Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the final race of 2014 at Valencia:
Marquez breaks another record with victory in Valencia and Pedrosa completes Repsol Honda double podium clinching 2014 Triple Crown
2014 World Champion Marc Marquez has broken another record in Valencia today, winning his thirteenth race of the season – the most ever in the premier class. Teammate Dani Pedrosa took third place – continuing his impressive record at the Valencia track with six podium finishes in nine starts in MotoGP – and together the Spanish duo have clinched the Team Championship resulting in back-to-back Triple Crown’s.
It was another complicated race with rain constantly threatening to arrive. Dani starting from 3rd and Marc in 5th traded positions on the opening lap as the race began at a very quick pace with riders jostling for position. Dani fought with Crutchlow in the early laps but finally completed the pass into 4th and joined the battle for the podium. Meanwhile Marc attacked Rossi – setting a new record race lap of 1’31.515 (beating Pedrosa’s 2013 lap of 1’31.628) – and passed him on lap ten and after a brief battle with Iannone on lap eleven, finally took the race lead. The following lap Dani also passed Iannone and began to chase down Rossi and Marc.
Then with twelve laps remaining small spots of rain began to appear. Lorenzo entered the pits for his wet setup bike, but fortunately for the other riders the rain never arrived. Although lap times fluctuated, Marc was able to control his lead and Dani consolidated third place resulting in Repsol Honda winning their 7th Team Championship (since the beginning of the MotoGP class in 2002) to add to the Rider and Constructor Championships and marking Honda’s third Triple Crown in four years and second in succession.
The 2014 season is now officially over but the 2015 season will begin tomorrow with a three day test in Valencia. Dani will be on track after lunch but Marc and his team will take a break and start their testing programme on Tuesday, with Marc’s brother – 2014 Moto3 World Champion Alex – enjoying some laps on the Factory RC213V as a gift from Honda.
1st - 2014 World Championship: 1st
“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!”
3rd - 2014 World Championship: 4th
“It has not been my best season and obviously I'm not satisfied, 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.”
Rossi Scores Superb Second Place at Valencia Season Finale
Valencia (Spain), 9th November 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi secured a superb second place under difficult conditions during the 2014 season finale, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Starting from pole in what began as a dry race, Rossi took off as soon as the lights dimmed and arrived at the first corner in second place behind compatriot Andrea Iannone. Followed closely by Marc Marquez, the nine-time World Champion was quick to find a strong pace, but as soon as the first lap was finished white flags were waving, signaling rain and allowing riders to come into the pits to change bikes.
Rossi didn’t let the changeable conditions slow him down and set a fastest lap of 1’32.437 on lap five. As things closed up at the front, fans were thoroughly entertained with a heated battle between Rossi, Marquez and Iannone. Sparks were flying from Rossi’s bike on lap 12 as Dani Pedrosa started to get into the mix. Six laps later rain threatened again, allowing the Doctor to reel in Marquez. Rossi kept his head down, but as the track dried again he came just short and finished in a deserved second place, 3.516 seconds behind the front man.
Teammate Lorenzo had an unlucky end to the 2014 season. Starting from fourth on the grid, he soon got caught up in a fight with rival Pedrosa. The Movistar Yamaha rider looked to be the stronger of the two until drops of rain began to fall and he took a few laps to get a feel for the situation, falling back to seventh.
As the track started to dry Lorenzo regained confidence and rose to fifth, having retaken Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso by lap nine. Four laps later the Spaniard arrived at the back of Iannone’s bike and won a hard battle with him before continuing his hunt for Pedrosa in third, until rain once again disrupted the race. Lorenzo struggled to get the bike stopped in the uncertain conditions and dropped down the order. He decided to come into the pits on lap 20 to switch to his wet bike and rejoined the race in 14th place. Unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off. He dropped back to 21st and was forced to retire with five laps remaining as the conditions remained dry.
With second place Rossi gains 20 championship points, securing second in the championship, with 295 points total. Lorenzo finished third in the championship as his points total remained 263.
Tomorrow Rossi and Lorenzo will be back aboard the M1 on the Valencia circuit for the first test sessions in preparation for next year’s season.
