MotoGP Valencia: Andrea Dovizioso Takes Victory in Wild Rain-Hit Finale
- Valencia Grand Prix watched Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) took the final win of the 2018 MotoGP in a frantic restarted race in the rain in Valencia.
Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) finished the 2nd place behind Andrea Dovizioso by 2.750s, following Malaysian GP. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory) was the 3rd place and took his first podium in the premier class.
The final race of the 2018 season started in wet condition in the rain. But the race was red-flagged due to heavy rain on lap 15. Grid positions based on standings as of lap 13 and the race was restarted for 14 laps.
A number of riders crashed out in the first start including Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar).
Alex Rins got good start and led the race in two-part race. But Andrea Dovizioso passed Alex Rins and kept the 1st position in the first and the second race. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) moved up to 2nd, but he crashed in lap 9 and re-joined in the race. Finally he finshed 13th. After Valentino Rossi crashed, Alex Rins and Pol Espargaro moved up to 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati) crashed out in 7 lap of the second race.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) finished 5th in his final race of the MotoGP.
Winner Andrea Dovizioso said:
“I wasn’t faster in the race compared to the practice just some riders were slower in the race than practice. Most of the riders are so fast in practice but not in the race. It is not really a big change from me to improve.
The bike we are using with the electronics and tyres we have, with the power we have, a lot of riders are fast. If you check the winter tests everybody is within one second.
At the end of the race there is 30 or 40 seconds from first to tenth. There are a lot of things to do with it.
The mentality of a rider effects a lot between practice and race. If you start practice on the slick or wet tyres everybody is fast but in the race not many riders are there. I think the approach of the weekend and race makes a big difference.
There is always a lot of ways to work during the weekend so also when you are not the fastest it doesn’t mean you are not able to fight for the podium. If you are able to fight for the podium than it is easier to fight for the victory.
Also in this kind of race anything can happen, there were a lot of crashes, Marc was so strong with the medium [wet] rear, but I think with the medium rear and quantity of water we had was very bad. But he was there so anything can happen.
We did some changes to the set-up because Valentino was much faster in braking and entering corners. The reason why I couldn’t be stronger like him was the rear so we did something to be able to brake a bit harder.
The mix of the [new] tyre and the set-up worked well so I am so happy in the way we worked this weekend. Also every practice our speed was good but we never were the fastest. In the end in qualifying and the race we were there so I am so happy to finish the season like this. I am happy to give this victory to my team.
We spoke in the safety commission and they asked us to give a feedback on the condition of the track because from the TV it is not easy like it is for us to understand if it is over the limit or it is okay. I tried to give feedback and they took the decision immediately.”
Runner-up Alex Rins said:
“I’m very happy for this podium, the track was dangerous and slippery,” began the 22-year-old. “In the first race, the gap with Dovizioso, that they closed later, but at the beginning, on the first lap, when I saw ‘Dovizioso 6 seconds’ on the pit board, it was incredible. More or less the strategy for the second race was the same. I was trying to push from the beginning, then Valentino and Dovizioso caught me because they were stronger than me but I’m very happy anyway.
I think we did an incredible season: 5 podiums for me, 9 for Suzuki, which is incredible. We got a lot of information for next year, which will be nice.”
3rd Place Pol Espargaro said:
“I cannot believe it, I cannot believe. This is crazy. In the first race I was really fast and fighting against Marc and catching Dovi sometimes. After that the red flag came, before that, I had a huge crash, I thought that I’d injured myself again because the crash was super, super big.
But you know the bike was still on and I thought ‘this must be a message from someone up there’, so I got on the bike again. From last I started overtaking guys until I was eighth. Then I started in eighth. I did a good start in the second (race), it wasn’t as good as the first one but after that crash… yeah it was fast enough and I… just fighting with Dani and I cannot believe it, it’s crazy.
It’s like an oxygen bottle for everyone after a tough year for everyone. I’m just super happy and I saw the faces of the team and they deserve it as much as me. I was injured at home but they were suffering at the races because they were not seeing me sitting in my chair. So this is for them, this is for my people, this is for my wife, for all the people around me and cheering me for. This has been a tough year but finally, we have the trophy.”
Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana Grand Prix Race Results
- Andrea Dovizioso / Ducati Team / 24m 3.408s
- Alex Rins / Suzuki Ecstar / 24m 6.158s
- Pol Espargaro / Red Bull KTM Factory / 24m 10.814s
- Michele Pirro / Ducati Team / 24m 12.055s
- Dani Pedrosa / Repsol Honda / 24m 16.759s
- Takaaki Nakagami / LCR Honda / 24m 35.696s
- Johann Zarco / Monster Yamaha Tech3 / 24m 36.214s
- Bradley Smith / Red Bull KTM Factory / 24m 36.519s
- Stefan Bradl / LCR Honda / 24m 39.784s
- Hafizh Syahrin / Monster Yamaha Tech3 / 24m 40.606s
- Scott Redding / Factory Aprilia Gresini / 24m 47.734s
- Jorge Lorenzo / Ducati Team / 24m 49.554s
- Valentino Rossi / Movistar Yamaha / 24m 56.217s
- Karel Abraham / Angel Nieto Team / 25m 14.036s
- Jordi Torres / Reale Avintia / 25m 20.147s
- source : MotoGP