Ducati Team concludes 2017 season with the Valencia Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo circuit2017-11-10 17:56
Eight months and seventeen races since the championship got underway in March at the Losail circuit in Qatar, the MotoGP teams and riders have arrived in Spain for the final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana – a.k.a. the Valencia Grand Prix – at the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Cheste on the outskirts of Valencia. The track runs in a counter-clockwise direction with the bikes getting little opportunity to reach top speed on the twisty layout.
It will be a very important weekend for the Ducati Team, which comes off the back of a splendid 1-2 win for Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo at Sepang, because the Italian is now the only man who can stop Marquez from taking the title. Twenty-one points separate ‘DesmoDovi’ from the Spanish champion, which means that to take the world title, Andrea needs to win the race with Marquez finishing twelfth or lower. In any case 2017 has been an extraordinary season for Dovizioso, with six wins to his name plus one second and one third place.
Andrea has taken part in nine MotoGP races at Valencia, with his best result being a third place in 2011, while last year he finished the race in seventh place after starting from the second row.
After a great race at Sepang, Jorge Lorenzo also wants to finish the season in the best possible way. The rider from Mallorca has taken part in eight Valencia GPs, winning four of them, including the last two which he dominated in fine style.
There will also be a third wild-card outing for Michele Pirro with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian has taken part four times in the Valencia race in the MotoGP category, with his best result being a fifth in 2012, while the previous year he took the win in the Moto2 class.
The Ducati Team has twice won in MotoGP at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.
With one round left to go, Dovizioso lies second in the overall standings with 261 points, while Lorenzo is in seventh with 137 points and Pirro, who has only done two races this year, is in twenty-third with 18 points.
The Valencia weekend schedule gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 30-lap race starts at 14.00 CET on Sunday.
As always, the Sunday race will be followed by two days of MotoGP official testing on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 November, which mark the start of the 2018 season.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (261 points)
“We come to Valencia with a big gap in the points from Marquez and on a track where he goes very well, so we know it’s going to be tough. The only strategy for me, with this gap, is to try and win and then see where my rival finishes. In this period we are going strongly at almost every track and so we have to try and approach this weekend with optimism, as we have always done recently.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (137 points)
“We have already arrived at the final race of the season, as always here at Valencia, a circuit where I have great memories and where I’ve scored some excellent results in the past, but it’s also a track which has not always been favourable for our bike. It’s a small track with very tight corners, but the world championship is still open for Andrea and nothing is impossible in this last race. It’ll be a great season finale and I’ll give my all as always, to finish my first year in Ducati with the best possible result.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 23rd (18 points)
“I’ll be tackling the Valencia race with the knowledge that this has been an extraordinary season, both for Ducati and for me personally, seeing as I succeeded in winning my fifth Italian Superbike title and in scoring great results in the two MotoGP races in which I took part. It’s an exciting moment that allows us to look to the future with confidence. To race in the final round of the season with the title still at stake between Dovizioso and Marquez is a very special experience, and I’m happy to be a part of it and to be able to give my contribution to Ducati."
The Valencia circuit
Completed in 1999, the Valencia circuit first held a MotoGP round in the same year. The track has several layouts with varying lengths and runs anti-clockwise. Although the circuit itself is quite small, the massive grandstands can seat up to 150,000 spectators. The layout allows all parts of the circuit to be seen from anywhere and helps to create a unique atmosphere enjoyed by the enthusiastic Spanish public, which as always will arrive in force for the final race of the season.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.171 (158.1 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) – 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 335.9 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.0 km
Race Distance: 30 laps (120.2 km)
Corners: 14 (9 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Lorenzo (Yamaha), 2nd Marquez (Honda), 3rd Iannone (Ducati)
Pole Position: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’29.401 (161.273 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.171 (158.142 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 31 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 275 (177 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 17 (8 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 18 (5 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 30 (born on May 4th 1987 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 267 (173 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 65 (44 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 65 (39 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 51
Age: 31 (born on July 5th 1986 at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy)
Residence: Cesena (Italy)
Races: 95 (48 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
First GP: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Win: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)
Pole Positions: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Pole: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)
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