Movistar Yamaha Shape Up for MotoGP Finale in Valencia
Following the overseas triple-header, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have made their way back to Europe to wrap up the 2018 MotoGP season at this weekend's big finale, the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Valentino Rossi enjoyed some rest after the three intense race weekends overseas and is ready for battle. He arrives in Spain intent on fighting at the front of the pack again, to end this season on a high note.
Valencia is one of the more challenging circuits on the MotoGP calendar according to the Doctor, but that hasn't stopped him visiting the rostrum. In previous years he secured two premier class wins in 2003 and 2004, three second places in 2002, 2009 and 2014, and three third places in 2005, 2008, and 2010.
Maverick Viñales is excited to be riding in his home country again and is feeling confident that he can delight his fans with a top result. Having had time to recharge his batteries, he is ready to put it all on the line this weekend in Valencia. He aims to bridge the 2-point gap to his teammate and snatch up third place in the championship standings.
The home hero has fond memories of the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He stood on the podium there twice, having grabbed the victory in his first Valencian 125cc race in 2011, and he graced the top-step once more in 2013 when he claimed the Moto3 World Championship Title. His best MotoGP finish was a fifth place, which he secured in 2016.
The 4.0 km Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo was built in 1999 and was immediately added to the MotoGP calendar. The circuit was soon established as a must-be-at event, especially after it became the traditional closing round to the MotoGP championship in 2002. The lay-out includes nine left corners, five right ones, an 876m longest straight, and is ran anti-clockwise. The stadium-style grandstands can seat up to 150,000 spectators and provide them with a perfect view of all parts of the track, giving the final race of the season a unique atmosphere.
Championship: 3rd – Points: 195
"We have already arrived in Valencia. For us it will be an interesting weekend because it's a circuit on which we usually aren't very fast, but in the last races we have seen some improvements. In Malaysia we were very fast during the whole weekend and also in the race. Unfortunately the race didn't end well, but there remain positive aspects. In Valencia we will try to do our best. We would like to finish the season with a positive result. Then there will be tests in Valencia and those in Jerez. It will be very intense weeks."
Championship: 4th – Points: 193
"I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood. After the last three rounds in Asia and Oceania I've spent some time at home, relaxing and resting a little bit, because the overseas races were very demanding. We've worked hard during the lasts months and the bike is competitive. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. Last year it wasn't a good race, but this year I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with another victory. I'm feeling very confident. My goal now is to get the third position in the World Championship and we are very close. Ending the season in the third position after such a difficult season as this one would be a small success for us."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"The triple-header makes time fly, so here we are - already at the final round of the 2018 season. The Valencia Grand Prix is always very special. We're back in front of the European fans and, for one last time this year, we get to give them a great show as we wrap up the 2018 championship. However, they won't have to miss us for long - we'll start testing for the 2019 season immediately afterwards. The atmosphere is really amazing here, and our team gets a lot of support, especially Maverick, as it's his home race. Both he and Vale are in the running to take third in the championship standings. It's a fight just between the two of them, so the team will push hard to provide our riders with the means to close the season in the best way possible."
Zarco and Syahrin Prepared for the Farewell Round of 2018
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco is back in the fight for the best independent rider of the 2018 season following his glorious come back to the podium in Malaysia a few days ago. Thereby, the fast Frenchman leads the internal championship fight with 149 points ahead of Cal Crutchlow (148 points) and Danilo Petrucci (144 points) on his way to Valencia, Spain. Zarco eagerly awaits the final battle in Monster Yamaha Tech3 colours.
Meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin showed a heroic ride to 10th, starting from the back of the grid for his home round at the Sepang International Circuit. The MotoGP newcomer arrives at the 19th round of the season with the mathematical chance to still clinch the Rookie of the Year award, but knows that a 10 points difference to Franco Morbidelli will not be easy to overcome.
The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana marks the last Grand Prix for Tech3 in partnership with Yamaha following a successful 20 years of cooperation. The weekend commences with FP1 at 9.55 local time on Friday.
Championship: 6th – Points: 149
"With the podium I got in Malaysia I arrive in Valencia with a bright smile on my face and happiness in my head to get another great result. My main target is to be the first independent rider and maybe a little bit more. If I can conclude the season in Valencia on the podium in front of Alex Rins and Danilo Petrucci, would mean I can also be inside the top 5 of the final Championship standings, which could be a very nice target. But first of all, I hope for nice weather and a decent temperature in order to gain confidence on this circuit and I think the Yamaha can work well there. With my guys, we found some good things during these overseas races, so we need to make the bike work well again with all we understood and in case we succeed, I'm sure we can have a great weekend. My fingers are crossed to finish this 2018 season as well as possible."
Championship: 16th – Points: 40
"I'm looking forward to arrive in Valencia. Now I'm just focussed to improve myself and I aim to do a great race before the end the season with Yamaha. I just want to be in front of all the rookies for the last round. I can't wait to come to Valencia in a good position. I feel ready and hope everything is going well during this upcoming weekend."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"I can't realize we are already heading to Valencia, which is last Grand Prix of the season. Every year we say the same, but this one sure past so quickly. This is almost a shock having to be ready to finish season in Valencia again. Valencia is always very special and important race at the end of season. Sure, everybody wants to end up on a positive and high note. Last year, we had a dream weekend with Johann being so strong in the race, having lead for most of it and fighting with Marc (Marquez) and Dani (Pedrosa). We had a great result, but also a little bit bitter feeling not to finally win that race, because I think that race we were really thinking about the possibility of a win. Anyway, we ended up second, which was a great way to finish the rookie season for Johann. This year on top of the fact that it is the last race of the season, both Johann and Hafizh will end up on a positive note, you can not forget that this is going to be last race for Tech3 and Yamaha after 20 seasons with Yamaha Japan. It has been an honour for us, a great journey, we did some fantastic achievements and although it's our decision to move and change, this will clearly be a very emotional race for us. I'd like to take opportunity to thank everybody at Yamaha Motor Cooperation Japan for their support, their friendship, their dedication and their understanding on our side to allow us to have grown. Clearly, without Yamaha Tech3 wouldn't be what it is now. We helped each other for sure, I always say, that success comes through stability and this is shown by our relationship with Yamaha. Normally we always say, that we can't wait to be there, but at that points, I'd like to say, that I hope both, Tech3 and Yamaha will enjoy these last four days a GP lasts, that we'll still enjoy each other, have fun and hopefully deliver a great result to end this unbelievable partnership on high note."