MotoGP: Final showdown in Valencia as Marquez and Dovizioso stand on the verge of glory

MotoGP: Final showdown in Valencia as Marquez and Dovizioso stand on the verge of glory

Thursday, 09 November 2017-After 17 rounds, the final countdown is on to the #FinalShowdown – but before the Press Conference proper at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, there was a start to the show with a difference for the Valencia GP as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) interrupted proceedings early to pay tribute to MotoGP™ commentary legend Nick Harris. Inviting the voice of the Championship to take a seat with the riders, a special video tribute was then played with contributions from paddock legends past and present ahead of Harris’ retirement at the end of the season.

There was also another special extra for the occasion, with the riders present given a copy of the ‘Racing Together’ book, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the collaboration between the FIM, IRTA, the MSMA and Dorna – with the book set to be launched on Thursday evening, ahead of a special screening of the documentary celebrating the same.

Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi, Marquez, Dovizioso and Zarco with their ‘Racing Together’ books ahead of the launch on Thursday evening

Then it was down to business, with Rossi joined by points leader and reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), his teammate Dani Pedrosa, Championship challenger Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo – as well as top Independent Team rider and Rookie of the Year Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).

First to speak was Championship leader Marquez, who arrives as the favourite with a 21-point lead: “It has been a tough season, and one race decides everything. We’ll see, we’ll try to approach the weekend the same as always and give 100% in the practices but of course you feel it and feel it’s a special race. But we’ll try and enjoy the party at 2pm and it will be a special race in front of my fans at a circuit I like. In motorsport, anything can happen. To finish the race is the most important thing. It’s not the first time I’ve fought for the Championship here and it’s difficult but I’ll try to manage it the best I can. I’ll push like always throughout the weekend, then after Warm Up we will see. I will go out, try to find the feeling with the bike and try to enjoy the race.”

Then the mic passed to Dovizioso, as he faces down his final challenge of the year – and it’s a race he must win to stand a chance at the Championship: “I wouldn’t have believed I’d be in this situation, and no one watching expected it. That’s why I’m so happy and proud of what we’ve achieved in this Championship. From Mugello on we’ve become very competitive. Some ups and downs but we’ve been able to arrive at the last round fighting for the Championship. We will see…21 points is a lot and very difficult, but it’s still open. We have to focus. We have to win the race, which will be difficult, but we have good speed now. Let’s see what we can do in the race. We have one strategy: try to win. I don’t feel much pressure because I know what we’ve done this season and I’m so happy about the results up to now.”

Next up it was Rossi taking over once more, this time to talk about racing: “We have been struggling a little bit, but in Sepang and Australia in the dry we were ok. And here the weather forecast is good for the weekend and that’s important, so we have to wait and see.” Asked about his opinion on the title fight, the Italian was pragmatic. “Dovizioso has just one way he can do it: trying to win the race. But Marquez, he can control the situation. But then you have to wait and see, wait for Sunday and understand your level.”

Dani Pedrosa, meanwhile, arrives with the best record of the lot and could have a big role to play this weekend. He also called out the weather forecast as a positive, and will be looking to end the season on a high: “This is a track I like, here with the support of the fans it makes it even more special. And it’s the last race and it’s always good to finish strong. Last year wasn’t positive, but I hope this time we can start in a better position. The weather looks more stable than in the last races, it’s going to be helpful for practice and you can get into a rhythm and try more things on the bike.”

Whilst Pedrosa counts six victories at Valencia, Lorenzo is the next man in the record books and has the most premier class wins – and first rode the Ducati at the track last season. “I have good memories at this track, especially in MotoGP. It has been one of my best tracks, unfortunately for the bike it may not be one of the best. It’s a slow track with narrow corners. But I think our bike has improved a lot in this area, I feel more and more comfortable and I think we’ve understood some things that could be helpful here.” The five-time World Champion also weighed in on the title fight, saying he will help his teammate if necessary: “The situation is better for Marc and not so simple for Dovi, but I will check – if I’m fighting at the front, I’ll check my pitboard and dashboard.”

Zarco, finally, weighed in on his incredible rookie season that has seen him take both the Rookie of the Year crown and the award of top Independent Team rider for the season. “I’ve enjoyed this year it a lot, I’ve done better than what I expected at the start of the year and I’m very happy about that. You race to win, so this year has been a good year to improve and it has given me hope. Like in Malaysia I could think about the win, and it wasn’t a crazy target!” It certainly wasn’t, and the Frenchman says he’ll be trying to aim for the front once more this weekend.

The front is the place Dovizioso has to be. 21 points down, the throne is only within the Italian’s grasp if he wins the race. He’ll be pushing to do just that, and waiting see how the dice fall for Marquez. The lights go out for the race at 2pm (GMT +1), with preparations and practice beginning on Friday.

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27 minutes ago


WHAT an incredible race at Silverstone! 🔥

Remember you can watch now the #BritishGP 🇬🇧 race OnDemand with #VideoPass ➡️
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Great battle👍🏻👍🏻👏🏻

Great great race yesterday .. great rins and great Marquez .. two great drivers ..😁🤙🏁

knap gedaan

I still think that overtake on finish line is the least thing Rins should do, after he get on Marquez's Rear wheel for thirty laps. Still, one of the borest race on MotoGP ever.

Phil Goode

Suzuki love

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1 hr ago


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1 hr ago


Get well soon Dovi !! ... See Less

1 hr ago


Less than ecstatic after the race 👊

P2 for Marc Márquez on the day but P1 in the championship 💪

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Say what you like about this guy, but he is a true professional with a passion for winning.