46 Valentino Rossi
2nd / +3.516 / 30 laps
“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 tyre, 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.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
DNF / - / - laps
“In Aragon I decided to come into the pits and it was a good decision, but here it was not raining enough for the rear tyre to work well. I was losing a lot of time as the slicks were dropping because of the water. The other riders were more confident. They weren’t scared to make a mistake, so they were faster and I kept losing time. Like in Aragon, instead of finishing in fifth, sixth or seventh position, I prefer to take risks, but today we didn’t have the luck we had there. I entered the pits and I was losing time every lap. I was five or six seconds slower than the others and eventually I decided to stop. We made a mistake and we have to learn from all the mistakes that we made this season to be stronger and more clever next year.”
“This has been one of the fastest seasons from my experience in MotoGP. We had a really positive year, though we missed out on the championship we had really good results and 24 podiums, many of them with both our riders standing together. In general our results were excellent and we deserved to finish at least second and third in the championship. We responded very well from the second half of the season and we were able to close the gap and show that the performance of the bike is very good. I really appreciate the effort that everybody in the team put in to keep pushing and never give up, that’s been really important. Today it was a difficult race, the conditions weren’t easy at all. Valentino proved again that he is still one of the most competitive riders in the world. Unfortunately it was a bittersweet end to the season with Jorge’s result. He wanted to take a gamble. It worked in Aragon, but here unfortunately it didn’t. I want to thank everybody again who made this good season possible, every team member and Yamaha employee and also the fans for their fantastic support. Congratulations to Marc for his title, we’ll be back to fight for it next year! Tomorrow it’s already the start of 2015 for us and we’ll start working on the new season.”
Dovizioso and Crutchlow end the season with fourth and fifth place in the Valencian Community GP: Pirro ninth. The Ducati Team finish third in the teams’ classification
Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow finished the 2014 season with a good result at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Cheste (Valencia). The two Ducati Team men ran almost the entire race together, swapping places a number of times, and they took the chequered flag in the Valencian Community GP in fourth and fifth place.
The race was disturbed by a light rain that began to fall half-way through, forcing the riders to slow down to avoid any problems caused by the damp track.
Michele Pirro, entered as a wild-card on the Desmosedici GP14 of the Ducati Test Team, also scored a positive result, the Italian coming home ninth overall.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th
“I am very happy with this fourth place because it confirms that this weekend we worked well, as I said yesterday despite a rather disappointing qualifying session. I am satisfied with the way I administered the race, because if you start from the third row here at Valencia it’s very complicated to make up positions. It was difficult because with the rain you can never feel the limit and so it depends on how much you want to risk. I gave the maximum I could give, even though maybe I could have risked a bit more when it began to rain, but that’s OK. I want to thank all my team, because we have worked well together throughout the entire season. With Cal the battle was really nice and aggressive, but clean as always, and so I really enjoyed it. Now I feel a bit sorry that Cal is leaving our team!”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 5th
“I think it’s been a fitting end to the year to finish, with Andrea and me together in fourth and fifth, we did a good job. I believe I should have pushed a little bit more in the tricky conditions created by the rain, but we could also have been strong for this result in the full dry conditions. I was pleased for the weekend, I felt my race pace was good and we made a good race with Andrea so I’m happy with the final race of the season. Obviously a big thanks to Ducati and all the guys in the team: they did a great job and it’ll be sad to leave. Good luck to them all in the future.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 9th
“Today I’m happy because it’s never easy to finish in the top 10 in MotoGP. I’m a bit disappointed because at the start I didn’t want to make any mistakes and I rode with a bit too much caution: I am sure I could have finished higher in the results, but it was my mistake and so I have no one else to blame. A big thanks to Ducati for this opportunity they have given me: I will try again next year and I hope to make a further step forward because I believe that we all deserve it.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“We can now put the 2014 season behind us with a result that is in any case positive. Today both Dovizioso and Crutchlow did a great race and Michele Pirro also finished inside the top 10. Furthermore Andrea Iannone led the race for the first ten laps and this demonstrates that we have reached a good competitive level. With this Grand Prix my first year in Ducati also comes to an end. The past twelve months have been very intense and demanding, but also full of satisfaction. Together with the guys in Ducati Corse and our riders we have managed to constantly improve the performance of our bikes, scoring three podium finishes but above all succeeding in reducing the gap to the frontrunners to within the limits that we had fixed as a target. The new season gets underway already, starting tomorrow, and we will be tackling it with two Italians, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, safe in the knowledge that we have two of the fastest riders around in MotoGP. We fondly say goodbye to Cal Crutchlow and sincerely wish him all the best for his new adventure.”
