13 in FP2, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) seventh quickest overall.

Second of the NTS wet weather heroes was Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing GP), the South African crashing in both sessions but quick, with two MotoGP-bound riders completing the top ten: it was P9 for Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and P10 for Fabio Quartararo (HDR Heidrun – Speed Up).

Remy Gardner – P24

“Today has been quite good. I definitely thought that I would be stronger in the wet, but I always struggled in Valencia, so I knew it’s going to be a tough one. I had a bit of a strange crash this morning, but anyway, we got a bit softer clutch setting which helped in the afternoon, where I just did laps and found confidence. We were back inside the top 10 in FP2, my feeling was pretty ok, although the conditions were a lot worse than this morning. We’re still working on the setting and we still have to do some things before Sunday, as it looks like it’s going to be wet.”

FP2 saw no less than 16 crashes: Lukas Tulovic (Forward Racing Team), Hector Garzo (Tech 3 Racing), Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Team Gresini) twice, replacement rider Tommaso Marcon (HDR Heidrun – Speed Up), Xavi Cardelus (Marinelli Snipers Team), Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2’s Simone Corsi, Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini, Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors), riders ok.

MotoGP Valencia Fri Times Moto
Valencia Day One MotoGP Combined Free Practice Moto2

Rookie Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) went fastest on his final flying lap in FP2 to end Friday at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana on top; his 1:51.873 enough to oust Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) – despite a late crash – from the summit by just 0.039. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took P3 in FP2 and on the combined times after a P15 in the morning, and the top three overall were split by just 0.094 on Friday.

A wet FP1 and a wet FP2 was the order of the day as the lightweight class machines completed their final Friday of the year in a rain-soaked Valencia. The aforementioned home rider Lopez takes the honours to top the two Italians, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) fourth in a tight top four – 0.140 was the gap from the Japanese rider to the Spaniard after he ended the first session in P13. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) completed the top five on Friday.

World Champion Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) – who didn’t venture out in FP1 – ended the day sixth fastest, just ahead of Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3), who rounds out a solid day in P7 after ending FP1 inside the top three. Wildcard and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo), meanwhile, took an impressive P8 to end his first day in Grand Prix racing in the top ten despite a crash, with fellow former Asia Talent Cup rider Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) P9 overall. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took P10 and was another who crashed in tough conditions.

Crashes were aplenty in the wet conditions, with replacement rider Izam Ikmal (Petronas Sprinta Racing) the first rider to crash, joined by Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team), Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider), Raul Fernandez (Angel Nieto Team Moto3), Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) for the second time of the day, Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Bester Capital Dubai’s Jaume Masia and Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) – riders ok.

MotoGP Valencia Fri Times Moto
Valencia Day One MotoGP Combined Free Practice Moto3

Source: MCNews.com.au

Massive Valencia MotoGP preview ahead of season finale

Valencia to close out 2018 season

2018’s MotoGP championship titles may have been settled, in a season where records were broken and boundaries reset, however there’s still one final showdown to go.

Image by AJRN
Valencia MotoGP – Image by AJRN

The 4005m Valencian circuit is one of the shortest on the calendar – only Sachsenring is shorter – but it is still a track that needs special preparation due to its technical layout and tight configuration. The anti-clockwise design with its nine left- and five right-hand turns, all set within a stadium complex environment, makes this a very unusual circuit and one that requires Michelin’s asymmetric tyre solutions.

MotoGP Valencia Preview
Circuit Ricardo Tormo

Marc Marquez arrives as a favourite, with the reigning Champion taking an impressive win at Sepang to bounce back in style, and he arrives as the home hero in form. Marquez also has a good record at Valencia – wrapping up two MotoGP crowns there since 2013, and winning from the back in Moto2 – and he’ll want to win again on home turf to cement his stellar season.

