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Action shots form MotoGp Valencia, Spain
NEWS

Zarco so close to Valencia win to cap fantastic 2017 MotoGP year

Nov 122017

MotoGP wrapped with another title-decider in the compact and ‘arena’ environment of the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, eastern Spain. The tight and twisty course was surrounded on three sides by another sold-out attendance of 110,000 and the largely partisan gathering were sent into rapture by Marc Marquez claiming his fourth premier class crown.

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco walked ‘the box’ for the third occasion in his first season on the Yamaha M1 and led 26 of 30 laps in the Spanish sunshine and with the championship drama of Marquez and Dovizioso (the former almost crashing out of the lead and the latter running wide and into the gravel) behind him for long phases. The Frenchman engaged in a duel for the top spot with Dani Pedrosa and lost out to the six-times times winner at Valencia by three tenths of a second at the flag.

“I must be happy,” he said. “To be disappointed to miss the victory would be the wrong way to take the race. I had the elements in my hands to think about the victory and I took it [my chance]. I had some ‘moments’ but we cannot compare with Marc’s! I was enjoying myself but Dani made a move on the first corner and made it very well. I believed until the last corner I could attack but…second place. The best thing is that you can feel you can win until the final corner…and I think this is really enough for this season.”

Marquez rolled safely to third place to confirm a fourth MotoGP ‘gold helmet’ with Dovizioso in the garage and teammate Jorge Lorenzo also a crashee after pacing the Italian for most of the distance.

The Movistar Yamaha team had a frustrating weekend in the search for optimum traction and speed but Valentino Rossi rode to fifth with Maverick Viñales in twelfth, four places behind LCR’s Cal Crutchlow who cleared the grid from sixteenth place after a disappointing qualification on Saturday.

 

In the final ranking of MotoGP 2017 Viñales, Rossi, Zarco, Lorenzo and Crutchlow all scored top ten positions and coating podium trophies with champagne at some point in the nine-month contest. Absent through illness, Jonas Folger also had a decent debut MotoGP year and his home GP performance at Sachsenring will form part of what was an unpredictable and winding tale.

Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli waved goodbye to the category with the runner-up spot in Valencia and his twelfth podium from eighteen. The Italian pursued Miguel Oliveira to the line while teammate Alex Marquez also haunted the top five. In Moto3 EG 0,0 Aron Canet was competing at his home circuit but was powerless to resist Jorge Martin escaping free for his first win of the campaign. Canet was classified ninth and confirmed third place in the standings.

 

MotoGP barely leaves the fans thirsty for more. The paddock will rest for a single day before 2018 tests start across the same stretches of tarmac. Qatar launches the whole show once more next March.

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