Great to see him challenged. He's an amazing talent but even the greatest talent on the grid with no opponents means a boring race.

Glad he talked about his concern for Dovi. That was good to hear. Sportsmanship is everything regardless of placings.

I love the whole sportsman ships these racers have for each other, 1 of the reasons to love Motogp ❤

Amazing race by amazing pilots.

congratulations Alex Rins you made my day

He got schooled 😂😂

Strong opponents make for a strong champion. Marquez has the strongest opponents since I'm watching Motogp. I saw Doohan competing against one, maybe two strong opponents. Rossi had quite the same, winning one or two championships with virtualy no strong opponents. Marc has world champions and some that are way stroger: Rossi, Lorenzo, Dovi, Quartararo, Rins, Crutchlow. Lots of drivers can win races!

Congrats MM u did very well fighting off Rins but at the end Rins was the winner. Well deserved win. Lets bounce back with the next race. Sad about Dovi hope he is doing ok.

MM i Love you 💙

Love you #MM93💗

He may lose a battle here and there, but always wins the war, its part of racing. His consistency in finishing on the podium has been unmatched in recent times. Great to see him pushed and challenged by Dovi, Rins, Vinales and Quartararo.

2016 2017 2018 2019? That is so boring

He seemed ok to me in that interview. Was a great race from start to finish.

I thought he handled himself reasonably well given that he would obviously disappointed

What a fantastic young man. So sad that some supposed MotoGP fans can't see beyond their hateful bias against him. Ultimately blamed himself for making a mistake on the last corner, acknowledged Rins race craft for remaining in second, and disappointed that Dovi crashed out - what more do you want?

Spoilt child. He was at max for too long and wiped out his tyres, whereas Rins never looked anything other than at ease and riding within himself which kept his tyres fresh so he could get drive out of the final corner. Marc shot his tyres hence why he nearly lost it coming through Woodcote and why he had to throttle back and had no traction.

One of the best race ever

marquez did loose the race.....only just, but he knows that when they showed his pit board of dovi out, that he did not have much to loose, but his competitive nature, would never allow him to settle for 2nd or third. if you want to get on the podium, you've got to out ride or out think him........

❤ MM


Glad to see mm eat some humble pie

You see he is dissapointed!!! Not a way we see marquez much....

Won't be long till all the haters start gobbling some humble pie...please swallow slowly, don't want you to choke..we need you back next year!!!..

Congratulations MM93

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1 hr ago


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3 hrs ago


What a dramatic start we saw at Silverstone! 😱

Thankfully, Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso were able to walk away from this scary crash! 💥

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Hope Dovi will be fine 🤕

That was vicious. No life threatening injuries? Good day. Thank god for quality equipment.

Wishing Dovi a speedy recovery.

Dovi is out of luck this season. So sad to see a competitive rider ruling out of the race.

Absolutely horrific. Was anxious to see if Dovi got up. Thankfully he did. Wishing both riders swift recovery.


I hope Fabio and Dovi are both okay

Hope both riders are ok wish them both a speedy recovery

I was right next to this incident, both Dovi and Fabio were limping as they walked away, hope both are ok, what a fantastic race, Rins and Marc in a dogfight to the end, top day !!

Meanwhile a footballer who has a 2mph collision with another player writhes on the grass crying foul and holding himself in agony .Bike racers are real men.

Quel dommage pour ces deux superbes pilotes! #20

Was right near this, was horrific to see bit thankfully they hobbled away

Athleticism of MotoGP riders are amazing.. be safe.

A very dangerous game yet we love it soooo much. Thanks to all rider who deliver a very competitive race every year. Dovi n Fabio, speed recovery please. I believe anyone who sit on that situation cant avoid hitting the loose bike.

Dovi has to be the unlikeliest rider in motogp history, the amount of times he's been wiped out by others is nuts

Get well soon.. A big thanks to Quart and Dovi, Rossi got the 4th or else he will be 6th 😂

Dovi was lucky to walk away from that .

Dovi lost his memory after the crash.. 😢

I just hope that Dovi is okay that was a terrible thing to watch.

In situations where dovi needs the most points 😱

Never nice to see anyone hit the tarmac that hard. I think it could’ve been a proper scrap at the front if they had both been in the mix

Was scary was right in front of us 😱🏍❤️

Why did his bike catch fire, very unusual. Just one of those things.

Any update news from medic about dovi's situation?

Both walking away? Dovi was on the brancard and in the hospital.

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16 hrs ago


Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren has impressed the most because last season they where horrible and now they are best of the rest. Also Red Bull and Honda seem to be a nice match, would love to see Max finish what Jos started with Honda. Most disappointing this season are Haas and Renault. Renault because they wanted to close the gap to the top 3, but right now they are 6th. And they are the only unreliable engine in the field right now. Haas is having a horrible season, they seem to be getting worse during the season instead of improving.

If Bruce was still here he would be proud of his team. Mclaren improved the most.

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

Ferrari have been the most impressive, from being the slowest manufacturer in 2014 to being a reasonable threat and smashing McLaren and Williams comprehensibly. McLaren and Williams should just pack their bags and go home, Ferrari have nailed their coffin shut and it can be considered karma for their various indiscretions in 1990 (senna wiping out prost), 1994, 1997 (Villeneuve incident), 1998, 1999, 2007 (spygate), 2008... The British public couldn't care less about McLaren or Williams they only support whatever "British" team is winning, in this case Mercedes

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

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