Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin previewing the final round of the year at Valencia:
Repsol Honda Team arrives in Valencia for 2017 MotoGP Championship finale
On Monday Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa attended the presentation of the brand new Honda models at the EICMA Show in Milan, Italy. On the same occasion they took part in the Honda 2018 racing programme presentation together with fellow HRC riders from Dakar, MXGP and WTC teams, before heading to Valencia for the season finale.
The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana will be the deciding round between Marc Marquez (282 points) and Andrea Dovizioso (261 points) for the 2017 MotoGP Riders World Championship.
Since the World Championship series was introduced in 1949, this will be the 18th occasion in which the premier-class title will go down to the final race of the year (including 1993 when, strictly speaking, the title went down to the last round with Kevin Schwantz leading injured Wayne Rainey by 18 points).
In the MotoGP era this will be the fourth time, the others having been Valencia 2006 (Hayden-Rossi), Valencia 2013 (Marquez-Lorenzo), and Valencia 2015 (Lorenzo-Rossi).
This will also be the third time in Marc’s career that he has fought for the title at the season-finale Grand Prix, the others having been Valencia 2010, versus Nico Terol (Marc won the 125cc Title, finishing fourth), and Valencia 2013, versus Jorge Lorenzo (Marc won the MotoGP Title, finishing third).
In Valencia, Marc will take the title if Dovizioso does not win the race, or if Dovizioso does win and Marc finishes 11th or better. In addition, after securing the Constructors World Championship in Malaysia a fortnight ago, the Repsol Honda Team will have the possibility to win the Teams World Championship.
The Repsol Honda Team have earned three double-podium finishes at Valencia: 2013 (Dani Pedrosa 2nd, Marquez 3rd), 2014 (Marquez 1st, Pedrosa 3rd), and 2015 (Marquez 2nd, Pedrosa 3rd).
At the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana
Marc Marquez has 2 wins—1xMoto2 (2012) and 1xMotoGP (2014)—plus 3 podiums and 2 pole positions.
Dani Pedrosa has 6 wins—1×125 (2002), 2×250 (2004, 2005), and 3xMotoGP (2007, 2009, 2012), plus an additional 4 podiums and 5 pole positions.
“Of course it will be natural to feel some pressure in Valencia with so much at stake, but honestly there has been pressure for the entire second part of the season. And the fact that we’ve been able to manage some tricky situations, as was the case at the last race in Malaysia, gives me a positive feeling. Regarding the track, I feel good because I like Valencia. It’s an anticlockwise circuit, which normally suits me. Of course it’s also good to have a points advantage to manage. That said, we won’t think too much about any of those things. We definitely don’t think it will be easy, so we won’t go to Valencia with any extra confidence. We’ll keep the same mentality and working method that have brought us to where we are, and we’ll give 100 per cent because it will be important to be fast beginning with FP1.”
“We head to Valencia in a positive mood, looking to try and finish the season with a good result. I always feel a good atmosphere there, and I get a lot of good energy from the fans! We made a step with our bike setup in Malaysia and this gives us confidence for the weekend. Valencia is a track that I like a lot, I’ve been strong in the past and had good results so I hope to that the bike works well there and we can do a good race.”
Ducati Team concludes 2017 season with the Valencia Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo circuit
Eight months and seventeen races since the championship got underway in March at the Losail circuit in Qatar, the MotoGP teams and riders have arrived in Spain for the final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana – a.k.a. the Valencia Grand Prix – at the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Cheste on the outskirts of Valencia. The track runs in a counter-clockwise direction with the bikes getting little opportunity to reach top speed on the twisty layout.
It will be a very important weekend for the Ducati Team, which comes off the back of a splendid 1-2 win for Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo at Sepang, because the Italian is now the only man who can stop Marquez from taking the title. Twenty-one points separate ‘DesmoDovi’ from the Spanish champion, which means that to take the world title, Andrea needs to win the race with Marquez finishing twelfth or lower. In any case 2017 has been an extraordinary season for Dovizioso, with six wins to his name plus one second and one third place.
