Valencia MotoGP Race 1 Quote Machine Final

Rossi: “For me personally, not being able to finish the race today is a great shame …”


GRAN PREMIO DE EUROPA – Race Classification:

1. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 41:37.297
2. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +00.651
3. P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +01.203
4. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – +02.194
5. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – +08.046
6. J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – +08.755
7. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +10.137
8. A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – +10.801
9. J. ZARCO – Esponsorama Racing – +11.550
10. D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – +16.803
11. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +17.617
12. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – +24.350
13. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +25.403
14. F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +39.639
Not Classified:
L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 41:14.361 – 25 laps
A. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 35:37.901 – 23 laps
T. RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 20:40.929 – 13 laps
C. CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 07:54.372 – 6 laps
F. BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 07:52.229 – 5 laps
V. ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 06:21.123 – 5 laps
A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 00.000 – 1 laps

2020 MotoGP World Championship Classification – Rider:

1 Joan MIR Suzuki 162
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 125
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 121
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 117
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 117
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 106
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 90
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 77
12 Brad BINDER KTM 76
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI

MotoGP World Championship Classification – CONSTRUCTOR:

1. SUZUKI 188
2. DUCATI 181 -7
3. YAMAHA 163 -25
4. KTM 159 -29
5. HONDA 130 -58
6. APRILIA 36 -152

MotoGP World Championship Classification – TEAM:

1. TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 287
2. PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT 205 -82
3. DUCATI TEAM 194 -93
4. RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 182 -105
5. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP 159 -128
6. PRAMAC RACING 138 -149
7. LCR HONDA 131 -156
8. RED BULL KTM TECH3 117 -170
9. REPSOL HONDA TEAM 83 -204
10. ESPONSORAMA RACING 81 -206
11. APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 39 -248

MotoGP Press

Mir makes history to put one hand on the crown
The number 36 puts MotoGP™ on cloud nine as he becomes the ninth different winner and the fifth first time winner of the year, pulling clear in the Championship
Sunday, 08 November 2020

Another race, another chapter written into the history books: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is now a MotoGP™ race winner. The Suzuki rider was pitch perfect in the Gran Premio de Europa to make his first visit to the top step in the premier class, putting one hand on the crown in the process as he stretches his advantage in the Championship to 37 points. Mir is also the ninth different premier class winner of the year, seeing 2020 equal the record of most winners in a season, and the number 36 sets a new record as the fifth different maiden winner this year. With teammate Alex Rins following him home in second, the day also marked the first Suzuki 1-2 since 1982 and the Hamamatsu factory now lead in the fight for the riders’, constructors’ and teams’ Championships. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) kept Rins honest as the number 44 took third though, back on the podium at the scene of both his and KTM’s first premier class rostrum finish in 2018.

It was close as the premier class riders roared away from the line, with both Rins and Pol Espargaro getting away well from the front row but the KTM ultimately taking the holeshot. Mir got away well from fifth too and was up to P4, just behind Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). But not long after that, eyes would turn to some serious Lap 1 Championship drama.

Heading into Turn 8 at the end of the back straight, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was suddenly down and out of contention, the Frenchman reacting to Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) alongside him as the two both slid into the gravel. No contact was made and pure bad luck reigned, but it was monumental for the Championship. Luckily for Quartararo, he was able to pick the bike up and get running again but El Diablo re-joined behind Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who had started from pitlane due to exceeding his engine allocation. Early doors, it was advantage Mir near the front as some of his key rivals scrabbled to make up lost ground.

Pol Espargaro led the first one and a half laps but it didn’t take long for Rins to pounce at Turn 11, the Suzuki slotting through to take the lead and a couple of laps later, Mir – who had passed Nakagami on the opening lap – copy and pasted his teammate’s move on KTM as the Hamamatsu factory made it formation flying at the front. Oliveira was now also past Nakagami as two KTMs chased the Suzukis, before more drama hit further back – once again for Yamaha.

On Lap 5, the returning Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was shown stopped on track at Turn 5, the Doctor’s comeback from Covid-19 sadly over after just a handful of laps. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) then crashed unhurt not long after, bumping Viñales up to 15th and Quartararo on the verge of the points. How much more progress could they make?

Meanwhile, the front group remained in a tense as-you-were. An intriguing game of chess was beginning as Rins led teammate Mir, with Pol Espargaro and Oliveira not far off and Nakagami and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) still in fairly close pursuit to boot. After a slow start, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was regrouping and chasing Zarco down as well, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) going the opposite way as the Italian was shuffled back.

