Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana November 4th – Ricardo Tormo
Valencia Grand Prix facts and statistics
This year will be the 17th Grand Prix of Valencia, which has been held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit since the first visit in 1999. Below are some facts and stats about grand prix racing in Valencia:
This will be the 14th 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 the 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 four 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. The only rider other than Pedrosa with more than two wins at Valencia is Casey Stoner (1 x 125cc, 2 x MotoGP).
Of the current riders, the next most successful after Pedrosa, with two wins each, are: Valentino Rossi (2 x MotoGP), Maverick Viñales (1 x 125cc, 1 x Moto3), Mika Kallio (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc), Jorge Lorenzo (2 x MotoGP); Marc Marquez (1 x Moto2, 1 x MotoGP) and Hector Barbera (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc).
The premier-class race at Valencia has been won seven 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 and 2013; Marc Marquez won last year.
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 three wins and Ducati two.
Andrea Dovizioso’s fourth place finish last year was the best result for a Ducati rider at Valencia since Casey Stoner was second in 2010.
Suzuki’s only podium at Valencia in the MotoGP era is third with John Hopkins in 2007.
Last year Marc Marquez won the race in Valencia after qualifying in fifth place on the grid – the first time that the MotoGP race in Valencia has been won by a rider not starting from the front row.
Only two riders have competed at all sixteen previous grand prix events at the Valencia circuit: Valentino Rossi and Randy de Puniet.
Final race decider in MotoGP
The MotoGP title battle goes to the final event of the year with just seven points separating championship leader Valentino Rossi and teammate Jorge Lorenzo. If the two riders finish equal on points then Lorenzo will take the title because he has more wins in 2015. Below are the scenarios with regard to the championship title:
If Lorenzo wins the race then Rossi needs to finish second to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes second then Rossi needs to finish on the podium to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes third then Rossi needs to finish sixth or better to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes fourth then Rossi needs to finish ninth or better to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes fifth to ninth then Rossi needs to finish no more than six places further back to become world champion.
If Lorenzo finishes lower than ninth then Rossi will be world champion.
Final race showdown in MotoGP
Since the motorcycle Grand Prix world championship series was introduced in 1949 there have been sixteen occasions previously that the premier-class title has been decided at the final race of the year. A few details of these final race showdowns are given here:
1950 – Going to the final race of the year at his home race at Monza, Umberto Masetti riding a four-cylinder Gilera had a marginal lead in the championship over Geoff Duke riding a single-cylinder Norton. Geoff Duke won the race, but Masetti did just enough by finishing second to clinch the title by a single point.
1952 – Again Umberto Masetti arrived at the final race of the year with a narrow lead in the title chase over the 1949 champion Les Graham (MV Agusta) and Irishman Reg Armstrong (Norton). Les Graham won the race that took place over 48 laps of the Montjuich circuit in Barcelona, but once again Masetti did enough to clinch the title by finishing second.
1957 – Libero Liberati (Gilera) won the final race of the year at Monza to take the title from Bob McIntyre (Gilera). Liberati had crossed the line first at the Belgium GP earlier in the year, but had been disqualified for changing his machine without notifying the officials. After the end of the season Liberati was re-instated as winner of the Belgium GP, meaning he had in retrospect won the world title before arriving in Italy for the final race.
1966 – Two of the greatest rivals of all time Mike Hailwood (Honda) and Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta) were neck and neck arriving at the final race of the year in Monza. The two rivals battled for the lead early in the race until Hailwood’s Honda failed, allowing Agostini to cruise home to take the first of his eight 500cc world titles.
1967 – In a repeat of the previous year, Hailwood and Agostini went into the final race still battling for the championship as the grand prix competitors visited Canada for the one and only time. Hailwood won the race to give him the same points total as Agostini, each having won five races. Agostini took the title due to his three second place finishes to Hailwood’s two.
1975 – Giacomo Agostini was once again involved in a final race shoot-out with a British rider, this time it was Phil Read who had taken over as the number one rider at MV-Agusta and won the title the previous two years. Read won the final race of the year at Brno but Agostini, riding a Yamaha, cruised home in second place to clinch the title and become the first rider ever to win the premier-class crown on both two-stroke and four-stroke bikes.
1978 – Kenny Roberts (Yamaha) had just an eight-point lead over Barry Sheene (Suzuki) going into the final race of the year at the old 22 km Nurburgring circuit. Roberts finished in third place, just ahead of Sheene, to become the first American rider ever to win the premier-class title.
1979 – Kenny Roberts once again arrived for the final race of the year battling with a Suzuki rider for the world title, this time young Italian Virginio Ferrari, at the Le Mans circuit. After leading in the early stages of the race Ferrari crashed out, which gifted the title to Roberts for the second year running.
