MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP SIGNS OFF WITH 2016 TEAM TITLE AT STIRRING SPANISH SHOWDOWN
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team closed the 2016 MotoGP World Championship today at a sunny yet slightly cloudy Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in supreme form. Jorge Lorenzo stormed out of the gates to clinch a stunning and untouchable victory in his last appearance for Yamaha. Teammate Valentino Rossi also put up a strong fight and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in fourth place to give Yamaha its seventh FIM MotoGP Team Title.
GRAND PRIX OF VALENCIA
Valencia, Spain – 13th November 2016
14:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+1, AIR 22°C / TRACK 25°C, SUNNY / HUMIDITY 42%
1st – JORGE LORENZO, 45’54.228 / 30 LAPS
4th – VALENTINO ROSSI, +7.668 / 30 LAPS
Valencia (Spain), 13th November 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo returned to winning form at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, securing a masterful first place. Teammate Valentino Rossi gave the Spanish crowds an action-packed 30-lap sprint at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo as he fought hard to hold off the competition, taking fourth over the line.
After a perfect qualifying session in Valencia yesterday, Lorenzo arrived at the circuit this morning feeling confident about his pace and it showed in the opening laps. The Mallorcan stormed into the first corner to take the holeshot before creating an over 0.6s gap to the riders in his pursuit. He was the only rider to drop a 1‘36s opening lap before getting into a consistent rhythm of 1‘31s.
As his teammate got into a heated battle with Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez for second place, it was a flawless but lonely ride for Lorenzo. The home-hero maintained an advantage of more than four seconds over his closest rival for most of the race, but decided to slow down his pace in the final stages to end his Yamaha career with a textbook win and a 1.185s margin. Lorenzo‘s run-away victory secured him third place in the Rider Championship standings, highlighting his protagonist status.
Rossi also had a good start from the first row on the grid and slotted in behind Maverick Viñales after riding side-by-side through the first corners. He took a few laps to heat up his tyres before turning up the pressure on the Spaniard on lap four. Not wanting to let the front riders escape, Rossi slipped past him in turn 14, all the while being followed by Marquez.
The nine-time World Champion next set his sights on Iannone and it didn‘t take him long to tag onto the back of his compatriot. What followed was a sensational battle for second place that lasted over 24 laps. Rossi‘s first attack on lap six was successful, but he had to let Iannone past over the line. The Italians then further delighted the race fans at the eighteenth and final Grand Prix of the season with brilliant scraps, swapping places on many occasions.
With Marquez getting into the mix with twelve laps to go, proceedings intensified even more. In turn 2 Marquez overtook Rossi. The Doctor bided his time in the last eleven laps, ready to pounce when the opportunity arose. Over the last seven and a half minutes, as Marquez started to get away, he tried to take over third place from Iannone, but their fight lost him valuable time. With two laps to go Rossi had a final try at securing a place on the podium. Though he was unable to make it stick, he ended up taking valuable points with a hard-fought fourth position, finishing 7.668s from his teammate.
With today‘s results added to the riders‘ scores, Rossi ended in second place in the Rider Championship standings with 249 points. Lorenzo claimed third in the overall rankings with 233 points. Their achievements combined give the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team the 2016 FIM MotoGP Team‘s Title with 482 points and a 28-point advantage over the team in second place.
Tomorrow the team will enjoy a well-deserved day off before they kick off the two-day first official pre-season IRTA test of the 2017 season on Tuesday November 15th in Valencia.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“This is the spectacular way to end the 2016 season. Wrapping up such a competitive season with a perfect victory and a fantastic battle that resulted in a hard-fought fourth place is of course a great outcome and it underlines that Movistar Yamaha MotoGP winning the Team‘s Title is well-deserved. Jorge gave a flawless performance all week and he ended his Yamaha career in the best way possible. Valentino struggled earlier this weekend, but found a good solution for the race. His battle with Iannone was a pleasure to watch for everybody. It was unfortunate that he just missed out on the podium, but he was forced to give up third position due to tyre degradation on the front. However, the points he scored today helped us claim the Team Title, which was our goal for this weekend, so we are pleased. The 2016 season and our work with Jorge have come to an end so this is a very memorable win and Team Title victory, which we will commemorate tonight and tomorrow with a big celebration before we start the first test of the 2017 season at the same track this Tuesday.”
“It has been an incredible weekend with a perfect first few laps, the pole position, the fastest lap, and the victory. I arrived here in MotoGP at 20 years old, taking my first pole position on my first race. After almost ten years I leave with a pole position and a victory, I think I couldn‘t have given Yamaha a better present than this for their support and their hard work during these years. We always had a competitive and winning bike. Now we will enjoy and celebrate these memories. Tonight at the party I will enjoy the last moments with my team. During the race you spend 45 minutes completely focused on what you are doing to dominate this bike, so when you cross the line you aren‘t very emotional yet and you don‘t think too much, because you need to recover. After two or three minutes I started remembering the best moments in my career and also the hard moments and in parc fermé it was very emotional with my team. For sure I will throw one of my biggest and craziest parties today because it‘s a good day. We have to enjoy all of these experiences and especially this last moment with Yamaha.”
“I was pushing from the beginning to the end and the first half of the race wasn‘t so bad because I was in second position, but I wasn‘t fast enough to make a gap and after that I suffered on the second part. Marquez was very strong, so he arrived in second place and after that I had a fight with Iannone. Unfortunately he beat me because he was faster, so just fourth place for me today, but it was a good race. The 2016 season brought a lot of positive things; second place in the championship, a lot of podiums and front row starts. Next year I want to try to win more races, more than two, but we are always competitive. Unfortunately I made some mistakes and I was a bit unlucky with the engine in Mugello so I was a bit too far behind in the championship, but anyway it was a good season.”