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MotoGP Rewind: A recap of the #ValenciaGP
Nine different winners, Independent Team winners…twists and turns and one of the most unpredictable seasons ever: that was 2016. The final race of the year saw the circus return to Valencia as has become customary, and it was Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo who took the silverware with a stunning win from pole position in his last dance in blue - and his 250th GP.
The end of a MotoGP™ era in a lot of ways, the number 99 set a record-breaking pole on Saturday to give many a clue as to his intentions come race day – setting the first ever 1:29 lap of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and whittling that down to a 29.6 by the end of the session. Then, it was a Lorenzo classic as the 2010, 2012 and 2015 MotoGP™ World Champion took off in the lead and put in a masterclass of control and pace to seal his final win in blue – although Marc Marquez was catching fast in the latter stages.
Andrea Iannone was another looking to leave his team on a high, and the Italian – despite still recovering from a cracked vertebra sustained in Misano – put on a stunning show to duel it out for the podium. With Marquez free of the melee and chasing down Lorenzo, it was an Italian war for P3 of Valentino Rossi vs Iannone. The ‘Maniac’ won the battle, gaining his final rostrum for the Ducati Team in trademark aggressive style.
With three classic races on Sunday, the Valencian GP was the perfect icing on the cake of 2016. Historic, record-breaking and almost impossible to repeat, the season saw incredible highs and lows for all those in the paddock. One thing was sure, however: MotoGP™ had made history.
After the final 25 points had been awarded, the crowds were gone and the gala prizes given out, the track then welcomed the paddock back once again as the page turned to 2017. One man was barely visible in the crowd of photographers as he headed out on his new bike – the number 99 logo changed to two devils – as Lorenzo began his new era in red and impressed in his first outings.
And further down pitlane, the number 25 was revealed on a Yamaha M1 for the first time. For Viñales, first impressions seemed to be good: he went fastest.
Lorenzo steps out with Ducati
Time will tell what 2017 has in store for MotoGP™ - and the paddock will be back in action for the first time next year on January 30th at Sepang International Circuit as the testing ban ends and the season gets into gear. The show must go on!
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