1980 – For the third successive year a Suzuki rider was challenging Kenny Roberts for the world title, this time it was fellow American Randy Mamola and the circuit was once again the old Nurburgring circuit, the final time this famous track was used for Grand Prix racing. Even though Mamola led the race in the early stages, Roberts always looked the favourite to take the title having only to finish in eighth place or higher. Mamola’s challenge evaporated mid-way through the race when he was slowed with mechanical problems.
1981 – For the second successive year Randy Mamola arrived at the final race of the year, this time held at the Swedish Anderstorp circuit, with a chance of the title. Marco Lucchinelli was the rider leading the classification and he needed to finish fifth or higher to take the championship if Mamola won the race. The race was held in mixed conditions with light rain falling and after leading early in the race Mamola fell steadily back through the pack and out of the points while Lucchinelli cruised home to a safe ninth to take the title.
1983 – Freddie Spencer (Honda) had a five-point advantage on Kenny Roberts (Yamaha) when they arrived at the final race of 1983. Throughout the race, held at the Imola circuit, Roberts attempted to slow Spencer down to allow his teammate Lawson to catch up and possibly finish ahead of Spencer. At the final flag Spencer managed to take the second place needed to clinch the title and become the first Honda rider to win the 500cc crown.
1989 – Once again two American riders arrived at the final race of the year with a chance of the title, this time it was Eddie Lawson (Honda) and Wayne Rainey (Yamaha). Lawson finished second in the race to clinch the title after a tremendous battle with Rainey and fellow American Kevin Schwantz who won the race.
1992 – Mick Doohan (Honda) suffered severe injuries in a crash during practice at round eight at Assen by which time he had a 65-point lead over Wayne Rainey (Yamaha). When Doohan returned to compete in the final two races of the year, still far from fully fit, Rainey had reduced the lead considerably so that when they arrived at Kyalami in South Africa for the final race of the year Doohan had just a two point advantage. In spite of Doohan’s heroic efforts to finish in sixth, Rainey took a safe third place to win the title by four points.
1993 – Strictly speaking this was the last time that the 500cc title went to the last race of the year with Kevin Schwantz (Suzuki) leading Wayne Rainey by 18 points. However in reality Schwantz had won the title two races previously at the Italian GP when Wayne Rainey suffered a crashed that ended his racing career.
2006 – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) arrived at the final race of the year with an eight-point advantage over closest rival Nicky Hayden (Honda). Troy Bayliss, standing in for injured Sete Gibernau, won the MotoGP race in front of Ducati teammate Loris Capirossi in a first ever one-two for the Ducati factory. Nicky Hayden filled the final podium place to become the last world champion of the 990cc era, after Valentino Rossi had crashed on lap five and restarted to finish 13th.
2013 – Marc Marquez had a 13-point lead over Jorge Lorenzo arriving in Valencia for the final race of the year. Lorenzo won the race, but Marquez finished third to clinch the title in his Rookie season in the MotoGP class.
Final race deciders in Moto3
The only scenario that will see Danny Kent miss out on the Moto3 world title is if Miguel Oliveira wins the race in Valencia and Danny Kent fails to finish in top fourteen. This is the eighth time that the lightweight-class world title has been settled in Valencia since it became the final event on the Grand Prix calendar in 2002, below are some notes of the previous times that it has happened:
2002 – Manuel Poggiali (Gilera) had a chance of taking the title at the Valencia GP; he had an eight-point deficit to Arnaud Vincent (Aprilia). However, Vincent finished second in front of Poggiali at the final race to become the first French rider to win the 125cc world title.
2005 – Mika Kallio (KTM) needed to win the race at Valencia to take the title with Thomas Luthi (Honda) finishing lower than 13th. Although Kallio did as required in winning the race, Honda rider Luthi took the title by cruising home for a ninth place finish.
2007 – Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) had a ten-point advantage over teammate Hector Faubel at the start of the Valencia race in 2007. The two riders took the top two places on the grid and Faubel won a fantastic race in which the top five riders crossed the line covered by less than a second; however Talmacsi did enough to take the title by finishing second.
2010 – Nico Terol (Aprilia) had an outside chance of taking the title, arriving at Valencia with a seventeen point deficit to Marc Marquez (Derbi). Terol finished third, one place in front of Marquez who did enough to take the title.
2011 – This was the last ever 125cc world title and the battle was between Nico Terol (Aprilia) and Johann Zarco (Derbi). Terol came second to take the title, whilst Zarco crashed out on the third lap.
2013 – With just five points covering KTM riders Luis Salom, Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales at the top of the Moto3 championship table, any of the three riders would win the world title in Valencia with a race victory, irrespective of where their rivals finished. Salom’s championship hope disappeared when he crashed on the 15th lap. The battle between Rins and Viñales went down to the final corner, with Viñales taking the win to clinch the world title.
