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MotoGP finale to play out on a freshly resurfaced Valencia

MotoGP 2023

Round 20 – Valencia

The end of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season promises to be lively affair. After leaving the Losail International Circuit (Qatar) only a few days ago with the title still up for grabs, the two riders still in the running to be World Champion will arrive in Valencia (Spain) determined to win.

Despite being at the end of the season, the fact that the weather forecasts are good and a Spanish rider is still in the running to win the title, could make for a record attendance at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, which is less than 30 minutes from Valencia city centre and the sea.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia is atypical, since it is taken in an anti-clockwise direction. It is one of the three circuits that run in this direction, along with the Sachsenring and Philip Island. As in Qatar, here we will discover a track that has been completely resurfaced in recent weeks, but we will not need to test more specifications than usual because the expected low track temperatures already directs us towards relatively soft compounds.

The podium getters at the Valencia season finale in 2022 with the freshly crowned World Champion, Pecco Bagnaia.

In one corner, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) – 437 points and championship leader, and in the other Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) – only 21 points behind – are preparing for an intense battle. This would be the second consecutive world crown for Bagnaia, or a great first for the Spanish rider from Prima Pramac Racing.

Francesco Bagnaia

After the Qatar GP, we arrive in Valencia with a 21-point lead over Jorge. They definitely give us a bit more breathing space, but they are still not enough to relax completely. Valencia is a track where we have been fast in the past and where we have the potential to do well. Our approach to the weekend will not change compared to the other races. The goal will always be the same: to work well from the first session on Friday and try to fight for the win in the race. I am calm and looking forward to getting on track for this season’s last act“.

With only 37-points left up for grabs this weekend in Valencia, Jorge Martin will have to come out swinging.

Ducati is on a streak of 45 consecutive GP races with at least one rider on the podium.

As ever, it’s not a two-rider race though. But there are two riders who may be particularly interesting, based on where and who they are, as well as what we’ve seen in the last couple of weekends. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) had a tougher Qatar despite scorching up the order on Sunday, but Sepang showed what he’s got, and the risk he’s willing to take – or not – in attacking his teammate.

Enea Bastianini

We have reached the last race of the season. It’s been a really complicated year for us, and I’d like to close it out in the best possible way. Last weekend in Qatar, we took a long time to find our speed: on Friday, we were out of Q2 because of the yellow flags, and on Saturday morning, I was held up in Q1 by another rider, but in any case, I didn’t have the same pace as the others. Then, on Sunday, in the second half of the race, my feeling changed, and I was able to have a competitive pace. The team is working these days to understand why, and in Valencia, we’ll try to be fast already from Friday’s free practice“.

Pecco Bagnaia was crowned World Champion at Valencia last year.

The other is Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), and based on his pitboard messages in Qatar, and more, the plan from the Pramac side may well involve him if they need him. So what will they do? And how much will all the moving parts in this battle argue it out on-track or off?

It’s not even a four-rider conundrum either, taking away the natural conversation around loyalties, teams and factories. Looking at the duel for the crown and wondering who can complicate that is a big question, and the short answer is: pretty much everyone. But on the way in it’s most definitely Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) arriving on the biggest high after that stunning maiden win. With that victory, it also assured there have been no back-to-back Grand Prix winners in MotoGP this year… no pressure on Valencia to complete the history-making stat. 2023 would join only 1949 as a complete season with no back-to-back winners. The Diggia fan club, now with bolstered ranks we’re sure, will most definitely stand against that though.

This will be the 26th time that the Circuit Ricardo Tormo has hosted a Grand Prix since the first visit in 1999. In 2023, the Grand Prix races will be held on Sunday, November 26th, which is the latest season finale in the history of the World Championship.

Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) arrives from a second premier class podium too, as talk about his future also continues to swirl, and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) was a key player at Lusail.

Luca Marini

We arrive in Valencia for the last race of 2023, a very particular track, after a great weekend in Qatar. Let’s check the weather and temperatures, let’s not forget that we are now at the end of November. The goal is to finish on top, be able to show a good performance here too and be there in the leading group. The Top5 in the overall standings would be fantastic.”

