Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the final thrilling race of the 2017 season:
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
FOURTH PLACE FOR RINS IN VALENCIA WITH IANNONE IN SIXTH
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 12.
Alex Rins: P4 - +13.567s
Andrea Iannone: P6 - +14.516s
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.”
“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”
“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.”
Valiant 5th and 12th for Movistar Yamaha in the Final Act of MotoGP in Valencia
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.
Position: 5th - Championship: 5th - Points: 208
"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."
Position: 12th - Championship: 3rd - Points: 230
"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."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 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."
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
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."
“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.”
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.”
Abraham signs off from 2017 as top non-factory Ducati at Valencia
Pull&Bear Aspar rider takes fourteenth place at GP de la Comunitat Valenciana as Álvaro Bautista crashes out
A tense battle for the MotoGP World Championship reached its climax today, with a crash for Andrea Dovizioso and third place for Marc Márquez deciding the title in favour of the Spaniard – his fourth in MotoGP and his sixth in total. The Spaniard was ahead of his rival for virtually the whole race, apart from one lap when he ran wide after almost crashing and lost the lead. Shortly after Dovizioso himself crashed out, ending any hopes he had of claiming the title. Márquez cruised home to third place behind Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco to become champion once again.
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team finished the season in the points as Karel Abraham finished as the top non-factory Ducati in fourteenth position, whilst Álvaro Bautista was unable to finish the race after crashing twice. The Czech rider started eighteenth on the grid and was held up by slower riders than him on the opening lap as he struggled to get to grips with a brake problem. Once he was able to partially fix the issues he was able to make the passes he needed to score two more championship points to add to his tally. Álvaro Bautista endured a difficult weekend and was never able to get going in the race, crashing early on after contact with another rider before remounting, only to crash again.
14th Karel Abraham:“First of all I want to say a big thank you to the whole team because I think we have had a very good season, which exceeded our expectations. I'm also glad it's over because it has been tough! We still have a test to take care of but after that I'm looking forward to taking a holiday, recharging the batteries and getting ready for next season to make even better results. Today's race was very difficult in the beginning, I had Baz and Van der Mark in front of me and I couldn't manage to pass them because I had some big problems with the front brake and many times I was struggling to make the corner. I set it up a bit differently, it wasn't ideal but it was working and I was able to get past them and start closing the gap to the rider in front of me. Unfortunately the gap was too big and I finished three seconds behind Petrucci. I'm really happy to pick up a couple of points and once again we are the first non-factory Ducati, which we can be proud of. As you saw with all the crashes the track conditions were different to all weekend and it was difficult to stay on board. I was riding alone so I had to work hard to stay concentrated and bring the bike home.
Álvaro Bautista (DNF): “Two crashes is not the best way to finish a season. On the first one I felt another rider make contact with my front wheel. I had the bike leaned over and I couldn't do anything to save it. I was running the hard front tyre and I didn't like the feeling, I was getting a lot of vibrations. In the end, I didn't do anything unusual on the way into turn one but I lost the front and crashed. We started the year really well but we have struggled a little in the second half of the season. Now we have to reset and in a couple of days get ready to start working towards the new season with renewed energy and keep fighting like always.”
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.”
BATTLING CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS EIGHTH IN VALENCIA
PRESS RELEASE: 12 November 2017 | Comunitat Valenciana GP
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”.
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”.
MICHELIN WITNESSES MARQUEZ MAKE HISTORY AS PEDROSA TAKES THE VICTORY
Michelin saw a dramatic climax to the second season since its return to MotoGP™ as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took the riders championship while his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) won the race to give Honda a clean sweep of the championships at today’s Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana at Valencia in Spain.
