Motul Grand Prix of the Comunitat Valenciana 2016

Posted on Nov 08, 2016 by Nick Harris

ROUND EIGHTEEN 2016 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – SUNDAY 13TH NOVEMBER

Record breaking season end with goodbyes in Spain
The incredible record breaking MotoGP™ season comes to an emotional finish at the final round in Valencia Spain on Sunday. The Motul Grand Prix of the Comunitat Valenciana at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at the mediterranean city brings the curtain down on a 18 round season that has produced nine separate winners in eight months of pure drama and excitement.

In those eight months 31 year old Cal Crutchlow has re-written the history books with two MotoGP wins. The Isle of Man – based midlander riding the LCR Honda was the first British rider to win a premier class grand prix for 35 years and will be looking to consolidate his seventh place in the championship after crashing in Malaysia just a week after his win in Australia. Crutchlow is the top Independent Team and British rider in the championship.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding has experienced an up and down season on the Octo Pramac Ducati. The highlight was his third place podium finish in the Assen rain. He’s 14th in the championship just one point in front of his team-mate Danilo Petrucci as they fight for a ride on the latest factory Ducati next season.

It will be a sad weekend for Irishman Eugene Laverty after such a superb second season in MotoGP. The 30 year old Pull and Bear Aspar Ducati rider is returning to the World Superbike Championship where he has experienced so much previous success after a brilliant year. He is 12th in the championship and has only failed to finish one of the 17 races and is just one point in front of Alvaro Bautista and five ahead of Scott Redding.

It’s an emotional weekend for Bradley Smith who leaves the Tech3 team after six great years with the French-based team in both the MotoGP and Moto2™ World Championships. The Oxfordshire – based rider joins the new Austrian KTM team for 2017, along with team-mate Pol Espargaro. He has scored points in the three Asian races since returning to the saddle following his serious knee injury.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes makes his final Moto2™ appearance for the Federal Oils Gresini team before moving into MotoGP with the factory Aprilia team. It’s been a disappointing season for the former World Supersport Champion despite two brilliant grand prix wins. Too many crashes have wrecked his chances of challenging for the title and he’s fighting to stay in fifth place with both Jonas Folger and Takaaki Nakagami three points adrift.

It’s also been a tough year for former Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent who’s struggled on his return to the Moto2 class. He will remain with the Leopard Racing team next season using a Suter rather than Kalex frame.

Scotsman John McPhee sits out the final Moto3™ race of the year. Following his crash in the Australian Grand Prix he is out of hospital but still can’t fly because of damage to his lungs. He is convalescing in Melbourne before flying home to Oban.


Did you know?
This year will be the 18th Grand Prix of Valencia, which has been held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit since the first visit in 1999 and below are some facts and stats related to this event:

• This will be the 15th successive year that Valencia has hosted the final race of the season, making it the circuit that has been the venue for the final event of the year on most occasions.

• The Valencia circuit is named after Spanish racer Ricardo Tormo, who won the 50cc world title riding for Bultaco in 1978 and 1981. In addition to his 15 Grand Prix victories in the 50cc class he also had 4 wins in the 125cc class.  His career ended in 1984 due to leg injuries suffered in a crash whilst test riding. Tormo sadly died from leukaemia in 1998.

• Dani Pedrosa is the most successful rider at the Valencia circuit with six wins; three in MotoGP, two in 250cc, and one in the 125cc class. Pedrosa has won twice as many GP races at the Valencia circuit than the next most successful riders who are: Casey Stoner (1 x 125cc, 2 x MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (3 x MotoGP).

• The premier-class race at Valencia has been won eight times by Spanish riders; Sete Gibernau won the 500cc race on a Suzuki in 2001; Dani Pedrosa won the MotoGP race in 2007, 2009 and 2012; Jorge Lorenzo won in 2010, 2013 and 2015; Marc Marquez won two years ago.

• Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, Honda has been the most successful manufacturer with eight victories at the Valencia circuit. Yamaha has had four wins and Ducati two.

• Andrea Dovizioso’s fourth place finish in 2014 is the best result for a Ducati rider at Valencia in the last five years.

• Suzuki’s only podium at Valencia in the MotoGP era is third with John Hopkins in 2007.

• The MotoGP race at Valencia has only once been won by a rider who has not qualified on the front row -  Marc Marquez won the race in 2014 from fifth place on the grid.

