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Nov 12, 2017

MotoGP World Championship Race Results From Valencia (Updated)

Circuit de Comunitat Valenciana.

Gran Premio Motul De La Comunitat Valenciana

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Circuit de Comunitat Valenciana

Valencia, Spain

November 12, 2017

Race Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 30 laps, Total Race Time 46:08.125

2. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), -0.337 second

3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), -10.861 seconds

4. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), -13.567

5. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), -13.817

6. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), -14.516

7. Jack Miller, Australia (Honda), -17.087

8. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), -17.230

9. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati), -25.942

10. Tito Rabat, Spain (Honda), -27.020

11. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), -30.835

12. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), -35.012

13. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), -38.076

14. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), -41.988

15. Hector Barbera, Spain (Ducati), -47.703

16. Loris Baz, France (Ducati), -47.709

17. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yamaha), -52.134

18. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), -5 laps, DNF, crash

19. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), -5 laps, DNF, crash

20. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), -6 laps, DNF, crash

21. Sam Lowes, UK (Aprilia), -8 laps, DNF, crash

22. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), -16 laps, DNF, crashed twice

23. Scott Redding, UK (Ducati), -26 laps, DNF, crash

24. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), -27 laps, DNF, crash

25. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM), -28 laps, DNF, crash


World Championship Point Standings (after 18 of 18 races):

1. Marquez, 298 points (clinched World Championship)

2. Dovizioso, 261

3. Vinales, 230

4. Pedrosa, 210

5. Rossi, 208

6. Zarco, 174

7. Lorenzo, 137

8. Petrucci, 124

9. Crutchlow, 112

10. Jonas Folger, 84

11. Miller, 82

12. Bautista, 75

13. Iannone, 70

14. Redding, 64

15. Aleix Espargaro, 62

16. Rins, 59

17. Pol Espargaro, 55

18. Baz, 45

19. Rabat, 35

20. Abraham, 32

21. Smith, 29

22. Barbera, 28

23. Pirro, 25

24. Kallio, 11

25. Lowes, 5

26. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, 4

27. Sylvain Guintoli, 1

28. TIE, Van Der Mark/Takuya Tsuda/Hiroshi Aoyama/Broc Parkes, 0



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marc Marquez wins 2017 MotoGP World Championship at Valencia

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez is the 2017 MotoGP World Champion after taking the third place in today’s Grand Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

At 24-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win four premier-class World Championship titles and six World Championships over all classes, during a period of only ten years of World Championship racing.

Marquez has now equalled Jim Redman and Geoff Duke’s tally of 6 World Titles in his career.

Marc Marquez 2017 World Championship facts so far:

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class World Championships, at the age of 24 years and 268 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of six World Championships, taking the record from Valentino Rossi, who was 25 years and 244 days old when he won his sixth title, the 2004 MotoGP crown.

– Marquez has won all his MotoGP titles riding Honda motorcycles. The only Honda rider to have won more premier-class world title is Mick Doohan, who won five premier-class titles in the 1990s.

– Only one Spanish rider has won more world titles than Marquez: Angel Nieto, who won 13 World Championships (seven in the 125cc class and six in the 50cc class) between 1969 and 1984.

– Marquez has won at least five GPs per season over the past eight years, across three categories: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. He is the first rider to achieve this distinction in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing. Previously, Mike Hailwood was the only man to have achieved at least five victories per season over seven years, across at least three classes, between 1961 and 1967.

– Marquez’s current tally of eight 2017 pole positions extends his modern-era pole record to an incredible 73 poles across all three classes.

Marc Marquez bio:

2017

Marc Marquez’s start to the 2017 MotoGP Championship as defending World Champion was not an easy one. While Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales began the season with two consecutive victories, Marc scored fourth place at the season opener in Qatar and then crashed out of the Argentine GP while leading lap four by over two seconds. Never, since advancing from Moto2 to MotoGP in 2013, had Marquez failed to post at least one win in the first two races, nor had he found himself as low as eighth place in the Championship. Nonetheless, round three in Austin was once again entirely a Marc Marquez affair. Taking his first win of the season, the Spaniard completed a perfect weekend, emerging victorious at Circuit of the Americas for the fifth-straight time, after starting from pole position.

Then, in Europe for the first time of the season, Marquez scored a second-place result at Jerez behind teammate Dani Pedrosa, moving up to third in the standings, just four points down on provisional leader Valentino Rossi and two off of runner-up Maverick Viñales. The French and Italian Grand Prix events comprised two additional challenging venues. The 24-year-old encountered his second “zero” of the season when he crashed at Le Mans, and he just managed to take sixth at Mugello, where he struggled to manage front-tyre life for the entire race. Heading to the Catalan GP, Marc was fourth in the Championship, 37 points behind leader Viñales.

Marquez’s second recovery began with a podium finish in scorching-hot conditions at his second home race of the year. Five crashes in the lead up to the Catalan GP wasn’t the best weekend but Marc held it together in the race to cross the line in second, a result that lifted him to third in the Championship standings, just 23 points off the top. Marc then took a crucial third place at TT Assen which, combined with a DNF for Viñales, reduced to 11 points his gap to the top of what was proving to be an incredibly close Championship, even if he was still in fourth place behind Andrea Dovizioso, Viñales, and Rossi. Assen represented the 94th career podium for Marc and the 400th for the Repsol Honda Team. One week later, Marquez’s second win of 2017—and his eighth in a row at the Sachsenring, after starting from pole position—allowed him to head into the summer break leading the Championship for the first time of the season, with a small advantage of five points over fellow countryman Viñales.

When the action resumed in Brno, Marc took his second-consecutive victory, in challenging conditions. It was a flag-to-flag race, the sixth such event of Marquez’s career that he was able to master perfectly, the others having occurred at Assen 2014, Sachsenring 2014, Misano 2015, Argentine 2016, Sachsenring 2016.

On this occasion he found himself struggling soon after the lights went off, having fit a soft rear tyre that he didn’t feel at ease with on a drying track. He therefore decided to swap motorcycles quite early and entered the pit on lap two, when his team was prepared with his second bike, fitted with slick tyres. The decision allowed Marquez to pull a significant gap on his opponents, and he managed it until the chequered flag. The win extended his championship lead to 14 points on Viñales.

At the Austrian GP, Marc scored his fifth-consecutive podium result, just losing the victory to Andrea Dovizioso after a great battle that lasted until the last corner. Unfortunately, at the subsequent British Grand Prix, Marc suffered a technical problem that forced him to retire, putting the Italian, who won the race, at the top of the standings. With the title contenders now starting to reduce to a twosome, Marquez rebounded yet again, taking consecutive victories at the next two rounds in San Marino and Aragon and re-establishing himself as the championship leader.

Marquez and Dovizioso arrived in Japan for the first of three-consecutive flyaways with just 14 points separating them, and put on a stunning showdown at Twin Ring Motegi. In pouring rain, they staged an epic duel, fighting to the last corner of the final lap, and despite the best efforts of the reigning Champion, it was Dovizioso who emerged victorious from “Victory” corner, while Marc was an incredibly close second for his 100th career podium.

Marc arrived at the Australian Grand Prix still leading the standings by 11 points over Dovi, both having won five races apiece. It was crucial for the Repsol Honda man to try and take advantage at what is one of his favourite tracks, and he didn’t miss the opportunity, putting on a stellar performance to secure a crucial victory that extended his Championship lead to 269 points, 33 ahead of Dovizioso who, despite his 13th place, remained his only rival for the Title.

Sepang has never been one of Marc’s favourite track but the young Spaniard managed to score a solid fourth place at the Malaysian wet race which, combined with the achievements of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, earned Honda the 2017 MotoGP Constructor title. It was the manufacturer’s 23rd such crown in history, and the sixth out of the last seven seasons.

With Dovizioso winning the race in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Johan Zarco, Marc arrived at the season finale in Valencia leading the standings by 21 points over the Italian.

Since the World Championship series was introduced in 1949, this was the 18th occasion in which the premier-class title went down to the final race of the year (including 1993 when, strictly speaking, the title went down to the last round with Kevin Schwantz leading injured Wayne Rainey by 18 points).