Last time out at Lusail, with Di Giannantonio, Bagnaia and Marini, this was the first Italian podium lockout since Silverstone 2015 with Valentino Rossi, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was once again an elbows-out show in the front group too. With Sprint wins and podiums, it’s been a good year for the South African and KTM… but it’s missing that GP win. Can he do it on final chance of asking in 2023? Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) is now out of reach in third place overall, but there are still 37 points up for grabs, of which Binder will be aiming to take home 37.

Bezzecchi, for his part, will want to find that pace that has seen him fight for the crown this season and disappear in races like India, on Sunday at least. After that early drama it also made the Sprint at Buddh seem like a videogame he was playing on an easier mode than everyone else. It’s been a tougher time since his collarbone injury, but there’s one more weekend to make some magic before it starts all over again.

Marco Bezzecchi

The last race of the season is always special here in Valencia, this year we arrive secure of the third place in the Championship. I’m really happy, for myself and the whole Team, it’s a very important result in my second year in MotoGP. I’m happy, but I’ll be even happier if we manage to get competitive again. In Qatar I struggled a lot and I was never really fast. Closing the season with a good result is the goal.”

Meanwhile, some who charged up the order in Qatar will want to do so again, as well as try and make it both through to Q2 and better paying if they do: Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Quartararo was also very far from shy about it, and the tight and twisty venue in Valencia could be a good one for him and Yamaha.

Fabio Quartararo

My race pace in Qatar was really good. I hope that it will be like that in Valencia too. Last year didn‘t go too bad there. I think this year we might be able to do well again. We have to keep a positive mindset and keep the good results going until the end of the season. I think the new surface in Valencia will be good. I heard there‘s a lot of grip now, so hopefully we can make a great Sprint and Race.

Fabio Quartararo has some good memories at Valencia. Pictured here in 2021 after winning the MotoGP Championship alongside 2021 Moto2 Champion Remy Gardner and Moto3 Champion Pedro Acosta.

At Aprilia, it was an eventful flyaways in many ways, some of which they’ll be wanting to turn around in the final showdown of the season. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) is now only six points off Zarco, who sits fifth overall, and Viñales is exactly the same distance behind the Frechman, as well as two behind Marini. But that’s likely more a bonus rather than an aim, with the Noale factory sure to be aiming for the podium as a minimum. Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team), meanwhile, will be aiming for more points after a tougher run, despite some highlights like his lap to go fastest on Friday in Qatar. We also know we won’t have his team-mate Miguel Oliveira on track, with test rider Lorenzo Savadori stepping in.

Raul Fernandez

We start the final race this weekend. I am very happy to be in Valencia, because it is very special, it’s my home race. It’s not easy to realize that we will finish the season soon and I think, I will push as much as I can like last time out in Qatar. I wish we can end this year in the best way possible, so I will do my maximum and try to enjoy the last race. Also, because this will be very important for next year.

Lorenzo Savadori

First of all, I hope that Miguel can recover quickly from his injury and I want to wish him good luck for that! Regarding myself, I can’t wait to get back to work together with the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team. We did a good job at Le Mans and I’m very eager to get back on track as well. I haven’t been riding for a while, because my test program for this season was already done, but together with the whole team, I’m sure, we’ll be at our best.”

Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) produced another stunning ride for his sixth win and tenth podium of a remarkable season, but it was Marquez’s third place – also his tenth rostrum of 2014 – and the Spaniard’s consistency over the year that won the day.
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has four podiums at Valencia including a win in Moto3 in 2014. His other podiums are third places in MotoGP in 2019 and 2021, and second place in 2020/2 after a great battle for the win with Franco Morbidelli. He is pictured here at Valencia in 2014 in Moto3.

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) will still very much want more in the fight at the front, and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) will be aiming high in a final home round of the season, although he scored in the Qatar Sprint for only the second time in his rookie season, and from a direct ticket to Q2. He also took a point on Sunday. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) took two but will be hungry for many more, and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) hasn’t scored since Buriram so that’ll be a goal.

