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MotoGP riders reflect on Valencia season finale – Jack Miller extended cut

MotoGP 2023

Round 20 – Valencia

Francesco Bagnaia – P1

“I’m super happy, more than this is impossible, also because we won the race so it’s fantastic. I want to say a big thanks to all the team, they did an amazing job, from Barcelona, it was quite tough for us, but we deserved this title more than anyone. I didn’t see anything behind me, I was thinking Jorge was still in the race, and I was quite scared about that. I just was thinking of winning the race because it was the best way to finish the season.”

Francesco Bagnaia
Johann Zarco – P2

“I’m very happy, too bad for the victory, there was this small margin to be able to win, not to be able to pass in front and escape but Bagnaia managed the pace very well and the gap with those behind was managed quite well. When I saw that Miller had fallen with the hard tyre I said to myself that perhaps it was complicated with the hard tyre and that I perhaps had this margin to do something and I managed like That. Then Fabio arrived very, very quickly and when I wanted to prepare to overtake Pecco to avoid Fabio’s attack, it didn’t happen and suddenly it was Di Giannantonio who overtook me. It was hard because the last lap I tried to find the opening but it wasn’t possible. A victory would have been great but the podium is already fantastic.”

Johann Zarco
Brad Binder – P3

“A 3rd place is a 3rd place, even if we didn’t actually go to the podium! I gave away a couple of podiums this year, so I know it’s not fun. Anyway, quite cool to finish in 3rd after coming close. I took an un-needed Long Lap but did well to save the crash because the front tire had been cooling down. A tricky day. I tried to fight my way back through but had no rear tire left at the end. We won two Sprints this year but it would have been good to sign off with a main victory. We just need a little bit more in this off-season to fight. Thanks to all my crew. We’ve made a big step this year and there’s more to come.”

Brad Binder
Fabio Di Giannantonio – P4

“We did an amazing race and the team deserved it. We wanted to win, and we try everything until the last corner. Pecco did an incredible job, there’s a reason he’s the World Champion. We, on the other hand, wrap up an incredible season and I say goodbye to a great team, with whom I’ve spent fantastic moments.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio
Raul Fernandez – P5

“It was a fantastic race, I fought with both the Aprilia factory riders, Maverick (Viñales) and Aleix (Espargaro), and came out the top Aprilia today and that was great. The problem is I always want something more and I saw the podium right there in front. But anyway, I’m really happy with the pace and with what I feel at the end. It was amazing what we did. I would like to thank everyone that has helped me to improve as a rider. It was a difficult year for me, we worked very hard all the season and with that fantastic result, it’s something good to start 2024 in the best way possible.”

Raul Fernandez #25
Alex Marquez – P6

“The pace was good and it’s a shame that we couldn’t finish any higher. Regarding the sanction to Binder a no comment is the best thing, because there has been a lack of coherence during the whole season, and it has been confirmed today. Pecco the right champion, he did well and it’s a shame for Jorge who maybe felt the pressure a bit too much.”

Alex Marquez #73
Franco Morbidelli – P7

“A great comeback from 19th on the grid! It was a great way to finish our journey together. We had a lot of ups and downs, maybe more downs than ups, but in this second year together we did great in many races, and I‘m happy with the way we finished the championship and the way we managed this season. We finished every race, we saw the chequered flag in every Sprint and Race, we were consistent, we were solid, and I‘m happy about that. And I‘m happy about many other things that I saw and experienced, I will carry them with me forever. Let‘s see what the future holds. But these two-and-a-bit years were a great lesson.”

Franco Morbidelli
Aleix Espargaro – P8

“It was extremely difficult today. I was in a lot of pain, especially in the second half of the race. The left-handers were a nightmare. I was unable to shift gears and the last three laps were terrible. In spite of it all, I am satisfied because up to five laps from the end, I stayed five or six seconds behind the leader. I was very fast, but in the last three laps I was losing as much as two seconds every lap. I’d like to end with a thought for my brother, Pol, who rode his last race today. He has always been a point of reference for me, and it was extremely emotional for me to share the track with him for the last time today.”

Aleix Espargaro
Luca Marini – P9

“The race wasn’t bad, in fact today we managed to put in a good performance after a complicated weekend. I started well and kept a good pace. I was hoping for something more to end in the best possible way with the Team, but it wasn’t possible. Thanks so much to the whole crew, they have been wonderful years, we have done a lot together and this season we have made a truly significant step forward. In qualifying above all, which is the key to the weekend, we were among the best, perhaps we could have reached something more in the race, but I’m still happy. A hug to everyone, many congratulations to Pecco who repeated himself and a look to the future.”

