Dani Pedrosa edged out Johann Zarco in a thrilling late battle to win the final race of the 2017 season at Valencia while Marc Marquez clinched his sixth world title. Marquez was forced to settle for third after an extraordinary escape where he saved a certain crash on his knee while title rival Andrea Dovizioso dropped out himself moments later in a dramatic finale.
Dovizioso had no option but to attack from ninth position on the grid and the Ducati rider climbed to fifth early on, putting him at the tail of a front group led by Marquez from Zarco, Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. A cautious Marquez opted to follow Zarco, letting the Frenchman through on lap four, but Dovizioso was finding progress especially difficult in fifth with Lorenzo unaware of, or unwilling to follow, instructions to let his team-mate past.
A slow burning race exploded into life seven laps from home as Marquez snatched the lead from Zarco, only to lose the front end of his Honda at high-speed under braking for turn one. A trip through the gravel followed, but crucially, Marc stayed upright to re-join in fifth, keeping him on track for the title. Any panic within the Honda camp ebbed away seconds later though as Lorenzo and Dovizioso both crashed out within three corners of each other, bringing the title fight to a close.
Only two remained at the front with Zarco giving everything to hang on for his maiden MotoGP win but Pedrosa would prove too strong, outbraking the Yamaha at the start of the final lap and hanging on to win by a third of a second. The demise of the Ducatis promoted Marquez back onto the podium while Alex Rins followed close behind the new champion in a career-best fourth.
Valentino Rossi took fifth for Movistar Yamaha on a day when his team-mate Maverick Vinales toiled home in twelfth. Andrea Iannone was sixth ahead of Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow with Michele Pirro and Tito Rabat rounding out the top ten.
2017 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana: Result
|1||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||46:08.125||25|
|2||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+0.337||20|
|3||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+10.861||16|
|4||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+13.567||13|
|5||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+13.817||11|
|6||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+14.516||10|
|7||43. Jack Miller||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+17.087||9|
|8||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda||+17.230||8|
|9||51. Michele Pirro||Ducati||Ducati Team||+25.942||7|
|10||53. Tito Rabat||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+27.020||6|
|11||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+30.835||5|
|12||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+35.012||4|
|13||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||OCTO Pramac Racing||+38.076||3|
|14||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||+41.988||2|
|15||8. Hector Barbera||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+47.703||1|
|16||76. Loris Baz||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+47.709|
|17||60. Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+52.134|
|NC||44. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+5 Laps|
|NC||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||+5 Laps|
|NC||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||+6 Laps|
|NC||22. Sam Lowes||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+8 Laps|
|NC||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||+16 Laps|
|NC||45. Scott Redding||Ducati||OCTO Pramac Racing||+26 Laps|
|NC||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+27 Laps|
|NC||36. Mika Kallio||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+28 Laps|