Pedrosa wins as Marquez Claims 2017 Title

by Louis Suddaby

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

126. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team46:08.12525
25. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+0.33720
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team+10.86116
442. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR+13.56713
546. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+13.81711
629. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR+14.51610
743. Jack MillerHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+17.0879
835. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda+17.2308
951. Michele PirroDucatiDucati Team+25.9427
1053. Tito RabatHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+27.0206
1138. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+30.8355
1225. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+35.0124
139. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing+38.0763
1417. Karel AbrahamDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team+41.9882
158. Hector BarberaDucatiReale Avintia Racing+47.7031
1676. Loris BazDucatiReale Avintia Racing+47.709
1760. Michael van der MarkYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+52.134
NC44. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+5 Laps
NC4. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team+5 Laps
NC99. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team+6 Laps
NC22. Sam LowesApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+8 Laps
NC19. Alvaro BautistaDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team+16 Laps
NC45. Scott ReddingDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing+26 Laps
NC41. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+27 Laps
NC36. Mika KallioKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+28 Laps

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