Jack Miller

We’ve got one more race to round this year out in Valencia and that’s one I always look forward to, it’s somewhere I generally go well so it’s one of my favourites. And then of course the post-season test on the Tuesday, hopefully we’ve got a fair few things to throw on the bike and give it a crack. I’m definitely looking forward to finishing the year out strong.”

Augusto Fernandez

Valencia is the closest race to my home in Palma de Mallorca, so this is my home GP, and I am super excited to finish my rookie season in front of my family and friends who will come and support me. We are coming from Qatar with a good speed, I really feel that we are close to getting a good result, so we will give our best to try to finish the season with a strong result at home.

Joan Mir

A long season comes to an end in Valencia, a day of rest and then the next season will start. In Qatar we were able to make an improvement on Sunday which helped my confidence, so the aim is to keep ongoing in this direction in the final race. The track holds good memories for me, not only was it the scene of my first MotoGP win but also where I took the title in 2020. Conditions this late in the year will be a bit tricky there, especially in the morning so we will need to be careful. We keep on working.”

For many others on the grid, it’s the end of one era before the start of another. Zarco bids farewell to Pramac as the two celebrate the teams’ title won last time out, and Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) returns for a final appearance with Honda.

Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) concludes his chapter with Yamaha, and GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Pol Espargaro prepares for a new chapter with the Austrian factory next year, or to use the colloquial term, PIERER Mobility Group AG.

Franco Morbidelli

The Qatar GP didn‘t go the way we wanted, but we will leave that behind us now because we need to focus on Valencia. This will be my last GP with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team, which adds some extra emotion to this weekend. I want to end our run together in the best way possible and make some final nice memories with the crew, so that is the goal.

Pol Espargaro

I am looking forward to going to Valencia. This is a place where I have very good memories, and I know that I will have family, friends and fans who will come to support both the team and myself. All I want is to enjoy this last round as it is set to be the last one of my active career, so I really want to take it all in, have fun with my team, and make this one memorable.

The weekend will also mark not just the end of an era for a rider, team or factory, but arguably one for the sport as one of the most successful combinations of all time go their separate ways: Marc Marquez and Honda.

After 11 years, 169 Grand Prix starts, 59 wins, 64 poles, 101 podiums and six World Championships – Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team prepare to begin new chapters, aiming to end their era defining relationship on a high note.

The combination of the #93 and the Repsol Honda Team RC213V has been a force to be reckoned with from their very first race together, debuting on the podium and claiming victory in just the second race. Since then, Marquez has continued to re-write the history books and broken countless records on his way to six World Championships and 59 Grand Prix victories. The most successful premier class Honda rider of all, it will be an emotional weekend for all involved but the aim is still the same: keep focused and deliver the best possible result until crossing the line on Sunday. With two premier class wins and having never finished a race off the podium at the four-kilometre track, it’s a fitting circuit for his final race with Honda, ahead of what is a seismic shift in direction – his debut with Gresini and Ducati in the test on Tuesday…

Marc Marquez

We have finally arrived at the end of the year. It has been a year full of ups and downs, emotions and difficult decisions. Now we come to Valencia looking to end the season in the best way possible, it’s a track I like and have good memories at. Of course, it’s not just any end to a season, it will be a very emotional one as an incredible chapter in my sporting career, and in my life, comes to a close. Together with the Repsol Honda Team we have made an incredible story over the last 11 years, the good times and the bad have helped me become who I am and this weekend will be about celebrating what we’ve done and enjoying our time together until the very last moments. Let’s make every lap count.”

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
2 MARTIN 416
4 BINDER 268
5 ZARCO 204
7 MARINI 194
10 MARQUEZ 165
11 MILLER 163
18 RINS 54
22 MIR 26
26 BRADL 8
27 PIRRO 5


Not even World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has been able to win three races in a row this season, but that’s exactly what sort of run Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) is on heading to Valencia. As the curtain closer approaches, will anyone be able to stop the Spaniard from ending the year with an incredible four victories?

Aldeguer will be hoping that answer is a firm ‘no’ of course as he chases Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) for the 2023 bronze medal. There are seven points between the duo with one race to go, with Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) also in with an outside shout of claiming P3 in the overall standings.