With 15 to go, there remained nothing to choose between the two Suzukis in the lead. Lap after lap, Rins and Mir were exchanging 1:32.1s. A few laps later, Mir was visibly closer and homing in, but a move wasn’t coming yet as the gameplan seemed to hint towards patience. But that was assuming it would all come down to tactics, and instead it was about to come down to a small but costly mistake for the man in the lead.

Rins, heading through Turn 11 with 11 to go, was ever-so-slightly wide – and a door ajar will soon become a door opened in MotoGP™. Mir needed no second invitation, sweeping through to take over at the front and face down 10 laps with a lot at stake. Next time around, the Mayorcan set the fastest lap. By seven to go, his lead had crept to over half a second.

Two laps later, Mir was over a second clear it that made it clear: a mistake was likely the only thing that was going to stop the Mayorcan finally taking to that top step. Rins was still getting hounded by an impressive Pol Espargaro, and Nakagami was lurking just behind with some great late race pace as well. Suzuki Team Manager Davide Brivio could barely watch, but it all came down to this: one more lap.

With 1.4 seconds in his pocket, just 4km stood between Mir and a historic maiden MotoGP™ win, as well as a whole load of Championship advantage. And the number 36 held firm, keeping everything calm and collected to the line to finally make it a reality: his first premier class win, taken in some style. Monkey off back, one hand on crown and debate silenced, all he needs next time out is a podium – regardless of anyone else’s results.

Rins held off Espargaro by six tenths in the end, enough to create that milestone Suzuki 1-2 and moving himself into third overall – equal on points with Quartararo. Another impressive podium for KTM was also Pol Espargaro’s fourth rostrum of 2020, putting him just nine points down on Dovizioso in the Championship.

Nakagami banished the Aragon demons with a great ride to P4, less than a second away from a first premier class podium and top Independent Team rider to earn a trip to parc ferme. Oliveira slipped back into the grasp of Miller but the Portuguese rider just got the better of the Australian for P5, relegating the Queenslander to sixth.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), meanwhile, took a superb P7 despite a long-lap penalty served for his Aragon mistake, and the South African regains a points advantage in the battle for Rookie of the Year after Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) crashed out. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) lost more ground in the title race after a P8 finish, but the Italian beat fellow Ducati rider Zarco by 0.7 seconds after the Frenchman’s pace dropped off in the latter stages. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten, the Italian gaining an impressive eight places.

Morbidelli’s Sunday was a contrasting one to Teruel. A difficult day and P11 for the Italian sees him drop to 45 points behind Mir in the title race after a tough weekend on the whole for Yamaha. Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) crossed the line 12th after another good ride from the HRC test rider, just ahead of Viñales who, despite his pitlane start, was just over a second behind the German.

Quartararo took the flag in P14, his opening lap crash putting a serious dent in his title chances. He remains second overall, however, and looking to hit back against Rins too. There are still 50 points in play…

Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing), Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) crashed out, riders ok.

And so the curtains come down for another week, with another chapter safely filed in the annals of history. Valencia will host again as the paddock returns to action next weekend, and everything will now be on the line as the first match point appears on the horizon. Nine winners, five first timers, and one of them on the roll of his life. Can Mir make it a coronation? With a 37-point safety net, all he needs is a podium.
MotoGP™ podium
1Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki 41:37.297
2 Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +0.651
3 Pol Espargaro -Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM +1.203
Joan Mir: “It’s amazing. I don’t have words to describe the moment, it’s amazing that the victory came at the perfect moment. Obviously I would have liked to win in Austria too but it wasn’t the day. Today was the day! I’m happy but I was already happy before the race because we did a super good weekend. On Friday we worked on the bike, on Saturday I found something good in the rain to have a good qualifying in those conditions. It was pretty good, I made an improvement, and then in Warm Up we worked so well and the pace was not bad! That was the key to the victory today, I had something more than the others and I could show it. I’m also especially happy for the team, Suzuki, first and second is amazing. I have no words.”

 

*************

Suzuki

EMPHATIC ONE-TWO FOR SUZUKI AS MIR TAKES DEBUT WIN

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 8.

GRAN PREMIO DE EUROPA RACE RESULTS:

Joan Mir: 1st
Alex Rins: 2nd (+ 0.651)

Team Suzuki Ecstar enjoyed what could be described as a ‘perfect Sunday’ at Ricardo Tormo circuit for the European Grand Prix; after an excellently controlled 27 lap race, Joan Mir took his first MotoGP victory, extending his championship lead, with his team-mate Alex Rins in second place.

Coming into the race with a 14 point lead in the championship, Mir managed the pressure well. From his fifth place grid spot he slotted into fourth off the line before swiftly moving into third, and just four laps into the race he had put in an excellent pass to snatch second place. The Mallorcan displayed phenomenal race pace as the circuit claimed several victims, and on Lap 17 he passed Rins at Turn 11 to take the lead. From that point on there was no looking back, and amazingly he set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 20. Riding within his limits and looking smooth and confident, five laps from the end he had a one second lead over the field and he went on to take a superb debut victory and extend his title lead to 37 points.

Rins got a rocket start from second on the grid, and his precise and confident style saw him become race leader and set a great pace from the second lap onwards. Rins held his spot at the front of the field until Lap 17 when he was passed by his team-mate. He did a great job to hold off third-place Pol Espargaro, who remained close to the Suzuki pair throughout the race. By the end of the 27 laps, Rins was on for a solid second place – his third podium in as many races. He now moves to within 37 points of his Team Suzuki Ecstar team-mate, on equal points with second place in the standings, Fabio Quartararo.

Team Suzuki Ecstar have now had three consecutive double podiums in a row, but today’s marks the first time Suzuki have had a 1-2 result since the German GP in 1982 – when Randy Mamola, Virginio Ferrari and Loris Reggiani blocked out the rostrum. Team Suzuki Ecstar also lead the Teams’ Championship and Constructers’ Championship.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Today was a perfect result for the team, congratulations and thank you very much to Joan and Alex! It’s great to have first and second places in the race, it’s the ideal situation – and it was super to see Joan get his first victory! We didn’t have much of a chance to set up the bike for dry conditions, so we’re even more impressed with the performance of our riders and our bike. I want to thank the entire Team staff, and we’ll try to do the same again next week.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It’s been an unbelievable race, I’ve been dreaming of a Suzuki 1-2 for a long time and today we managed it! Thank you so much to all the Team, and to Joan and Alex of course! We’re doing something fantastic this season – we’re leading all three championships and our riders are so strong in the races. I would like to have this wonderful feeling forever, but we still have two races to focus on, so we will stay calm and keep our heads down. Let’s try to continue in this way!”

Joan Mir:

“I’m just so happy, the Team and I put together a perfect weekend! It’s difficult to give 100% when you’re fighting for a title, because you always have to be a bit cautious, but today I saw the chance for my debut victory and I had to take it. I knew what I had to do, and I felt really great with my bike. I don’t really have words to describe how amazing it feels to be a MotoGP race winner, and it gives me an extra boost, especially after a tricky weekend in terms of conditions. Things are still close at the top, so I need to stay focused and continuing working for next weekend.”

Alex Rins:

“I was leading for a large part of the race, and I was hoping to lead from start to finish, but I missed a gear at Turn 11 on the 17th lap, and I went wide and Joan got through. Once he was at the front it was very hard to stay with him, even though I tried, because his pace was really good. But even if the result wasn’t perfect for me, it was a fantastic day for the Team. Joan got the victory that he really wanted, Suzuki got a one-two finish, and I got 20 points to add to my championship tally! So, I’m happy! Ready to go again next week and see what I can do, there are still plenty of points on the table.”

GRAN PREMIO DE EUROPA – Race Classification:

1. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 41:37.297
2. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +00.651
3. P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +01.203
4. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – +02.194
5. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – +08.046
6. J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – +08.755
7. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +10.137
8. A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – +10.801
9. J. ZARCO – Esponsorama Racing – +11.550
10. D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – +16.803
11. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +17.617
12. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – +24.350
13. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +25.403
14. F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +39.639
Not Classified:
L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 41:14.361 – 25 laps
A. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 35:37.901 – 23 laps
T. RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 20:40.929 – 13 laps
C. CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 07:54.372 – 6 laps
F. BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 07:52.229 – 5 laps
V. ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 06:21.123 – 5 laps
A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 00.000 – 1 laps

2020 MotoGP World Championship Classification – Rider:

1 Joan MIR Suzuki 162
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 125
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 121
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 117
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 117
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 106
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 90
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 77
12 Brad BINDER KTM 76
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI

MotoGP World Championship Classification – CONSTRUCTOR:

1. SUZUKI 188
2. DUCATI 181 -7
3. YAMAHA 163 -25
4. KTM 159 -29
5. HONDA 130 -58
6. APRILIA 36 -152

MotoGP World Championship Classification – TEAM:

1. TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 287
2. PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT 205 -82
3. DUCATI TEAM 194 -93
4. RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 182 -105
5. MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP 159 -128
6. PRAMAC RACING 138 -149
7. LCR HONDA 131 -156
8. RED BULL KTM TECH3 117 -170
9. REPSOL HONDA TEAM 83 -204
10. ESPONSORAMA RACING 81 -206
11. APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 39 -248

Petronas

Vexing Valencia for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli 11th and Fabio Quartararo 14th at European GP

It proved to be a difficult day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders at the Gran Premio de Europa. Franco Morbidelli battled a bad feeling on the front to finish 11th, while team-mate Fabio Quartararo recovered from a Turn 8 crash on lap 1 to cross the Circuit Ricardo Tormo finish line 14th.

Morbidelli was able to immediately make up one place on the opening lap of the European GP, and maintained this position throughout the first seven laps. Unfortunately the Italian experienced front tyre pressure issues, which prevented him from fighting for the top positions. Gritting his teeth to manage the problem, Franco was able to bring his bike home in 11th. With two races to go, Morbidelli currently holds fifth in the championship with 117 points.

Team-mate Quartararo’s race got off to a disastrous start with a Turn 8 off on the opening lap, caused by trying to avoid another rider’s incident. Remounting his Yamaha YZR-M1, Fabio set a series of fastest laps in his quest to re-join the pack. Although the Frenchman wasn’t able to progress through the field, he did manage to finish in the points – crossing the line 14th. Quartararo remains second in the riders’ championship, 37 points shy of the leader, with two races to go.

It will only be a few days before the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders are back in action around Circuit Ricardo Tormo, as they tackle the 13th round of the year: the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana (13-15 November).

Razlan Razali
Team Principal

It has been a difficult weekend. Although we lost some ground in the championship fight with Fabio and Franco, we are still upbeat and ready to give our best for the final two races. We have been analysing the data from the race today and hope to improve next weekend when we’re back racing here at Valencia. Of course we’ll be aiming to be back on the podium and to continue the progress the whole team has made this year. We’re leading the Independent teams’ competition, plus our riders are second and fifth in the riders’ standings, so it’s a good position to be in.

Xavi is still not 100% fit, which has an affect on his riding, but we are hoping that he will continue making progress at the final two races. It would be a nice end to the season for him to be on the podium. It is a shame that Jake has picked up his injury and we wish him all the best to make a speedy recovery.

Again, it was a difficult day for our Moto3 riders John and KIP. John is 38 points shy of the leader in the world championship, so he still has the potential to fight for the title. We will be going into the final two races aiming to be more aggressive and be back on the podium steps, hopefully the top one. We will also be continuing to work with KIP to try and help him progress in the final two races of the year.

Franco Morbidelli
11th (+17.617)

I think the biggest issue we had today was with the pressure in the front tyre. When we are running in the pack, we are noticing some problems with the pressure and we cannot fight how we want. Today, I was able to manage the situation and at the end of the race I was able to cross the finish line in 11th, which is not bad considering the situation. Although the gap to the leader in the championship has widened, we have closed in on the second position this weekend. Of course, I will fight for the best position possible in the championship until the end.

Fabio Quartararo
14th (+39.639)

At the beginning of the race another rider crashed in front of me and in trying to avoid it, I crashed as well. In these conditions it is easy to do. Unfortunately it meant that we lost points in the championship, at a race that wouldn’t have been our best but, where we thought we would do quite well. The feeling was a lot better in the dry today, but still not quite how I want it. Although everyone had difficulties, I do think we could have had a better feeling and more pace today. I think we need to try some things next weekend and try to have fun in these last two races; we still have good possibilities to end the season well.

 

Repsol Honda

Bradl collects more points, Marquez falls while fighting

A wet and wild first weekend comes to an end in Valencia as Stefan Bradl walks away with more points while Alex Marquez shows top-ten potential again.

Sunday in Valencia got off to a busy start on a dry circuit, the Repsol Honda Team working to refine their dry race setup in just 20 minutes after a weekend of running in the wet. The Repsol Honda Team applying all of their knowledge to get the most out of the morning’s session.

