2016 Valencia MotoGP Race Result: One Last Tango

With the world champions from both Moto3 and Moto2 winning their last race of the season, Marc Marquez had quite a formidable challenge in stopping a blisteringly fast Jorge Lorenzo from spoiling the record. But not even mighty Marquez could resist the Yamaha man on his last race for the blue team, Lorenzo departing after adding another trophy to their cabinet. Marquez finished second on his 150th GP but got to celebrate the title once again with his home crowd.

The start took place under slight cloud cover, Lorenzo’s dream start balanced by a terrible wheelie from Marquez, the world champion dropping behind Valentino Rossi, both of them overtaken on the line by Andrea Iannone and Maverick Viñales. That was the moment when Marquez lost the race, despite making up ground on Lorenzo in the late part of the race.

As Lorenzo was stretching a bit of a gap at the start, Iannone had just enough of a gap to not get embroiled in the fight for third, where Rossi and Marquez overtook Vinales by lap five. One lap later Lorenzo was already over two seconds away, but the group caught up with Iannone, bringing Dovizioso along for the ride.

Rossi did have a few tries at his fellow Italian but either the horsepower of the Ducati or Rossi himself running wide brought Iannone back in front time after time. The Yamaha man made it stick by lap ten, getting Marquez stuck to do the same dance with the Ducati. Business as usual at the front, Lorenzo four seconds ahead of the rest.

At the halfway point, the hierarchy looked settled but the expected drop-off deadlines for the softer front tyres were approaching. Iannone made his move on Rossi with fourteen laps to go, restarting the tango, Marquez waiting two more laps to put his harder front to good use and steal Rossi’s podium position. Then he wasted no time to deal with Iannone, in an old-time Moto2-style scrap between the two.

Ten laps to go and Marquez was slowly building a gap to the third place fight, Rossi and Iannone the main protagonists, with Viñales a silent spectator. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was setting a string of mid 1:31s in the lead of the race, despite the world champion closing up on him slowly and getting the almost five-second gap down to little over a second.

The Ducati’s top speed helped in the fight for third, but credit where credit due, Iannone’s willingness to rub elbows eventually got him a spot on the podium for the last race of the year, a farewell gift for his Ducati team.

Amongst other notable results, Pol Espargaro got past Dovizioso in the final moments of the race, while Bradley Smith held on to ninth position, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Despite only finishing twelfth in a pretty anonymous race, Danilo Petrucci wins the intra-team fight for the Ducati GP17 in the Pramac garage next year.

With the championship wrapped up for a while, the team championship went to Movistar Yamaha following Dani Pedrosa’s early crash, with Honda grabbing the constructors’ title. The trophies will be given later today, while the bikes will be back in two days for the start of winter testing.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 45'54.228
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +1.185
3 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati +6.603
4 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +7.668
5 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki +10.610
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha +18.378
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +18.417
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki +18.678
9 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha +25.993
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia +35.065
11 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +36.425
12 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +42.415
13 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia +49.823
14 45 Scott REDDING Ducati +52.035
15 43 Jack MILLER Honda +55.625
16 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati +58.254
17 53 Tito RABAT Honda +58.555
18 76 Loris BAZ Ducati +1'06.164
    Not Classified    
  36 Mika KALLIO KTM 11 Laps
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 14 Laps
  26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 24 Laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 26 Laps


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Winner was a fait accompli, but the fight for p2, 3, 4, and 5 was fantastic. The notion that Valencia is a track that prohibits passing (e.g., Marquez staying behind [blocking for?] Lorenzo last year) was surely proven wrong.... Great final race of the '16 season with all major factories represented at the front. Bring on the '17 season with all the shuffling of riders among teams!

There were no passes! You must have imagined it... you well know that in Valencia it's almost impossible to overtake.... we all remember last year's race: impossible to overtake! :D
So no, there were NOT something like 20 overtakes between Rossi and Iannone and Marquez.... it was just wishful thinking. We should know better and always remember Valencia 2015 a real race were there were no overtakes just people letting rossi through
Besides that, Lorenzo did a perfect race. The best way to bid his farewell to Yamaha.

If anything i was surprised it took Marquez that long to get through everyone, especially when he showed he had a much quicker pace when he was out in front. I remember thinking in that race 'the commentators might be right, it may actually be hard to pass here'. But hey i guess if the events of last year showed anything its that everyone can have a different opinion on the same thing. 

Technically there were exactly the same number of passes - none! (on Lorenzo)

Last year he was out front and the others were just able to cling on, but did not have enough to put a safe pass on.  This year the bunch of riders doing all the passing were not at Lorenzo's pace. 

Enjoyable race, and I was pleased for Lorenzo to be able to wrap up his time at Yamaha in such a way.  Also for Ianonne to have such a strong race, he seems to go better when injured (fear of hitting the deck?).

Roll on Tuesday and 2017!

The discussion last year was about no-one being able to pass Jorge Lorenzo doing what Jorge Lorenzo does at Valencia... and it was true. It was never about Valencia being a track that riders can't pass each other at.

It was a sheer pleasure to watch Jorge race last night - and when the graphic showing his laptimes came up it was magical - 1:31:xxx, lap after lap after lap.

Marc was impressive, he made the best tyre choice!

A polished and excellent effort from Jorge. Very well done. I generally mock Jorge a bit, not so much because I don't like him but because he begs to be mocked, but that didn't deserve mockery. That was a great ride.


Now let's see what he can do on a Ducati...

Single line for much of the track here makes for fewer passes, and the fight for P2-5 held relatively few. Fun race though!

mgm last yr Rossi's passes were mind boggling, I have watched that race a bunch. Excepting Petrucci no one let him through of course. He had a hero's welcome w his 4th then, this yr? He looked pissed and avoidant, understandable given Lorenzo's weekend.

Iannone was indeed motivated and focused, and did very well to keep the Ducati tracking so well mid corner. But that engine! Holy shite. So hard to get by him here, and then he just grabs a handful of throttle to leave you discouraged. Interesting world champion, er, race winner, er retirement...er...what are those red shirts for again? After the race his words said he was happy, but his face and body language said more.

Electrical problem retired KTM after 11 laps. Not good. Good bike though! Kallio and team got it on the pace and can still say they had a relatively successful weekend. I didn't get to see what I wanted to re a measure of the motor/power, and how tire wear went. Ah well. If anyone has observations or info please do share them.