2014 – Last year the two riders contesting the Moto3 world title at the final race of the year were Alex Marquez (Honda) and Jack Miller (KTM) with Marquez having an eleven-point advantage. Miller did all he could by winning the race, but Marquez finished third to take the title by just two points.
Grand Prix racing numbers
343 – Johann Zarco has already attained a total of 343 points in the Moto2 world championship this year and if he finishes in 12th place or better in Valencia he will set a new record highest points total in the intermediate-class of grand prix racing, a record that is currently held by Tito Rabat who scored 346 points when winning the Moto2 world title last year.
100 – The win by Dani Pedrosa in Malaysia was the 100th win for Spanish riders in MotoGP (Jorge Lorenzo – 39, Dani Pedrosa – 28, Marc Marquez – 24, Sete Gibernau – 8, Toni Elias – 1) since it became the premier-class of grand prix racing in 2002. Spain are the nation with the most wins in the MotoGP class – the number of victories for other nations are: Italy – 91, Australia – 40, USA – 4, Brazil – 3, Japan – 3
100 – Yonny Hernandez is scheduled to make his 100th grand prix start in Valencia. Hernandez made 31 starts in the Moto2 class before moving up to MotoGP in 2012 and is scheduled to make his 69th start in the premier-class in Valencia.
99 – Dani Pedrosa’s win in Malaysia was his 99th podium finish in the MotoGP class. Another top three finish will make him just the second rider, along with Valentino Rossi, to reach the milestone of 100 podium finishes in the premier-class.
96 – Jorge Lorenzo’s second place finish in Malaysia was the 96th time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP class – one more premier-class podium finish than five-time 500cc world champion Mick Doohan. Only Pedrosa and Rossi have stood on the podium more times than Lorenzo in the premier-class.
51 – At Sepang Dani Pedrosa stood on the top step of a grand prix podium for the 51st time, just one less grand prix win than seven-time world champion Phil Read.
17 – Both Valentino Rossi and Bradley Smith have scored points in all seventeen MotoGP races so far in 2015. Another top fifteen finish for either rider in Valencia and they will equal the record for most point scoring finishes in a season in the MotoGP class currently jointly held by Casey Stoner (2007), Valentino Rossi (2008) and Jorge Lorenzo (2010).
7 – At the Malaysian Grand Prix Dani Pedrosa became the seventh different rider to start on pole in the MotoGP class in 2015. This is the greatest number of different riders on pole in MotoGP since 2006.
7 – The seven-point advantage that Valentino Rossi has over Jorge Lorenzo is the smallest margin between the top two riders when arriving at the final race of the year since 1992 (see above for further details).
6.726 Seconds – The first fifteen riders across the line in the Moto3 race last year at Valencia were covered by just 6.726 seconds.
2 – Only two riders have overturned a points deficit in the final race of the year to become premier-class world champion; Wayne Rainey in 1992 and Nicky Hayden in 2006.
1 – Valencia is the only circuit on the current grand prix schedule that Kalex have not had a Moto2 victory.
Moto2 stats and facts
Johann Zarco has finished on the podium for the last two years in Valencia – third on both occasions. Zarco has finished on the podium 14 times so far in 2015 equalling the record number of podiums in a season in the intermediate-class (Moto2/250cc), held jointly by Marc Marquez (2012) and Tito Rabat (2014)
Tito Rabat qualified on pole and finished second at the final race of last year – his first grand prix podium finish at the Valencia circuit.
Alex Rins has had a single podium finish at Valencia – third in the Moto3 race in 2013 after qualifying on pole.
Mika Kallio has had two wins at the Valencia Grand Prix – the 125cc race in 2005 and the 250cc race in 2007
Tom Luthi’s victory in the Moto2 race last year in Valencia was his first podium finish at the circuit.
In addition to Kallio and Luthi mentioned above, other Valencia winners currently competing in the Moto2 class are: Simone Corsi (125cc – 2008) and Julian Simon (125cc – 2009).
Moto3 stats and facts
All three Moto3 races that have taken place at Valencia have been won by KTM riders.
The last Honda win in the lightweight-class at Valencia was Dani Pedrosa’s 125cc win in 2002.
Danny Kent won the Moto3 race at Valencia in 2012. He was fourth in Valencia last year, just one and half seconds behind the race winner. Kent is the only rider on the Moto3 grid to have won a grand prix race previously at Valencia.
Last year in Valencia Miguel Oliveira qualified in 17th place on the grid and finished eighth – his best grand prix result at the circuit. Oliveira has had three wins and two second place finishes in the last five races.
Nico Antonelli took his first grand prix pole position last year in Valencia – he finished the race in seventh place.
Isaac Viñales finished second last year in Valencia, equalling his best grand prix result, which he had achieved at Mugello earlier in 2014.
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