Andrea has taken part in nine MotoGP races at Valencia, with his best result being a third place in 2011, while last year he finished the race in seventh place after starting from the second row.
After a great race at Sepang, Jorge Lorenzo also wants to finish the season in the best possible way. The rider from Mallorca has taken part in eight Valencia GPs, winning four of them, including the last two which he dominated in fine style.
There will also be a third wild-card outing for Michele Pirro with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian has taken part four times in the Valencia race in the MotoGP category, with his best result being a fifth in 2012, while the previous year he took the win in the Moto2 class.
The Ducati Team has twice won in MotoGP at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.
With one round left to go, Dovizioso lies second in the overall standings with 261 points, while Lorenzo is in seventh with 137 points and Pirro, who has only done two races this year, is in twenty-third with 18 points.
The Valencia weekend schedule gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 30-lap race starts at 14.00 CET on Sunday.
As always, the Sunday race will be followed by two days of MotoGP official testing on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 November, which mark the start of the 2018 season.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (261 points)
“We come to Valencia with a big gap in the points from Marquez and on a track where he goes very well, so we know it’s going to be tough. The only strategy for me, with this gap, is to try and win and then see where my rival finishes. In this period we are going strongly at almost every track and so we have to try and approach this weekend with optimism, as we have always done recently.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (137 points)
“We have already arrived at the final race of the season, as always here at Valencia, a circuit where I have great memories and where I’ve scored some excellent results in the past, but it’s also a track which has not always been favourable for our bike. It’s a small track with very tight corners, but the world championship is still open for Andrea and nothing is impossible in this last race. It’ll be a great season finale and I’ll give my all as always, to finish my first year in Ducati with the best possible result.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 23rd (18 points)
“I’ll be tackling the Valencia race with the knowledge that this has been an extraordinary season, both for Ducati and for me personally, seeing as I succeeded in winning my fifth Italian Superbike title and in scoring great results in the two MotoGP races in which I took part. It’s an exciting moment that allows us to look to the future with confidence. To race in the final round of the season with the title still at stake between Dovizioso and Marquez is a very special experience, and I’m happy to be a part of it and to be able to give my contribution to Ducati."
The Valencia circuit
Completed in 1999, the Valencia circuit first held a MotoGP round in the same year. The track has several layouts with varying lengths and runs anti-clockwise. Although the circuit itself is quite small, the massive grandstands can seat up to 150,000 spectators. The layout allows all parts of the circuit to be seen from anywhere and helps to create a unique atmosphere enjoyed by the enthusiastic Spanish public, which as always will arrive in force for the final race of the season.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.171 (158.1 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) – 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 335.9 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.0 km
Race Distance: 30 laps (120.2 km)
Corners: 14 (9 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Movistar Yamaha Make Ready for Final 2017 MotoGP Race
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi return to Spain for Sunday's 2017 MotoGP World Championship finale, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Viñales arrives in his home country determined to fight for a podium spot. Having secured third place in the championship at the previous round at the Sepang International Circuit a fortnight ago, he focuses on wrapping up the season in the best way possible this weekend.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit was the scene of some great moments for the home hero. He stood on the podium in Valencia twice, having secured victory in his first 125cc race there in 2011, as well as in 2013, when he again was the first rider to reach the chequered flag in the Moto3 class, earning him the World Championship Title. His best MotoGP finish was last year, when he took fifth place.
After three intense race weekends overseas, Rossi enters the final round determined to keep hold of fourth place in the championship rankings. He has a 12-point advantage over his closest rival and will push to the maximum to further increase it in the 2017 Grand Finale.
Out of the 17 premier class races that the nine-time World Champion took part in at the Ricardo Tormo track so far, he has taken two MotoGP wins, in 2003 and 2004, and he stood on the podium eight times in total, having secured second places in 2002, 2009 and 2014 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
The 4.0 km long Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo was completed in 1999 and was immediately added to the MotoGP calendar for that same year. The twisty track lay-out (featuring nine left and five right corners and an 876 m longest straight) is challenging for both man and machine, but beloved by many riders as well as the fans. The stadium offers spectators a perfect view of all parts of the circuit from every stand, so they won't miss any of the action as the MotoGP season comes to a close.
