— MotoGP 2013 – Round 18 – Valencia
— Marquez and Lorenzo commence tense Championship decider
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo are set for the big decider this weekend at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, where one of the two will walk away as World Champion. They spoke to the assembled press at the Thursday pre-race press conference joined by Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden as well as Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith.
In a slight change to the norm, that press conference was preceded by one featuring the Moto3™ title protagonists in the form of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins – all of who could also be crowned World Champion on Sunday.
Back in the premier-class however it was Marquez who commenced proceedings: “We need to finish in the top four and that is not easy with all of those guys in MotoGP. The mentality is the same as on other weekends: try to do my best Friday, Saturday in the Warm-Up and the race. We will see whether we can fight for the win, fight for the podium or just fight for some points.”
Lorenzo, who has a 13-point deficit over Marquez, knows he has a tough task at hand: “I am sure that, if he can, Valentino will help me, just as I would help him if he found himself in the same situation as me. The important thing is to be fast from Friday onwards and of course especially in the race. I think Marc and myself should be very proud as two Spaniards fighting for the MotoGP world title. I think the best strategy is try to win the race. That’s it. That’s the only thing I can do. We are fighting with a lot of Honda riders and that’s the only thing we can do. Let’s see if it rains on Sunday, but in normal circumstances I think it is very difficult.”
Pedrosa, who won in Valencia last year, had to respond to journalists on the topic of “Team Orders”: “HRC has no team orders as far as I know and I think he is still 13 points ahead and always on the podium, so I think he’s capable of doing it anyway, but sure I’ll try to do my best in the race. And winning it would be the best way of helping the team.”
Rossi, veering off topic slightly, announced the split from his long-term crew chief Jeremy Burgess: “The target is to fight with the top three each weekend. This season it has happened, but not so often. We have had some very good races, with some podiums, and especially one victory. For me, the best way to help Jorge is to try and be in front of Marc. I know it’s very difficult, but for sure I will try. The rumours are true. Not that I am not happy with Jeremy, but I think next year Jeremy will not be my chief mechanic. It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with him. He is not just my chief mechanic but part of my family and my father of racing. But I have decided that next year I need to change something to try and find new motivation to have a new boost to improve my level and my speed.”
Hayden, who clinched the title here in 2006, does not see a great similarity between his race here and what the two Spaniards are about to commence: “Not really. Obviously it’s a lot better to be eight points down [as he was in 2006]. He has a bigger margin, so he needs more to happen. You have to think Marc is in a much better spot – I would much rather be in his spot than Jorge…actually, I would rather be in any of their spots! Marc is not exactly your typical rookie and you would think without any problems he should get it done, but you never know until the flag flies on Sunday.”
Smith, coming to the end of his rookie season, is pleased with how things have gone, yet also believes that next year’s newbies will maybe have more of an instant impact: “We seem to have been ahead of our own personal targets and also what Yamaha expected of me, so that is really nice. I am pleased with the final outcome and also looking forward to the winter before coming back and having another go next year. I didn’t really have the best end to my Moto2 championship and didn’t come into this season with the highest confidence, so I think my jump was a bit more from what we’ll see from Scott and Pol.”
The Moto3™ contenders are tightly bunched at the top of the table, with Salom holding only a two-point lead over Viñales. The Red Bull rider commented: “I want to say thanks to Maverick and Alex for making this championship so nice. I have enjoyed this year a lot and the position on Sunday won’t matter. Of course I want to win if I can, but I won’t mind about the position. But I will remember this season forever and have always remembered fighting with them. We have won seven races this year, which is a lot and we need to continue as we have been doing across the other races.”
Viñales, who knows he has to win, will be giving all he can to take the title: “I don’t believe it! Japan was incredible. This is an opportunity and we will try to make the best result and find the best setting for the race. We have worked really hard all season but this weekend we’ll try to work even harder than usual. Winning is the only result we can do to win the championship. We’ll try to do our best and do the best possible in the race.”
Rins added: “My team and I will try to work in the same line as we have at other circuits – and that’s it. Maybe in the race we need to do a better strategy, like Salom’s strategy, which with he has won seven races, so maybe I can do that strategy but in the end we will see.”
