Double World Champion secures solid victory as Rossi seals second ahead of Pedrosa
Marc Marquez thrilled the Spanish fans today with the double MotoGP World Champion securing his 13th win of the year at the GP Generali De La Comunitat Valenciana after an action packed 30 lap race at the Ricardo Tormo circuit with Valentino Rossi sealing second in the race and in the final points standings and taking third place was Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Today Alex took the Moto3 title, and to cap it off I was able to close the year with a victory
Rain threatened to delay proceedings but it didn’t materialize at the start with Iannone Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone taking the holeshot ahead of Rossi while Marquez made a great start from the second row and was up to third place in just a few laps. White flags were then waved moving toward the second third of the race with light rain falling on certain parts of the circuit but not enough to force any riders into the pits to change bikes.
Iannone led Rossi for the first third of the race before Marquez first moved past the Movistar Yamaha rider before setting his sights on Iannone who he dispatched with ease with Rossi also pushing hard to get past his Italian countryman before trying to catch Marquez. Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo wasn’t having the race he needed to challenge Rossi for second in the championship and by the middle of the race had lost too much ground on the frontrunners while Pedrosa looked destined to the same fate.
Lorenzo and Iannone gamble on change to wet weather set-ups
Consistent light rainfall moving toward the final third of the race made track conditions tricky but the majority of the riders seemed comfortable enough to stay on their dry weather set-up machines but Lorenzo decided to make a gamble to come in and change bikes, as did Iannone. This proved to be a fatal error for the double MotoGP World Champion who dropped to the back of the field before deciding to retire from the race with just short number of laps left in the race.
The rain made conditions even trickier on track with Rossi starting to make up ground on Marquez while Pedrosa had made it up to third following and Iannone pitting and Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were locked in a battle for 4th while Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro were fighting for 6th and it was Pol who had the upper hand on his brother. The final places in the top ten saw Stefan Bradl in 8th while Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro was in 9th and Scott Redding in 10th for the GO&Fun Honda Gresini team.
The final few laps saw Marquez upping the pace once again and he maintained his advantage to the line to take his 13th win of the year and with it a new record breaking Mick Doohan’s 1997 record of 12 wins. Rossi secured second place in the championship following his podium finish and Lorenzo’s DNF while Pedrosa maintained his position and made it onto the final step of the rostrum giving the Repsol Honda team even more reason to celebrate.
Speaking afterwards, Marquez said he was delighted taking victory on the same day his brother Alex sealed the Moto3 title. He said, “I am so pleased, especially for my brother! It is a very happy day, even more than in Motegi when I was crowned Champion. Today Alex took the Moto3 title that he deserved, and to cap it off I was able to close the year with a victory here in Valencia. I congratulate my brother for his season, because both him and Honda have done a great job this year! Now it's time to celebrate in the way that the occasion deserves, because it will be difficult to repeat another season like this.
During today's race I was reminded of Aragon, because it was raining and there was a moment in which I considered whether or not to change the bike. In the end we stayed calm and today we were successful with our strategy. It was an ordeal, which I enjoyed but suffered a bit at times! Thanks to the whole team for all their efforts this season!” Marquez added.
Rossi reflects on a positive championship year
Rossi was very happy with another second place and to secure second in the championship. He said, “I’m happy, because I finished this very positive season for me and my team with a great race and a good result here in Valencia. For me it’s a great achievement to take the pole position and to finish in second place, especially because this race was very difficult and the conditions were very dangerous. I tried to stay concentrated and not to make a mistake. It’s a bit of a shame that I started to suffer a little bit on the right side of the tire, because I wasn’t so far from Marc, but it still has been a good season. We got second in the championship, a lot of podiums and two victories. Now, we have to work to be even better next year.
My bad luck is called Marc Marquez, because without him I can win the championship and a lot of races. He did a fantastic job and won a lot of races. It’s a great pleasure to fight with him, but we are not so far and we never give up and try to come closer. Especially on Tuesday, but also tomorrow we will start working for next season. I am very close to 300 points, but Marquez won a lot more races than me, so me and my team need to improve the Yamaha to try and stay closer during the whole season. The test is important because we have a lot of new stuff to test for next year, so it will be interesting,” Rossi added.
Pedrosa immediately sets his sights on next year's championship
Pedrosa was happy to take another podium finish but also happy that his season is finished after a number of races to forget. “It has not been my best season and obviously I'm not satisfied,” said Pedrosa who continued, “But you have to take the positives from the situation because we learned a lot this year. Over the next few days we have some testing and we will try to get the best out of the bike for the next test, which comes in February. Today's race was difficult.
It rained a lot in some areas of the track and it was very hard to keep upright because other parts of the track it was dry. We had to take risks and also be careful at the same time. On the other hand, we finished on the podium and that's good because we hadn’t taken points at the previous two races.” Pedrosa added.