Valencia, Spain

Valencia MotoGP Saturday Round Up: The Big Goodbye, Ducati's Advantage, And Managing Tires

There is a surprisingly celebratory atmosphere at Valencia for the final round of the 2021 MotoGP season. In part because it is a celebration of career for the greatest icon of motorcycle racing. But also because, unlike previous years, it really is the end of the season: we are not stuck in Valencia for another three days for test. That test always cast a pall over proceedings, no one daring to look beyond Sunday, for fear of encountering another three days of continuous grind, on top of the entire year which they had just passed.

Instead, on Sunday night, the season finishes. 2022 starts three days later, at a different track, giving us all room to catch our collective breath, relax for a moment, and start the new season with some semblance of renewed energy. That respite, brief as it is, lightens the mood considerably. It feels like a weekend where we can enjoy the racing.

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2021 Valencia MotoGP FP4 Result: Nakagami Leads Quartararo

The warm afternoon in Valencia unveiled some hard slick tyres from their blankets and some new names made their way to the top of the timesheets. In a rare sight this weekend, Fabio Quartararo led the way early on, with pretty solid pace, until Takaaki Nakagami put Honda on top for the final five minutes. The Japanese rider gave Honda a reason to smile after a tough start to the day, which put Pol Espargaro out of action for the day, the Spaniard undergoing further medical checks after his scary FP3 crash but having avoided serious injury.

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Pol Espargaro Likely To Miss Qualifying For Valencia - UPDATED

Pol Espargaro looks set to miss qualifying for the Valencia MotoGP round on Saturday. The Repsol Honda rider suffered a massive highside around Turn 13, getting flicked off the bike as the rear became unstable as he swept the bike from the right of Turn 12 to the long left at Turn 13.

Espargaro badly banged up his ribs on his right side, and injured his wrist, according to Dr Charte, one of the senior members of Dorna's medical team at the MotoGP races. Though his mobility was not compromised, he was in a great deal of pain.

Espargaro has been taken to the 9 de Octubre hospital in Valencia for further checkups. Dr Charte told Spanish broadcaster Dazn that Espargaro will not ride this afternoon, but the Repsol Honda team have not yet made an announcement on what the Spaniard will do.

UPDATED

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2021 Valencia Moto2 FP3 Result: Advantage Fernandez

Intermediate class riders were quick to improve in warmer and fully dry conditions and a handful of names challenged for top honours in FP3. Marcos Ramirez led the way early on but a small tumble at turn 4 forced him into a trip to pitlane halfway through the session and allowed challengers to get closer. Augusto Fernandez and Xavi Vierge briefly picked up the mantle in the final 10 minutes of the session, but Raul Fernandez had the last say, the rookie getting ahead with five minutes remaining and keeping the lead to the flag.

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