Italian bike racer Dovizioso wins wet Valencia MotoGP
Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, who has been with Honda Racing all through his career, announced his retirement from the circuit after finishing fifth in the Valencia race Sunday.
Italian bike racer Andrea Dovizioso Sunday made a frantic win in the restarted Valencia MotoGP race that was disrupted by rains, as the Spaniard Pol Espargaro claimed the Red Bull KTM's first-ever podium in the premier class.
Dovizioso secured the win of the 2018 MotoGP campaign, which was stopped after the 15th of the 27 laps in a frantic restarted race in the rained Valencia circuit known for creating many a surprising winners.
After the initial race was red-flagged due to heavy rains making track conditions unsafe after 15 laps, the Valencia MotoGP restarted with a 14-lap sprint event but with notable absentees including reigning world champion, the Spaniard Dani Pedrosa rpt Dani Pedrosa, who also announced his retirement from professional racing after winning five world crowns including the Catalan MotoGP, and the pole-sitter Maverick Vinales of Spain, as a record number of riders crashed out in the first start.
Announcing his retirement, Dani said "For sure I had a particular feeling before today's race, knowing that the moment of my final race had arrived. Well, actually it turned out that I had two! Unfortunately the weather was really tricky. In both races, I struggled so much with the rear and couldn't really get on the gas.
"I was actually expecting to have a better feeling in the second race, as there was less water on the track. But we changed the tyres and I had no grip, so I could only try and finish the race with no crashes. It's a bit of a shame, but when I got back to the pits, I found everybody waiting for me—the team, my family, my people—and there was a very emotional atmosphere.
I was pleased to see their emotion. It meant a lot to me. Now I'll have several events to attend, but after that I'll try and have some time to myself and relax a bit before next year."
Spaniard Alex Rins, who darted into the lead in the same style he led the opening race, was chased by Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi of Italy in a three-rider breakaway.
Dovizioso showed faster pace as the rain relented to reel in the Spaniard Alex Rins and pass the Suzuki rider at the very start of the second lap before quickly building a good lead.
Rossi also got by Rins for second place before crashing off while pushing to catch Dovizioso, which instantly gave the Ducati rider a gap to take a lead ahead of Rins and fetch victory for Ducati for the first time in a decade at Valencia.
With Rins settling for second place, Espargaro recovered from an off in the opening race to power to the podium, marking Red Bull KTM's first-ever podium in the premier class.
Ducati test rider and wildcard Michele Pirrograbbed of Italy had an impressive fourth place as Dani Pedrosa signed off his MotoGP career with a battling fifth place as top Honda rider with rookie japanese Takaaki Nakagami impressing in the sixth place for LCR Honda.
The Brit Bradley Smith, another to recover from an opening race off, ended his Red Bull KTM partnership with his best result of the year in the eighth place ahead of the LCR Honda stand-in Stefan Bradl of Germany as Tech3's Hafizh Syahrin of Malaysia rounded out the top ten.
The 19th MotoGP has 25 Racers participating at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat, Valencia which saw an impressive Marquez of Honda Repsol team qualifying for the fifth global crown that unfortunately ended in rainy a crash.
Meanwhile, the Moto3 went to Can Oncu of Turkey and Moto2 to the Dutch Miguel Oliveira.
(With inputs from agencies.)