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Long before having its own round, Valencia produced some of racings most historic names.
Decades before the opening of the Ricardo Tormo circuit, Valencia had the Cullera street circuit where multiple national competitions were held.
As for riders, in the late 1970s Valencia already had a world champion in the form of Ricardo Tormo who won the 50cc World Championship in 1978 and 1981.
In the following decade, Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’, a native of Alcira, won the 80cc World Title on three consecutive occasions between 1986 and 1988, also taking a 125cc title in 1988. He was the last rider to win two World Championships in the same season.
Riders from Valencia have a history of winning the last titles of a category; Manuel ‘Champi’ Herreros took the final 80cc world title in 1989 after a hard-fought season. Nico Terol would be crowned the last 125cc World Champion in 2011, and become the first rider from Valencia to secure a title in the Ricardo Tormo de Cheste Circuit.
Other notable Valencian pilots include Hector Barbera, Hector Faubel and Alex Debon, who have all reached great heights in various categories of the World Championship. Barbera has twice finished inside the top three of the 125cc championship, also ending the 2009 250cc championship in second. Faubel is best known for his many years in the lightweight and intermediate championships, taking a number of wins and many more podiums.
In the 2015 edition of the Valencia GP there will again be several local riders on the grid. Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) has a chance to clinch the Open class title in the MotoGP™ World Championship. He leads closest rival Loris Baz (Forward Racing) by five points.
In the Moto3™ class Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) is the local rider with the highest chance of finishing on the podium. Born in the town of Pobla de Vallbona, Navarro has starred in an incredible end to the season in the lightweight class.
After being third and taking to the podium for the first time in the Aragon GP, Navarro secured second in Australia and third in Malaysia. Now he heads to the closing round of the year with the aiming of pleasing his home crowd, there are few places more appropriate to take your first win in the World Championship.
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