2018 Valencia MotoGP Sunday Results
MotoGP Race – 14 laps, 56.07 km (restarted)
Extraordinary conditions made for an extraordinary afternoon at Valencia for the last race of the 2018 season – as rains struck the main race with such a vengeance that it had to be red-flagged.
By then a number of riders were already down and out, including pole qualifier Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) and 2018 champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), leaving just 16 starters to take part in a 14-lap sprint, the first race doing nothing but determine the starting order.
By the end of it, for the first time in decades, there was not a single Honda or Yamaha on the top-three podium, and a jubilant Red Bull KTM team was celebrating not just a double top-ten finish, but a first podium in the premier class … on a day when the Austrian marque won all three rain-troubled races.
Victory, a 50th for Ducati and his first at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, went to a assured Andrea Dovizioso, who had been in the lead of the first race when it was stopped.
With those results taken back one lap, however, it was Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins starting from pole, after he’d dominated the first 13 laps of the first outing until Dovi took over; and Rins who took second place, for a second successive race. It was the first time since 1994 that Suzuki had taken four podiums in a row.
With Ducati wild card Michele Pirro fourth and the retiring Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa fifth, it was a second successive disastrous race for Valentino Rossi. The Movistar Yamaha rider had a brilliant run through from 16th on the grid to third in the first outing, and was up to second midway through the restart when he had a second successive crash from a podium position. He remounted to finish 13th for two points, but his third overall in the championship was already safe, with the challenging Vinales not able to make the restart.
Dovizioso said: “The first race I didn’t have a lot of feeling, and as it rained more it was very dangerous. For the restart we made a small change and had new tyres, and I could push as much as I wanted … more than the other competitors.”
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Idemitsu Honda) was a best-yet sixth, ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha), who secured the Independent Team riders prize, with rival Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) crashing out of the first race, as did his team-mate Jack Miller.
Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM) was just two tenths behind, while Stefan Bradl (LCR Castrol Honda) and second Monster Yamaha rider Hafizh Syahrin completed the top ten. Even though Franco Morbidelli was another not to make the restart, he still had enough of a margin to defeat Syahrin as Rookie of the Year.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) was 12th, losing 11th on the final lap to Scott Redding (Aprilia).
GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA
MotoGP Race Classification 2018
Cheste, Sunday, November 18, 2018
Final MotoGP World Standing 2018
Click here for all of the latest MotoGP news.
Click here for all of the latest Road Racing news.