Dovizioso Masters Rainy Valencia to Win Season Finale

by Louis Suddaby
Andrea Dovizioso - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

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)

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime/GapPts
14. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team24:03.40825
242. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR+2.75020
343. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+7.40616
451. Michele PirroDucatiDucati Team+8.64713
526. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team+13.35111
630. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU+32.28810
75. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+32.8069
838. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+33.1118
96. Stefan BradlHondaLCR Honda CASTROL+36.3767
1055. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+37.1986
1145. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+44.3265
1299. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team+46.1464
1346. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+52.8093
1417. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team+1:10.6282
1581. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing+1:16.7391
NC19. Alvaro BautistaDucatiAngel Nieto Team+7 Laps
NC25. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+14 Laps
NC9. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing+14 Laps
NC93. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team+14 Laps
NC29. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR+14 Laps
NC41. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+14 Laps
NC43. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing+14 Laps
NC21. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+14 Laps
NC12. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+14 Laps
NS10. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia RacingInjured

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