Repsol Honda Team ready for final race of 20192019-11-18 09:41
A tight fight for pole has Marc Marquez lining up in second place for the final round of the year with Lorenzo hunting points from 16th.
The four-kilometer-long Valencia Circuit continued to produce some of the closest sessions of the year with less than 1.5 seconds regularly splitting the top 15. Even with conditions barely in the double figures in the morning, riders pushed hard to secure a top ten spot in FP3. Marquez suffered a harmless crash at Turn 4 with five minutes of Free Practice 4 remaining. He was quickly to his feet and returned to the garage to complete the session on his second bike.
Qualifying saw the 2019 MotoGP World Champion battle for pole and ultimately take second in the session, his 1’30.010 a meagre 0.032s behind pole-setter Fabio Quartararo. But with strong race pace throughout the weekend, Marquez remains confident of challenging for the podium and helping Honda to take the Teams Championship again. Marquez is hunting his 12th win from 19 rounds in 2019.
With a consistent Friday under his belt, Jorge Lorenzo was determined to continue making progress and reduce the gap to the top of the timesheets further. Improving his best lap time of the weekend by half a second in FP3 saw Lorenzo maintain his position in the top 15 as he headed to Q1. A 1’31.295 will see him line up in 16th position for his last MotoGP race. Lorenzo’s objective for Sunday is to help the Repsol Honda Team lift the Teams Championship and complete the 2019 Triple Crown.
To secure the Triple Crown, the Repsol Honda Team must out score the Ducati Team by two or more points in Sunday’s race. The 27-lap Valencia GP is scheduled to start at 14:00 Local Time as lights go out for the final time in 2019.
“I’m very happy because I was able to get closer than I was expecting, I didn’t think I could be this close over one lap. With our race pace we’re not very far away, but Quartararo is very strong over one lap. Anyway, I’m happy to be on the front row and our first target is done. We’ll try to start well tomorrow and then see what happens. It will be a tough race as Viñales and Quartararo are very fast but I think we can manage it well.”
“Today was more or less what we expected, maybe I could have been a little higher on the grid but those ahead were in the 1'30s. The plan for tomorrow is to make a good start and avoid trouble in the opening laps and then see what my pace will give me at the end of the race. I think we can move forward and maintain a pace that is closer to the leaders than in the previous rounds. It will certainly be an emotional race tomorrow so I hope that I can enjoy it all and importantly help Honda as best I can.”
Valencia GP Overall Combined Free Practice Classification
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT 1'29.978
Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 0.032
Jack 43 AUS Pramac Racing 0.108
Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 0.200
Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT 0.471
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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