SUZUKI TAKES NEW MOTOGP RACE-STEPS AT VALENCIA
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 9.
Intermittent cloudy skies delivered bouts of light rain and made the 2014 Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Ricardo Tormo circuit a delicate balancing-act of risk and skill for the fastest motorcycle racers in the world at what was the 18th and final round of the MotoGP Championship today.
Team Suzuki MotoGP lined-up on the grid in a wild-card appearance; and for the first time since 2011. Randy De Puniet was circulating inside the top-20 on the GSX-RR and determined to aim for the group fighting for points, but had to terminate his race after just 12 laps due to a technical glitch.
The team had been working from the moment it arrived in Valencia and ploughed a way through the settings, ideas and doubts as a result of a comprehensive testing programme in 2014.
In the hands of 33-year-old De Puniet, the Suzuki crew had a willing and determined athlete keen to enjoy perhaps his last foray in MotoGP before changing Suzuki machinery for a World Superbike attempt in 2015. The Frenchman knows the new MotoGP project intimately and even though predictable teething problems surfaced during the weekend, he still managed to lower his lap-times and put the GSX-RR firmly into the competitive environment that Suzuki needed to progress with its racing goal.
Suzuki will now welcome 2014 Open category winner Aleix Espargaro and former Moto3 World Champion Maverick Viñales into the pit box tomorrow for the very first briefings and test-laps looking towards 2015.
Randy De Puniet:
“We knew it would not be an easy weekend but I did not expect to run into these problems. Everyone in the team tried their best but it was not sufficient to finish as I struggled with a gearbox-shifting problem. It is a shame because in these race conditions I might have been able to push for a good position. Now it is time for me to switch to Superbike. I think I did a good job for Suzuki during the year and I’m interested to see and hear the feedback of the new riders now.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager:
“We faced some technical issues this weekend, some of which we have not encountered during the testing campaign. From this point of view it was a good decision to race here and learn more for our job over the winter. In terms of performance - and with everything considered - things are not so bad. We know we have to improve the engine and electronics and we are already working [on this]. Now we can add the information from this weekend. Despite everything, it was good to race at Valencia and make these discoveries now. We will test this week. We won’t find big solutions in the space of one day so we will have to try and manage. The new riders want to test as soon as possible and get a feeling for the bike so we will do what we can to give them the best conditions and then see how the test will progress.”
Satoru Terada - Team Suzuki MotoGP Director:
“It was quite a tough weekend for the team. We'd been having some technical problems recently and we couldn’t find a sufficient solution, so it was a difficult from the start of the meeting. We feel sorry for Randy as he made such a big effort in the last two years with the development process and we really appreciate him giving his best in this final race of the season. Today was actually our first race after three years and we learned a lot; especially about what we are missing. We'll have two new young riders to try our bikes tomorrow and we are excited to know their impressions. We understand that we have to solve our current problems first, listen to their requirements; and then look towards the first official IRTA test next February in Sepang.”
Iannone tries till the end, Hernandez is betrayed by the front tire
It was a cursed race a Valencia for the Pramac Racing Team. Andrea Iannone started perfectly and after leading the group for ten laps he ended unlucky in twenty-second position. Yonny Hernandez was forced to retire because of an unusual behavior of the front tire.
Andrea Iannone was the author of a perfect start conquering the first position. Andrea also completed a series of impressive fast laps, keeping the lead for ten laps. At that point the Italian rider had to give up positions to Marquez, Rossi and Pedrosa due to his pain in the left arm that limited his force during braking and changing direction. Because of the precarious physical condition Andrea went off track, when he got back on track in seventh place after a while it started to rain. Considering the painful arm and the sky that threatened to rain Andrea tried his chance and returned to the garage changing the bike hoping on the one with wet tires. But it did not work because the rain stopped falling and Andrea ended the Grand Prix in twenty-second position. Never as in this case, the result does not reflect the performance. Andrea fought like a lion and made us dream of the podium. At this point we can only thank him for the good times spent together and wish him the best for the future.