Marc Marquez

“It was great to celebrate the title a few days ago in my hometown with my family, people and fan club, and now I’m looking forward to celebrating it with all the fans in Valencia. Of course we won’t have the pressure we had last year, when the title was still at stake, but our mentality will be exactly the same because we want to finish the year in a good way. Now we’re very, very close to achieving the Team Championship, and we’ll try our best to get it so as to complete the Triple Crown, which is important for us and for Honda, and which would be the perfect end to this season. I don’t want to lose the momentum or the way I’m riding at the moment, so I’ll try and focus like always for the entire weekend, and to fight for the win on Sunday.”

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Marc Marquez – Image by AJRN

This year, however, there may well be more eyes on the other side of the Repsol Honda box at the season finale, with teammate Dani Pedrosa, having a great record here and being back on song at Sepang. More importantly the three-time World Champion will be hanging up his leathers at the end of the season – in terms of competition at least, so will no doubt aim to end on a high note. On Thursday he will also become a MotoGP Legend as he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Dani Pedrosa

“Clearly, the next race in Valencia will be a bit special, as it will be my final race, so the feeling will be different than usual. It’s also going to be busy, because many of my people, friends and family will come there wishing to spend time together. Anyway, when I climb on my bike, my entire focus will be on riding. I like the track as it’s one of my favourites on the calendar, and of course I’ll try and get the best result possible on Sunday.”

MotoGP Malaysia Race Marquez Dovi Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Maverick Viñales is another home hero aiming high. After winning in Australia, Sepang was a tougher qualifying in difficult conditions that hampered the Spaniard slightly on race day, but Yamaha seem to be back in the fight at the front.

Maverick Viñales

“I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood. After the last three rounds in Asia and Oceania I’ve spent some time at home, relaxing and resting a little bit, because the overseas races were very demanding. We’ve worked hard during the lasts months and the bike is competitive. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. Last year it wasn’t a good race, but this year I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with another victory. I’m feeling very confident. My goal now is to get the third position in the World Championship and we are very close. Ending the season in the third position after such a difficult season as this one would be a small success for us.”

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Maverick Vinales – Image by AJRN

Vinales want another win to end the season and his teammate Valentino Rossi, who came so close at Sepang, will want to win his first race of the year. Rossi’s incredible laptimes in Malaysia only came undone a handful of laps from the end, and although Valencia is traditionally a more difficult track for the ‘Doctor’, he was on fire at Sepang.

Valentino Rossi

“We have already arrived in Valencia. For us it will be an interesting weekend because it’s a circuit on which we usually aren’t very fast, but in the last races we have seen some improvements. In Malaysia we were very fast during the whole weekend and also in the race. Unfortunately the race didn’t end well, but there remain positive aspects. In Valencia we will try to do our best. We would like to finish the season with a positive result. Then there will be tests in Valencia and those in Jerez. It will be very intense weeks.”

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Valentino Rossi – AJRN Image

For the Ducati Team Valencia has also been a more difficult track at times. Last season didn’t quite put paid to that either as both men crashed out, but Jorge Lorenzo especially has an incredible record at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. He is determined to make it through the whole weekend this time and make his return from injury, and although he may well not be able to hammer home the kind of pace he’s previously shown at the venue, he can’t be counted out altogether.

Jorge Lorenzo

“We have arrived at the last race of the season and even though I still won’t be 100% fit, I would really like to finish my adventure in Ducati with a good result. It’s difficult to know what condition my left wrist will be in, but luckily I feel much better than in Sepang and on Friday morning I’ll go out on track with the hope that I won’t have too much pain and that I can be competitive. My two years in Ducati have been very intense and I’d really like to say goodbye to my team with a good race. For sure our fans, who always come out in force at Cheste, will also help to make this weekend special.”

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Jorge Lorenzo – Image by AJRN

For teammate Andrea Dovizioso it’s sometimes been a more difficult venue but some incredible battles in the past mean ‘DesmoDovi’ can’t be counted out. On the podium at Phillip Island to underline the incredible progress made by the Borgo Panigale factory at every different type of track, Dovizioso has second in the Championship wrapped up and will have a few points to prove in the last race of the year.