Championship: 3rd - Points: 226
"I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood. After the last three races in Asia and Oceania I've spent some time at home, training and relaxing. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. We expect nice weather for the entire week, so I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with a nice podium at the last round. We are already focused on the next season and we also want to work hard during the test next week."
Championship: 4th - Points: 197
"The last race of the season has come. It wasn't an exciting end of the season for us, but during the three races overseas we've got some more data for our bike and we've always been fine on the dry. We hope that there will be good weather in Valencia to work in the best way. We are not fighting for the championship this weekend, but we will try to make it a good race anyway, and we will try to use next week's two-day test to start working on the 2018 season."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the triple header overseas the team had a few days to catch their breath before the final race of the season. We're all looking forward to the Valencia Grand Prix. The atmosphere at the last round is always special: one season ends and immediately after the next one begins. We're arriving in Spain with the goal to not only end the season with a positive result, but we also want to start working for next year. There's a busy week ahead of us and we are impatient to get started."
TO VALENCIA FOR THE LAST RACE OF THE 2017 SEASON
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 8.
As per tradition, the Valencian Grand Prix will be the round that brings an end to the 2017 MotoGP World Championship and bridges into the 2018 season with the test that follows on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the weekend´s race.
Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins have recovered well since their return from the very long and distant Japan-Australia-Malaysia trip and are now ready to face the last challenge of the season. They are already eager to start thinking about the new season. The last race in Sepang was a bitter one, with Iannone out of the points and Rins crashing out, but the previous races in Motegi and Phillip Island had been positive ones. Both riders were able to sense the improvements in the feeling of the bike and the consequent improvement of performance.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia will mark a return to where it all started; the riders had their first go with the GSX-RR’s right on this track exactly one year ago. The Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana (Valencian Racetrack) is a facility that was completed in 1999 and has been hosting the GP ever since. The track is pretty tight, but the complex can hold around 150,000 fans in the stadium-style grandstands. Since it is the final GP of the season, many people are expected to come and support their heroes. The MotoGP™ events are held on a 4km track comprised of five right-hand corners, eight left-handers, and a 650m straight, for a total distance of 120.2 km (74.7 miles) over 30 laps.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We look forward to racing in Valencia. Even if Malaysia was not as good as we expected the last part of the season had some very positive aspects. We head to Valencia eager to finish in good shape. The layout of the track is perhaps not the best for our bike, but we will try to close out the season with a good quality result. The season has been difficult for us, but in the end we recuperated some positive feelings. We will try our best in the Valencia race and then start a new season using to our advantage the accumulated experience.”
“Valencia is a peculiar track that I can race very well when I have a good feel for the bike. My race last year was a good one. I was coming back after injury and had a positive feeling with the layout. This year I’m approaching the race in a high spirits because I still link this circuit with the first time ever that I tried the GSX-RR, and the feeling was great. Our goal is to close this season in a good way. In the last races we have had some ups and downs, but on average we have been able to make important improvements in this final stretch of the season.”
“This will be the last race of the season and I really want to finish with a positive result. Of course it will be emotional to ride again in Valencia because this was the circuit where I tried a MotoGP machine for the very first time. The GSX-RR was impressive. For sure things have changed a lot since the beginning; we have made many improvements throughout the season and I myself especially learned a lot. I´m approaching this weekend in a completely different mood than one year ago, as you might imagine. Another positive thing is that in the last part of the season we began a positive trend. The machine has grown and with it also my knowledge of it all. Let’s take it step by step and have a positive last race of the season.”
APRILIA RACING IN (RED) LIVERY AT THE VALENCIA GP
THE ITALIAN MOTOGP BIKE DRESSES IN RED TO SUPPORT (RED) IN ITS BATTLE AGAINST AIDS
The Valencia GP, the final round of the 2017 MotoGP season, will have the Aprilia RS-GP machines racing in the "total red" livery of (RED), an association that has distinguished itself over the years for its commitment in the fight against diseases that represent one of the biggest problems of our time.
Founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) has contributed more than $475 million to the Global Fund in the battle against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These funds have arrived in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. 100% of the resources have been invested in Africa to finance programmes intended to fight HIV/AIDS. (RED)'s support for the Global Fund has had an impact on more than 90 million people with prevention, treatment and consulting operations, as well as HIV tests and assistance services. Aprilia dresses in (RED) to support such a noble battle, only the (RED) logo will appear on the bike.
At Valencia, Aleix Espargaró will be back in the saddle after being forced to miss the Malaysian GP due to the injury he suffered in Australia. The Spanish rider, who will go through the usual medical check-up on Thursday to assess the condition of his injured hand, is confident. For him, the goal is to finish what has certainly been a positive season respectably and, from the post-race tests, to begin laying the foundation for a great 2018.
In his last appearance of the MotoGP season, Sam Lowes will be relying on the feeling he developed during the "triple-header" to finish in the points on the circuit dedicated to Ricardo Tormo.
“I can't wait to get back in the saddle. I have missed the RS-GP! I was sorry to miss the Malaysia round due to the injury. Unfortunately ours is a dangerous sport and these things can happen. I am confident. My hand is better and despite the fact that there is still some pain, I will give 100%. The entire team and I deserve to finish this season well. We have worked hard and we want to tackle preparation for 2018 with the right confidence."
"I want to do well in Valencia. It is a track where we have done various tests, so we will have a good starting setup. After the triple-header I recharged my batteries and I am ready to give it my all for myself and for the team."
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and the Piaggio Group wish to thank all the partners, the sponsors and the riders who, with great sensitivity and generosity, have participated to make such an important project successful, agreeing to the creation of the RS-GP in the livery entirely dedicated to (RED).
Zarco Fired Up for Season Finale - Van der Mark to Step in Once Again
Johann Zarco aims to conclude his memorable debut season in the premier class with a podium finish at the last round showdown in Valencia. The French sensation has already been crowned the 2017 Top Independent rider as well as Rookie of the Year and his target is to power to another notable result on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will not participate in the Valencia GP as he continues to recover, and the returning WorldSBK front-runner, Michael van der Mark will replace him. The Dutch rider impressively fought to 16th at Sepang and intends to deliver another strong performance this weekend.
Championship: 6th - Points: 154
"It’s already the last Grand Prix of the season and the year has gone quite quickly but very interestingly. I am so happy to go to Valencia with this high level of confidence and a positive feeling from the last few races. I will see what my potential is on Friday and Saturday, yet, if I can be competitive and remain with the top three riders, then I hope to fight for another podium. In fact, why not try and go for the first victory? Let's see, but for sure I want to enjoy the Valencia GP a lot."
Michael van der Mark
Championship: Not Classified
"It’s a shame that Jonas cannot ride in Valencia, but I am really honoured that Hervé asked me again because I think it showed that I did quite a good job in Sepang. I have not ridden in Valencia for a long time, but hopefully, it will be a little bit easier than the race in Malaysia, now that I know the bike, the tyres and the brakes more. The most important thing is that I hope we have a normal dry weekend, where I can ride a lot of laps and improve myself together with the bike. I just want to make steps forward and close the gap to the front guys plus, just enjoy the occasion because it's an amazing opportunity."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"It has already been a year since Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger rode the YZR-M1 for the first time and it feels like yesterday. Not only have we done the winter tests together, but the whole season and now we arrive at the last round of the 2017 campaign. It is exciting yet, also a time to look back at what we have achieved and I think we can be quite proud of what has been done by the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Our riders did a great job, although Jonas, unfortunately, could not finish the year with us due to him having to fight a tough illness and we really hope he recovers well. Regarding Johann Zarco, there isn’t much to say that hasn't already been said. Rookie of the Year, Best Independent rider, two podiums, two pole positions, as well as many unbelievable memories. The last time we were here, we tested and it was successful, however, the bike and the rider have certainly improved. I’m certain that Johann will want to finish the season on a high note with another strong performance. I would like also to welcome Michael van der Mark for his second MotoGP event with Monster Yamaha Tech3. We were quite happy to see that he finished 4th in the second WorldSBK race in Qatar and close to the leading group. This is hopefully a sign that he is in good form and I’m sure that this time he will feel more at home on the YZR- M1 and with the Tech3 team, having worked with us in Malaysia. He can go out, have fun and show his true potential. There are a lot of things that will happen during this weekend, and the championship is still to be decided between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Everyone has a good reason to push and finish the year on a high note. I will say to everyone following MotoGP and our team, come and support us at this last race, which will be the definite end to a great and memorable MotoGP season."