Earlier in the day, Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro and Mapfre Aspar’s Nico Terol took part in a popular Spanish sport called Padel at the Agora Tennis Court in Valencia. They received the best tuition possible with the stars of the World Padel Tour, Pablo Lima, Juani Mieres, Miguel Lamperti and Maxi Grabiel at hand to show them the ropes.
— MotoGP Teams preview season finale
— Yamaha Preview
The MotoGP paddock returns to Spain this weekend for the final Grand Prix of the year, the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
With just 13 points separating defending champion Jorge Lorenzo and current leader Marc Marquez, the scene is set for a dramatic race on Sunday.
Lorenzo arrives in his home country having won the last two races in Australia and Japan and determined to keep the pressure on, fully aware that anything could happen in the last race of the season. He can claim one premier class victory at the circuit in 2010 and a podium with third position in 2009.
Teammate Valentino Rossi arrives in Spain intent on fighting for a podium spot and doing what he can to help Lorenzo retain the world title. The nine-time world champion has taken two premier class wins at Valencia in 2003 and 2004 and can claim multiple podiums with a second places in 2002 and 2009 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia is a true stadium track that always attracts a record crowd to witness the final racing spectacle of the MotoGP season. Completed in 1999, the MotoGP circuit is a 4km run with five right hand corners, eight left and a 650metre straight.
Jorge Lorenzo – “So we come to the last race in Valencia. It’s going to be exciting, maybe the most exciting of all the season. We are still in the fight and that is the most important thing right now. I’m very stimulated because three races ago we thought the championship was over. Instead we have a chance to fight for the title. Valencia is my home race and it will be very emotional considering our position in the classification. We don’t have anything to lose but everything to win, and this card plays on our side. Maybe our main rival can feel much more pressure in Valencia than us because he is so close to victory. I look forward to riding there and pushing with all my force. If we can continue to ride at our level we can fight for the win and then wait for the circumstances. You never know what can happen, especially if the forecast is uncertain as it was last year. We trust in ourselves and we expect a good race in front of our fans. We will never give up until the end!”
Valentino Rossi – “Usually Valencia is not one of my best tracks but I have had some good podiums there and some wins. As always we have to try and do the maximum for the weekend. If I am strong enough I want to try and help Jorge as much as possible on Sunday and also to arrive on the podium.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – “Well, finally we could complete a couple of great races at Phillip Island and Motegi with two stunning victories from Jorge. The championship is almost over but we have to face Valencia, the last race of the season. Hopefully we will fight for the title there. As everybody knows in one race everything can happen. Let’s see how it goes throughout the weekend and what the climate conditions are because it is autumn; rain and cold are there, threatening. We have to be aware of that tricky track if it’s rain because it is so slippery. Jorge has to be calm and focused but he did a great job all season and we are also able to beat here our rivals. He is very strong physically and mentally and riding in perfect form. We don’t have anything to lose and the opportunities are there.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director – “We go to Valencia with the goal to make the best race weekend possible. The World Championship will be decided at the last race and we will be key protagonists. We want to complicate as much as possible the weekend of our opponents. Jorge has proven to be in great form and really strong. In Japan he made a really incredible race. The team was just perfect in the last race so in Valencia we will try to do the same thing. It will be important that Valentino is in good shape. We’ll have to make sure that Valentino can be with the other three riders. He wants it, the team also and we are ready to close the season in the best way.”
— HRC Preview
The season-ending Valencia Grand Prix will be MotoGP’s biggest weekend in more than half a decade – the first time the World Championship has gone down to the wire since 2006.
The Repsol Honda team has great memories of that weekend seven years ago, when its American rider Nicky Hayden secured the title ahead of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in a nerve-jangling finale.
This weekend Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) faces a similarly thrilling duel for the title with Rossi’s current Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. Thus Sunday’s battle for supremacy is an all-Spanish affair which should guarantee a full house and an electric atmosphere at the stadium-style Spanish track.
After 17 races, Marquez leads his compatriot by 13 points. If Lorenzo wins at Valencia, Marquez needs to finish at least fourth to secure the crown. If he does take the title, he will make history as the youngest winner of the premier-class championship in the 65-year history of the sport. The 20-year-old Marquez has already rewritten the record books this year – when he won April’s Grand Prix of the Americas he became the youngest rider to win a premier-class race. Since then he has won a further five victories, a record for a rookie. Marquez may be ahead in the title battle but he is still nursing injuries sustained in a morning warm-up crash at Motegi on October 27.
Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) is also looking for a strong finish to the 2013 season, which he will finish in third position, regardless of Sunday’s result. The former 250 and 125 World Champion had also featured in this year’s title battle, until bad luck once again conspired against him. In July he was leading the points chase when he crashed and broke a collarbone at the German Grand Prix. Even then he was still in with an outside chance of the title until an unlucky tumble at September’s Aragon Grand Prix effectively ended his hopes.
In the past Valencia has been kind to both Repsol Honda men. Pedrosa has won no less than six GPs at the track: the MotoGP race in 2007, 2009 and 2012 (when he won in complicated wet/dry conditions, despite starting from pit lane), the 250 race in 2004 and 2005 and the 125 race in 2002.
Marquez won last year’s Valencia Moto2 race, despite starting from the back row of the grid. Unfazed by tricky track conditions, he charged through the pack to win the race, a perfect ending to his title-winning season.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) will enjoy their own duel on Sunday – to be the next best-placed Honda rider in the final standings. German Bradl had been ahead of his Spanish rival until an unlucky injury sustained during the Malaysian GP. Bradl missed the Malaysian and subsequent Australian races and arrives at Valencia 14 points behind Bautista who has been on excellent form since the middle of the season.
In Japan Bautista’s fourth-place finish helped make history by completing the first all-Spanish top four in the premier class. That ride was another great performance from the former 125 World Champion who has only twice finished outside the top five in the last ten races.
Bradl had also being showing excellent from until that spill at Sepang. His highlight of the year so far is his first MotoGP podium at Laguna Seca, where he made history as the first German to start a premier-class race from pole position.
Australian Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) comes to the end of his rookie MotoGP season hoping for another points-scoring ride on his CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine.
The battle for the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship may already be over, but that won’t take any of the thrills out of the last race of the season.
Although Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) wrapped up the Moto2 crown at the last race in Japan, he will be going all out to take his 11th and last win in the class before he graduates to MotoGP, commencing with his first test ride on a MotoGP bike during the post-Valencia tests.
The same goes for Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) who led so much of the championship chase until he crashed and broke his left wrist at last month’s Australian round. After having the injury pinned and plated, Redding returned to action in Japan, only to become an innocent victim of a first-lap pile-up, triggered by Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex). Like Espargaro, Redding is moving up to MotoGP and will make his debut on a prototype of the Honda production racer he will race in 2014 during the post-Valencia tests.
Rabat has been the other star of the 2013 Moto2 season, taking his first three victories in the class. He will want a fourth success to propel him towards the 2014 season, which he hopes to start as title favourite.
Finn Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) has already secured fourth place in the notoriously hard-fought series, but there’s a three-way battle for fifth overall in which Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) are separated by six points.
Of all the championship contests, the fiercest is unfolding in the Moto3 class, in which three riders have a chance of taking the title. The all-KTM trio of Luis Salom, Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins are covered by just five points, so whoever wins on Sunday will carry off the title.
Although there are no Honda riders involved at the very top of the table, all of them will be trying to finish 2013 in style. Stand-out performer of the year on an NSF250R machine has been tough Aussie teenager Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda), who lies seventh overall, just ahead of Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda).
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) will be doing everything in his powers to secure a place in the championship top ten. He is currently tenth overall, equal on points with KTM rider Jakub Kornfiel.
Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo (named in honour of the late Ricardo Tormo, who won the 50cc World Championship in 1978) is a tight, technical and very asymmetric racetrack, dominated by left-handers, which places very different demands on the left and right sides of the tyres. Machine priorities are agile handling for the many changes of direction and edge grip – Valencia packs 14 corners into just 4 km (2.5 miles). The circuit is surrounded by grandstands, giving the venue a unique stadium feel. It is usually a hugely popular event with more than 200,000 fans expected over the weekend.
Honda has enjoyed considerable success at Valencia, with five different riders winning the elite class on RCV machinery since the venue joined the MotoGP calendar in 1999: Alex Barros (2002), Rossi (2003), Marco Melandri (2005), Casey Stoner (2011) and Pedrosa (2007, 2009 and 2012).
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: “It’s been nice to have a week at home after a long three weeks away, after my accident in Motegi I’ve doing muscular rehabilitation on my neck in anticipation for the race, and it now feels much better. We’ve had good races in Valencia; I’ve always tried to give it my best there. I have fond memories of last year’s race in Moto2 but the weather will also be a factor to consider because it is very changeable. I’m already looking forward to getting back in the pit garage and getting on the bike! Obviously we know what is at stake in this final Grand Prix of the year, but we will – as ever – approach it as we have done every other race, and work hard from the Friday and do our best.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: “I’m looking forward to going to Valencia and racing in front of the home fans! We’ve had a long trip in Asia and it will be nice to race in Valencia again, where the atmosphere is always very special. Even though we are out of the championship now, I’ve had good results here in the past with many victories – including last year when we won after starting from the pits – and I want to end the season on a high.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: “Japan was a good race for us even though it was a difficult weekend because of the weather, which limited track time and made it hard to find a set-up. We didn’t make a perfect start but made up positions well, so it was a shame that we were too far back to fight for the podium. Anyway, it was satisfying for us to finish as the top satellite bike with a factory rider behind us and in a way it is a shame that the season is finishing this weekend with us in such great form. Unfortunately we haven’t managed to finish on the podium this season but I maintain that we have been more competitive than last year and we have one more opportunity to show it this weekend at Valencia. It is a decisive race for the outcome of the championship but I also want to be running at the front and there to take advantage of any situation that could favour us. Valencia is tight and twisty, not one of my favourite circuits because you don’t get chance to make the most of the power of a MotoGP bike. We will need to work hard on the setting to make sure the bike handles well through the tight sections.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: “I am heading to Valencia with extra motivation after this tough period. In Japan I felt a little bit of pain during the race, when my right leg was kind of pumping the muscle, so fifth place was an extraordinary result, considering my conditions. The mobility of my ankle is better now but not yet at 100 per cent. I have continued my standard training programme since returning to Germany because I aim to finish the season with another positive result. Missing two races cost me a lot, including sixth position in the points standings. By the way, I think we have done a pretty good season, including my first podium at Laguna Seca.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: “Valencia will be an important weekend for me. It is the last race of the season and I want to sign off with my best performance. Unfortunately the season has not met our expectations in terms of results and that is disappointing for myself and for the team. However, overall it has been an incredible experience for me and I would like to end it in the best possible way.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: “I can’t wait for Valencia – it will be great to be able to race without thinking about the championship. It’s been an amazing year – I made some mistakes at the beginning but finally we got the title because the team and I never gave up. It was wonderful to win the crown in Japan, but before the trip I didn’t expect to win it there so I didn’t prepare any celebrations, so maybe we do something at Valencia!”
Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team: “I was pretty banged up in the Motegi crash, so it’s been all about recovery since I got back home. The swelling on my lower back and right elbow means I haven’t been able to do any training since Japan, but both have improved over the last few days, so I should be good by the time I get to Valencia. This weekend will be my final race in Moto2 and my last appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team, so I’m keen to finish the season with a good result at Valencia.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: “After what happened on the first lap at Motegi, I hope to have the chance of a good race at Valencia to complete this season. It will be the last race of 2013, but also in another way it will be the start of my work to prepare all the bases to fight for the 2014 championship. I was quite lucky when I crashed at Motegi – just some bruising and a knock on my head – so this will not affect me this weekend.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: “I think Valencia will be good. I think the track will be okay for us, even though we never really know until we get to a track. I like the circuit more than I like Motegi, anyway, and I hope to be fighting as close to the front as possible.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: “Valencia isn’t among my favorite tracks – I prefer fast, flowing tracks – it’s too slow for me. Anyway, we have an excellent bike, and since Malaysia we have got the settings right and we have been very fast. So the bike is working well and we’re working well, but, to be honest, I’m already working thinking about next season!”
Romano Fenati, San Carlo Team Italia: “Valencia is the last race and everyone always wants to do well at the last race to give them good motivation into the winter. I don’t think it will be an easy track for us, but we will do our best and see how it goes.”
