Marquez crowned Champion as Pedrosa wins dramatic race
In a stunningly dramatic and tense Final Showdown at Valencia, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took his sixth world title and fourth MotoGP World Championship despite a huge front end moment into Turn 1 and a run off track, coming home third in the race to defend his crown.
Title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) similarly suffered a run off from P4, but the Italian was unable to save it and sadly crashed out of contention in the race and Championship.
At the front, the race was a duel to the line between Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco – with the race decided in favour of the Spaniard on final lap as Pedrosa pounced and defended to perfection for his second victory of the year.
MotoGP Race Report
Marquez got the holeshot from pole, with teammate Pedrosa slicing through from the second row to take over in second – and Zarco pushed down to third.
Dovizioso made a good start to move up to sixth, then past Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and glued to the back of the second Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo.
Early on, Zarco took over in the lead – with Marquez seeing him coming and slotting into second.
Pedrosa remained in third, with the two Ducati machines glued together around a second behind and the tense tick of the clock counting down.
After a Zarco error, a Marquez pass and then the Frenchman hitting back, laps ticked down before Marquez struck for the lead – and ran wide. Sliding on his knee for a stunning save into Turn 1, the reigning Champion headed for the gravel – but managed to rejoin, yet behind Dovizioso.
Lorenzo then bolted to chase down Pedrosa and Zarco ahead, before the Ducati Team rider went down suddenly – and just as suddenly, the dream was over for his teammate.
A run off into the gravel that couldn’t be saved saw Dovizioso’s title hopes disappear after a nevertheless stunning season to take the runner up spot.
Dani Pedrosa vs Johann Zarco was then the duel for the win, with Pedrosa initially attacking at the final corner but the Frenchman able to hit back.
As the last lap dawned, the Spaniard tucked in and then pounced into Turn 1, managing to hold off Zarco around the tight Circuit Ricardo Tormo Circuit to take his second victory of the season.
Marquez, back into the podium places after the falls ahead, kept his calm to the end to take third and the title, making him the youngest ever six-time World Champion and the youngest to take four premier class Championships.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) put in an impressive rookie ride into fourth, ahead of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after a more difficult race for the ‘Doctor’.
Iannone dropped back slightly after a run off at Turn 1 to take sixth, ahead of a great final race with EG 0,0 Marc VDS for Jack Miller in P7.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) moved up after crashing out in Q1 and qualifying outside the top ten to cross the line in P8, with Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) putting in another solid wildcard appearance to come home in ninth. Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) also impressed, locking out the top ten.
Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounded out the Austrian factory’s first season in the premier class in P11, and it was a tough weekend and final race of 2017 for third-placed in the Championship Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), as the Spaniard came home in P12.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) completed the points, with the dust settling around the dramatic final race as the flag flew.
That’s a wrap on a stunning season to savour, with 2017 having provided some of the most incredible racing ever seen.
Marquez retains the crown, and Dovizioso fought to the end – and on Tuesday, the clock resets once again as riders commence their preparations for season 2018 with testing commencing tomorrow…
MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Race Results
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team 46’08.125
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 20 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.337
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team 10.861
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 13 Team Suzuki Ecstar 13.567
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 11 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 13.817
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 10 Team Suzuki Ecstar 14.516
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 9 EG 0,0 Marc VDS 17.087
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 8 LCR Honda 17.230
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 7 Ducati Test Team 25.942
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 6 EG 0,0 Marc VDS 27.020
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 5 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 30.835
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 4 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 35.012
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 3 Octo Pramac Racing 38.076
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 2 Pull&Bear Aspar Team 41.988
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 1 Reale Avintia Racing 47.703
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 0 Reale Avintia Racing 47.709
- VAN DER MARK Michael 60 NDL 0 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 52.134
2017 MotoGP Final World Championship Standings
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 298 Repsol Honda Team
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 261 Ducati Team
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 230 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 210 Repsol Honda Team
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 208 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 174 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 137 Ducati Team
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 124 Octo Pramac Racing
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 112 LCR Honda
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 84 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 82 EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 75 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 70 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 64 Octo Pramac Racing
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 62 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 59 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 55 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 45 Reale Avintia Racing
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 35 EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 32 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 29 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 28 Reale Avintia Racing
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 25 Ducati Test Team
- KALLIO Mika 36 FIN 11 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR 5 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- NAKASUGA Katsuyuki 21 JPN 4 Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing
- GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar