Lorenzo wins third MotoGP title
Due to incidents in last couple of weeks, there was a lot of excitement, eagerness and pressure among the fans and officials in the days leading up to the Valencia GP. Two time world champion Jorge Lorenzo started seven points behind the most popular rider among fans Valentino Rossi. Rossi needed to finish at least second to win his seventh championship title, but he finished at fourth, allowing Lorenzo to win the Valencia GP and his third championship title in the bargain.
Lorenzo started from pole position and managed to remain first throughout the race. While on the other hand, Rossi has to start from last position on the grid because of a penalty from the previous Malaysian GP.
From the very beginning Rossi was man on the mission, at the start Rossi passed two whole rows and got into 15th position on lap one. On lap two, Andrea Iannone left the leaderboard, crashing out hard enough to break his Ducati’s swingarm in two. By lap three, Rossi was ninth. On lap five, Rossi got the better of Bradley Smith and on the next lap, did the same with Danilo Petrucci. Rossi’s speed and mastery of traffic carried him as far as it could on this day—to 4th place. The pace of the three ahead of him made them unreachable, and Valentino would finish 19.8 seconds back from the leader at the end. It looked like he had truly done all he could, his only chance was if something happened to the riders ahead of him.
Had the two Repsol Honda riders overtaken Lorenzo, the title would have fallen back into the hands of Rossi. But they didn’t. Marquez, the winner of the last two MotoGP championships, finished the race right behind Lorenzo in second, and never tried to make a significant move for the lead. Dani Pedrosa, winner of two of the last three races, was third to close out the all-Spanish podium.
Pol Espargaro ended his season with a fifth place finish, 3 seconds clear of Tech 3 team-mate Smith and Dovizioso. Aleix Espargaro was five seconds back, beating the charging Cal Crutchlow – the LCR Honda rider having started from the back after mechanical problems on the grid – and Petrucci to eighth. Maverick Vinales rounded out his season with an 11th place finish for Suzuki, one spot ahead of Michele Pirro, riding a wildcard factory Ducati. Nicky Hayden closed out his MotoGP career with a 17th place finish, while Hector Barbera claimed the Open class title ahead of his 2016 Avintia Ducati team-mate Loris Baz.