Taking the third place in Valencia Marc made history by becoming the youngest-ever rider to win four premier-class Riders World Championships, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years and 107 days old when he won his fourth premier-class title in 1965.

The 2016 season positively proved that Marc Marquez is a fast learner. He approached his fourth MotoGP campaign with a new mentality, vowing that he would fight for the win or the podium when possible and would minimize the damage when the odds were against him. Consistency was the key to a season for which the introduction of unified electronics and a switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres shook the field up and made the racing more unpredictable than ever.

After a demanding preseason that produced mixed results for the Repsol Honda Team, Marc started the Championship in a positive way, climbing the third step of the podium at the season opener in Qatar. In Argentina Marc and the team took their revenge on the 2013 Australian mix-up, scoring an awesome victory in another tyre-issue-affected race that—despite taking place in dry conditions—was run in a flag-to-flag format with a compulsory stop to change motorcycles. One week later he scored his fourth successive Austin win from pole, making it his 10th victory in a row on American soil. With this success, Marc also overtook Kevin Schwantz in number of victories in the premier class, with 26.

Back in Europe for the first race on home turf, Marc realized that trying to win was too risky and wisely settled for third behind title rivals Rossi and Lorenzo. In France he wasn’t able to avoid crashing on lap seven while fighting for second but re-joined the race in last place and finished 13th. The Italian GP was a first important turning point in the season, as Rossi retired with an engine failure. Marc engaged Lorenzo in a spectacular duel for victory on the final lap, and he lost it at the line by mere 19 thousandths of a second. The Catalan GP two weeks later dealt a cruel blow to the riders and the whole MotoGP movement, as 24-year-old Moto2 Spanish rider Luis Salom lost his life after crashing during the second free practice. The event continued in accordance with the wishes of Salom’s family, and Marc and Dani both finished on the podium, in second and third respectively, in the race that won by Rossi, with Lorenzo retiring after being involved in a race incident.

Two weeks later, the Dutch TT was red-flagged due to heavy rain. Marc got off well on the second start but ran wide and dropped back to third behind Dovizioso and Rossi; after the two Italians fell ahead of him and with Lorenzo back in 10th place, Marc gave up a fight for the victory with fellow Honda rider Jack Miller, in order to avoid the risk of throwing away a vital second-place finish. Bad weather continued to affect the action during the next race in Germany, halfway into the season. Following an earlier downpour, the young Spaniard was struggling on a surface that was drying progressively and dropped back to ninth place after swerving off the track, but he never lost his nerve and changed to slick tyres before everyone else, beginning an incredible recovery from 14th position to take his seventh win in a row at the Sachsenring Circuit. The result was Marquez heading into the summer break with a healthy 48-point lead over Lorenzo in the Championship classification.

The action resumed in August, with a tight schedule of four races in five weeks that saw Marc putting into best practice his new strategy. He managed to finish fifth in the Ducati-dominated Austrian GP, took third in the Czech GP and, not perfectly comfortable with his choice of tyres in both the British and Misano GPs, scored two fourth-place finishes, the latter in a race dominated by teammate Pedrosa. At the same time, Lorenzo dropped back in third, 61 points off the top, while Rossi reduced his standings deficit to 43 points. Marc knew that more favourable tracks were about to come, and his home GP at Aragón was circled in red in his personal calendar. He didn’t miss the opportunity, taking the 64th pole of his Grand Prix career during Saturday’s qualifying, equalling Lorenzo for most career poles in history, and scoring a momentous victory on Sunday ahead Lorenzo and Rossi, bringing his career tally to 54 wins and equalling, at just 23 years of age, Australian legend Mick Doohan. Marc also moved to 52 points clear of the Italian in the standings, and 66 ahead of his countryman. With a maximum of 100 points available across the season’s remaining four races, there was an outside chance that Marquez could win the Championship at Honda’s home race in Japan and he took it winning his first-ever MotoGP race at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt and therefore securing the 2016 MotoGP title.

A challenging season (2015)

The 2015 season was Marc’s third in MotoGP, and it proved to be more difficult than previous years. During the first race, at Losail Circuit, he ran wide in turn 1 and had to make a great recovery to finish in fifth position. He got back on top in Texas but in Argentina he hit his first “zero” of the six that he would eventually tally over the course of the season. With two laps remaining in the race, Marc and Rossi were jostling for first place when they touched, and as they picked the bikes up, Rossi’s rear wheel collected Marc’s front sending the Spaniard to the ground.

Marquez produced a stellar performance at the GP of Spain to close the gap in the Championship with a well-earned second place, but thereafter Le Mans, Mugello and Catalunya comprised a challenging period. He just managed fourth in France but suffered two more zeros in Italy and Catalunya.

Assen marked another important point during the year. Marc, who had been tailing Valentino for 19 laps, made his move with seven laps remaining, taking the lead. With just three laps to go, a small mistake in the last chicane allowed Rossi to pass him and try to open up a gap. Marc recovered four tenths of a second to Valentino in the last lap and made his move into the last chicane on the final lap. The two riders touched briefly but Valentino was able to pick the bike up, riding through the gravel trap, beating Marc to the finish line.

Marc sealed a perfect weekend in Germany, recording a new race-lap record en route to victory, following his pole-position record, and he won again in Indianapolis. With these two consecutive victories, he was able to reduce his gap to 56 points behind Rossi. Starting from second on the grid in Brno, Marc held his position behind pole man Jorge Lorenzo from the beginning to the chequered flag. Unfortunately, in Silverstone he crashed out at turn one while fighting for the lead in the rain during an accident-filled race.

At Misano—one of just three active circuits where he had not previously won in the premier class (along with Motegi and Phillip Island)—the Repsol Honda rider returned to victory in varying weather, following two bike changes.

Marquez arrived in Aragon 63 points behind Rossi, but then crashed out in turn 12, ending his title hopes.

Marc only managed to come home fourth in the wet Motegi race, but he took an incredible victory at the next round, in Australia. The race began at a rapid pace, with Lorenzo, Iannone, Marc, Dani, Rossi and Crutchlow leading the way. Lorenzo pushed at the front, trying to open a gap as the other riders jostled for position behind him throughout the race. With just two laps to go, Marc dropped down to fourth but never gave up hope, passing Rossi for third on the penultimate lap and making up two more places on the final lap (the fastest lap of the race). Marquez took the victory by just 0.249 seconds over Lorenzo. It was the 50th victory in Marc’s career and his first at Phillip Island in the MotoGP class.

In Malaysia, Marc was involved in an incident with Valentino Rossi and crashed out on lap five. Dani made a strong start, and as he took control at the front, Marc and Rossi fought fiercely for third place behind Lorenzo. Rossi led Marc on lap five, and as they exited turn 13 with Marc on the outside, Rossi slowed and Marc crashed out of the race.

Marc concluded the 2015 season with a second-place finish in the Valencia GP and finished the year in third overall.

Back-to-back MotoGP Championships (2014)

Marc broke his leg during training after the first 2014 Sepang test and missed the second Sepang test as well as the test at Phillip Island. He arrived in Qatar for round one with just three days on the bike but took pole in qualifying and won the race after an epic battle with Rossi.

In Austin the young Spaniard led every session and won the race. In Argentina, he led all sessions apart from FP1 and again won the race. With three in a row, Marc was on a roll. He continued his dominance to the season’s midway point, winning in Germany, and then made it 10 out of 10 with an Indianapolis win after the summer break. However, he couldn’t quite manage 11 out of 11 and in Brno, teammate Dani took the victory with Marc finishing fourth.

He was back on top in Silverstone for round 12 but then came two difficult races; in San Marino, while chasing Rossi in the early laps, Marc made an error and low-sided. He managed to get the bike restarted and took an important single Championship point for his 15th place finish. Two weeks later in Aragón he dominated FP3 and FP4 and took pole position. The race began with a fantastic battle between Marc, Dani and Lorenzo, but when late rain arrived to spoil the show, Marc and Dani both crashed out. They were able to return to pit lane and change the bike, but with just two laps remaining, it was too late; Marc finished 13th and Dani 14th.