With seven months and seventeen races having passed since the 2013 season-opening round in Qatar, the MotoGP teams and riders are headed to Spain for the finale event of the year, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
The fourth Spanish host circuit of the year, Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo is a stadium-like facility housing a relatively tight track that runs in an anticlockwise direction. The season-finale atmosphere is invariably exciting and party-like, although there’s also plenty of hard work, with the three-day GP to be followed by three additional days of testing as the teams begin preparation for the 2014 season.
Past years have seen the Ducati Team post a pair of wins at Valencia with riders Troy Bayliss and Casey Stoner (2006 and ’08, respectively). Andrea Dovizioso scored a MotoGP podium finish at the circuit two years ago and was runner-up in the 125cc class back in 2004. Nicky Hayden has a pair of premier-class podium finishes at Valencia, and although he’s been plagued by bad luck in recent years with crashes having cut his last three Valencian GPs short, he likes the track and has good memories of wrapping up his 2006 World Championship at the circuit.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – “For us Valencia should be a better track than the latest ones we’ve been to. Of course a lot will depend on the weather, which in this period of the year can be a bit unreliable, but I think that the track will be more suited to our GP13 because there is more grip and the surface is pretty new, so we should go a bit better. Then after the race we’ll see what there is to try out during the three days of testing. In any case I don’t have a particularly great rapport with this circuit… I’ve got good memories of the 2011 race when I beat Dani for third place in the championship, but I don’t like the track very much, and I don’t think I’m the only rider who thinks this way.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – “I’ve got some great memories from Valencia. Some people think it’s a bit tight for MotoGP, but I actually like it. I think it’s a fun, scrappy little track, and in the past, it’s been pretty good for Ducati. The new pavement is grippy and doesn’t have a lot of bumps, which is good for us. We’ll see what the weather does. It’s the last one of the year, and although we know it’ll be tough to do something great, we’ll put our heads down, try to have some fun and finish in the best way possible.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager – “This is the final round of the championship, Nicky’s last race with us after five years, and also my last one with Ducati. Valencia is a circuit where, in view of its characteristics and numerous ‘stop-and-go’ sections, our bike goes pretty well, so it could be a nice opportunity to bring our adventure to an end and sign off with a good race. I’d also like to add that Valencia is the track where my relation with the Desmosedici began in 2002 and it’ll also be where this cycle, full of memories of the last 13 years spent in Ducati, comes to an end.”
The final round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Valencia this weekend with the PBM MotoGP Team looking to end the season in style after a run of bad luck has meant a string of disappointing results for the Penrith based squad.
Ulsterman Michael Laverty will once again be on board the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene sponsored Aprilia ART which he has campaigned in recent rounds whereas Australian Damian Cudlin will continue on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene sponsored PBM machine once again.
Both riders suffered varying degrees of misfortune at the three flyaway races recently and are looking forward to returning to Europe in the hope of ending the season in positive fashion for MotoGP’s only British team.
Meanwhile, team owner Paul Bird has recently met with senior personnel from a major manufacturer and is planning further negotiations in Spain this weekend with a view to confirming his team’s MotoGP plans for 2014 imminently.
Paul Bird, Team Owner: “We’ve had a disappointing season and our luck in recent rounds has certainly compounded that so I’m hoping we can turn things around for the final race of the season. When we entered MotoGP, we didn’t underestimate the challenge and we are fully aware of what it takes to compete in this series so we are now ready to step up a level. Valencia is still a very important race for us as we are finalising plans for next season and we are hoping to make a very exciting announcement regarding our participation in MotoGP next season shortly.”
— Bridgestone Preview
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
For the first time since 2006, the MotoGP™ World Championship will be decided at the last race of the year, as Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo prepare for an end-of-season spectacular in front of a vocal Spanish crowd at Valencia.
Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a tight and technical track that offers tyres little respite over the course of a lap, so a good bike setup is very important to ensure the most efficient use of the tyres allocated for this Grand Prix. The layout of the circuit means more stress is placed on the left shoulder of the tyres, and an unbalanced bike setup can cause excessive rear tyre temperatures which can lead to a loss of performance and accelerated tyre wear.