Miller and Rabat ready for Valencia season finale
Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head into the Grand Prix of Valencia this weekend determined to mark their last appearance for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS with a strong performance in the final race of the season.
Miller arrives in Valencia off the back of top ten finishes in the last two races, after missing the Japanese Grand Prix with a broken leg sustained in a training accident. The Australian is now back to full fitness and heads into the final race of the season determined to mark the end of his two-year tenure at Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS with another top ten finish
Miller currently lies 12th in the championship standings, just two points behind Alvaro Bautista in 11th but 11 points adrift of the rider in 10th place, Jonas Folger, who will not race this weekend.
Rabat scored points in Japan but narrowly missed out in both Australia and Malaysia, after difficult weekends that were badly affected by the weather. But the former Moto2 World Champion is nothing if not resilient.
Having put the disappointment of Phillip Island and Sepang behind him, Rabat heads to Valencia determined to secure another points scoring finish, on a track at which he has enjoyed some success in the past.
"Finishing tenth in the championship is a big ask, but anything is possible as they say! At least the weather looks good, with the forecast promising dry conditions all weekend. I like the Valencia circuit, which is one of the few left hand circuits we race at during the season, and I'm feeling good on the bike after the flyaway races, so let's see how we go. Obviously I want to finish out the season strong and mark my last race with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS with a good result on Sunday."
"It's the final round of the season and my last race for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS after four years together, so I want to do a good job on Sunday and finish on a high. The overseas races were difficult, but I think our Honda RC213V will suit the characteristics of the Valencia circuit and I am confident we can fight for points on Sunday. That's the goal, anyway."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Mathematically it's still possible for Jack to finish top ten in the championship, but he'd need to finish fourth to achieve this, which is a big ask! But they say anything can happen in racing, so you never know. Valencia marks the final appearance for both Jack and Tito in Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS colours, as both will leave the team for pastures new next season. I wish them all the best, not just for this final weekend but also for the future and I would like to thank them for their commitment to our MotoGP project over the past two seasons. Jack is a character and will be sorely missed, while Tito wrote us into the history books with his Moto2 World Championship win in 2014, for which we'll forever be grateful."
Valencia, the last race of the year for Reale Avintia Racing Team
The 2017 MotoGP World Championship comes to an end this Sunday at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. The Grand Prix of Valencia will be the grand finale of an exciting season with Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso fighting for the title.
It will also be a very special weekend for Reale Avintia Racing, since it marks the last race of the team with Hector Barbera and Loris Baz. The Spanish rider was part of Raul Romero’s structure since 2013 and his contribution has been crucial to the growth of the project in the MotoGP class, with great results such as the Open World Championship in 2015 or last year’s ‘top ten’ in the final standings. Baz had joined the team last season and in these two years, he has left his mark with great determination, professionalism and courage.