A bitter end of season for Yonny Hernandez, who was forced to retire in the Grand Prix of Valencia. Yonny has been protagonist of a good start that allowed him to get to the eighth place in a few laps. Unfortunately on the tenth lap his feeling with the front tire drastically disappeared, forcing him to return to the pits. Yonny is upset because he wanted to end the year with a good race. Tomorrow he will use the GP14.2 to start working for the 2015 season!
"I'm sorry I finished the race like this. I started good and I knew I had a good pace and had a good chance to push hard and stay in front. Initially the other riders did ride as fast as they did during practice. I had a good feeling and I was able to push for a third of the race, but by the seventh lap my arm started burning again and I had to slow down a bit for the lack of strength. When it started to rain, I decided to change bike thinking it would had continued to rain but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I'm very happy with my season and I want to thank the Pramac Racing Team for all the work and support they have given me in these two years! "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm disappointed that I had to retire. From the beginning I had a good feeling so I was able to push hard and I gained the twelfth position on the first lap and then up to the eighth position. During the third lap I lost the feeling with the front tire, I had the same feeling I had in Brno. At every turn the front tire tucked and seemed to ride on a track full of holes. At that point I decided to do another lap but there was nothing to be done. I'm sorry I closed the final round with a zero. From tomorrow I will have a new bike and I’ll do my best to do better than this year!. "
Abraham was close to points in Valencia
From twenty-third position final seventeenth place- that is result of Grand Prix in Valencia for Karel Abraham. The Czech rider managed to fight during the race for points position, however he had to get satisfied with seventeenth place. The point position he missed just less than two seconds. Just due to that Alvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama beat him. Seventeenth position belongs to Karel Abraham also in final standing of this MotoGP season.
"After yesterday bad qualifying it is seventeenth place. The weather helped a bit and that's pity that it did not help me even more. Since start, the bike was a lot slippery, but when started to rain a little bit that it becomes more readable and I enjoyed ride more. Due to that I managed to reach the group in front of me and I was riding for points position. When the track got dry there was no other possibility to get in front and Aoyama overtook me. I could not fight with him because he was riding on bike for season 2015 and in straights he was ten kilometers per hour faster than me. On the other hand I know, what we can look forward and it will in this way we will be much more competitive next year.
In consideration that in previous races i was not successful, it is probably daring, but I will say it anyway: I think that this season was good, definitely it wasn't the best in this ten years that I've been riding in World Championship. We had consistent results, we fought with rivals on similarly powerful bikes, we reached points regularly and there were a few of crashes. In Misano we managed to get a trophy for the fastest open bike. Unfortunately these last five races were a nightmare. It was partially my fault, partially due to technology, but it does not matter. Today on midnight the season 2014 ends for us and starts the season 2015. And it is necessary to start to concentrate on it right now."
REDDING BEST OPEN CLASS HONDA RIDER OF 2014. TOUGH LAST RACE OF THE SEASON FOR BAUTISTA
Thanks to the seventh top ten finish of the year, claimed today at Valencia, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Scott Redding ended his first season in MotoGP as the best placed rider in the Championship among those riding the Open Class Honda RCV1000R, with 81 points. The English rookie crossed the finish line of the Grand Prix of Valencia in tenth place in a race made difficult by the rain that appeared at times making the Spanish track damp.
His teammate, Alvaro Bautista, was unfortunately unable to collect points in his last appearance with Honda: the Spaniard continued to struggle with the same rear grip issues that slowed him down for most of the season, ending the race only in sixteenth place.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (16th)
“Unfortunately, the result of this race sums up our season: a disaster. Even in this last race we were never able to make the bike work and as a result we were able to fight with the second group of riders. When it started to rain the situation was even worst and I was feeling even less feeling. Too bad, I’m sorry also because this was my last race with Honda. Today is coming to an end a season to forget, definitely one of the toughest in my career”.
SCOTT REDDING (10th)
“I’m happy for this top ten result in the last race: there were tricky conditions, but I was able to use it to my advantage. The group of riders in front of me was not so far and I tried my best till the end, even though the soft tyre dropped down a little bit, so it was quite difficult for me to ride on the long corners, because you need to spin it to make the bike turn. However, overall we had a great weekend: I wanted to make a good result to say thank you to all the team and I did it. We have been quite a lot faster than the other Open Honda bikes and I ended the season as the first Open Honda in the Champonship, so I’m really happy”.