When the lights went out, Alex Marquez once again got off the line well, charging ahead to gain positions in the opening corners. Within just a lap the rookie was inside the top ten, battling first with Jack Miller and then with Dovizioso as he made his way forward. Dovizioso would loom behind Alex for the majority of the race, launching another attack late in the race. Unfortunately, Alex Marquez was caught out by the extra speed from the slipstream at Turn 1 after being passed down the straight by the Italian, walking away unharmed but ending the rookie’s race prematurely.

From his best grid position of the year, Stefan Bradl held his own in the hustle and bustle of the first lap. With a steady run of opening laps, the German picked his way forward and quickly passed a number of riders to close in on his Repsol Honda Team teammate after a handful of laps. Stefan adapted to the conditions and changes in the front tyre, resulting in a 12th place finish, securing back-to-back points for the first time in 2020.

Takaaki Nakagami recovered from the disappointment of Aragon to come back and challenge for a podium finish. Ultimately taking fourth and top Honda honours, Nakagami holds eighth in the overall championship standings and is just 20 points behind second place.

The MotoGP World Championship will be straight back to action at the Valencia Circuit for the penultimate round of the championship next weekend.
Alex Marquez
DNF

“We were having a good race; I made an OK start and I found myself in a good rhythm riding in the top ten. I was feeling comfortable and able to make some progress. Unfortunately, when Dovizioso passed me I was in the slipstream for Turn 1 and even though I was braking at the same point, I was a little bit faster, so I fell. I tried to save it and fortunately I am OK. It’s disappointing to not score for two races in a row as we had another good opportunity for points this weekend. We will come back and used what we’ve learned next week.”

Alex Marquez

Stefan Bradl
12th

“My start was not so bad; I was maybe a little too careful in the opening laps looking back on it. But in any case, we went into the race with a lot of unknowns, just like everyone else. I had some problems with the front tyre and I lost some confidence in it which caused me to lose some time and I had to manage the situation. Overall, we’ve worked well with the Repsol Honda Team and have had a strong weekend overall. We’re showing that we are growing and making improvements.”

Aprilia

 

THE FIRST RACE IN VALENCIA DOES NOT SMILE ON TEAM APRILIA

AFTER A WEEKEND CONSISTENTLY AMONG THE LEADERS, ALEIX FALLS VICTIM TO A CRASH

LORENZO, IN HIS MAIDEN MOTOGP RACE, RACKS UP SOME MILES AND EXPERIENCE

What could have been a good race on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, given Espargaró’s performance throughout the weekend, was compromised straight away for both Aleix and Lorenzo Savadori. After a good start which placed him solidly in the top 10, an unfortunate crossing of trajectories caused Espargaró to lose control of his RS-GP. Unable to re-join the race, Aleix was forced to retire.

Lorenzo Savadori, arriving at his first ever MotoGP race without an actual preparatory session in the dry, had a crash in the early stages. Stoically re-joining the race, the Italian rider accumulated laps, experience and data until an alarm message on his dashboard forced him to pit.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’
“I’m very disappointed, but these things happen in racing. I started well, but in the early stages of the race, everyone was very aggressive. A rider ahead of me was on a bit of a strange line, going wide and then coming back in, and that threw off both Quartararo and me. I’m comforted by the fact that I was consistently competitive, in every session an in every condition. In five days, we’ll be back here on the track to make up for it.”

LORENZO SAVADORI
“At the start, I was able to overtake Rabat straight away and I wasn’t pushing too hard. I was waiting for the fuel to drop a bit in order to begin setting my pace. Unfortunately, I lost the front end at a place where I didn’t expect it. I re-joined, but obviously the bike was not in perfect shape. I continued, partly to get experience and gather data, until an alarm on the dashboard forced me to retire. It’s obviously a shame, but we’ll have a chance to try again in a few days.”

Ducati

Eighth Andrea Dovizioso and tenth Danilo Petrucci at the end of the European Grand Prix in Valencia

The Ducati Team riders both finished in the top ten in the twelfth round of the MotoGP World Championship, held today in the dry at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo of Cheste.

After two days of rain and uncertain weather, the sun finally returned to shine at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste, allowing the MotoGP riders to face both this morning’s short warm-up session and the European Grand Prix held this afternoon in dry track conditions.

Starting with the twelfth fastest time set yesterday in a wet qualifying session, Andrea Dovizioso managed to recover some positions immediately after the start, passing eighth across the line on the first lap. As he dropped back into tenth place again after a few laps, the rider from Forlì managed to recover two positions towards the end of the race eventually crossing the finishing line in eighth place.