Marc arrived in Japan with a 75 point margin, meaning that he would seal the title if he finished in front of Dani and lost no more than three points to Rossi and 15 to Lorenzo. It was a closely fought race, as Marc battled with Rossi, who would not give up the fight easily. Iin the end, Marc was able to control the gap behind Lorenzo and finish in front of Rossi and Dani. His second-place Motegi finish and the 20 points that accompanied it delivered him his second and successive MotoGP World Championship, becoming the first Honda rider to clinch a World title—in any class—at the Motegi circuit. He also became the youngest ever rider to win two consecutive premier-class World Championships at the age of 21 years, 237 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 23 years, 152 days when he won his second successive 500cc title in 1963.

MotoGP World Champion (2013)

There were huge expectations for what Marc could achieve in his first season in MotoGP, and he immediately demonstrated that he was able to battle with the elite of the class. After a strong pre-season winter test, the young Spaniard scored his first podium in the first race, in Qatar. In Austin on 21 April 2013, he set the pole and recorded his first MotoGP win in just his second race, becoming the youngest ever rider to win a premier-class GP, at the age of 20 years, 63 days, taking the record from Freddie Spencer (20 years 196 days -Belgium 500cc GP at Spa-Francorchamps – 1982). Marc arrived at round three in Jerez leading the Championship and took second behind teammate Dani Pedrosa. In France, he took the pole on Saturday and claimed a remarkable podium on Sunday—racing a MotoGP bike in the wet for the first time—but at the following GP in Italy, he lost the front and crashed out from second with just three laps remaining in the race. Marc shrugged the incident off and returned to the podium at the next round in Catalunya, taking third.

In Assen, title rival Jorge Lorenzo fractured his collarbone on Thursday and Marc also suffered a big crash in Friday’s FP3, breaking a finger and toe. Incredibly, Lorenzo underwent surgery on Friday and returned to race to a fifth-place finish, while Marc also overcame his injuries by scoring an important second-place finish.

In Germany, he dominated the race and regained the Championship lead as his two main rivals, Lorenzo and teammate Pedrosa, were forced to sit out the race after crashing in practice. Marc continued this run of success, winning at Laguna Seca—becoming the first rookie to win there in the premier class and becoming the youngest rider to win back-to-back premier-class races, at the age of 20 years, 154 days, taking another record from Freddie Spencer (21 years 104 days – South Africa and France GPs – 1983). He won again in Indianapolis, becoming the first premier-class rookie to win three back-to-back races since Kenny Roberts in 1978 (Austria, France and Mugello).

Marc took his fourth win in a row at Brno, becoming the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2008 to win four or more successive races in the premier class and also the youngest rider to have won four successive premier-class Grand Prix races.

In Silverstone, Marc crashed in the Sunday morning warm-up, dislocating his left shoulder, but fortunately he was able to ride and, after starting from pole, managed to take second place. This marked his 50th podium finish, which at the age of 20 years, 196 days, made him the youngest rider to reach this milestone, taking the record from Dani Pedrosa, who was 21 years, 162 days old when he stood on a GP podium for the 50th time. Two weeks later in Misano, Marc secured his sixth pole position of the season and took second in the race. In Aragón a minor contact between the two Repsol Honda teammates resulted in the rear-wheel speed-sensor cable on Dani’s bike breaking, launching the Spaniard into the air. Marc ran wide but remained unaffected and chased down Lorenzo to take his sixth win of the season.

The team remained focused and united and had another fantastic weekend in Malaysia with a 1-2 finish, Marc placing second behind Dani but in front of Lorenzo. One week later in Australia, tyre issues for all the riders dictated a new race distance of 19 laps, with at least one mandatory pit stop to change bikes. Riders were not permitted to complete more than 10 laps on any rear tyre, but Marc entered the pits before crossing the line to complete lap 11 and was shown the black flag after he re-joined the race. The team had wrongly understood that he was allowed to complete 10 laps and come back in before completing lap 11. Nonetheless, Marc and his crew moved on from this as they headed to Japan for the last of the three flyaway races. The Japanese GP was strongly affected by adverse weather conditions, resulting in no track action at all on Friday, just an extended 75 minute wet qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and a 45 minute free-practice session on Sunday morning. With less than one hour on a dry Motegi track with the MotoGP machine, Marc settled for second place behind Lorenzo, meaning that heading to the season-ending Valencia GP, just 13 points were separating the two countrymen. Back in Spain, Marc set the fastest times in FP1, FP2 and FP3 before taking his ninth pole of the season. On Sunday he rode a mature race and took a safe third, securing his first MotoGP World Championship in his maiden season.

Moto2 World Champion (2012)

The start of the 2012 season was not easy for Marc, as he missed almost the entire pre-season while recovering from the injury he had sustained in free practice for the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. Marc had experienced double vision following the crash, and after three months passed with no improvement, he opted to have surgery on 16 January 2012. He was treated for paralysis of the upper right oblique muscle, caused by trauma to the fourth right cranial nerve. The operation was a success and he recovered in time for the Qatar Grand Prix, the first race of 2012. He did not disappoint, taking the win in the desert, showing that he was fully recovered and ready to push for the title. That victory was followed by a second-place finish in Jerez and another win in Portugal before he crashed out of a wet Le Mans GP. That small blot on his record was followed by nine podiums from 12 races: eight wins (in Qatar, Portugal, Holland, Germany, Indianapolis, Czech Republic, San Marino and Japan), two runner-up finishes (Catalunya and Great Britain) and two third places (Jerez and Aragon). Rain again caught Marc out at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Three laps into the race, the Repsol rider crashed out. Fortunately, the advantage gained at the preceding races allowed for him to clinch the crown just one week later in Australia, where he was crowned Moto2 World Champion.

Runner-up in Moto2 in his first year (2011)

After winning the title, the natural next step for the young rider was to move to Moto2 in 2011, so Marc joined a team created especially for him, boasting engineers and mechanics with experience in Moto2 and MotoGP. After suffering three crashes in the first four races, he got to grips with the class and, at the French GP, announced his arrival as a serious title contender. He won at Le Mans and took second at Montmeló but one race later he suffered another crash while fighting for the win at the British GP. This was the final blip before a huge comeback, in which he picked up three consecutive wins (Assen, Italy and Germany), one second place (Brno), a further three wins on the bounce (Indianapolis, San Marino and Aragón) and another second place (Motegi). There was still to be another amazing comeback in 2011, this time at the Australian GP. After being penalised for an infraction in Free Practice and sent to the 38th spot on the grid on Sunday, he overtook 35 rivals to take the last spot on the podium and reduce his standings deficit to just three points. At that point, he had recovered 82 points on Championship leader Stefan Bradl, but a crash in FP1 for the Malaysian left him unable to compete in the final two events, forcing him to concede the title, though his seven wins, three second places and one third place earned Marc the Rookie of the Year honour and a creditable runner-up spot in the Moto2 World Championship.

First GP win and first World Championship Title (2010 – 125cc)

In 2010, Marc decided to join the Ajo Motorsport team riding a Derbi, and from the pre-season, he set a record pace, adapting well to his new bike and team.

In the first race in Qatar, Marc took pole position and followed that up with a podium finish. He crashed out on the first lap of the following race in Jerez after his bike’s exhaust system broke, but he once again reached the podium in France, and two weeks later, on 6 June 2010, he took the first victory of his career, at Mugello. He went on to win the following four races consecutively—Silverstone, Assen, Catalunya and Sachsenring—setting pole position at each one. Some ups and downs after the summer break interrupted Marc’s winning streak, but another victory in San Marino and then another series of four consecutive wins in Motegi, Sepang, Phillip Island and Estoril meant that the title would be decided in Valencia in a duel between two Marc and Nico Terol. Marc could count on an advantage of 17 points in the standings and in the race he uncharacteristically avoided entering the battle for victory; his fourth-position allowed him to reach the finish line celebrating the title. He was the 2010 125cc World Champion at 17, after taking 10 victories and 12 pole positions.

