Marquez dominates Valencia finale, Miller claims podium
World champion Marc Marquez completed another dominant season by taking his 12th win of the MotoGP campaign from Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller at the Valencia finale.
The Repsol Honda rider once again proved unstoppable as the Spaniard helped secure the teams’ title to complete an impressive season, which has seen Marquez score a record points tally.
Marquez initially found himself behind the fast starting Miller (Pramac Ducati) and polesitter Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT).
However, the early stages of the race quickly developed into a duel between Marquez and Quartararo, but it was the former who prevailed before cruising to victory.
Quartararo finished a comfortable second, while Miller ended the season with a credible third, his fifth podium of the season.
Meanwhile, three-time premier class world champion Jorge Lorenzo ended his glittering MotoGP career by claiming points in 13th position from his final race.
It was the fast starting Miller that got the holeshot and led the field into Turn 1 but was immediately under pressure from Quartararo.
By Turn 2 Quartararo had found a way by the Pramac Ducati to take the lead while Marquez stalked the pair in third at the end of the opening lap.
Marquez soon set his sights on Miller, passing the Australian at the final corner on the second lap.
Behind, factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins fought over fourth as Maverick Vinales dropped to seventh.
At the front, Quartararo and Marquez began to break away from Miller in third as the battle for the lead intensified.
Marquez ramped up the pressure on Quartararo, who had opened up a half a second lead in the opening laps.
The pressure eventually took its toll as the six-time premier class world champion swept into the lead with a move on Quartararo at Turn 11 on Lap 8.
Once ahead, he wasted little time and quickly established a healthy gap as Quartararo began to fall into the clutches of Miller.
Just shy of the halfway mark the race lost three riders as Danilo Petrucci, Johann Zarco (LCR Honda) and debutant Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM) found the gravel at Turn 6.
Petrucci was the first to fall and slide into the gravel trap before being joined seconds later by Zarco and 15th placed Lecuona in separate incidents.
Bizarrely after losing the front of his bike Zarco climbed to his feet in the gravel trap and began to walk to from the incident only to be cleaned off his feet by Lecuona’s errant bike.
Zarco was stretchered away from the corner and taken to the circuit’s medical centre before returning to his pit garage.
While thoughts were with Zarco, Petrucci’s crash ultimately ended Ducati’s team’s championship hopes, handing the Repsol Honda squad the title.
As Marquez continued to surge towards another win, there was plenty of action behind as Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed out of sixth at Turn 4.
Morbidelli joined a list of retirements that included Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Michele Pirro (Ducati).
As the laps ticked by there was no stopping Marquez, who went on to complete a stunning season with yet another victory, as Quartararo took second.
Miller came home a comfortable third ahead of Dovizioso and Rins.
Vinales was left to settle for sixth while Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM) rounded out the top 10.
Race results: Valencia MotoGP
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||41:21.469|
|2||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||+1.026|
|3||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Pramac Racing||Ducati||+2.409|
|4||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||+3.326|
|5||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||+3.508|
|6||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+8.829|
|7||36||Joan MIR||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||+10.622|
|8||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+22.992|
|9||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||+32.704|
|10||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+32.973|
|11||53||Tito RABAT||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||+42.795|
|12||82||Mika KALLIO||FIN||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+45.732|
|13||99||Jorge LORENZO||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+51.044|
|14||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||+1:04.871|
|15||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAS||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||+1:16.487|
|DNF||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1 Lap|
|DNF||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||9 Laps|
|DNF||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||14 Laps|
|DNF||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||14 Laps|
|DNF||27||Iker LECUONA||ESP||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||14 Laps|
|DNF||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||17 Laps|
|DNF||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||19 Laps|
Race winner: 27 laps