News 3 Nov 2010

MotoGP: Valencia to host 2010 season finale this weekend

The MotoGP World Championship will contest its final round of the season this weekend in Spain.

The MotoGP World Championship will contest its final round of the season this weekend in Spain.

The Ricardo Tormo Circuit hosts the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana this weekend for the 12th year running, and what has since 2002 been the traditional season-ending round.

The 18th instalment of the 2010 MotoGP campaign will see runner-up to already-crowned Champion Jorge Lorenzo decided, with Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi the candidates still able to take the honour.

Despite having wrapped up the title with three rounds to spare Lorenzo is still hungry for victories, as proven with his eighth of the season last time out at Estoril.

The Fiat Yamaha rider is also on course to set a new record for the highest number of points scored in a single season in the MotoGP class as well as equal a number of other milestones, with the added incentive that Valencia is just one of three circuits on the current calendar at which he has not won in any class. He did finish on the podium last year however and will now aim to go one better.

The man with the most success at the venue is Pedrosa, last year’s race winner and with five victories in total across the premier (twice), 250cc (twice) and 125cc classes.

The Repsol Honda rider currently has the best chance of finishing second in the championship, holding a 19-point advantage over third-placed Rossi, but he is still recovering from his collarbone injury having only made his return to racing in Portugal having sat out three races.

Rossi has winning form at Valencia from 2003 and 2004, but is yet to taste victory on an 800cc machine there. The Italian, along with Lorenzo, will be aiming to deliver Yamaha their first win in the format, and came close last year in finishing second.

Leading Ducati rider in the standings Casey Stoner took his first GP win at Valencia in the 125cc class back in 2003, and in 2008 the Australian won from pole. Along with Rossi he will be looking for an end-of-season victory to bring the latest chapter in his premier class career to a winning close, whilst just behind him in the standings Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) will be aiming to snatch fourth spot.

Rookie of the Year Ben Spies is desperate to ride despite dislocating an ankle last weekend in Portugal, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider keen to depart the satellite team for the factory set-up with what would be a third podium of his debut season.

Spies placed seventh as a one-off entry in last year’s race, and level on points in the championship is fellow American Nicky Hayden who will also be searching for a rostrum finale to 2010. The Ducati Team rider was fifth last year in his first ride at the track on a Desmosedici, and has fond memories of clinching the 2006 title there.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) came agonisingly close to a first premier class podium at Estoril and will aim to seal that at a track he won on in 2008, his 250cc title-winning year, while LCR Honda’s French rider Randy de Puniet will mark a personal milestone with his 200th Grand Prix start.

With a day’s rest on Monday the preparations for the 2011 season will get underway on Tuesday and Wednesday following the GP, with the official two-day test scheduled to take place.

With the final round of the debut season of the Moto2 class also taking place the spectacle offered up by the intermediate category in its first campaign is due for review and it has been a 2010 packed with great action. No fewer than eight different riders have so far won races this year, with 17 different individuals having stepped onto the podium.

Toni Elías may have been crowned champion with three rounds to spare back in Malaysia, but the fight for the coveted runner-up spot is still on and just six points separate Spanish rider Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) and his Italian rival Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) going into the final-round showdown.

Simón has winning previous form at Valencia having taken victory last year in the 125cc class, whilst Iannone’s best result to date remains a sixth-placed finish in the same class in 2008.

Keeping their scrap for second in the 2010 Moto2 Championship well and truly alive with finishes of 12th (for Simón) and 21st (Iannone) in the previous round at Estoril, the pair will again enter one final contest of the year. Meanwhile Elías, who has seven wins already this year, will also be seeking an improvement on his previous best of second at Valencia, twice taken in the 250cc class and once in the 125s.

Swiss rider Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki) clinched his 125cc title with ninth at Valencia in 2005, and he will bid to seal fourth in the Moto2 standings ahead of Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) who sits in fifth at 14 points behind.

Other riders still looking for a first win in the class and wanting to sign off the year in style will be Gabor Talmasci (Fimmco Speed Up) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing), whilst their fellow top-ten accompaniments Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing), Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) and Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing) will all be keen to add to their single victories of 2010.

Alex de Angelis is a rider in a strong vein of recent form and the JiR Moto2 man will also be keen for a second win.

Additional entries for this round will Xavier Simeon (Holiday Gym Racing), Javier Fores (Twelve Motorsport/Motorrad) and Roman Ramos (MIR Racing), whilst following the GP on Monday will be the Official one-day Test.

The 2010 125cc World Championship will be decided at the Ricardo Tormo circuit where the home crowd will see a Spanish rider claim the title. Seventeen points separate leader Marc Márquez and now his only title rival Nico Terol, following a thrilling previous round in Portugal.

In a highly eventful Estoril appointment Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider Márquez took his tenth win of the season, and this weekend could equal Valentino Rossi’s 1997 record as the rider with the most wins in the 125cc class in a single season (11).

Such a result would emphatically deliver him the title, and if the 17 year-old were to accomplish the achievement he would become the second youngest world champion ever.

Márquez has only raced once before at Valencia, last year, when he placed 17th following a crash when fighting for fourth, whilst Terol has a best finish of second in 2008. If Terol were to win the race Márquez would need to finish no lower than eighth to claim the title.

Pol Espargaró’s title hopes ended in Portugal but the Tuenti Racing rider will still be going for victory as he aims to sign off from the 125cc class in winning style, while Bradley Smith is still in search of his first win of the season and will likewise want a winning end to the 125cc chapter of his world championship career.

Meanwhile Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) are still contesting positions five to seven. Niklas Ajo (Ajo Motorsport), Juan Perello (SAG Castrol), Jonny Rosell (SAG Castrol), John McPhee (KRP Bradley Smith Racing) and Taylor Mackenzie (KRP MMCG) are the five wild card entries at Round 17.

The Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana takes place from 5-7 November with the 125cc class getting the action underway at 9:05am on Friday with the commencement of FP1. This weekend will also see the continuation of the three-practice session schedule.