• Valentino Rossi is the only rider to have competed at all seventeen previous grand prix events that have taken place at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.

• The last non-Spanish rider to win the MotoGP race in Valencia was Casey Stoner in 2011.

• At least one of the three classes at the Valencia grand prix has been won by a Spanish rider for the last seven years.

• The last time that the grand prix series arrived at the final race of the year in Valencia with all three titles already decided was in 2012.


Tuesday turn around
Never in the 69 year history of grand prix racing has there been a bigger turnaround of riders at the end of the season and all will be on display at the two day Valencia test that starts on the Tuesday after the final grand prix.

The two days throw up the complete change around for 2017 with so many riders switching to new machinery.

For the first time the three times MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will join Andrea Dovizioso at Ducati. His place at Movistar Yamaha is taken by 21 year old Spaniard Maverick Vinales who has nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi as a team-mate. Andrea Iannone leaves Ducati to join Ecstar Suzuki where his team-mate is Alex Rins who moves up from the Moto2 class.

Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro make their debuts on the brand new KTM, while their places at Monster Tech3 Yamaha are taken by Jonas Folger and double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco. Former Suzuki star Aleix Espargaro joins Aprilia and is joined by Moto2 rider Sam Lowes, with Alvaro Bautista leaving to join Aspar Ducati with Karel Abraham a new team-mate.

World Champion Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa remain at Repsol Honda and may test their 2017 machine in the two days.

Sounds like some special test and you can follow all the action live on MOTOGP.COM


Sentimental farewells in Valencia
This incredible MotoGP™ season comes to a finish at the traditional Motul Grand Prix of the Comunitat Valenciana in Spain on Sunday. Although all three world titles have been decided the sparks will fly round the 2.489 miles Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo circuit on the outskirts of the mediterranean city.

There have been nine separate winners in the opening 17 rounds of an amazing championship. Those nine will be looking to sign off with another win, while others are desperate for victory before they move onto fresh pastures in 2017.

MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez returns home after clinching the title in Japan. The 21 year old Spanish Repsol Honda rider has crashed in the two races since that victory ride in Motegi. He is expected to be joined by unlucky team-mate Dani Pedrosa if he has fully recovered from the broken collarbone sustained in a horrendous Motegi practice crash. Pedrosa has won six times in Valencia including three MotoGP triumphs. The only rider to match that in MotoGP is Jorge Lorenzo who wants to end an amazing career with Movistar Yamaha with a win and also to fight off the challenge of Maverick Vinales who is 17 points adrift in their battle for third. Valentino Rossi’s second place in Malaysia was enough for him to clinch second place in the championship.

Andrea Dovizioso moved into fifth place in the championship after his superb wet weather victory for Ducati in Sepang while his team-mate Andrea Iannone signs off his Ducati career before joining Ecstar Suzuki. Cal Crutchlow is 14 points behind Pedrosa in their battle for sixth with Hector Barbara and Iannone separated by a single point in their fight for ninth.

Former 125cc and 250cc grand prix winner Mika Kallio returns to grand prix action riding the brand new KTM which he has been testing for over a year.

Frenchman Johann Zarco became the first rider to retain the Moto2™ World Championship with victory in Sepang but the fight for second is far from over. Seventeen points separate Tom Luthi, Alex Rins and Franco Morbidelli going into the final 27 laps of the season. Sam Lowes is fighting to stay in fifth, just three points in front of Jonas Folger and Takaaki Nakagami.

South African Brad Binder clinched the Moto3™ world title a long time ago, but behind, the battle for second intensifies after some crash hit encounters at the last two races. Italian Enea Bastianini missed the previous round in Malaysia after injuring his back in an Australian crash. He holds a precious 19 point advantage over Sepang winner Francesco Bagnaia who in turn leads Spaniard Jorge Navarro, who has not finished the last three races after winning in Aragon, by two points.


Television Times
BT Sport 2
Friday 11th November 7.45am – 15.00pm (practice)
Saturday 12th November 8.00am – 15.15pm (practice & qualifying)
Sunday 13th November 8.00am – 15.00pm (warm-up and races)

ITV 4 Highlights
Monday 14th November 20.00pm – 21.00pm


Radio
Sunday 13th November - TalkSPORT2 – races


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