MotoGP Valencia: Francesco Bagnaia Wins Finale, Valentino Rossi 10th In Emotional Farewell
- Valencia Grand Prix watched Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Team) took his fourth victory of the 2021 season. This result brought Ducati's 2021 MotoGP Teams' World Title.
Before the race, Repsol Honda announced Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) withdrew the race due to his violent crash in FP3 on Saturday, marking the first time since Assen 1992 that no factory team Honda rider started a premier class grand prix.
Pole sitter Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) led the race until lap 16 of 27, but finished 2nd. He took the fourth podium of the season including Styrian GP win and won the 2021 rookie of the year.
Jack Miller (Ducati Team) took 3rd, following Algarve GP last time. This result marks a historic first Ducati 1-2-3 in Valencia Grand Prix.
Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) pushed and moved up to 2nd for a while, but crashed out at Turn 6 on lap 11. His teammate Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) finished 4th, beating world champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) by just over two tenths, while Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) completed the top six.
The nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha) brought his illustrious MotoGP career to a close with a ride to 10th.
Francesco Bagnaia said, “Yeah, it was incredible! The only way possible to celebrate him was to win with this helmet and to have Vale [Rossi] on the top of the podium with me made me so happy. This year we have grown and learned a lot. We are very competitive. For next year I think we are ready to start the season fighting for the world championship. But now the only thing is to celebrate Vale and I would like to be there with him in his garage already. Vale for us (academy riders) is a friend, a big brother and he helps us a lot every time. Also for what he has done for us and what he is still doing for us everyday. It's the minimum possible that I can do. Yesterday I tried to help him in the qualifying, today he was with me after the race, so it was a great day for me. The thing was; I knew that my pace was faster than Jorge's [Martin]. But I didn't want to take so much risk. In turn two I was slow because I always crashed there. So I was doing it more slow and he was recovering every lap. But, I was sure that this pace was very competitive and that it was enough to open a little gap. Also the braking everywhere except to turn was competitive. Jorge did an incredible job in the first part of the race and was struggling in the first part to overtake him. But when I saw it was possible I just tried and then set my pace. This one is one of the best victories this year because I started bad, riders overtook me, and then I had to be back. Finally I achieved this result on the day Vale finishes his career.”
Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana Race Results
- Francesco Bagnaia / Ducati Team / 41m 15.481s
- Jorge Martin / Pramac Ducati / +0.489s
- Jack Miller / Ducati Team / +0.823s
- Joan Mir / Suzuki Ecstar / +5.214s
- Fabio Quartararo / Monster Yamaha / +5.439s
- Johann Zarco / Pramac Ducati / +6.993s
- Brad Binder / Red Bull KTM / +8.437s
- Enea Bastianini / Avintia Ducati / +10.933s
- Aleix Espargaro / Aprilia Gresini / +12.651s
- Valentino Rossi / Petronas Yamaha / +13.468s
- Franco Morbidelli / Monster Yamaha / +14.085s
- Andrea Dovizioso / Petronas Yamaha / +16.534s
- Alex Marquez / LCR Honda / +17.059s
- Miguel Oliveira / Red Bull KTM / +18.221s
- Iker Lecuona / KTM Tech3 / +19.233s
- Maverick Viñales / Aprilia Gresini / +19.815s
- Luca Marini / Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati / +28.860s
- Danilo Petrucci / KTM Tech3 / +32.169s
Valentino Rossi said, “It was a really special weekend and I didn't expect it like this. I was a bit worried about the last weekend of my career, because you always think about this moment for a long time and you don't know how you will feel, if you are able to stay concentrated on the race, or if you will be very sad and everything. But it was great. A great weekend from Thursday. I received a lot of surprises from the championship-winning bikes and also the riders of the Academy using my helmet was very emotional. And also great support and great respect from all the people from the paddock and also from all the MotoGP riders. I have to thank them. It's very important. It's not so normal I think. And especially it was a great weekend already from yesterday, I ride well and today in the race I was able to arrive in the top ten. So it means I close my long career with the top ten riders in the world. This is so important for me. It means a lot. And I can use this result for a long time, because I can say that in my last race I finished in the top ten! So I feel very good, also because after the race we did some serious party and we enjoy like we win the championship. It's something I will never forget. In the last races we improved a lot the bike and we worked well together with David, Idalio, Matteo and all the team. Sincerely they give to me a fantastic support because the season was long and not easy, because it was a crucial season for me to decide if I continue. But the results didn't arrive and it's very easy when you say 'okay, I'll stop' to give up. But after Portugal we speak together and I said, 'f**k in Valencia we have to give the maximum' because it's the last race and I want to make the maximum because that track is the worst for me and I don't want to arrive last. But it was more positive than we expected and to finish in the top ten today, I think this is the best race of my season. First of all we work well with my team and yesterday already from the morning the bike was really improved from Friday and I started to feel better from FP3. This is very important. Anyway also from Saturday to Sunday we improved and yesterday also Pecco helped me stay in the top ten and go direct into Qualifying 2. And then you can do really another race. But also today I feel the motivation and concentration like if I have to play for the world championship. Because it's the last race and it's very important. You will never forget. And, f**k, it's not easy because already from the Monday I had a lot of pressure, a lot of things to do, but I want to try for me the most important is try to be strong in the race, because I'm still a rider. For me it's a great emotion today. I ride very well. I never made any mistakes and I gave the maximum from beginning to the end. The first thing that I regret is that it's finished. I think it will be more difficult in the future, in the next weeks and months, and especially March when they restart. What else? For sure I wanted to try to win the tenth championship but I cannot regret about my results and the nine championships. I think that if I put the same effort of the last ten years, into the first years, I could win also more than I won. But I think it's normal that when you are young you are more of a dickhead! This is something you learn just with experience. But apart from this, I'm very happy and today was a great final.”
- source : MotoGP