Andrea Dovizioso wrapped up the 2018 MotoGP season with his fourth victory of the year on a dramatic afternoon in miserable conditions at Valencia. The Ducati rider won ahead of Alex Rins and Pol Espargaro who took a historic first premier class podium finish for KTM. This all came after a mid-race stoppage due to a torrential downpour which caught out several of the key runners.
Under gloomy skies, Maverick Vinales was quickly engulfed after starting from pole position as Alex Rins stormed into an early lead. Dovizioso led the chase of the no.42 Suzuki but the second group was decreasing in numbers by the lap, with Jack Miller, Marc Marquez, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Iannone all sliding out of the race in worsening conditions.
With standing water becoming a serious problem, Rins was reeled back in by Dovizioso with Valentino Rossi moving into contention after a remarkable ride from 16th on the grid. This boosted his hopes of securing third in the championship but that was rubber-stamped when Vinales crashed out of fourth on lap twelve. This was one of the last pieces of action before race direction threw a red flag, wisely calling a halt to proceedings.
After a half-hour delay, the race resumed over 14 laps with the same leading trio taking over at the front. Dovizioso would prove the strongest this time though as he left Rins trailing. Rossi appeared the only rider able to give chase and looked on course for a comfortable second but a crash at turn 12 consigned the Doctor to a full season without a victory, whilst also promoting Rins back into second.
KTM’s Espargaro, who tumbled himself in the first part of the race before the red flag neutralised the situation, brought his bike home in third for an emotional debut rostrum for himself and the factory. Michele Pirro also rode superbly to finish fourth while Dani Pedrosa brought the curtain down on a magnificent career with fifth place.
Takaaki Nakagami was a fine sixth ahead of Johann Zarco and Bradley Smith while Stefan Bradl and Hafizh Syahrin completed the top ten.
2018 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana (Result)
|1||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||24:03.408||25|
|2||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+2.750||20|
|3||43. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+7.406||16|
|4||51. Michele Pirro||Ducati||Ducati Team||+8.647||13|
|5||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+13.351||11|
|6||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Honda||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||+32.288||10|
|7||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+32.806||9|
|8||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+33.111||8|
|9||6. Stefan Bradl||Honda||LCR Honda CASTROL||+36.376||7|
|10||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+37.198||6|
|11||45. Scott Redding||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+44.326||5|
|12||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||+46.146||4|
|13||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+52.809||3|
|14||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+1:10.628||2|
|15||81. Jordi Torres||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+1:16.739||1|
|NC||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+7 Laps|
|NC||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+14 Laps|
|NC||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+14 Laps|
|NC||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+14 Laps|
|NC||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+14 Laps|
|NC||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+14 Laps|
|NC||43. Jack Miller||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+14 Laps|
|NC||21. Franco Morbidelli||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+14 Laps|
|NC||12. Thomas Luthi||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+14 Laps|
|NS||10. Xavier Simeon||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||Injured|