Marquez began from pole and got the perfect start by leading for the first three laps, then on lap-four Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) set the fastest lap of the race and took the lead from the reigning champion. The Frenchman — who had already secured the Rookie of the Year and Independent Rider titles — then led for 19-laps before Marquez made the move to take the lead, but a mistake caused him to almost crash and go into the gravel. He kept his bike upright and re-joined in fifth, giving his nearest title-rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) a glimmer of hope, but unfortunately a costly mistake by the Ducati man saw him crash out, and although he remounted he was unable to continue and retired, giving Marquez the title. Following the excursion into the gravel by Marquez, Zarco continued to lead, but was passed on the final-lap by Pedrosa, leaving the rookie to finish in second with the distinction of being the First Independent rider and setting the fastest lap. Marquez crossed the line third to take his second title in succession and secure him his fourth MotoGP crown and the sixth World Championship of his career, making the 24-year-old the youngest rider to achieve these two feats. Today’s results also gave Honda the team and rider championships, to go with the constructor title it had already secured, and give the Japanese marque all three trophies for the first time since 2014.
Michelin again saw its range of Power Slick tyres utilised to almost the full extent of the available compounds, with five of the six versions being used in various configurations. The top-three all shod their respective machines with different selections, as Pedrosa went for a hard front and medium rear MICHELIN Power Slick, Zarco went for the soft front and rear options, whilst Marquez chose the hard front and soft rear pairing, again demonstrating the different choice available to all riders and manufacturers.
Today’s race crowd of 110,220 basked in bright sunshine and clear skies as track temperatures reached 26°C and were treated to the excitement of the championship climax and many battles through the field. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) — using a medium front and soft rear selection — took fourth and his best result of 2017, as the top-four all used a different tyre choice for their machines. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) with a medium front and a soft rear compound was fifth, Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) finished sixth, with Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in seventh and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) eighth. Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) came home ninth, with Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) taking tenth and his best result of the year.
This weekend also signalled the final race for Patrick Isacco, the Michelin tyre technician for Honda. After 40-years of loyal service he is retiring and all at Michelin would like to wish him well in the next chapter of his life. Michelin also parted company with Nicolas Goubert, the Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme, as he announced his decision to leave the French company after 28-years of excellent service and seek pastures new, as he moves to Dorna to take up a role as FIM Moto-e World Cup Executive Director. Michelin would also like to wish him all the best in his new venture and is thankful for all his achievements within the company.
Michelin will now remain at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week for the first test in readiness for the 2018 season. This will be followed by three winter tests in Malaysia, at a new MotoGP venue in Thailand and then Qatar during January, February and March respectively, before the season kicks off with the first race of 2018, at Losail in Qatar on Sunday 18th March.
Dani Pedrosa — Repsol Honda Team:
“Today was a special day because of the win. It was a mixture on the tyre choice and a few riders that I was battling with were on the soft rear when I chose the medium, but the rear worked well for everybody. In general, it was positive for me to get the win on the last-lap in front of the amazing fans.”
Marc Marquez — Repsol Honda Team:
“Really happy to be World Champion! Two years of Michelin and two world titles, this is a good thing for me. In the first part of the season it was quite difficult to understand the limit of the tyres, but then Michelin did an incredible job and solved all these issues and all the riders really started to enjoy riding. The season has been amazing and all the team and staff at Michelin helped me a lot and I want to say thanks, especially to Patrick — the guy that helps me in the box — because he retired today, and he was someone very special.”
Nicolas Goubert — Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“Today has seen another demonstration of what we have been trying to achieve since we returned to MotoGP last year, and that is to give as much choice as possible to all the riders and manufacturers at every race to allow them to be able to choose tyres that will work on race day, no matter the riders’ style. That was highlighted by the first four all using different configurations today and five of the six compounds being used throughout the field. It was again an exciting and absorbing race and we congratulate Marc on his championship and all the other riders for such an entertaining season.
“I also want to send my thanks to all at Michelin and all the riders and teams I have worked with during my time in MotoGP, it has been a fantastic journey and I have enjoyed my 28-years at Michelin and have been able to be involved in many great things within the company. I am leaving the MotoGP project in safe hands with Piero and the rest of the team and I am sure it will continue to go from strength-to-strength.”