Marc Marquez produced yet another ride of sheer brilliance to win the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix despite starting last on the grid. The newly-crowned champion sliced through the majority of the field on the first lap before overhauling long-time leader Julian Simon two laps from the end.
At the opposite end of the grid to Marquez, Pol Espargaro made a cautious getaway from pole position on a damp track and was overtaken straight away by local favourite Nicolas Terol. The reigning 125cc champion streaked clear with Simon taking second from the polesitter. Marquez had already overtaken 22 of the riders ahead of him within a lap and was already up to eleventh.
On lap two, Marquez was into the top ten at the expense of Mika Kallio but wet-weather specialist Gino Rea was proving a match for the world champion, keeping him in tenth for the opening series of laps. The Briton was actually the one making major progress early on, climbing up to fifth but Marquez was finding overtaking tough. Simone Corsi’s lack of pace handed one spot over to him while Pol Espargaro slid off on lap eight, promoting Marc to seventh.
Moments after Pol’s fall, Simon had taken the lead from Terol after diving through at the final corner but the action was continuing further back as Johann Zarco became the latest rider to crash in front of Marquez, handing fifth to the no.93.
Gino Rea and Dominique Aegerter still separated him from the leading duo and Marquez set about trying to change that by diving up the inside of the Gresini rider at turn ten, the same corner he collided with Corsi at on Friday. Rea fought straight back at the next corner but two laps after his first attempt, Marquez made the move stick to take fourth. Sadly for Gino, he wouldn’t be able to mount another counter-attack due to a fall at turn two.
Marquez turned his attentions to third-placed Aegerter and the controversy continued to follow him. Under braking for the first corner, the Spaniard barged into the knee of Aegerter, forcing the Swiss rider wide. Marc took full advantage to take third and although he did make a gesture of apology, the only thing that followed was his disappearance up the road.
With clear track in front of him, Marquez proceeded to take a second-per-lap out of the two ahead of him, bringing him onto the tail of Terol on lap 20. We wouldn’t be treated to a repeat of their thrilling 125cc battles of 2010 though as Marquez swept through at his favourite overtaking place, turn ten, and Terol was powerless to stop him.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Simon once Marquez took second but that didn’t stop the Avintia Blusens team from encouraging on the pitwall. Despite his best efforts though, a maiden Moto2 victory would elude him again as Marquez breezed past at the end of lap 25. One had to feel sorry for Simon but the brilliance of Marquez was on full display yet again, whetting the appetite for his debut on MotoGP machinery in the coming week.
Terol came home a jubilant third for his first podium since clinching the 125cc title here last year while Thomas Luthi came on strong to snatch fourth from fellow countryman Aegerter. Jordi Torres claimed a superb sixth on the second Aspar Suter ahead of Mika Kallio while Pol Espargaro remounted to finish eighth, beating Toni Elias and Esteve Rabat on the final lap.
Gino Rea also survived a fall to score points in twelfth but Bradley Smith and Scott Redding couldn’t close out the season with a top fifteen finish, the former riding a Moto2 machine for the last time before joining Tech 3’s MotoGP outfit.