Movistar Yamaha Make Ready for Final 2017 MotoGP Race
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi return to Spain for Sunday's 2017 MotoGP World Championship finale, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Viñales arrives in his home country determined to fight for a podium spot. Having secured third place in the championship at the previous round at the Sepang International Circuit a fortnight ago, he focuses on wrapping up the season in the best way possible this weekend.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit was the scene of some great moments for the home hero. He stood on the podium in Valencia twice, having secured victory in his first 125cc race there in 2011, as well as in 2013, when he again was the first rider to reach the chequered flag in the Moto3 class, earning him the World Championship Title. His best MotoGP finish was last year, when he took fifth place.
After three intense race weekends overseas, Rossi enters the final round determined to keep hold of fourth place in the championship rankings. He has a 12-point advantage over his closest rival and will push to the maximum to further increase it in the 2017 Grand Finale.
Out of the 17 premier class races that the nine-time World Champion took part in at the Ricardo Tormo track so far, he has taken two MotoGP wins, in 2003 and 2004, and he stood on the podium eight times in total, having secured second places in 2002, 2009 and 2014 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
The 4.0 km long Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo was completed in 1999 and was immediately added to the MotoGP calendar for that same year. The twisty track lay-out (featuring nine left and five right corners and an 876 m longest straight) is challenging for both man and machine, but beloved by many riders as well as the fans. The stadium offers spectators a perfect view of all parts of the circuit from every stand, so they won't miss any of the action as the MotoGP season comes to a close.
Championship: 3rd - Points: 226
"I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood. After the last three races in Asia and Oceania I've spent some time at home, training and relaxing. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. We expect nice weather for the entire week, so I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with a nice podium at the last round. We are already focused on the next season and we also want to work hard during the test next week."
Championship: 4th - Points: 197
"The last race of the season has come. It wasn't an exciting end of the season for us, but during the three races overseas we've got some more data for our bike and we've always been fine on the dry. We hope that there will be good weather in Valencia to work in the best way. We are not fighting for the championship this weekend, but we will try to make it a good race anyway, and we will try to use next week's two-day test to start working on the 2018 season."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the triple header overseas the team had a few days to catch their breath before the final race of the season. We're all looking forward to the Valencia Grand Prix. The atmosphere at the last round is always special: one season ends and immediately after the next one begins. We're arriving in Spain with the goal to not only end the season with a positive result, but we also want to start working for next year. There's a busy week ahead of us and we are impatient to get started."
Zarco Fired Up for Season Finale - Van der Mark to Step in Once Again
Johann Zarco aims to conclude his memorable debut season in the premier class with a podium finish at the last round showdown in Valencia. The French sensation has already been crowned the 2017 Top Independent rider as well as Rookie of the Year and his target is to power to another notable result on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will not participate in the Valencia GP as he continues to recover, and the returning WorldSBK front-runner, Michael van der Mark will replace him. The Dutch rider impressively fought to 16th at Sepang and intends to deliver another strong performance this weekend.
Championship: 6th - Points: 154
"It’s already the last Grand Prix of the season and the year has gone quite quickly but very interestingly. I am so happy to go to Valencia with this high level of confidence and a positive feeling from the last few races. I will see what my potential is on Friday and Saturday, yet, if I can be competitive and remain with the top three riders, then I hope to fight for another podium. In fact, why not try and go for the first victory? Let's see, but for sure I want to enjoy the Valencia GP a lot."
Michael van der Mark
Championship: Not Classified
"It’s a shame that Jonas cannot ride in Valencia, but I am really honoured that Hervé asked me again because I think it showed that I did quite a good job in Sepang. I have not ridden in Valencia for a long time, but hopefully, it will be a little bit easier than the race in Malaysia, now that I know the bike, the tyres and the brakes more. The most important thing is that I hope we have a normal dry weekend, where I can ride a lot of laps and improve myself together with the bike. I just want to make steps forward and close the gap to the front guys plus, just enjoy the occasion because it's an amazing opportunity."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"It has already been a year since Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger rode the YZR-M1 for the first time and it feels like yesterday. Not only have we done the winter tests together, but the whole season and now we arrive at the last round of the 2017 campaign. It is exciting yet, also a time to look back at what we have achieved and I think we can be quite proud of what has been done by the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Our riders did a great job, although Jonas, unfortunately, could not finish the year with us due to him having to fight a tough illness and we really hope he recovers well. Regarding Johann Zarco, there isn’t much to say that hasn't already been said. Rookie of the Year, Best Independent rider, two podiums, two pole positions, as well as many unbelievable memories. The last time we were here, we tested and it was successful, however, the bike and the rider have certainly improved. I’m certain that Johann will want to finish the season on a high note with another strong performance. I would like also to welcome Michael van der Mark for his second MotoGP event with Monster Yamaha Tech3. We were quite happy to see that he finished 4th in the second WorldSBK race in Qatar and close to the leading group. This is hopefully a sign that he is in good form and I’m sure that this time he will feel more at home on the YZR- M1 and with the Tech3 team, having worked with us in Malaysia. He can go out, have fun and show his true potential. There are a lot of things that will happen during this weekend, and the championship is still to be decided between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Everyone has a good reason to push and finish the year on a high note. I will say to everyone following MotoGP and our team, come and support us at this last race, which will be the definite end to a great and memorable MotoGP season."