Danilo Petrucci, who qualified with the nineteenth fastest time, started eighteenth today, having recovered a grid position with Viñales forced to start from the pit lane. Fifteenth on the first lap, the Umbrian rider was able to catch up till eleventh place, to then start chasing down Morbidelli, who was sitting in tenth place. Petrucci finally managed to catch him and pass him with six laps to go, ending the race in the top ten.

After the twelfth round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, Andrea Dovizioso occupies the sixth position in the overall standings, tied on points with Franco Morbidelli fifth, while Danilo Petrucci is eleventh with 77 points. Ducati is second in the Manufacturers’ classification, just 7 points from the top of the standings, while the Ducati Team occupies third place in the Teams’ standings.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 8th
“I wasn’t feeling very well physically today, but fortunately, I managed to be consistent in the race. In the first laps, I recovered several positions, but in the beginning, my feeling with the bike wasn’t good. Only towards the end of the race, I was able to have a good speed, and this is an interesting aspect that we will have to focus on. I’m not happy with today’s result, but now we have some interesting data to work on ahead of the next GP, which will take place here in Valencia again next Sunday”.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 10th
“I managed to make a good comeback today in the race, and I am quite satisfied with the tenth place. Today’s result was affected by my grid position, but considering that we didn’t have much time to test in the dry, I had a good pace in the race. Now we will work on the data collected to try to improve the setup and the start in the next Grand Prix that will take place once again here in Valencia”.

Next week, the Ducati Team will be back at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste for the thirteenth round of the 2020 MotoGP season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitad Valenciana scheduled from 13th-15th November.

LCR

TAKA FINISHES AS TOP INDEPENDENT IN VALENCIA
8 November 2020 | European GP Race
Takaaki Nakagami again narrowly missed out on a maiden MotoGP podium as he took a superb fourth place in the Europa Grand Prix at Valencia. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU star finished as the top independent rider as he followed home Suzuki duo Joan Mir and Alex Rins and the KTM of Pol Espargaro to match his best-ever result in the premier class.

Starting from the front row, Taka got away well to maintain his position into the first corner. Although he lost a couple of places, he came on strong in the second half of the race passing Miguel Oliveira to reclaim fourth at the end of lap 15. He then closed right up on Espargaro in third, but ran out of laps to attempt a pass on the KTM rider.
Takaaki Nakagami – 4th
“It was a great result, a great race and we had good pace until the end. As you can see, I never give up until the end, the last lap, the last corner, so I gave my best and this is a real positive. I was really, really close to my first podium finish, but another P4 and top independent, so it was a great result for us. I think we must be happy and already I’m looking forward to the next race here in Valencia. We have to keep pushing, keep believing; believing in my team and myself because we have another opportunity for a great result. I want to thank my team as we were competitive all weekend, now on to the next one.”

CRUTCHLOW UNABLE TO FINISH RACE 1 IN VALENCIA
8 November 2020 | European GP Race

Having posted the 9th fastest time in the warm-up session, the LCR Honda CASTROL rider was intent on making inroads as the race got underway in dry, sunny conditions. Unfortunately, the Europa Grand Prix ended early for Crutchlow as he crashed out of the race in Valencia.

Starting from 15th on the grid, Cal Crutchlow had been looking to move through the field towards the top 10, but came unstuck on lap six at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The Briton made up a couple of places to be sitting in 13th by the sixth lap, but then slid out at turn eight as he continued to push hard on his Honda RC213V.

Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“Well, crashing out the race after five laps is not what we imagined or intended. Coming from a bad qualifying position and a bad start, it was difficult to make headway to the guys in front. Unfortunately, I got sucked in the draft in the braking zone to turn eight and went wide towards the dirty part of the track with the front brake and lost the front tyre. It was completely my own mistake and we hope for a better outcome next weekend where we believe the track conditions will be a lot more stable and we can work with the team to have a better base setting for the race.”

KTM

Espargaro back on the MotoGP™ podium with 3rd place in Valencia
MotoGP 2020 – Round 13, Valencia (Spain) – Race

Red Bull KTM lifted their sixth trophy of 2020 MotoGP as Pol Espargaro finished in the top three for the fourth time this season at a sunny Ricardo Tormo Circuit for the Gran Premio de Europa. Raul Fernandez recorded his first visit to the top step in Moto3 and Jorge Martin was runner-up in Moto2 to complete a successful Sunday for the Red Bull KTM Ajo crew.