Luca Marini
Maverick Vinales – P10

“Unfortunately, we paid the price in the race for an unconventional decision. We chose the soft tyre because, looking at the data collected throughout the weekend, we had less spin and less wear than with the medium. Despite the spin being lower in the race, we had excessive wear which showed that this compound was not the right choice for 27 laps in a row.”

Maverick Vinales
Fabio Quartararo – P11

“Yesterday morning I was already feeling bad, but it was fine with some medicine. But I think I had four hours of sleep in the last 48h, so this is why I look so tired. I was pretty sick this morning, and I still am, but we wanted to do our best for the Race, and this is what we did. 2023 was a tough year, full of experience. Hopefully, next year will be better, and we will be able to battle for better results.”

Fabio Quartararo
Takaaki Nakagami – P12

“It was a difficult race because I didn’t feel good with the front end. In any case, we got to the points, which is always a motivation. I want to thank the team for their job this year, and let’s keep working hard for a better 2024 season!”

Takaaki Nakagami
Lorenzo Savadori – P13

“The first part of the race was not so bad because I was able to fight and stay with Takaaki (Nakagami) and Alex (Rins), but after 10 laps, I started to struggle a lot with the front, but I knew I needed to finish the race as I am testing new parts on the bike, so I reduced my speed a bit. There were a lot of crashes in front and the temperature went down during the race and it was quite a tricky condition. But after that, it was not so bad. At the moment, we need to improve and work more on the 2024 bike for it to be ready for Sepang. But in general, my speed was good and it’s nice to take three points this weekend.”

Pol Espargaro – P14

“It has been an emotional day! Today was not my last time on the grid, but it was very special and emotions were high. I was feeling the people in the stands, the atmosphere, I had my team around, all the riders I have been growing up with around, and I was thinking that I am a lucky guy to have spent ten years chasing my dreams in MotoGP… So today was very special considering all of this. The race was really good, and I was performing better than ever, but then I crashed. The good thing is that I could rejoin the race, and see the final checkered flag, with points. For me, it means a lot, even if we came back with a broken bike. I want to say a huge thank you to my crew for their work this year, and I also want to thank Tech3 and GASGAS for their warm welcome.”

Pol Espargaro
Jorge Martin – DNF

“Well I am happy, even if you don’t believe me. The results, we did history, being a satellite team. I am happy too because the team I have, I am so proud of them.  How they bring me up after such a dramatic result, for sure I wanted to win, but that was really complicated. I think after yesterday’s result we thought it might be possible, but Pecco was stronger. I will still celebrate today.”

Bagnaia and Martin were at it from the off
Jack Miller – DNF

“That’s a hard one to take, having a win slip through my fingers here in Valencia. I had a little cry, it was one of those ones where it got away…

“To be honest I didn’t really feel like I could do too much wrong on Sunday. I went with (KTM teammate) Brad (Binder) and had a moment, so I thought ‘I need to go alone now’. I started having some moments on the right-hand side of the tyre, but I had a good feeling in Turn 4, I had a couple of moments going in but I was able to try to force it to get some more temperature. And then the change of direction with Turn 10-11, I didn’t even get to grab the brakes, she just disappeared underneath me and that was all she wrote.

Jack Miller

“I pushed so hard, we’ve been working our arses off, not only the last couple of weeks, all year … it could have been a really sweet way to end it. But it wasn’t to be. It cooled down this afternoon, lap by lap you could feel it cooling down. It’s 3 o’clock we started the race, it’s nearly f**king dark out there already. We’re racing the last weekend of November. But I’m not going to blame that, it was the same conditions for everybody. (Ducati’s) Pecco (Bagnaia) managed to stay on the bike and win the race and win the championship. He’s been able to do that the majority of the year.

Jack Miller

“I’m happy for Pecco, there was never doubt coming to a clutch moment like that. He’s had his blunders and had his moments, but he showed why he’s a two-time world champion … now a three-time world champion. He’s clutch when he needs to be.

“It’s such a shit way to end the year for me, I feel like every year I’ve been getting better and better. If you look at results on paper, this year is probably the worst it’s been in quite a while but we’ve had a lot of changes and a lot of difficulties this season, but overcome a lot of things.