“Scott made a great race today, feeling at ease also when it started to rain, a condition in which he was able to approach the performance of the fastest riders. I think that he showed a great potential with this bike in his debut year in MotoGP, so I make him my best wishes for the rest of his career. I am very sorry for Alvaro, that also in this race he was not able to find the right feeling with the bike, as for most part of the season. Too bad, because we wanted to end our experience with Honda in a different way. Finally, I would like to thank Honda for these 18 seasons spent together and all the HRC staff for their support”.
Espargaro scores non-factory glory in Valencia
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro charged to an expertly undertaken 6th place to finish his debut season in the MotoGP class in superb form at Valencia. The 23 year old commenced the 30 lap sprint from the rear of the second row with drops of rain falling as soon as the race began. Espargaro undertook a solid start before being pushed back to 8th at the close of the first lap, yet he powered on as the rain still fell, albeit intermittently. The young Spanish rider had slipped back to 13th on lap 4, but showed a fantastic display of determination to remain firm and try to move up the field. Espargaro pushed onwards and with two thirds of the race distance covered, he had ascended though the order in a consistent manner and back up to 7th with his sights directly set on the position in front. On the 25th lap the rookie had brilliantly closed the gap to his brother, Aleix Espargaro, in front and sped past to move into 6th one lap later before speeding across the finish line in this placement. His resolute and hard fought ride saw him brilliantly achieve his ambition of seizing 6th and the title of the leading satellite rider as well the rookie of the year in the 2014 World Championship standings.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Bradley Smith concluded his 2014 campaign with a ride to 14th after an unfortunate final round in Valencia. The British star started the race from 7th on the grid, but was shuffled down to 11th place by the end of the first lap. However, Smith persisted with his efforts to jump back up the field in order to score a top result as he set into a fierce race pace. By lap seven, the 23 year old rider had reached 8th position and continued to climb. Yet, with more spots of rain falling at the 4005 metre Ricardo Tormo circuit, Smith unluckily fell on lap 17, before re-joining to end the lap in 20th. Nevertheless, the young British rider proceeded forward and a final dash in the last laps saw Smith make up ground as well as six places to cross the line in 14th. The performance today marks a challenging yet resolute end to the 2014 season which sees him finish in 8th position in the world championship standings.
Position : 6th Championship : 6th Points : 136
"I can't help but be slightly disappointed about our result today, even if this was not because of the placement itself yet, more about how things went. The second row was a solid position to start the race from and this morning with a full fuel load and used tyres I finished second in the warm up, so I think we were really prepared for the last race of the season. However, just like many other times this year, the rain came right at the start of the race and ruined our hopes. I am still not very experienced riding in the slight wet conditions with the slick tyres but today I couldn't risk too much. I had Bradley and my brother close to me on the track, who I was fighting with for the 6th place in the championship, so I had to think about the end result as well as finishing the race without any mistakes. However, I still ended my rookie year as the best non-factory rider, which had to be our aim, so I'm truly pleased with what we achieved. I want to say a huge thanks to the team for all their work as well as patience in teaching and supporting me this year. Tomorrow we'll kick off preparations for 2015 and I'm already excited to try our new parts."