 

Espargaro earns second KTM podium at Valencia and fourth of 2020
All three KTM RC16s in the top seven of the European Grand Prix
Red Bull KTM now count two wins and a total of six podium results in 2020
Raul Fernandez dashes to first Moto3™ Grand Prix victory
Jorge Martin returns to the podium in Moto2™
Pedro Acosta wins 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

After two days of showers and mixed conditions the first of two races at the flat and curvy circuit in Valencia took place under late autumn sunshine and temperatures that creeped as high as 25 degrees. Red Bull KTM tackled the 27-laps of the thirteenth round of the condensed 2020 MotoGP season with all three of their active riders in strong grid positions: Pol Espargaro conquered the difficult damp track on Saturday to register his second Pole Position of the season (and of his career). Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira had placed 1st in Q1 and seized 8th on the grid after the Q2 session, elevated to 7th after a sanction for Aleix Espargaro. Brad Binder explored the limits of grip and traction with his KTM RC16 to sit a promising 10th.

Iker Lecuona was forced to miss the Grand Prix due to Covid-19 quarantine rules after his brother and personal assistant had tested positive for the virus. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider had returned a negative test but still had to isolate at his residence. KTM instead looked to their trio of Spanish, Portuguese and South African racers to extend their podium count to six for 2020.

Dry asphalt meant the Sunday morning Warm-up period became essential for the teams to refine their ‘dry race’ settings. Espargaro led from Pole Position and then circulated inside the top three for the entire distance. The gap to Alex Rins and Joan Mir ahead grew and shrank by tenths of a second but Espargaro could not get close enough to risk an attack for the second step of the rostrum. He crossed the line in 3rd place, just a second behind winner Mir and for the 49th trophy of his career.

Oliveira had a race-long tussle with Takaaki Nakagami and rode to 5th and his third top-five of 2020. Binder, who was obliged to take a Long Lap penalty after his part in the second corner crash at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel two weeks ago, fought back with impressive pace. The rookie clocked the fastest lap of the race with five circulations to go and pushed all the way to 7th for this third-highest result of the season.

Pol Espargaro: “It was hard, so tough with these guys. They were fast but I was catching back on brakes. I lost a bit of corner speed and through the apex but we went for the hard front and medium rear tires and it was a perfect choice. We had zero data for that selection but we gambled and I was gaining time. I’m really pleased. Another podium for KTM and myself, a great feeling.”

Miguel Oliveira: “I’m happy. I think the strategy in Warm-Up paid off for the race. We managed to have a good balance with the bike and a good setting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the pace seven-eight laps to the end. After a couple of moments almost crashing, I decided to calm down and bring the bike to the garage, still make a good race and score decent points for the team.”

Brad Binder: “The race started OK but I got a bit boxed-in through the first two-three corners. I didn’t want to take too much of a risk with the full fuel tank and I knew the Long Lap penalty was coming early on. As soon as I did it I dropped down the order and worked to catch back up but then Cal Crutchlow crashed in front of me and I had to run off the track! I lost a few more seconds that lap. The comeback was not bad. I felt good and the bike worked really well today. Even when the tires were used we could keep the same lap-times. It was a shame about the result because we had the pace for much better but I’m really happy and I think we can do a good job next weekend.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “The weekend started well with Pol’s Pole Position but Miguel and Brad were also in the top ten so we were competitive in those wet conditions. Then race day changed a lot and tire choice was very difficult; we didn’t have enough dry laps to make a thorough set-up for the bike but the RC16 was still strong enough to fight for those results. Pol was excellent and Miguel had a superb race to the top five and bravo to Brad for coming back all that way. All three bikes in the top seven is a pretty great day for us and I have to thank the whole team and the factory. In 2018 we took our first podium here and you can see now the amount of progress we have made in such a short time. We hope we can continue like this.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Moto3 Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez emotionally celebrated his maiden Grand Prix win after a breakaway performance from the front row of the grid Sunday morning. The Spaniard was able to profit from a crash by Celestino Vietti that also affected Alonso Lopez and Albert Arenas (the Spaniard suffered damage to his KTM RC4 in the incident and despite pitting for repairs was eventually black-flagged). Fernandez was able to maintain a two second gap over three other riders pushing for podium spots and swept to his first ’25 points’ in only his second full season in Moto3. It was the second win in three years for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in Valencia and the seventh in total for the KTM RC4 in 2020.