“Valencia is my home Grand Prix and for me it’s always special to race on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. This year, it’s even more special because it’s the last race with the team that I’ve raced with in the last five seasons and that has become my family. It will also be my last race in MotoGP and after eight years in this class I look forward to new challenges in Moto2. I have no doubt that it will be a very nice and emotional weekend, but I want to focus on working hard from the first practice on Friday to get ready for Sunday’s race. I want to finish this stage of my career with a good result for my team, for me and for all the sponsors that have been supporting us always. ”
“It’s going to be a special weekend. It will be my last MotoGP race for now, before starting another chapter in my career. Valencia is also special for the team, it’s their home race and that is why I will try to give my best. We will push at the maximum from Friday and our goal is to finish in the ‘top ten’. This goal has become more difficult to achieve with every race, because all the factories improved a lot, especially KTM and Suzuki. But we’ll try. I would like to get a good result to conclude my two-year-partnership with the team on a high note. I have a house near the circuit, so it’s also like a home Grand Prix for me, and I hope I can enjoy this last race. “
Pull&Bear Aspar ready to end season at home race
Álvaro Bautista, aiming for the top 10 in the championship, and Karel Abraham finish a very positive season at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo
After keeping his title hopes alive until Valencia, this weekend is last chance saloon for Andrea Dovizioso. The Ducati rider, some 21 points behind Marc Márquez, faces the titanic challenge of winning the race and hoping the Spaniard finishes no higher than twelfth. It is another mouthwatering prospect at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, venue for the MotoGP World Championship curtain call for the sixteenth successive season.
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team end a very positive 2017 season at home, with the Circuit Ricardo Tormo being the decisive venue in their quest to finish in the top six MotoGP teams and with Álvaro Bautista still aiming for the top ten in the championship. Jonas Folger, currently tenth but absent from Valencia, is nine points ahead of Bautista, meaning the Spaniard needs a top six finish in Valencia. Bautista knows exactly what he needs for the job and will work hard from Friday to find a fast and agile set-up for this short and tricky track. Karel Abraham has enjoyed one of his best ever seasons in MotoGP and he is aiming to finish on a high at the circuit where he took Moto2 victory back in 2010 .
Álvaro Bautista: “It's the final race of the season, the year has gone so fast! It's another home race, perhaps even more so than the others because the team is from Valencia so this is a very special Grand Prix for us. The Circuit Ricardo Tormo is a small and twisty track, with hardly any opportunity to use full gas. We have to work hard to make sure the bike is easy to ride and agile in the direction changes. We want to finish the season with a good taste in our mouths. It will be a fun race, partly because the MotoGP title will be decided, although it is pretty unlikely that Márquez won't win it, but there are other battles going on too. We have the chance of finishing in the top ten in the championship although for that we need a top six in this race. Let's see if with a little push from the Spanish fans we can have a strong weekend and be fighting for that top six.”
Karel Abraham:“Hopefully at Valencia there won't be any rain, which has followed us around for the last three races. We need more time in dry conditions. I have great memories of Valencia, from when I won the Moto2 race there in 2010. We go there with nothing to lose again and with the intention of giving the maximum to achieve a good grid position and a good result on Sunday.”
CRUTCHLOW TARGETS BIG FINISH IN VALENCIA
PRESS RELEASE: 09 November 2017 | Valencia GP Preview
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow is aiming to sign off the 2017 MotoGP World Championship season in memorable style with a strong performance at the final round in Valencia. A thrilling weekend lies ahead at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo with the fight for the championship having gone down to the last race as Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso attempts to deny HRC factory rider Marc Marquez a fourth world title.
Ahead of this weekend’s action, Crutchlow and his team stopped off in Milan to visit the EICMA fair where he got the chance to meet fans and Team partners and thank them for their support throughout the year. Having enjoyed his time in Italy, the Briton’s mind is now back on the serious business of trying to finish towards the front of the field in Valencia.
After enduring a frustrating time in the flyaway races in Japan and Malaysia, Crutchlow is determined to try and reproduce the kind of form that saw him finish fifth in Australia as he looks to end another exciting season in the premier class on a high.
"I’m hoping for a better weekend than in Malaysia or Japan firstly. Obviously, we’re looking forward to the last race of the year, we always try our best here, although it’s never really gone that well for me. I don’t mind the circuit, it’s not the greatest circuit for Honda in the world with it being so tight and twisty, but we’ll see how it goes and I’m feeling positive.