Andrea Dovizioso

“Sixth place at Sepang meant that I finished second in the championship and we wanted to bring home this very important result at all costs. Now at Valencia we come up against a track where in the past we have struggled quite a bit: this year however I expect us to be fast and the race will also be an important test to understand in which areas we have to improve to be more competitive next year.”

MotoGP Malaysia Race Dovizioso Rins Miller
Andrea Dovizioso

Team Suzuki Ecstar, meanwhile, are on form. Alex Rins showed once again last time out quite how competitive Suzuki now are as he took that stunning second place and equaled his best result in the premier class. Rins is on home turf and on a roll and can’t be counted out.

Alex Rins

“For sure we arrive in Valencia with a lot of enthusiasm, due to the improved performance and the podiums. Our target now is pretty clear and also obvious: we want to go for the top step of the podium! We’ve proved that we are ready for it, the bike has improved and so has my riding, we have to work well and try our best. The circuit is a good one, almost all the riders like Valencia, and our GSX-RR can be a good machine for this layout.”

Andrea Iannone has been on it despite a twitchy crash behind Marquez in Malaysia, and it’s his last race for the Hamamatsu factory.

Andrea Iannone

“Valencia is a nice track and it could be good for us. Last year we qualified on the front row and both Alex and I had a good race. If we consider how much we improved since 2017, we can definitely expect a positive weekend. We are in a really good moment now; I’m feeling positive and also in Malaysia I felt I could fight for the podium. Let’s try to give all we have, be consistent and always stay close to the top, that way we can aim for a good result. It would be a nice way to part.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

The man Rins beat to second at Sepang was Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) as the Frenchman got back on the podium – and from pole after Marquez was penalised. After Zarco and Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) were both given the opportunity to make big gains on the injured Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) in Australia in the fight for top Independent Team rider and neither could, Malaysia was Zarco staking a serious claim on that title.

Johann Zarco

“With the podium I got in Malaysia I arrive in Valencia with a bright smile on my face and happiness in my head to get another great result. My main target is to be the first independent rider and maybe a little bit more. If I can conclude the season in Valencia on the podium in front of Alex Rins and Danilo Petrucci, would mean I can also be inside the top 5 of the final Championship standings, which could be a very nice target. But first of all, I hope for nice weather and a decent temperature in order to gain confidence on this circuit and I think the Yamaha can work well there. With my guys, we found some good things during these overseas races, so we need to make the bike work well again with all we understood and in case we succeed, I’m sure we can have a great weekend. My fingers are crossed to finish this 2018 season as well as possible.”

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Johann Zarco – Image by AJRN

The 16 points for third put him one point above Crutchlow and five clear of Petrucci – with his form last season at Valencia marking him as the favourite to outrace the rest. Crutchlow will remain on the sideliness nursing his ankle injury from Phillip Island and will again be replaced by Stefan Bradl.

Cal Crutchlow

“First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the well wishes I have received since the Friday of the Philip Island GP. To all the medical staff at the circuit, my LCR Honda CASTROL Team, HRC and everyone who came to visit me while I was in hospital in Melbourne, especially my wife Lucy who travelled to be with me for the 12 days I had to stay. Also, Jake Harrison and Andy Roche for sorting everything out and, of course, our Team Manager Lucio (Cecchinello) who stayed with me every day until he went to Malaysia.

“I had excellent surgeons in Matthias Russ and Dr Evans who initially put an external fixator on my leg until the swelling went down and they could operate, which was 6 days later. The crash resulted in a Pilon fracture of my tibia, fibia and talus bone. The surgery was completed in three and half hours and, along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted.

“The injury I have can take a recovery time of up to 12 months and, although as a typical motorcycle racer I thought I would be back in time for the Valencia GP, unfortunately this is not the case. I can’t put any weight on my ankle for six weeks, but am continuing to recover and having physiotherapy. This week I will start to try and cycle again and look forward to preparing for Sepang in February 2019.

“I have had a fantastic season again with the LCR Honda CASTROL Team and HRC and I look forward to making more great memories in 2019-2020. Good luck this weekend in Valencia to my team and to all the people on the MotoGP grid. I look forward to watching the best motorsport championship there is as a fan this weekend.”