Position : 14th Championship : 8th Points : 121
"Overall, it was positive to be able to finish the race after falling, but today’s result didn’t reflect the true performance that we would have been able to achieve. The bike felt extremely well so firstly, a big thanks to my team for the work that they undertook and in all honesty, I am sure that I could have fought for 4th position. However, unfortunately at the beginning of the race I was pushed out wide by my teammate and then afterwards my fight with Aleix cost me further time so I lost the gap to the Ducati’s. Yet, once I was able to get in front of my group, I could run a good pace and recovered some time on the riders in front of me. Then I made a mistake going into turn 8 when the track was slippery due to the rain and I locked the front tyre. When I tried to get back on track, I tried to use a shortcut but a marshal stopped me which made me lose further time so it would have been better to turn and come back sooner. For sure, I will learn from this mistake and I am sorry to the team as we lost the 7th position, but I am still satisfied with the final placement in the standings. Furthermore, I hope to begin 2015 with a similar high to how we have performed in the second half of this season."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It was another potentially great race for the fans as well as for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and yet again there was another round spoilt by the weather. For sure, the 2014 MotoGP class has suffered with the weather interfering on race day, but everyone has to deal with it but it certainly didn’t help our performance. Both Pol and Brad were competitive in practice and qualifying, so looked promising for the final race. Unfortunately both riders didn’t get off the line as strongly as usual and then the rain came. Until Bradley crashed we were holding third in the team championship, which is a shame to lose, but of course there are more important things to be concerned with. When he fell, it was a slow and not damaging one but he still lost a lot of positions. This was a real pity as he was lapping really well and he was actually the second fastest rider in terms of lap times on the track towards the end of the race which helped him to recover to 14th. Perhaps with one additional lap, things would have been more positive as he could have climbed even higher. On the other hand, Pol still showed that he needs more time to learn to be more confident on slicks in slightly wet conditions. Yet, he rode a sensible race, used his head and kept looking at his pit board to keep his brother behind him at the end of the race. He ended up 6th which is the best of the rest as well as also being the quickest rookie, first satellite and non factory rider, so congratulations to him as it has not been easy. For sure he will have a bitter taste in his mouth as it’s not what he was aiming for but we saw some great racing names struggling today. It was good for Pol and unfortunately for Brad this is racing, you have to be fast, lucky, cleaver and also finish the race. Now that the season is over I must say thank you to both of the riders, the whole team, Yamaha and the partners for their efforts. Everything starts again tomorrow as we now prepare for 2015."
BRADL ENDS IN 8th HIS LAST RACE WITH LCR HONDA MOTOGP TEAM
Valencia, 9 November: the 2014 season came to an end at Ricardo Tormo circuit today with more than 100.000 fans celebrating the ultimate MotoGP exciting show. Today’s Moto3 race crowned Alex Marquez as World Champion in the lower class whilst the 35-year-old Valentino Rossi got the runner-up award behind Marc Marquez. LCR racer Stefan Bradl rode his Honda RC213V to the 8th place finishing his third season in the premier class with the 9th position overall.
Stefan: “Sure I was expecting a bit more from this race because our pace was faster than what we finally achieved. But this race was really strange because it started to rain the first laps and I was not strong enough to make the pace. Honestly I did not want to crash to ruin my last race with LCR and Honda. This is an acceptable position considering that I am not a fan of this race track. I was expecting something more from this season but with these ups and downs it was not easy. I really enjoyed these 3 years with LCR and my greatest thanks go to Lucio because he believed in me and, together with the Team and the Team sponsors, they have done the maximum to support me”.
Lucio Cecchinello: “Three wonderful years for us with Stefan: full of emotions. Together we have been through good and bad moments but we won’t forget Stefan because this cooperation was simply great. We have done our maximum and we are sure that he did the same so we want to thank him and wish him the best for his career”.
Hayden finishes thirteenth as Aoyama says goodbye to the team with another point
Satisfactory end to the season for DRIVE M7 Aspar pair at Valencia despite strange track conditions
At two o'clock this afternoon the final round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship got underway at Valencia and just moments later the rain began to fall at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. Whilst some riders exercised caution at the sight of the drops on their visors, others like Andrea Iannone took the opportunity to make a break at the front. The Italian's charge proved no more than a flash in the pan as Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez established their pace, with Dani Pedrosa following closely behind as Márquez went elbow-to-elbow with Iannone for the lead. Their battle was brief as Márquez's pace proved too hot, with only Rossi putting up any kind of resistance as both Iannone and Pedrosa dropped back. There was to be no stopping Márquez though on his latest record-breaking ride, the Spaniard becoming the first rider ever to take thirteen victories in a season. Second place for Rossi was enough to seal second in the championship, with Pedrosa completing the podium some fourteen seconds behind.
Nicky Hayden finished the season in the way he knows best, battling hard and finishing in the points. After two operations during a season that he missed large chunks of, the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team signed off from the 2014 campaign with a thirteenth place finish today. Nicky left nothing on the track at Valencia, a circuit he loves, fighting with a group of riders in the early stages of the race only to drop off the pace as his tyres wore in the final laps. Whilst Hayden begins testing for next season with the team tomorrow, Hiroshi Aoyama says goodbye to both the team and the championship. The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider has been one of the most consistent riders on the grid this season and after working hard to set a new bike up since Friday he was able to finish his campaign with a single point to add to his tally in his 168th appearance.