For the top two – Acosta and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – a victory or podium is all they will want to end their great seasons on a high. Elsewhere, Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) will arrive on home soil flying high on confidence after his debut podium in Qatar. A repeat performance will go down very nicely for the Spaniard…

Moto2 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 ACOSTA Pedro 328.5
2 ARBOLINO Tony 249.5
3 DIXON Jake 194
4 ALDEGUER Fermín 187
5 CANET Aron 175
6 CHANTRA Somkiat 162.5
7 GONZALEZ Manuel 142.5
8 LOPEZ Alonso 134
9 OGURA Ai 132.5
10 VIETTI Celestino 116
11 SALAC Filip 110
12 LOWES Sam 95
13 ROBERTS Joe 85.5
14 GARCIA Sergio 84
15 ARENAS Albert 79
16 BALTUS Barry 53
17 RAMIREZ Marcos 52
18 ALCOBA Jeremy 47.5
19 BINDER Darryn 34
21 FOGGIA Dennis 28
22 GUEVARA Izan 20
23 VD GOORBERGH Zonta 17
24 TULOVIC Lukas 12
25 PASINI Mattia 11
26 HADA Taiga 4.5
27 ESCRIG Alex 3
28 SKINNER Rory 2
29 KELLY Sean Dylan 1
30 GOMEZ Borja 0
31 NOZANE Kohta 0
32 TORRES Jordi 0
33 SURRA Alberto 0
34 TATAY Carlos 0
35 DALLA PORTA Lorenzo 0
36 AGIUS Senna 0
37 RATO Mattia 0
38 MINAMIMOTO Soichiro 0
39 CASADEI Mattia 0
40 DANIEL Kasma 0
41 RUIZ Yeray 0
42 SANCHIS David 0
43 AZMAN Helmi 0
44 BALDASSARRI Lorenzo 0


With Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) clinching the title last time out in Qatar, the pressure is off heading to Valencia as the Circuit Ricardo Tormo plays host to the season finale – and it’s a track most of the field knows like the back of their hands.

The main question now is: who will claim second in the overall standings? The other question will be who can end this rollercoaster 2023 season on a high. After missing out the title in Lusail, Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) will be in all-out victory mode before he steps up to Moto2™ in 2024. But it won’t just be the Japanese rider in that frame of mind.

The likes of David Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – a Valencia podium finisher in 2022 – also saw their title hopes vanish in Qatar, and they’ll all be hunting 25-point hauls in Valencia.

Will Masia end his title-winning campaign with a victory, or will it be one of his closest challengers – or someone else – standing on the top step come Sunday? Joel Kelso would certainly like to end season 2023 on a high….

Moto3 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 MASIA Jaume 271
2 SASAKI Ayumu 243
3 ALONSO David 225
4 HOLGADO Daniel 212
5 ÖNCÜ Deniz 212
6 ORTOLÁ Ivan 171
7 VEIJER Collin 136
8 MOREIRA Diogo 131
9 RUEDA José Antonio 111
10 MUÑOZ David 106
11 TOBA Kaito 105
12 NEPA Stefano 101
13 ROSSI Riccardo 79
14 YAMANAKA Ryusei 78
15 ARTIGAS Xavier 77
16 FURUSATO Taiyo 58
17 BERTELLE Matteo 57
18 KELSO Joel 52
19 SUZUKI Tatsuki 50
20 FENATI Romano 35
21 SALVADOR David 31
22 OGDEN Scott 24
23 FERNANDEZ Adrian 23
24 MIGNO Andrea 17
25 PEREZ Vicente 15
26 FARIOLI Filippo 15
27 FELLON Lorenzo 6
28 AZMAN Syarifuddin 5
29 CARRARO Nicola Fabio 5
30 WHATLEY Joshua 5
31 AJI Mario 4
32 ALMANSA David 0
33 ADITAMA Arbi 0
34 BUASRI Tatchakorn 0
36 LUNETTA Luca 0
37 SHAHRIL Danial 0
39 KEANKUM Krittapat 0


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