In 2009, again sporting the number 93 on his Repsol fairing to celebrate the year he was born, Marc demonstrated the talent that had impressed everyone. Riding for the official KTM team, he took his second podium in Jerez and, at the French Grand Prix, became the second-youngest rider ever to take pole position in the World Championship. Afterward, despite being among the top group on several occasions, he suffered some bad luck and crashes but still finished nearly all of the races in the top five.

World Championship Debut (2008)

Marc’s debut in the Motorcycle Road Racing World Championship was with the Repsol KTM Team at the 2008Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril because an ill-timed pre-season crash resulted in a fracture of his right arm, preventing him from being on the starting grids for the first two races. In his sixth race, the British Grand Prix, he was able to set a milestone in motorcycling history taking third position, becoming the youngest rider ever to make it onto a World Championship podium. He finished his rookie season in 13th position overall, despite having missed four races due to injury.

In 2007 he again participated in the CEV, this time with KTM, but several crashes prevented him from taking a better position than ninth overall. Nonetheless, Alzamora had a surprise in store: the next year Marquez would be a part of the big World Championship family.

The 2005 season was an important one for Marc, as it was then that he met Emilio Alzamora, 1999 125cc World Champion with Honda. During that season, Marc won the 125cc Catalan Championship, as well as the 85ccCatalan Supermotard Championship. The following year, 2006, he repeated the Catalan triumph, and at the same time made his debut in the Spanish Road Racing Championship (CEV), where he achieved an eighth overall position.

In 2004 Marc jumped to the 125cc class with a Honda 125 GP. He signed for the RACC Impala team, with Pol Espargaró as his teammate. After six races he took the runner-up position behind his teammate.

Marc changed to the big circuits in 2003 by taking part in the Open RACC 50, a six-race Catalan Championship, and he won the title with an overwhelming performance in his first year.

In 2002 Marc finished third in the Conti Cup, a road racing series promoted by the Catalan Motorcycling Federation. He continued competing in motocross but began shifting his focus to road racing.

In 2001, he took another step forward and won the Catalan Championship of the Initiation motocross category.

From dirt to tarmac. In 2000, although he continued competing in enduro, he was also runner-up in the Catalan Motocross Championship.

In 1999, his father bought him a second-hand 50cc off-road pocket bike, on which he continued to enjoy enduro and also began in motocross.

At age 4, Marc asked for a motorbike for Christmas, and with the aid of training wheels, he had his first riding experience, going with his father to an industrial area near their house. In 1998, when he was 5, he participated in the Enduro for Kids, in the Initiation category. He would have preferred to race motocross, but there wasn’t a class for kids his age at the time.

First steps (1993-2000)

On 17 February 1993, a future champion was born in Lleida, Spain. Marc has always lived in Cervera, a small town near the capital of the province where he resides with his parents and brother Alex.



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

DOUBLE CRASH FOR ESPARGARÓ AND LOWES

THE VALENCIA RACE CLOSES OUT A POSITIVE SEASON FOR APRILIA

AFTER A YEAR OF GREAT PROGRESS, THE RS-GP PREPARES FOR NEXT CHAMPIONSHIP

With a double crash - first Aleix Espargaró in the early stages of the race and then Sam Lowes toward the end - the Valencia race ended, the last MotoGP round of 2017.

Aleix, after starting from the third row, was pushing to stay in the top ten and to stay in contact with the best when he crashed on turn one during the fourth lap. In any case, it would have been a difficult race for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini's Spanish rider who, upon returning after surgery to his left hand, had to reckon with a pesky bout of bronchitis throughout the weekend.

Sam Lowes, in his last race on the Aprilia MotoGP bike, crashed during the 22nd lap.

The double zero compromises Aprilia's MotoGP season which saw the RS-GP growing consistently until achieving performance worthy of the top positions with Espargaró. On several occasions, Aleix came close to a top five finish and the bike made significant progress in qualifying, almost earning a spot on the front row several times and taking the fourth best time in the GP of Japan, the best grid position for an Aprilia in MotoGP history. In any case, 2017 seems to have laid the foundation for development which, without any break, will begin on Tuesday when Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding will be on the Aprilia V4 machines during the tests scheduled at Valencia. Much more than just a sneak peek of the 2018 season.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"I struggled with the front end feeling throughout the weekend and in the early stages of the race with a full tank, the difficulty was even more evident. I tried to stay calm at the start, but apparently I wasn't calm enough. I made a mistake that I am particularly disappointed about, because we deserved to finish the season in a better way. Now I want to think about 2018, where we will need to continue improving the RS-GP and our approach to the races. Beyond the results, which do not fully reflect our work, this season I had fun riding and I feel very much at home with the team. I have a lot of confidence in the Aprilia engineers and I know that they will put together an excellent technical package for us."

SAM LOWES

"My pace at the midrace point was very good. It's a pity that I had lost contact with the group because of some problems downshifting. I went long a couple of times and that shook my concentration and then there was the unlucky crash. I want to thank the team and wish them all the best for next season. A new adventure in Moto2 awaits me and I want to be ready to tackle that in the best possible way."



More, from a press release issued by Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing:

Miller and Rabat finish double top ten in Valencia

The MotoGP season ended with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat scoring a double top ten finish in todays race in Valencia.

It was superb performance from both riders who surged through the traffic on the tight and twisty 4km Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Miller started 12th and finished seventh in the 30-lap race, which was won by fellow Honda RC213V rider Dani Pedrosa. This was Miller’s ninth top ten of the season.

Spanish star Rabat qualified 14th and finished 10th in a finely judged ride before home fans.

The platform for Miller’s seventh place was a bold opening lap performance which saw make up four places to be in eighth place.

He then fought a stirring mid-race battle with Valentino Rossi before settling for seventh place with fading front-end grip in the final laps.

For Rabat the race was a triumph for his determination as he clawed his way back after dropping to 18th place on the opening lap. In the end Rabat finished just one second behind Ducati rider Michele Pirro.

Miller completed the championship 11th in the standings on 82 points with Rabat 19th on 35 points.

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS finished seventh in the team rankings on 117 points.

Jack Miller: 7th

“It was a great race for me and perhaps could have been better because I lost a lot of time in the final two laps. I had to give up the fight with Valentino because I had a couple of front-end moments with my front tyre grip going down towards the end. I felt I could have fought with Rossi and Iannone right to the end otherwise. It has been a good finish to the season with three top tens including two seventh places so no better way to end my time with this great team.”

Tito Rabat: 10th

“I am really happy to leave this magnificent team with a 10th place in Valencia, I have had a great time here both in Moto2 and MotoGP. The early laps were difficult but I never gave up and it is very satisfying to be in the top ten as I prepare for a new challenge in my career.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“I am very happy for this result by Jack and Tito in their final race with our team, they both move to new challenges in 2018. To have both riders in the top ten is an excellent finish to the season and moved Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS up two places in the team rankings at this final race in Valencia.”



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Remarkable Zarco powers to 2nd in memorable Season Finale – Inspired performance by Van der Mark

Johann Zarco stole the limelight in Valencia today after narrowly missing out on his first MotoGP victory. The French star undertook a rocket start and lead for almost the entire race as he rode a formidable pace. After an intense duel with Dani Pedrosa right until the chequered flag, Zarco surged across the finish line to seal the third podium in his rookie season in what was a truly exceptional end to the 2017 campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael van der Mark impressed once again in his second MotoGP race. The young Dutch rider started the GP from the ninth row of the grid and powered onwards before notably fighting his way up to 16th. A small error saw him drop back but he remained focused to eventually finish the sprint in 17th. Monster Yamaha Tech3 would like to thank Michael for his efforts.

Johann Zarco

Position: 2nd - Championship: 6th - Points: 174

“I am so happy about today because I was competitive enough to fight for the victory and, like I said yesterday, I knew I can do this because I have all of the elements that I need to go for the win. When I felt Marquez, who was really strong, I had things under control but I didn’t want to let him take the advantage and run away. He had to control it too, yet, I was thinking about the victory and possibly overtaking again and then I passed him. This is why I am pretty happy and finishing 1st or 2nd doesn't change anything about the race quality that I did. I can enjoy this moment and it must be pleasing for Dani also. He overtook me in a good way on the last lap, at the first corner and he then waited a bit and I couldn't enter the corner effectively. I lost too much distance and when I tried to catch him again, I almost crashed. Nevertheless, this second place finish is the best way to finish my season.”