Jack Miller

“This bike is only going to continue to get better and better, and I hope me as a rider – I hope to continue to get better and better. Twelve months ago, people were saying I’d be out of a job already, and here we are at the last race crashing out seven laps to go from the lead, so I think we can take pride in the year we’ve had.

“All in all it’s been a fun first year with KTM … well, being back at KTM, I should probably say. We’ve had our ups and downs which is normal, but on the whole we can be pretty proud of what we’ve done. You always want more, of course, but still – it’s been a busy year but one I wouldn’t change for anything. It was an uneven season for me in some ways because the first part of it was probably better than we were all expecting, and then it finished how it did. I’m disappointed in that, but that’s MotoGP these days … it’s not like the start of my season gets forgotten, but there’s so many twists and turns over the year that it’s the most recent results everyone remembers. I feel just as fast as I did at the start of the year, but the progression hasn’t been as steep as some of the other guys, and that’s the issue that we face.

Jack Miller

“We’re fighting with the Ducatis and we’re pretty much the only manufacturer consistently fighting with them, so on the whole – when you compare where this project was this time last year to now – we’ve made a big step, and shows how quickly things can change. We’ve made a step, and hopefully we can narrow that gap at the start of next year. We’ve got to have a busy winter, and then get stuck in next year.”

Jack Miller
Marc Marquez – DNF

“Of course it was a super emotional Sunday, honestly a super emotional week and it was hard at some points to contain the feelings. Sadly, we didn’t finish the race today, I was feeling really strong today and I honestly think a podium was possible today and even maybe more. It wasn’t our mistake, and I don’t push against Martin because he was in attack mode. It happens when you’re fighting for a championship. But the most important thing today is to remember all of the incredible times I have had with HRC and the Repsol Honda Team, they will be the team of my life. We have written an incredible story together and they have become more than just my team, they have become my friends and my family. Thank you for everything since 2013, I will not forget any of you.”

Marc Marquez
Marco Bezzecchi – DNF

“For the final race I expected something different, unfortunately the race ended practically at the start. I’m very sorry, I was hoping to give the Team a good finish after a really good weekend. What can I say, in my second year in MotoGP, the third place in the general ranking, behind Pecco, a friend and a great Champion, is something that surprised me too. The three victories and the many podiums are something beyond all my expectations. The Team did an incredible job, they never gave up and I’m proud of them all.”

Enea Bastianini – DNF

“My season ended like it started, it was very difficult today, my speed was not bad but my confidence with the front tyre was too strange, and I entered Turn 1 like the lap before, probably a bit faster to close the gap with Raul, but I lost the front and crashed. It was an unlucky day and an unlucky result, now Tuesday we start with a new adventure. It was a nice battle between Pecco and Jorge for the title, at the end Pecco remained calm, Jorge was a bit more stressed and made two errors, so I’m happy for my team-mate and I hope to fight next year with him.”

Augusto Fernandez – DNF

“It is a shame to finish the season in a crash, because I really felt that I could do a good race after we worked well all weekend. It has been a positive season for us, we had good and bad moments, but we learnt above all. I want to thank the whole GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team, and I look forward to another great season together!”

Alex Rins – DNF

“I would’ve liked to finish my last race differently, but this is part of racing. This season has been the most difficult of my career, and I can only thank the LCR team for their support, help, and hard work. I wish them all the best!”

Team Managers

Claudio Domenicali – Ducati CEO

“One year ago I remember that together with fans from all over the world we celebrated the MotoGP and WorldSBK World Titles, being overwhelmed by joy and enthusiasm. Today we find ourselves once again in a condition of extraordinary happiness, but at the same time I like to define this as the ‘victory of awareness’: that of being at this moment the best in the world in racing. Pecco has had an incredible season and today he rewrites our history again, becoming the first Ducati rider to be two-time World Champion in MotoGP. I also want to congratulate Jorge for having ignited the duel for the title and Bez, who was part of the World Championship challenge for a long time. The podium in the MotoGP overall classification rewards three Ducati riders and this is the greatest and most evident demonstration of our supremacy in the top two-wheel competition. Confirming ourselves at these levels after the fantastic 2022 season was a complex challenge, which we welcomed with passion and pride. The competence and dedication with which everybody has worked during this season have allowed us to improve on last year’s results, adding the Supersport World Titles to the MotoGP and Superbike World Titles. To all the women and men of Ducati and Ducati Corse I want to say that I couldn’t be prouder, while to the Ducatisti I promise that not even this time will we be satisfied, but we will work to win again.”

Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati celebrate an amazing season for the Italian manufacturer
Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager

“We are truly delighted! Winning the title last year was incredible but being able to defend it this year is even more so. It’s been a fantastic season for Ducati, three of our riders are on the podium in the world championship so what more can I say. Pecco and his team have done a sensational job throughout the season, and I am really very proud of them. I’m sorry about how the title fight ended for Jorge. He put his heart into it right until the end. As always, I would like to thank all the men and women of Ducati Corse who work here, but also back home. Without them this second consecutive title would not have been possible. And now, it’s time to celebrate!”

Ducati and Pecco Bagnaia celebrate MotoGP World Championship victory
Pablo Nieto – VR46 Team Manager

“What a season! Marco’s third place in the general standings is something extraordinary for a Team in its second year in the Top class. He impressed everyone with three victories in a very high level category. I’m happy to continue with him in 2024, we’ll still have fun. A truly emotional Sunday, we saw Luca grow and we are happy to have share this path with him. I wish him the best for his future, he is a great worker and professional. As Team Manager, I can only be proud of this group, of all the partners who support us and of Pecco who has signed another beautiful title. Excellent! A heartfelt thank you to everyone.”

Francesco Guidotti – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“It was a great season in that we improved the bike, and the riders put themselves in a position where they could change styles to suit it. It was a very intense calendar and, overall, we’re happy with 4th in the championship with Brad and 2nd in Constructors but this is just a step. I was impressed by how much we could improve in just one season, especially qualifying, and we know there is a little bit more to do if we want the championship. 3rd place was good today after leading the race. We can see the level of this category: just one little thing can really change the results. So, we have to put everything together lap-by-lap to achieve the target. It’s difficult but we recovered a lot this year. We will try again in 2024 and we will keep the focus.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“It was a really hard race, but we can honestly say we gave it our all, and we couldn‘t be prouder of Franky and Fabio for the brave rides they both did today. Franky came from P19, but his feeling with the bike was a lot better compared to yesterday, and he had the pace. It was great to see him push so hard and ride so well on the M1 for one last time. He was really close to the top 5 at the end, but this seventh place at his goodbye race still tastes very sweet. Fabio had a high fever today, and we weren‘t sure if he would race at all this morning. But Fabio is a typical racer: he wanted to go out there and at least give it a try. Doing a 27-lap race at the end of a long season is tough even when you feel fully fit, so we can only applaud that Fabio managed to complete it and finish the season with some extra points. I want to thank Monster Energy as well as our other sponsors and partners for their support this season. I also thank Fabio and Franky, and the whole team for their dedication. We will now try to catch our breath for one day before we start the 2024 pre-season test here on Tuesday with Fabio and Alex.”

Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo
Nicolas Goyon – GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager

“Bittersweet feeling for us as today was not the way we wanted to end the 2023 season. We expected much better from Augusto Fernandez on his home race, but he missed his start and dropped many positions from P13. Later on, he crashed, so it is a disappointing way to conclude his rookie season. Pol Espargaro also suffered from a crash, but I think that he really wanted to head back to the garage on his wheels as it was his last race with us, so he came back with a broken bike, but with two points. It was an emotional end for him. It has been a tricky season for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team overall. Augusto showed high potential, but he now needs to confirm it and turn it into results. We are sure that he will be strong next year. Pol’s crash in Portimao killed all his chances this season, it was a really tough season, but he came back and did everything he could. This is not the season we were expecting, but this is how it is. Thank you to all the team for their work this year, it was a long and exhausting season, but everyone did a great job. Time to focus on 2024!”