To manage the unbalanced layout of Valencia, the asymmetric rear slicks feature rubber on the right shoulder that is two grades softer than on the left side. This ensures the lesser-used right shoulder of the rear tyre stays at its ideal operating temperature and that the left shoulder provides the durability and stability needed for the many left hand turns. Additionally, the front slick compounds allocated for this weekend need to provide enhanced warm-up performance and grip in the temperate weather.
Rear tyre options for the CRT riders at Valencia are the soft and medium compounds, while the works riders will be able to use the medium and a brand new hard compound rear slick, which received extremely positive feedback from riders when tested at Misano this year. Front options at Valencia are the soft and medium compound slicks, while the main wet tyre for the Valencia Grand Prix is the soft compound wet tyre.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“I am pleased that after such an exciting MotoGP season, the championship will be decided at the last race at Valencia this weekend. There have been many highlights throughout this year but ultimately, Marc and Jorge have proven to be the most consistent performers and I expect a large and passionate Spanish crowd will be present to cheer them on as they vie for the championship title. This will also be an important week for Bridgestone, as the Valencia Grand Prix sees the introduction of our new specification of hard compound rear slick which we brought into our tyre line-up after it was positively received in testing. Also, our technical team will be on hand to assist teams in the post-race MotoGP test where not only will teams get to test their 2014-spec machinery, it is also an opportunity for riders moving up to the premier class to try the 1000cc machinery and also sample Bridgestone tyres for the first time. One of the important things for us is we need to evaluate the performance of the new ‘open’ class machines like the Honda Production Racer and the Forward Racing Yamaha M1. The data we acquire at the Valencia test gives us a good base to work with for our tyre development programme over the winter.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The venue of the traditional season finale, Valencia is a low-grip and technically complex circuit with a slow and twisty asymmetric layout. The frequency of corners at this circuit means the tyres spend a lot of time at high lean angles and have little chance to cool down over the course of a whole lap. The high number of corners and moderate grip level means that if a bike’s setup isn’t optimised at this circuit, it is easy to generate excess tyre temperatures. As this race is the last of the season, low ambient and track temperatures are usually encountered, suggesting the use of softer compounds, however harder compounds are needed on the left shoulder of the rear tyres because of the temperature generated by the penultimate corner, and turns one, two and three. We will debut our new specification hard compound rear slick at Valencia after it was praised by riders in the Misano test, so I am looking forward to seeing it put to good use this weekend.”
– MotoGP 2013 – Round 18 – Valencia
— Marquez vs Lorenzo – The Showdown!
In Valencia this weekend at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, MotoGP™ fans the world over will enjoy a final-race title decider for the first time in seven years, as Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez looks to hold off the charge from Yamaha Factory Racing’s reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The last time such a showdown occurred was in 2006 when Honda’s Nicky Hayden claimed the ultimate honour as Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi made a rare mistake. Seven years on, more drama is certain as Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo go head-to-head at the climax of what has been a riveting season. Marquez heads to Valencia with a championship-leading advantage of 13 points, meaning a single fourth place would guarantee the title no matter what Lorenzo is capable of.
Looking at the rookie’s track record this looks to be a certain, however if Valencia’s rain-hit race of last year is anything to go by, anything can happen. It was Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa who won the race last year, and will this year be out to prove a point, as he saw his title chances go after his third place in Motegi. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi could prove to be a big factor in the outcome of the race, as he looks to hold off Marquez’s charge and help out his teammate Lorenzo.
Another player could be Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who has not only cemented fifth place in the championship, but also contests his last race on board a Yamaha before his switch to Ducati. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista has been continually improving throughout the season and will hope to impress his home fans, whilst LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl should be much closer to full fitness after fracturing his right ankle in Malaysia.
Nicky Hayden will aim to have a good weekend on his last for the Ducati Team and get one over on his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, whilst the Ignite Pramac and Energy T.I. Pramac machines of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso will hope to hold off Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has already collected top CRT honours, but will aim to celebrate that with another spot in Parc Ferme in front of local support. The grid will be two riders stronger, as Michele Pirro lines up for the Ducati Test team, and Austrian Martin Bauer makes another appearance with his S&B Suter with the Remus Racing Team.