Michael van der Mark

Position: 17th - Championship: Not classified

"It has been a challenging weekend but I really enjoyed the race today. I had a very strong start and moved up a couple of places, whilst I had some nice battles on the track. This Grand Prix was great fun and I want to thank Hervé for the opportunity. It was always a dream to ride a MotoGP bike and to do two races with this amazing team was special for me. If he asks me again, then I would be delighted to ride with the team. We just need to work more with the setup of the bike for my style but overall, I have enjoyed this weekend so much."

Hervé PONCHARAL

Team manager

“It was an amazing final for the MotoGP World Championship. We knew that there would be a lot of tactics and strategies between Dovi and Marquez. Clearly, Johann realised this, took the lead and then tried to break away, because he was willing to take more risks than the others, who had a lot to lose. He rode incredibly in the opening laps and remained at the front until almost one lap to go. Unfortunately, Dani was really strong in the last ten laps and he made his move at the correct corner, which was turn 1 on the final lap and that was it, despite Johann’s efforts. Of course, a win is something magical and what everyone was hoping for, yet, this experience will certainly help him to be stronger. The last four races have been unbelievable with four consecutive front row starts and a second successive podium. In addition, I think we gave some valuable information to Factory Yamaha who tried our bike today. They could see that maybe it was better in some departments but not overall. Anyway, our rider showed that it doesn't matter what people are saying because he is the one making the difference and getting the results. I’d like to congratulate him for the whole season, which has been like a dream and say thanks for giving us the rookie of the year and top satellite titles with 6th in the championship. Furthermore, he has helped us to complete the campaign as the top Independent team. Another fantastic achievement is that this year, Johann has led the second highest number of laps, with 64, after Marquez. On the other side of the pit box, Michael made a lot of progress compared to Sepang and I’m sure that the dry weather helped him. He fought with experienced MotoGP riders and did a great job so we are happy with how things progressed and we know that it was not easy, but I would like to thank him for replacing Jonas. He is smart and he deserves more opportunities so I will try to do my best to give him some chances if it is possible to do so, in collaboration with Yamaha. Additionally, I really hope that Jonas watched this race and it will push him to work hard to recover. We need him and I hope that we can see number 94 on the other side of the garage soon. Thanks to the whole team for their hard work, it was an unbelievable season. Finally, I would like to say farewell to Wil Moody who has been a fantastic asset to the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. I want to wish him good luck with his new adventure and say thanks for all of his work.”



More, from a press release Reale Avintia Racing:

Barbera and Baz enjoy their last race with Reale Avintia Racing

The last race of the year is always special for everyone, but this Grand Prix of Valencia was even more special for the riders of Reale Avintia Racing Team. For both Hector Barbera and Loris Baz, the weekend meant the final showdown with the Spanish team, which culminated in an intense day of racing.

Barbera was in his home race and expected to say goodbye to the team with a good result. He crossed the finish line in 15th place and scored another world championship point, just ahead of his teammate in Reale Avintia, Loris Baz. The Frenchman, who rode a big part of the race within the point rankings, enjoyed the fight with Barbera on the last laps and although he wasn’t able to beat him, he had a great time racing.

Everyone in the Reale Avintia Racing team wishes Hector and Loris the very best for the future. They are two great riders, but above all they are two great guys. We’ll be your biggest fans in Moto2 and World Superbike!

Hector Barbera | P15

“This last race was no different to all the others this season and although the result wasn’t good once again, racing in front of the fans in Valencia is always something incredible. I’ll miss the team, but this weekend didn’t feel like a farewell or the end of something, it was the beginning of a new chapter in my career. I want to thank the team, especially Raúl (Romero), Bocha (Escobar) and the rest of the people who helped to achieve great things in the last five seasons. I also have to thank all the sponsors, especially Avintia, because they have always been there supporting us. This year wasn’t the dream season we had hoped to experience, instead it has been very hard for everyone. Now our paths separate, but I’m sure we’ll meet again in the future.”

Loris Baz | P16

“It was a difficult race, but it was the same for all Ducatis. I fought to the end with Hector, as we did almost all season, and I loved it because it showed the spirit of our team. It was a fun race altogether. I had a hard time to overtake Van Der Mark, but in the end and after touching several times, I did it. I got away and then fought with Hector during the last few laps. He passed me, I passed him again in the last corner, but accelerating out of the last turn he passed me again. I let him win because he was racing at home…just joking! It’s a bit sad that both riders leave the team, but we both know that next year we’ll have options to fight for the podium, which will motivate us a lot.”



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

#BIG6: Marquez crowned record-breaking 2017 Champion

The rider from Cervera takes his sixth world title and fourth premier class crown, becoming the youngest to achieve the feat

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is now a six-time World Champion following a dramatic #FinalShowdown. Taking the MotoGP™ crown for the fourth time in five years makes it an 80% success rate for the rider from Cervera, who continues to work his way through the record books and has wrapped up title number six at Valencia. The end of 2015 saw Marquez lose the title of World Champion for the first and so far only time since moving to MotoGP™, 2016 saw the number 93 launch a controlled re-assault on the Championship and 2017 has seen that same control as he’s battled at the front, but with more scope to attack. Six wins before being confirmed as Champion make for good reading, before a podium to finish the year in the final round.

A 15-year-old Marquez made his debut in the World Championship in 2008, and although his rookie season was curtailed by injury, he made headlines by achieving a podium result at Donington Park. He picked up another podium result in 2009, before becoming 125 World Champion for the first time in 2010 - winning ten of the last 14 races of the year.

Moving into the Moto2™ class for 2011, Marquez had more difficult start to the season before going on an incredible winning run, taking seven wins to close down the once-large lead of title rival Stefan Bradl – including a podium in Phillip Island from P38 on the grid. A crash in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix put a stop to his charge that season, however, and Marquez was forced to sit on the sidelines with serious problems with his eyesight. Not knowing whether the problem could be solved, Marquez had a tough off season with his career in doubt until surgery was able to correct the problem. Back on track for 2012, he then took the Moto2™ World Championship in style – including an impressive win from the back of the grid at the season finale.

Then it was graduation time and the reigning intermediate class Champion moved up to MotoGP™. On the podium in Qatar and winning his second Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, Marquez became the youngest ever rider to clinch the premier class world title in MotoGP™, thanks to a truly amazing debut season. He also became the first rookie premier class World Champion for 35 years.

The 2014 campaign saw Marquez raise the bar as he took ten successive victories in the opening ten rounds of the season, and Marquez wrapped up the title in Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi for the first time – the home of manufacturer Honda. 2015 began well, with a win at the Americas GP and the number 93 looking to defend his crown. But too many crashes and points lost as the Yamaha charge of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo gained traction saw Marquez out of contention by the time the flyaways came around. A stunning win in Phillip Island saw Marquez back on the top step. After taking victory in one of the greatest races of all time, Marquez and Rossi then clashed next time out in Sepang. Valencia saw the rider from Cervera take another home podium in P2 to complete the year, ready to recharge over the winter and take back his crown from new World Champion Lorenzo.

The strategy was then changed for 2016, as Marquez rode to win a title rather than win the most races. That saw him take the crown at the home of Honda at Motegi - as he did in 2014. Wins in Texas, Argentina, Germany and Aragon saw the Spaniard 52 points clear ahead of the Japanese GP, and arriving there as the only rider to score in every race. 2017 hasn’t played out the same, but the result is the same: an incredible sixth crown.