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Cal Crutchlow – Image by AJRN

Rookie of the Year is on the line, with Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) looking the favourite to wrap that up.

At Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Aleix Espargaro races at home and they bid goodbye to Scott Redding after the race weekend, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing aiming to stay ahead of the Noale factory. KTM are two points clear as a constructor and a handful more as a team so there’s everything to race for – before they also begin a new era.

The Aprilia RS-GP machines ridden by Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding will once again be all red for the final GP of the season. For the third year in a row, the (RED) livery will distinguish the Italian bikes on the day of the Valencia race to raise awareness with the large audience of MotoGP fans on the issue of AIDS, often overlooked or even forgotten. 

Aleix Espargaro

“In recent races we have shown encouraging signs and I want to finish out the championship in the best possible way. It was certainly not an easy season, but we never stopped working and the final race is always a special opportunity because from Sunday on, we will officially begin our 2019 season with the first tests. We will also be racing in the (RED) livery. This is an important initiative and I am honoured to be able to provide my contribution to it.”

Aprilia Project Red
Aprilia to race in RED in support of AIDS awareness

The Ángel Nieto Team will also hope end the year with eighth place in the Teams’ World Championship and with a strong finish to the season for Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham. Bautista, who has been a full-time Grand Prix rider since 2003, has scored 16 wins and 49 podiums across sixteen seasons and he is aiming to check out with another top ten finish, which would be his eleventh from twelve races.

Álvaro Bautista

“It is always special to race at home, for me and the team, in Valencia. It is the last race of the season, my last race in MotoGP for now and it will be at a small track for the MotoGP bikes, where you hardly get chance to breath from one corner to the next and you can’t get the most out of the power. You need a bike that handles and turns well. It is another challenge for us but we will try and maintain the same positive curve we have been on. I would like to finish the season with an enjoyable weekend with the fans and the team, and let’s see if we can score a good result. With the material we have available we can fight for the top ten and that will be the main objective. After that, we’ll see.”

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Álvaro Bautista

Alongside Bautista, Karel Abraham is hoping to return to the points for the first time since the Australian grand prix in his final race with the Ángel Nieto Team.

Karel Abraham

“It is time for the final round of the season at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. It will be a difficult race but I have good memories of this track because it is where I scored my first World Championship win back in 2010. I am going to Valencia with mixed emotions because I am looking forward to racing again but at the same time I don’t want the season to end because it will be my last race with the Ángel Nieto Team after two seasons and the last time with my crew.”

MotoGP Malaysia Race Abraham
Karel Abraham

The 2018 chapter of the incredible story of the MotoGP World Championship draws to a close at Valencia, but the final race weekend of the season is far from an epilogue. The unique atmosphere of the amphitheater setting always makes it a race weekend to remember – and this time, that’s even more true than ever. Goodbyes and new beginnings start here – from the 16th to 18th November.

2018 MotoGP Standings
Pos Rider Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 321
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 220
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 195
4. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 193
5. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 149
6. Zarco Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 149
7. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 148
8. Petrucci Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 144
9. Iannone Andrea Team Suzuki Ecstar 133
10. Lorenzo Jorge Ducati Team 130
11. Pedrosa Dani Repsol Honda Team 106
12. Bautista Alvaro Angel Nieto Team 105
13. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 91
14. Morbidelli Franco Marc VDS Racing Team 50
15. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 44
16. Syahrin Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 40
17. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 35
18. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 35
19. Smith Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 30
20. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 23
21. Redding Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 15
22. Abraham Karel Angel Nieto Team 10
23. Kallio Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6
24. Bradl Stefan Honda Racing Corporation 3
25. Nakasuga Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Team 2
26. Simeon Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 1
27. Pirro Michele Ducati Team 1
28. Luthi Thomas Marc VDS Racing Team 0
29. Torres Jordi MV Agusta Reparto Corse 0
30. Jones Mike Reale Avintia Racing 0
31. Guintoli Sylvain Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team 0
32. Ponsson Christophe Ponsson C. 0
MotoGP Team Standings
Pos Team Points
1. Repsol Honda Team 427
2. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 388
3. Ducati Team 363
4. Suzuki MotoGP 282
5. Alma Pramac Racing 235
6. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 189
7. LCR Honda 174
8. Angel Nieto Team 102
9. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 65
10. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 59
11. Estrella Galicia 0,0 50
12. Reale Avintia Racing 36