13th Nicky Hayden: “The team did a great job this morning, we found a couple of small improvements to the bike that enabled me to set a decent pace in the warm-up. I was only 1.1 seconds off the best time, the closest I've been since I came back. The race was okay but I was hoping for more. Even though I got a good start I lost a couple of positions. When it started to rain I felt comfortable but as the laps went by the tyre destroyed and then when it rained again I didn't have a good feeling and I couldn't fight with the guys around me. Thirteenth place is not a bad result for us but I was hoping for more today. Now the season is over and it is time to start thinking about the test tomorrow.”
15th Hiroshi Aoyama: “The track conditions were quite tricky today and with a new bike it was particularly difficult to manage. We went with the harder tyre option and maybe that was a mistake. When the track was damp at the start of the race I struggled for rear grip and I couldn't keep my pace up. It was a nice but strange experience to race a completely new bike today but I am happy to sign off in this way at Valencia. The electronics on this new bike needs a lot of work, especially with respect to the power delivery and traction control.”
Double Finish Ends PBM MotoGP Era
The Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team brought down the curtain on their three-year MotoGP participation with another fitting double finish in today's GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
The 18th and final round of the 2014 MotoGP Wold Championship in Spain saw Ulsterman Michael Laverty claim 19th place with Australian team-mate Broc Parkes following home inside the top 20 for the only British team in MotoGP.
Former British Supersport Champion Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, and twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship Parkes, aboard the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM, showed good pace in free practice and qualifying and lined up on row eight of the grid.
With one of the strongest fields of the year assembled, both riders made good starts but in the early laps, rain started to fall meaning conditions were difficult. The rain eventually came to nothing but as has been so often the case this year, the attrition rate was so low as Laverty and Parkes battled up the order.
Laverty made it into the top 20 on lap 22 and climbed to 19th a couple of laps later on whereby he was followed by Parkes and although Parkes was put a lap in arrears on the very last lap and crossed the line in 20th, Laverty held on to claim 19th on the same lap as eventual winner and 2014 World Champion Marc Marquez.
Although disappointed on missing out on points following their recent good run, the PBM team can be justifiably pleased with their performances which have seen the Cumbrian team make it 31 finishes out of the 36 races this season for the British-made machine.
Highlights of 2014 include the team's best ever MotoGP result when Laverty finished 12th and Parkes in 14th in Sepang which was the second time this season that the riders had brought both the British-built PBM machines home in the points, which also happened in Indianapolis, and added to the team's points scoring rides in Losail, Assen and Phillip Island.
Both riders finished level on points in the MotoGP World Championship standings in equal 23rd place and also, both Parkes and Laverty ended up joint tenth in the Open class standings. Parkes claimed third in Rookie of the Year whilst importantly for the PBM team, they claimed sixth place in the Constructor's table and 12th in the team's standings.
Winners of over 150 races in British Superbike Championship, World Superbike Championship, MotoGP CRT, 125cc, 250cc, Supersport and Superstock British Championships, Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Daytona, Macau GP, and British domestic races. Points scorers in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc and MotoGP, as well as in World Supersport, podium finishers in WSB, Superpole winners in World Superbike, PBM is one of the most successful motorcycle racing teams in history. For 2015, they will be increasing their profile as defending champions in the MCE British Superbike Championship as well as a major campaign at the International Road Races including the North West 200, Isle of Man TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix.
Indeed, the statistics regarding their three seasons as the only all-British team in MotoGP certainly stack up favourably with a finishing rate of over 77% of races entered during that time, two of which were with their own chassis built at the team's base in the Lake District.
Michael Laverty: "The weather made it quite a strange race today as right from the very first lap we had big drops of rain on our visors. I had good pace when the track was fully dry, but found it tough when the track got greasy as my rear tyre had began to cold tear. All in all it's been a good weekend, I was really happy with the lap time I pulled out in qualifying and we had a good setting going into the race today. It's a bit emotional today as it's the final MotoGP for the PBM team, but I'm finishing with a smile on my face, it's been a great life experience and I feel I'm a stronger rider for it. I'd like to thank all the guys in the team for a great two years and a special thank you to Paul Bird and Phil Borley for making it happen."