Beginning the year off the podium at Qatar and then with a DNF in Argentina, Texas was where Marquez first gained some traction, taking his now customary pole and win. That was followed up with a podium at Jerez before what seemed like a disastrous third DNF of the season at Le Mans. After a tough Mugello that saw key rival Andrea Dovizioso take a stunning home win, Marquez then began a podium run until a mechanical issue at Silverstone, but included a win at Sachsenring and Brno. One of those races was a stunning duel at the Red Bull Ring versus Dovizioso, which will be penned into the history books. After Dovizioso won his fourth race of the year at Silverstone, Marquez struck back at Misano – and then again at Aragon. But his Italian rival was far from done, with another jaw-dropping duel lighting the fuse on the rivalry once more in the pouring rain at Motegi - which Dovizioso won.

Phillip Island saw Marquez extend his lead in the points in the Australian GP, and was yet another incredible showcase of the best of MotoGP™ as Marquez pulled away from the dogfight of the year. That set the number 93 up with his first chance at the crown next time out in Malaysia, but Dovizioso won in the rain as Marquez took fourth. It all went down to the wire, with the Italian needing a win and Marquez only to finish 11th or higher.

In that dramatic final race, Marquez almost crashed, saved a huge moment and then rejoined behind Dovizioso - but the Italian crashed out of contention in the race and Championship soon after. Then calmly able to regroup and take the flag in third, Marquez wrote another stunning chapter in both his own history and that of the sport he has pushed the boundaries of since since 2013, with four premier class crowns in five years.

SOME FACTS ABOUT MARC MARQUEZ

– Marquez is the youngest ever rider to win four premier class World Championship titles, at the age of 24 years 254 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood, who was 25 years 107 days when he won his fourth successive 500cc title in 1965.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all time to reach the milestone of six World Championships, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 25 years 244 days old when he won his sixth title in 2004.

- This is the sixth world title across all classes for Marc Marquez (4 x MotoGP, 1 x Moto2, 1 x 125cc); the only Spanish rider with more world titles than Marquez is Angel Nieto, who won thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).

- Marquez has stood on the top step of a podium on five or more occasions for the last eight years across the various GP classes, something achieved previously by only one other rider in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing: Giacomo Agostini.

- This is his fourth MotoGP™ title riding for Honda: the only rider who has won more premier class world titles riding for Honda is Mick Doohan, who won the 500cc title on five occasions.

- During 2017 Marquez has had more podiums than any other rider in the MotoGP™ class (twelve) and most pole positions (eight). He is equal on most wins with runner up Andrea Dovizioso (six each).



More, from a press release issued by Octo Pramac Racing:

Petrux ends up with a superb 8th place in the World Championship. Octo Pramac Racing 5th in the team standings. Good luck Scott!

The 2017 MotoGP season gave great emotions to Octo Pramac Racing. Petrux gained four podium (Mugello, Assen, Assen, Misano and Japan) and won 4 first row start (Barcelona, Germany, Assen and Japan) pushing the team to fifth place in the final classification of the MotoGP championship that sees 6 official teams take part. Scott had a good start of the season and is ready for a new adventure.

In the Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana Scott starts well recovering 8 positions and Danilo tries to push even if the feeling is not the best. The English rider’s race ended on lap 14 due to a crash at turn 1 while Petrux remained focused and took three points to finish his season in eighth position very close to Jorge Lorenzo.

13th Danilo Petrucci

“It was a season full of satisfaction. We have experienced great emotions that I will remember forever. I have an extraordinary team that I want to thank for the work done throughout the season. A special dedication to all those who have contributed to achieving these results. I also greet my mechanic Edoardo with whom I shared the moments before the start of each race”.

DNF Scott Redding

“I'm sorry to have finished the season with a crash, but the feeling with the bike wasn't good. However, I am satisfied for these two years. I had a great relationship with the whole team with whom I worked to overcome the difficulties. The relationship with Pramac Racing is a bond that will remain in the future. Thank you to all the guys who have worked to put me in a position to give my best”.



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

FOURTH PLACE FOR RINS IN VALENCIA WITH IANNONE IN SIXTH

A brilliant final race of the season gave Team SUZUKI ECSTAR some deserved satisfaction, with Alex Rins reaching fourth place in today’s GP de la Comunitat Valenciana and Andrea Iannone not far behind in sixth.

Sunday started with fireworks in this morning’s warmup, as both riders found a very good feel with the bikes and set fast paces. Indeed, Rins clocked the second fastest time of the session (1'31.448 / +0.185s) and Iannone the third (1'31.548 / +0.285s). The riders felt comfortable aboard their GSX-RR´s, able to be consistent over several laps.

Despite a difficult start, Rins was fast to recover the focus and not to lose too many positions from his 10th place in the grid. Passed in 13th place at the end of first lap, the young Spaniard set a very fast pace that allowed him to quickly recover many positions. He kept on overtaking until the 24th lap, when he settled into sixth place. With a clear track ahead he was able to lap in 1’32”, the same pace as the race leaders, until he crossed the finish line in 4th place. This was his best result of the season and is a clear proof of his potential.

An effective jump when the red lights went off allowed Iannone to keep up with the leaders in first lap. Despite having a good pace at the very beginning, he had to progressively concede positions as the tyres got worn, with fading confidence with the front of his GSX-RR. However, the Italian did remain steady in the top ten and finished the race in 6th place, with only a 14.516s gap from the race winner.

The 2017 World Championship sees Andrea Iannone end in 13th place with 70 points and Alex Rins in 16th with 59. Suzuki is 4th in the Constructor World Championship while the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is 6th.

Our warmest congratulations go to the 2017 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, together with runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, and 3rd place finisher Maverick Viñales. Congratulations also to Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli and Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager

“I have to say that finally, at the end of the season, this has been a good race. We have been competitive for the whole weekend until the warm-up session. Honestly, we were expecting to set some better pace with both riders today. We struggled a little more than expected, but at the end we can consider ourselves happy. Finally the season is over and it’s positive how the riders have become more and more competitive and how the GSX-RR has improved. For sure we are still pretty far from the lap time and overall performances of the top five, so we have to develop further. Tomorrow we start the new season with the test and we have many things to try out that we are confident will allow us to be more competitive. I want to thank you all, the team and riders, for this season.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“I’d call this race in Valencia a good end to the season. This season has been pretty tough for all of us, although in the last five or six races we have been able to become more competitive. Since Japan, we have done what we had the potential to do since the very beginning, which is somehow comforting for the new adventure of next season. I really want to say a big thank you to everyone, the crews, the engineers, and the whole team. It’s never easy to keep your head up when things get hard, but we did it as a team. We kept calm, we stayed focused, and finally we recovered. Let’s take all of this and use it to our advantage in the new upcoming season.”

Alex Rins

“Overall it has been a good weekend. We have been improving in each session and we qualified directly to Q2. In the qualifying I expected to get a better position, but otherwise it went well. We had a good pace in the warm-up and I was convinced that I could have a good race. At the start I made a mistake and lost positions, so I had to push from the first lap and try to recover. I think it's a good way to close the season. Now I'm thinking about the training on Tuesday to start working for next year”

Andrea Iannone

“It has been a very positive race and we managed to finish within 14 seconds of the winner, and that’s not so bad. This means in the last races we made some good improvements. It’s been a pity to be in front at the beginning of the race and then lose some positions because I couldn’t push the brakes to the maximum. In this category, when you are not able and get the best from the braking, you suddenly lose three or fourth tenths per lap. I’m very enthusiastic now because we restart on Tuesday. A new season when we will surely have new expectations, a new bike, and, I hope, things to make us better.”



More, from a press release issued by KTM:

RED BULL KTM TEAM CLINCHES 5TH IN MOTOGP CONSTRUCTORS & SCORE HAT TRICK IN MOTO2

RACE 18th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo (ESP)

KTM have written more history today as their debut season in MotoGP and Moto2 came to a crescendo with Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing clinching fifth in the Manufacturers title and the Red Bull Ajo Moto2 team brilliantly winning their third Grand Prix on the bounce after Australia, Malaysia and now Valencia. It is the perfect springboard for KTM to go into testing for the 2018 season that starts this very week in Spain with bikes from Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP.

MotoGP

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had a target at the half way point of 2017 to get a top 10 finish in the second half of the season: They did just that at the very first race back from the summer break, and in total have been inside that target top 10 no less than seven times. Bradley Smith took 11th today and crucial points in the manufacturers championship to take KTM to fifth in the table of six top flight manufacturers who battle in the premier class of MotoGP.