Raul Fernandez: “Incredible! It feels like it’s been many races to get this feeling. I don’t really have words. My first podium was great but this will be with me all my life. I want to thank my family and my team. We’ll still aim to improve for next weekend but we’ll enjoy this win!”

Jorge Martin took his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine to 2nd place in Moto2 to crown a rewarding weekend for the team. The Spaniard returned to the top three of the class for the fifth time in 2020. Teammate Tetsuta Nagashima rode to 12th.

The 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup reached round ten with the second race of the weekend in Valencia. David Salvador had claimed victory on Saturday but as the light dipped on Sunday afternoon it was Daniel Holgado who won the final outing at the Gran Premio de Europa. Pedro Acosta made sure of 2nd place and was crowned 2020 champion with two races still to go. The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies will be in action again next weekend in Valencia.

Pedro Acosta: “This feels amazing, an amazing season. I want to say thanks to all those at the Rookies Cup. I had nothing to ride at the end of last year and they gave me an opportunity. So thanks again and to all those who have supported me.”

MotoGP looks to the penultimate fixture for 2020 with the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana on November 15th.

Gran Premio de Europa MotoGP photos can be downloaded HERE

Results MotoGP Gran Premio de Europa 2020

1. Joan Mir (ESP), Suzuki 41:37.297
2. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki +0.651
3. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.203
4. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) Honda +2.194
5. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +8.046
7. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +10.137

Yamaha

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales‘ main goal for today was to collect as many championship points as possible at the Gran Premio de Europa, and he took 13th place. Valentino Rossi was riding in the busy mid-pack when an issue with the bike ended his race early.

Viñales had to start from pit lane, only being allowed to head out after the other riders passed the exit of the pit road. Despite the early disadvantage, the home hero soon made his way up the order due to early crashes and retirements of opponents.

He soon found his way to 15th place, within the points. With 15 laps to go, he gained another place, spurring him on to keep pushing and salvage crucial championship points. He was rapidly closing in on Stefan Bradl in front of him, reducing the over-9s gap to just 1.053s as he crossed the finish line. He ended the race in 13th place, 25.403s from first.

Rossi had a strong start from 18th on the grid and followed it up by choosing the outside line in the opening corners, picking up multiple positions. He finished the first lap in 13th place. The Italian was keen on progressing through the busy mid-pack, but an issue with his bike ended his challenge on lap 5.

After today‘s race, Viñales is now fourth in the standings, 41 points from the top of the leaderboard. Rossi remains in 15th place, with a 104-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP ranks fifth in the team classification.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will return to action at the same Ricardo Tormo track next week for the Grand Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

It was a very difficult race weekend for us here in Valencia, and race day was no different. Maverick made the most of the situation, though. He had to start from pit lane, which naturally lost him a lot of time. Yet he had a good rhythm, especially in the second part of the race, even though he wasn’t fully happy with the set-up of the bike. But this was to be expected as we didn’t have any fully dry sessions this weekend before today. It’s tough to accept that – besides Maverick having to start from pit lane – Valentino had an issue with his bike in the same race. We had really hoped that his return to MotoGP would have ended on a higher note. But the data collected by him and Maverick today helps the team for next week‘s Valencia GP, which is also held at this circuit. We don’t always like racing at the same place twice, but in this case we want to make the most of the upcoming second round in Valencia to have a do-over. Despite the difficulties that we are facing, we are going to keep giving it our all. The challenge of winning the rider and constructor championship titles is really tough right now, but we‘re not going down without a fight.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

Today‘s race was always going to be difficult. The bike wasn‘t perfect, because we had so little time to prepare for a dry race, but that is just the way it is. Finishing in 13th place when starting from pit lane is not horrible, but it‘s not fantastic either, especially considering the championship. But I don‘t want to think about that too much. I prefer to focus on improving the bike and trying to enjoy the second race in Valencia and the upcoming round in Portimão.

VALENTINO ROSSI

For me personally, not being able to finish the race today is a great shame, because I needed these 27 laps, just to do a race again. I also needed them to collect data to understand how to be stronger for next weekend’s race here in Valencia. I was there in the race today, and I was just trying to understand how to ride in the best way, but unfortunately the bike stopped. The situation is not easy in Valencia. Last week, in Aragon, Yamaha won with Franco, but we are struggling to find grip here. It wasn’t a great weekend for me to find a way to improve, but we will see what we can do next week.


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