Broc Parkes: "Although it was disappointing not to score points in the team's final MotoGP race, I'm pleased we got another finish as conditions were very difficult in the early stages. My first season in MotoGP has been memorable and I'm proud of the fact that I scored PBM their best result of the season with 11th at Assen. I'd like to thank the team, Paul Bird and Phil Borley for this opportunity and wish them well in the future."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "We did not quite achieve the results we were capable of in our last MotoGP race, mainly because both Michael and Broc were more cautious when it started to rain. It was a pity the rain disrupted their rhythm as they both had a good pace and would have finished with a smaller gap to the front if the rain had stayed away. Racing in MotoGP has been a great challenge for PBM and I believe we have achieved some respectable results considering the support and resource we have had. I would like to say a big thank you to the guys in the team for their work this year, as well as all the people who have helped us in the last three years."
Record-breaking finish to 2014 for Marquez as he takes win number 13 at Valencia
Round 18: Valencia MotoGP™ - Race
Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, Saturday 9 November 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Extra-soft & Soft (Symmetric) & Soft (Asymmetric). Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 18-18°C; Track 21-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez underlined his dominance in 2014 as the MotoGP™ World Champion became the first rider to claim thirteen premier class victories in a season by taking a masterful win at Valencia.
The season finale commenced in dry conditions, yet light rain began to fall as the first lap was completed creating challenging conditions for the riders. Marquez found himself in third position for the opening nine laps of the race in an entertaining battle with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who had a sensational start to the race. Intermittent rain fell throughout the race, while Marquez seized the race lead from Iannone on lap eleven, after which he was never headed. Marquez streaked away to win the race by 3.516 seconds from Rossi, while on the other Repsol Honda RC213V Dani Pedrosa took third position a further ten seconds behind. Despite the variable conditions during the race, Marc Marquez was able to set a new Valencia Circuit Best Lap record of 1’31.515 on the eighth lap.
The cloud cover and lower ambient temperatures resulted in the track temperature reaching a maximum of 21°C for the race, 7°C degrees cooler than yesterday’s peak recording. As was the case throughout the previous sessions, all the Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders selected the medium compound rear slick for the race with ultimately fifteen of the twenty-five starters selecting this option. The remaining ten riders opted for the soft compound rear slick. The asymmetric soft compound front slick was the most popular front tyre choice for the race, with fourteen riders selecting it, while ten riders selected the symmetric soft compound front slick. Only one rider, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham opted for the extra-soft symmetric front slick for the race.
Rossi’s second place at Valencia was enough for him to secure second position in the riders’ championship standings with 295 points, thirty-two points ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo who retired from today’s Valencia Grand Prix for only his second DNF of the year. Marquez’s victory sees him end the season on 362 points.
Kyota Futami – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Marc and Honda on capping off such a memorable year with a record-breaking thirteenth victory in one season. It was wonderful to end 2014 with such an exciting race with so many riders competing at the highest level. On behalf of everyone at Bridgestone I would like to thank all the teams and riders, Dorna, and IRTA for their support this year and assisting us in our role as Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP. I would also like to thank the millions of MotoGP fans around the globe for continuing to support the series in ever-growing numbers and helping to make it the premier motorcycle racing series in the world. This was another successful season for Bridgestone with a total of 19 lap records being set in 2014, and now we look forward to commencing our programme for the 2015 season tomorrow at the Valencia post-race test.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The cool change we expected came through today and so this morning’s Warm Up session helped the riders get a feel for how our various tyre options performed on the cool Valencia track surface. The medium rear slick was selected by the majority of riders, but both the soft and medium rear slicks performed very well over race distance, especially given the variable weather conditions. It was pleasing that so many riders chose to run our new asymmetric soft compound front slick for the race and both the soft compound front slick options provided a lot of grip in the cool conditions, even with the intermittent rain we experienced. A new Valencia race lap record was a good way to end the year and our engineers are now looking forward to supporting the teams at the post-race test.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“Today I am really, really happy, maybe happier than when I won the championship at Motegi as today my brother Alex also won the Moto3 championship. This last victory was a great way to finish the year and it’s an incredible feeling and now it’s time to enjoy our 2014 season, especially for my family as today was amazing and we will never forget it.”