Pol Espargaro had a rare tumble today as did Mika Kallio in the race, but they did so on a day when many had big offs. For Espargaro though, his highlight this year was a ninth in Brno and a sixth on the grid in Australia. Kallio’s best was a tenth in Spielberg during one of his four wildcard appearances while Smith’s racing best was tenth in Misano and Australia.

The team now has five days of testing at Valencia and Jerez with the KTM RC16 before the winter break and the resumption of testing next year before the first race in Qatar on March 18th.

Smith: “That as a special day and to be able to overcome Aprilia was very special for me. I went head to head with Aleix (Espargaro), giving it everything I could to ruffle his feathers a little and that seem to work. I did my job and I kept the pressure on. The race was good as I hit my marks all I could and hold a mid-32 lap time, then it was a case of survival as the tyres went away with others losing the front. Another very close to top ten finish today keeps our top 11 every race since Brno so roll on the work for the tests prior to the break; 2018 is not far away!”

Espargaro: “We must be proud and happy of what we have done this year. Overall we've had a good year as we finished much higher than where we started so the progression this year has been unbelievable. No one expected where we were going to finish so I'm so proud of the guys working here at the track and the team at the factory in Austria developing this bike. This is so important for us. Sure, we finish the season today but next season starts tomorrow with testing so we have new parts and new ideas to do and this makes everyone pumped up, so let's go for 2018 and let's aim for another step up.”

Kallio: “When we started the third lap going into the second corner and I braked normally but suddenly I lost the front without any warning. I'm fine but it's sad to finish the season like this as I wanted to bring some points to KTM, so now we'll enjoy the evening together. During the season the steps we did were amazing and when we started to come close to the top ten this was something some others in the paddock did not expect but it was then other teams started to look at us. Thanks so much from my side of the garage as this test team has been working really well testing and racing – it was not easy jumping into the race mood and race weekends but they did a great job without any mistakes so it was a pleasure to race with KTM again.”

Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): “We all our proud of this first KTM MotoGP season, especially the second part of the year. I must say once more thanks to all the effort from so many individuals, especially the riders who've pushed hard but today it was Bradley who scored the points to get us fifth in the manufacturers championship. Of course it wasn't great Pol had to start from the pit lane but that's a reason of the pace of our development with the new chassis. Mika tumbled off but many others went down today so it wasn't easy. Now we focus on a good winter test and look to 2018.”



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

VALIANT 5TH AND 12TH FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA IN THE FINAL ACT OF MOTOGP IN VALENCIA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales pushed hard in a dramatic final 2017 MotoGP race weekend at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo. In today‘s perfect conditions, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales secured 5th and 12th place respectively.

Valencia (Spain), 12th November 2017

MotoGP fans couldn‘t have asked for a more dramatic Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana today and the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders were there to pick up the pieces. Valentino Rossi rode a very consistent race to secure fifth position. After a small crash in the morning warm up, Maverick Viñales needed some time to make strides. He took 12th place at the finish line.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders could pick up on the excitement in the air as the final race was about to get underway. Rossi had a strong start from seventh, holding his position on the first lap. He then got into a battle with Jack Miller and dropped back to eighth, but the nine-time World Championship cunningly bided his time before taking back seventh position on lap 7.

It looked to be a relatively calm race for the Doctor, but it was just the silence before the storm. With 18 laps to go, he overtook Andrea Iannone, but later had to let Alex Rins pass, just before drama struck. Multiple crashes and run-offs saw the order at the front reshuffled. Yet Rossi remained cool and benefitted from the chaos, settling into fifth place. Unable to make a dent in the gap to the rider in front of him, he held that same position crossing the finish line, 13.817s from the front.

Viñales had a good feeling in the morning, but struggled to complete the testing of some final set-up changes for his YZR-M1 in the warm up session, as he lost some time due to a small crash. In the race he was able to make a solid start from P13, climbing up a place in the first lap, but then had to put a hold on his charge.

The home hero briefly dropped to 15th, but kept fighting. He overtook Danilo Petrucci with 15 laps to go, boosting his confidence. Four laps later he clocked two personal best times in a row, dropping into the low 1‘32s. He soon overtook Bradley Smith and found himself moving up to tenth in the rankings, as various rivals crashed out of the race. He was keen on maintaining his position, but in the end took the chequered flag in 12th place, 35.012s from the front.

Today‘s results see Rossi finish the championship in fifth place with 208 points, two places behind Viñales. The young Spaniard earned 230 points on his first year aboard the YZR-M1, ending the season 68 points behind the leader. Yamaha reclaimed second place in the Constructor rankings, with a 36-point margin to the top. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team are also second in the Team classification, 70 points from first.

The team may have wrapped up the 2017 season, but they will be back in action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Tuesday November 14th, for the two-day Valencia MotoGP Official Test.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

It was a very challenging race day for us, here in Valencia, but I'm sure it was still exciting for the MotoGP fans. Valentino made the most of a difficult weekend and rode a mistake-free race today. Thanks to his efforts and the crashes and run-offs, he secured fifth place. It‘s a shame that he misses out on fourth place in the championship by just two points. Maverick‘s race today was slightly compromised by the incident in the warm up session this morning, which left him with very little time to prepare a set-up for the afternoon. However, his feeling was actually really good in the warm up. It's a pity he had a completely different experience during the race. Today‘s final results are not so exciting, but the team did everything they could to push through a difficult weekend again, despite the challenges we faced, and this allowed us to secure second place in the Team and Constructor Championship and Maverick secured third place in his first year with Yamaha. However, we would have liked to end the season differently. We did everything we could, but we haven‘t been able to achieve what we wanted. The 2018 season already starts on Tuesday. This test will be important to evaluate some new items, but most important is leaving the circuit with a clear idea of the direction we have to take for next year‘s bike.

VALENTINO ROSSI

We wanted to do better, for sure, but it was the kind of race I was expecting. I knew we had to suffer because my pace during the weekend wasn‘t fantastic. We didn‘t have enough grip, so we struggled. Now we think the pre-season tests will be very important, because we have to reduce the gap, improve the setting and try to arrive ready for next season.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

In the warm up I felt good, but maybe I pushed too much too early. I was feeling really good and that is really important. We‘re going to try to achieve that again in the test. The race was different, I had some strange feelings. I needed to slow down a lot. Anyway, I‘m happy that in the warm up we found a way. We know we can improve during the test and we‘re trying. We tried different set-ups and we‘re going to try and adjust.



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BATTLING CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS EIGHTH IN VALENCIA

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow signed off the 2017 MotoGP World Championship with a battling eighth place at the Valencia Grand Prix. Having started from back on the sixth row of the grid, the Briton fought valiantly throughout to secure a place inside the top ten in a thrilling race which ultimately saw Honda’s Marc Marquez claim his fourth world title and his HRC factory team-mate Dani Pedrosa take race victory on the day.

Having posted the tenth fastest time in the morning warm-up session, Crutchlow made good progress once the race was underway at the tight Circuit Ricardo Tormo. However, the 32-year-old ran out of time to try and launch an attack on the leading groups and had to settle for eighth position – a result which saw him finish ninth overall in the World Championship standings.

Crutchlow was pleased to finish the season with a positive performance, but is already aiming to improve again in the 2018 campaign.

Lucio Cecchinello (Team Principal): “We have just finished another exciting season marked by very good results as the fantastic 3rd place in Argentina, 4th places in Austin, Silverstone and Assen, 5th places in Le Mans, Brno and Phillip Island. Cal and the LCR Team end this season 9th overall (3rd Independent Team) and I want to express my deepest gratitude to everybody for supporting us. Now I can not wait to start the new season with Cal and Taka”.

Cal Crutchlow – 8th

(9th overall in the world standing)

"I started way too far back, it’s as simple as that, but obviously we have to be happy with a solid enough result considering. To be in the top ten I thought would be good enough, because starting 16th at a track like this is always difficult. We made some good passes and I rode a good race the last ten laps, I was really able to push, but I just ran out of time to get the guys ahead. If I’d started just a little bit ahead, I think I could have finished at the front of the group with (Alex) Rins. Overall, I think we had a good race.

