Valencia MotoGP: Lorenzo holds off Marquez to win on Yamaha swansong

Jorge Lorenzo delivered Yamaha its first MotoGP win since June in his final race for the Japanese manufacturer at Valencia, hanging on against a charging Marc Marquez in the closing stages.

On his final outing for the team with which he has spent his entire premier class career so far, Lorenzo converted pole position into an early lead, and immediately distanced himself from the chasing pack.

Breaking the race lap record on the second tour, Lorenzo made the best possible use of the clear track ahead to break free from his pursuers, led by the fast-starting Ducati of Andrea Iannone.

By the time Valentino Rossi had cleared Iannone for second, Lorenzo was already 2.5 seconds clear of his teammate - a gap which nearly doubled in the space of five laps as Rossi continued his scrap with Iannone, with Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales keeping close company.

With some 10 laps remaining, Marquez broke clear of Rossi and Iannone to take second, and the Repsol Honda man began to erode Lorenzo's advantage out front.

In four laps, Marquez - running with the hard front tyre - had reduced the gap from 4.5s to 2.7s, as Lorenzo appeared to struggle with graining on his medium-compound front Michelin.

At the start of the final lap, Lorenzo had 1.7s in hand over Marquez, a gap big enough to allow him to score a third victory of the year, and a 44th of his career, by 1.185s.

Behind, Iannone and Rossi continued their frenzied battle for what became the bottom step of the podium, with the Ducati rider ultimately coming out top to take his first podium finish since winning August's Austrian race on his final race for the Italian marque.

Rossi came home fourth on the second Yamaha, followed by a fading Vinales, the Spanish rider taking fifth in his final race for Suzuki.

Some way behind, Andrea Dovizioso, who had run at the tail of the battle for second in the first half of the race, was pipped to the line by Pol Espargaro's Tech 3 Yamaha for sixth place by 0.039s

Aleix Espargaro brought home the second Suzuki just behind the pair in eighth, followed by Bradley Smith's Tech 3 Yamaha and Alvaro Bautista's Aprilia.

Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow both crashed out, the former going down at Turn 2 in the early stages and the latter exiting at mid-distance with a fall at Turn 14. 

Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Ducati) also ended his premier class career with a crash-induced DNF.

KTM's Mika Kallio was the only other non-finisher, pulling into the pits with an electronics problem with 10 laps remaining on the Austrian marque's MotoGP race debut.

Race results:

Cla#RiderBikeTime
1 99  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 45'54.228
2 93  Marc Marquez  Honda 45'55.413
3 29  Andrea Iannone  Ducati 46'00.831
4 46  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 46'01.896
5 25  Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 46'04.838
6 44  Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 46'12.606
7 4  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 46'12.645
8 41  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 46'12.906
9 38  Bradley Smith  Yamaha 46'20.221
10 19  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 46'29.293
11 8  Hector Barbera  Ducati 46'30.653
12 9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 46'36.643
13 6  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 46'44.051
14 45  Scott Redding  Ducati 46'46.263
15 43  Jack Miller  Honda 46'49.853
16 50  Eugene Laverty  Ducati 46'52.482
17 53  Tito Rabat  Honda 46'52.783
18 76  Loris Baz  Ducati 47'00.392
Ret 36  Mika Kallio  KTM 29'57.584
Ret  35  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 24'42.868
Ret  26  Dani Pedrosa  Honda 9'18.522
Ret  68  Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 6'22.656

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Valencia GP
Track Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Marc Marquez , Andrea Iannone
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Race report