“Of course I have a preference that Marc (Marquez) wins the championship, I ride for Honda and I work as hard for Marc as he does for me. We’re trying to develop the bike and improve the situation at Honda as it’s not been that easy to ride the bike for the last three years that I’ve been here. So I’d prefer Marc to win, but I will say that Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) is a great friend of mine and he’s been a great competitor all year for everyone. It’s great that it’s come down to the last round and I wish him the best of luck, and Ducati as they’ve done a very good job with their bike.
“The championship has been superb (in 2017) and I am happy that Honda won the Constructors Championship. Yesterday I have been at EICMA fair with Lucio and some Team members to visit some of our partners. I had fun because it’s a massive show and I wanted to say thank you to our sponsors for supporting us even this season”.
MICHELIN LOOKS TOWARDS THE SEASON FINALE AND A TITLE DECIDER
Michelin is heading back to Europe for the now customary season-ending event at Valencia in Spain for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana and a race that takes on extra significance as the MotoGP™ World Championship will be decided this weekend.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are separated by just 21-points at the head of the standings, so one of these two great competitors — both with six wins each this season — will be battling to be the second champion since Michelin’s return to MotoGP in 2016.
The setting is a unique circuit on the calendar, with it being the only stadium styled venue of the year. Its tight configuration with nine left-hand and five right-hand turns requires special attention and concentration to get a good lap. The anti-clockwise, snaking design set out over 4,005m, means the tyres will spend a lot of the lap on the edge and to counter this Michelin will take a range of front and rear asymmetric slick rubber to cope with the specific demands. The MICHELIN Power Slicks will be in soft, medium and hard compounds with a more durable left-hand side to combat the extra and faster corners which travel in that direction. The front selection will see the soft and hard compounds with the asymmetric pattern, whilst the medium will be symmetric. All three rear tyres will be asymmetric.
The Michelin tyres for the final round of the season will have the same meticulous attention that has been used to supply specific tyres for every circuit at the 17-rounds raced this season. All are aimed at supplying the riders, teams and manufacturers with the largest choice for a race weekend, and with the colder morning temperatures that are common at the circuit in November, right through to the warmer conditions expected on race-day, or with any wet weather that could be encountered, this weekend’s range has been designed and chosen with the vagaries of the Valencian track in mind.
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo has held a World Championship motorcycle event since 1999, when the construction of the circuit was completed, and wet weather is not unusual at this time of the year, so the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available to manage any inclement conditions. Available in extra soft and soft compounds for the front and rear, the asymmetric compound, with a harder left-hand edge, will feature on just the extra soft rear tyres, whereas the three others in the MICHELIN Power Rain range will have a symmetric design.
The event always has a festival feel to it and with up-to 150,000 fans expected to fill the stands around the circuit on race-day that will certainly be the case as the season decider reaches its exciting climax. The layout allows for spectators to view the action anywhere on the track from any of the grandstands, giving the event a unique and spectacular feel and atmosphere.
The final round of the season gets underway with two free practice sessions on Friday. The last Saturday of the year will have further practice sessions, allied with the excitement of qualifying to determine grid positions for Sunday’s 30-lap race. The main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 12th November, when the title will go down to the wire and the traditional celebratory fireworks will be ignited when the chequered flag drops to signal the end of a fantastic season of MotoGP racing, in which Michelin has played an important and significant role.
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“It’s good to be back in Europe after the three-week tour of Asia-Pacific, but it is also tinged with a bit of sadness as this is the final race of the season. It seems like no time since the pre-season tests, but we have had some amazing races this year and it has been a very good and successful season for Michelin. Valencia brings its own challenges as it can be very cool in the mornings, so we need tyres that can warm-up quickly and give good adhesion, especially on the right side. It’s also a track with lots of left turns over its short distance, so the left side of the tyre doesn’t have much chance to cool down and we have asymmetric tyres especially designed to take that into account. The final event is always a celebration for the fans and I’m sure this year will be the same, especially with the title going down to the wire.”