“I suppose the season has been average, we’ve had some great races, some fourths and fifths along the way, many fourths, but we’ve also had some bad races where I haven’t finished that I should have finished, whether it be my fault or another fault. But we’re happy enough and now we have to go into next year positive. I want to thank Lucio and the whole crew for their excellent job during this season and of course all our partners for supporting us in bad times and good times”. 



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Andrea Dovizioso finishes runner-up in the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. Both the Italian and Jorge Lorenzo crash out and retire from the Valencia GP six laps from the end, while fighting for third. Good race by Michele Pirro, ninth at the flag

Andrea Dovizioso wrapped up the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in the runner-up slot this afternoon in Spain. The Italian Ducati Team rider, who had to win and hope Marquez finished lower than eleventh place to take the title, crashed out six laps from the end of the Valencia GP while in third place. The satisfaction remains however for a fantastic season in which Andrea won six races and fought for the title right down to the last round.

Jorge Lorenzo was also not able to finish the final race of the season. The Spanish rider was forced to retire when he crashed out on lap 25 while in third place, behind Zarco and Pedrosa and ahead of his team-mate. Jorge finished his first season in Ducati with a seventh place overall in the standings.

Michele Pirro ran a good race in his third wild-card outing of the season with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian, who started from row 2 with the sixth quickest time in qualifying, finished the Valencia Grand Prix in ninth.

The MotoGP riders will be back on track again on Tuesday 14 November for two days of testing that mark the start of the 2018 season.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - DNF

“I tried everything and I think that we have to be pleased with this weekend. We weren’t as quick as Marquez but we fought to the very end. I pushed hard right from the first lap, I didn’t make any mistakes and I put myself in the right position but unfortunately I didn’t have many cards to play. At the start I thought I could pass Jorge but there were some points where I was losing and others were I was gaining: in the end staying behind him helped me ride in a smoother way, so it was positive he was in front of me. We were all at the limit, even Marc who managed to save himself once again from a crash, and I want to congratulate him because also this year he managed to make the difference. At any rate I’m very happy with this season and I want to thank all the guys in the team, Ducati and all those who gave their support because our season has been over the top, full of satisfaction.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) - DNF

“No one wants to finish the season with a crash, but apart from this retirement, I think that we must be happy with how we finished the championship, because both in Malaysia and here at Valencia we fought for the podium and this is the way we must begin next year. I pushed hard for the whole race to try and catch the leading group and towards the end I had to take a lot of risks: the front was turning in, especially in the right-handers, and in the end I lost control and couldn’t avoid crashing. Half-way through the race, when Andrea was following me closely, I analyzed the situation and I though that it was better to try and give him a tow to reach the leading group. If we had caught Zarco and Pedrosa I would certainly have let him past. But I want to offer him my congratulations because this year he has had a really fantastic season.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 9th

“At the start it was an enjoyable race for me because I was fighting with the top guys. Then the soft front tyre limited me a bit and when I saw that Dovi and Jorge had crashed out I tried to bring home the best possible result for Ducati. I’m disappointed about that, but this year we proved that we could fight for the world title and so we will start next year even stronger. I want to thank Ducati, Andrea and Jorge because together we’ve had an incredible season.”

Claudio Domenicali (CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.)

“Today we experienced some really strong emotions, an epilogue with a dramatic turn of events that concluded an extraordinary season for Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso. Marc Marquez deservedly won the 2017 world championship and we offer our congratulations to him. But also in this last race Andrea demonstrated that he had the pace, the speed and the determination on a track that in the past had seen him often in difficulty. Then two errors in a few seconds saw both Jorge and Dovi end the season with a retirement, but the great satisfaction remains for what the squad has done this year.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“It’s been a really hard-fought championship, and in the end Marquez and Honda deservedly won, so after the race I went over to congratulate them. We tried right to the end, we went very close, and for me we did a really good and solid season, both in the results and on a technical level. There is still a bit of disappointment over the missed opportunity, but we have to be satisfied for the improvements we have made this year. My heartfelt thanks go out to all the people who have made possible this fantastic world championship.”



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Dani Pedrosa scores great win in Valencia, Marc Marquez 2017 WORLD CHAMPION

The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed a dream day in Valencia today, with Dani Pedrosa winning the Grand Prix (his seventh at Valencia across all classes, his 54th in career, and his 31st in the MotoGP class); Marc Marquez taking the third step of the podium to earn the 2017 World Championship Title (his sixth in career, and his fourth in the MotoGP class in five years); and Honda securing the “Triple Crown,” comprising the Constructor, Rider, and Team Championships.

Marc and Dani were also the two riders to score the most podium finishes this year, twelve and nine respectively, making the Repsol Honda Team the most successful team of 2017, with eight double-podium finishes.

Marc and Dani got away brilliantly at the start, entering the first corner in first and second positions, but Johann Zarco assumed the lead on lap four. Marc stuck to him for 20 laps and then made the pass, but he immediately ran wide in turn 1 and almost crashed. He made one of is signature incredible saves but dropped to fifth behind Zarco, Dani, Jorge Lorenzo and title contender Andrea Dovizioso.

Dani, who had been closely chasing them, engaged the Frenchman in a battle for the win and finally passed him on the last lap. In the meanwhile, crashes by both Ducati riders allowed Marc to celebrate his incredible sixth Title, from the third step of the podium.

Marc Marquez 93

2017 WORLD CHAMPION

“I’m living a dream. ‘Six Titles’ are big words. The truth is that I’m incredibly happy because we worked so much this year, and today the race was incredibly tense and exciting—a bit ‘Marquez Style.’ I made a mistake, but I also made my best save of the year. From that moment on, I just tried to finish the race in a good position. I’m sorry that Andrea didn’t finish the race, as he deserved to do so. He had an incredible season and I would have liked to have him on the podium with me today. The key to the year has been our mentality. In our world it’s very important to remain positive and motivated during the difficult moments. Some things happened to us at the beginning of the season but when we found the way to sort things out, everything went better. Congratulations to Honda and the entire team for the Triple Crown. It’s an amazing achievement. Winning the Title at the last race of the season in front of our fans is one of the best things possible, really special. Now I want to enjoy this with my entire team and my family, and after that we’ll start to work for next year.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

RACE WINNER

“Obviously I’m very very happy because a win is a win, and this was a very tough and hard-fought one. Today we had a chance because we got a good start and the setup was working well, so we took it. The track wasn’t easy as front grip wasn’t perfect, and in fact we saw a lot of crashes in the race. I was just behind Marc when he made that save and it was incredible. The smoke, the noise, the speed—wow, impressive! I realized that the track had a limit, maybe because the rear had more grip, which pushed the front. Anyway, I tried to manage the front grip, but then in the last three laps I gave it everything to pass Johann. He was so good into the corners but finally I passed him on the last lap. I’m so happy to have won in front of my crowd, and I would like to dedicate this victory to my family, friends, fans, and the team. This was a fantastic day for all of us, as Marc clinched the Rider Title and we secured the Constructor and Team Titles. I also move up one place in the Championship, and that’s great as well.”

Tetsuhiro Kuwata

HRC Director - General Manager Race Operations Management Division

“Today our riders and team did a perfect job. The race was very tense for everybody, but the final result was amazing! Marc was brave and pushed hard as always, managing to get on the podium despite a big scare! Dani finished the Championship with a victory, so I don’t think we could have asked for more today. I would like to thank the riders, everyone in the Repsol Honda Team, and HRC at home. We’ll keep giving our 100% to continue in this way.”

Yoshishige Nomura

HRC President

“Today was the ‘perfect storm’ for HRC and Honda, as we won the Rider Title, Constructor Title, and Team Title, earning the Triple Crown. Of course I am extremely happy with this fantastic result, and I would like to congratulate Marc and Dani for their hard work and commitment, as well as all the HRC Engineers and our Sponsors, who together have contributed to this incredible result. I am very proud of all them.”