Razlan Razali – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Principal

“Well, this is definitely the last dance, for me especially, but for the team, I’m sure there will be a good plan for the 2024 season. It has been an amazing journey for what we have achieved as a team, though it did not end in the best of ways, but we can still be proud for what we have done from 2019 to 2023. Today was an amazing gift from Raul, for him to achieve his best ever position in MotoGP so far with a fifth position is amazing, and I can’t thank him enough for this giveaway present. I wish the team the very best, we have a lot of potential, we are one unit, one team, and we have two amazing riders with Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez. I hope to see everyone again sometime on the track next year and keep on supporting the Aprilia independent satellite team.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Manager

“It has been a bit of a rollercoaster after 40 races, we finally finish here at the end in Valencia with a fantastic race and good weather. It was nice to see Raul fighting for this well-deserved fifth position. We are happy to see him riding again like how he knows he can ride, it was a big achievement because last year was a bit of a struggle for him and he lost his fun in racing, so it’s great to see we have been able to get it back into his DNA. Meanwhile, Lorenzo helped us out with some points for the team with 13th place in the race which is always nice. It’s difficult for him to come out of test riding into racing at the end of the year when everyone is at that sharpest performance. But he did a good job, stayed on the bike and brought it home. So we are looking forward to finish the weekend off, prepare for the test and go back home for the year-end.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“First of all, I would like to congratulate Francesco Bagnaia for his second World Championship title, the 34th title for a Michelin rider in MotoGP.  As for this 2023 championship, it is true that we have had to face many changes, and we are delighted to see that it has been a great success. For the first time, we have combined regulatory developments such as the reduction in the number of rear tyres and the rule on the minimum air pressure to be observed, along with the discovery of new circuits and new developments. There was also the introduction of the Tissot Sprint, which offers great additional exposure to the discipline, but which constitutes an additional commitment for the teams and a logistical challenge for us. The Grand Prix in India, which was completely new, brought its share of exoticism, just as the renewal of the asphalt on certain circuits posed new challenges. Despite all these developments, due to the progress made on the motorcycles and the tyres that we provided to our partners, 36 new records were set throughout the season. Whether it was the race lap time, the all-time circuit lap record or the duration of the Grand Prix, the times have often been improved, and sometimes by a significant margin. I will remember from this very intense season that Michelin was able to meet the expectations of its partners with well-chosen tyres – we have always brought tyres that provided consistent performance and allowed all riders to fight on equal terms, from the start line to the finish line. This is very satisfying for us, at the end of a very hard-fought season.”

Valencia MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI 40m58.535
2 Johann ZARCO DUCATI +0.360
3 Brad BINDER KTM +2.347
6 Alex MARQUEZ DUCATI +4.708
9 Luca MARINI DUCATI +9.486
10 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA +10.556
11 Fabio QUARTARARO YAMAHA +12.001
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA +21.695
13 Lorenzo SAVADORI APRILIA +43.297
14 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +2 laps
Not Classified
DNF Alex RINS HONDA 8 laps
DNF Jack MILLER KTM 9 laps
DNF Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM 18 laps

Valencia MotoGP Max Speeds Across Race Weekend

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 Brad BINDER KTM 337
3 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI 335.4
5 Luca MARINI DUCATI 333.7
7 Johann ZARCO DUCATI 333.7
8 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA 333.7
9 Jack MILLER KTM 333.7
10 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI 333.7
12 Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM 332.1
13 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 332.1
14 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA 330.5
16 Alex RINS HONDA 330.5
18 Alex MARQUEZ DUCATI 330.5
19 Lorenzo SAVADORI APRILIA 328.9
21 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA 327.4
22 Joan MIR HONDA 325.8

Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 BAGNAIA Francesco [ITA] 467
2 MARTIN Jorge [SPA] 428
3 BEZZECCHI Marco [ITA] 329
4 BINDER Brad [RSA] 293
5 ZARCO Johann [FRA] 225
6 ESPARGARO Aleix [SPA] 206
7 VIÑALES Maverick [SPA] 204
8 MARINI Luca [ITA] 201
9 MARQUEZ Alex [SPA] 177
10 QUARTARARO Fabio [FRA] 172
11 MILLER Jack [AUS] 163
13 MORBIDELLI Franco [ITA] 102
14 MARQUEZ Marc [SPA] 96
16 OLIVEIRA Miguel [POR] 76
17 FERNANDEZ Augusto [SPA] 71
18 NAKAGAMI Takaaki [JPN] 56
19 RINS Alex [SPA] 54
20 FERNANDEZ Raul [SPA] 51
21 PEDROSA Dani [SPA] 32
22 MIR Joan [SPA] 26
24 SAVADORI Lorenzo [ITA] 12
25 FOLGER Jonas [GER] 9
26 BRADL Stefan [GER] 8
27 PIRRO Michele [ITA] 5
28 PETRUCCI Danilo [ITA] 5
30 LECUONA Iker [SPA] 0
31 BAUTISTA Alvaro [SPA] 0


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