Francesco Bagnaia was back on the podium in Sepang, and although key rival Miguel Oliveira finished just ahead of him, the 16 points for second were more than enough for the Italian to wrap up the crown. Teammate Luca Marini also won the race – his maiden Grand Prix victory – making it an incredible day to remember not just for ‘Pecco’ but for the team. It caps off an incredible season, and sets up the perfect swansong in Valencia.

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Francesco Bagnaia – Image by AJRN

Bagnaia has been a serious force to be reckoned with this year, taking control of the standings pretty early and hammering home that advantage in the latter half of the season. So will his final race in see him back on the top step? Or can Oliveira – last year’s winner – or Fabio Quartararo take another Moto2 win to also leave for the premier class on a high and another addition to their CVs?

Bagnaia will surely feel the most confident heading into Valencia, but the spring in Marini’s step will likely mirror that of his compatriot; fresh as he is from a maiden win. Meanwhile Brad Binder is looking for more of a bounce back after a tough Malaysian GP, but the South African did wrap up P3 overall in the standings at Sepang. The likes of Marcel Schrötter want to move back towards the front, too – with the German still looking for that maiden win and maiden pole.

Alex Marquez was another who, like Binder and Schrötter, didn’t get the results he’d wanted on race day last time out. The 2014 Moto3 World Champion dominated practice and qualifying – half a second clear on pole – but it didn’t become his first win of the year. He has chance to take that in Valencia, however, at a track that holds good memories for him and where he’s racing in front of a home crowd.

MotoGP Malaysia QP Moto Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)

His teammate will also be doing that and is one who will graduate to the premier class next season. With just two points between them as is stands, can the Rookie of the Year strike for his first – and only – Moto2 win before he moves up? Or will experience play in Marquez’ favour?

There’s one last race for this era of Moto2, with more than simply the names changing next year: 2019 sees the debut of Triumph power for the intermediate class. Someone will take the honour of the last win of the year before the next era begins – for man or machine. Find out who from the 16th to 18th November at Valencia.

Moto2 Championship Standings

  1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX 304 points
  2. Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM 272
  3. Brad Binder (RSA) KTM 201
  4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) KALEX 162
  5. Alex Marquez (SPA) KALEX 157


As we head back to shores closer to home for those who fought for the Moto3 World Championship this season, there’s one final set of bragging rights on the table for the riders graduating to Moto2.

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Can Jorge Martin seal another win before he moves up as reigning Champion? Or can Marco Bezzecchi or Fabio Di Giannantonio bounce back from losing the crown to take to the top step one final time?

Valencia is a very different track to Sepang; likewise the conditions and temperatures. Add to that a little more experience of the venue for many and it’s sure to be another corker. Martin took his first win there in 2017 and will surely arrive as the favourite, but the motivation of those on the losing end in Malaysia can’t be underestimated.

The cast of those with everything to gain doesn’t stop there, either. Enea Bastianini is moving up too, as is Philipp Oettl. Then there are home heroes like Aron Canet, Albert Arenas, Marcos Ramirez… and the likes of his teammate Jaume Masia, who’s fighting for Rookie of the Year and will be hoping to be fit to race on home turf.

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Marco Bezzecchi – Image by AJRN

The time has come! The final stand and the last fiesta of the season rolls in to Valencia on the 16th – 18th November, make sure to tune in to see if more records can be broken and who’ll close out 2018 on top.

Moto3 Championship Standings

  1. Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA 240 points
  2. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) KTM 214
  3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA) HONDA 205
  4. Enea Bastianini (ITA) HONDA 166
  5. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) HONDA 151

Source: MCNews.com.au