Eight months after the start of the 2018 championship season, which kicked off at the Losail circuit in Qatar in March, the MotoGP teams and riders have arrived in Spain for the nineteenth and final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, which is held every year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, on the outskirts of Valencia.
Thanks to the results obtained in the previous round at Sepang, Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati come to Valencia with second place in the Riders’ and Constructors’ standings firmly in the bag, while Jorge Lorenzo intends to conclude his partnership with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer in the best possible way, despite the aftermath of his recent injury. In any case 2018 has been another positive year for Ducati with six wins to its name – three for each rider – together with four seconds and two thirds.
Dovizioso has ten starts to his name at Valencia in MotoGP, with his best result being a third place in 2011, while last year the Italian rider crashed six laps from the end while in third place. Jorge Lorenzo has taken part in nine editions of the Valencia GP, winning four of them and demonstrating total supremacy in 2015 and 2016.
It will be the third race of the year on the Desmosedici GP for Michele Pirro, after Misano and the Sepang round, where he replaced Lorenzo. The Italian rider has taken part in five Valencia GPs in the MotoGP category, scoring a best result of fifth in 2012, while the year before Michele was able to win in Moto2.
Ducati has scored two MotoGP wins at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2008.
After 18 races, Dovizioso is second overall in the Riders’ standings with 220 points while Lorenzo lies in tenth with 130. Pirro, who has taken part in just two races this season, is in twenty-seventh place with 1 point.
The Valencia weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 09.55 CET, while the 27-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (220 points)
“Sixth place at Sepang meant that I finished second in the championship and we wanted to bring home this very important result at all costs. Now at Valencia we come up against a track where in the past we have struggled quite a bit: this year however I expect us to be fast and the race will also be an important test to understand in which areas we have to improve to be more competitive next year.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (130 points)
“We have arrived at the last race of the season and even though I still won’t be 100% fit, I would really like to finish my adventure in Ducati with a good result. It’s difficult to know what condition my left wrist will be in, but luckily I feel much better than in Sepang and on Friday morning I’ll go out on track with the hope that I won’t have too much pain and that I can be competitive. My two years in Ducati have been very intense and I’d really like to say goodbye to my team with a good race. For sure our fans, who always come out in force at Cheste, will also help to make this weekend special.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 27th (1 point)
“I’m happy to be back on track for the last round of the season and be able to work all weekend with my squad and the guys in the test team. As always, we’ll try and do a good job and bring home as much information as possible. We recently went testing here at Valencia and so we’ve got a good starting base. Let’s hope we can enjoy ourselves and finish - with a good race - a season that after my crash at Mugello has seen me recover really well.”
The Valencia circuit
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit at Cheste, which was built in 1999, hosted its first Grand Prix the same year. The track has several different configurations, with varying lengths, and all of them lap in a counter-clockwise direction. Although the track itself is relatively tight and compact, the massive grandstands all around can contain more than 150,000 spectators. The circuit layout helps to create a unique atmosphere, both for the riders and the enthusiastic Spanish fans, who always fill the stadium for the last GP of the season.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’31.171 (158.1 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’29.401 (161.2 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati) 335.9 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.0 km
Race Distance: 27 laps (108.1 km)
Corners: 14 (9 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Ducati and Casey Stoner will not continue the collaboration agreement that has seen them work together since 2016.
The accord had been stipulated on a three-year basis (2016-2018) and in these three years, thanks also to Casey’s important contribution, Ducati has constantly improved the performance of the Desmosedici GP, which is now considered to be one of the most competitive bikes in the MotoGP World Championship.
The collaboration between Ducati and Stoner also contributed to the final development of the Panigale V4, as well as offering important suggestions for the development of other bikes currently in the Ducati range. In his role as Ducati ‘brand ambassador’, Casey was one of the undisputed stars of the last two editions of WDW (World Ducati Week) in 2016 and 2018, in which the Australian champion actively took part, and where he was greeted with incredible signs of affection by Ducatisti from all over the world.
“Casey is and will always remain in the hearts of Ducatisti and it is also on their behalf that we wish to thank him for the important collaboration he has offered us over the last three years,” commented Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. “His technical indications and suggestions, together with the work and the feedback of the factory riders and Michele Pirro, have helped to make the Desmosedici GP one of the most competitive bikes on the grid, and his advice for the development of our production bikes has been just as precious and useful. Ducati and its many fans wish to offer their sincere thanks and their best wishes to Casey and his family for a serene and happy future.”
“I want to thank Ducati for the great memories and especially the support and enthusiasm of the Ducati fans for our shared passion for racing and motorcycling, I’ll always remember this,“ added Casey Stoner. “Over the past three years I have really enjoyed doing my job with the test team, the engineers and technicians, as we worked towards improving the Desmosedici GP package and I sincerely want to wish the team all the very best for their future endeavours.”
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 14:57 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Andrea Dovizioso dominated the San Marino GP, round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, which was held today at the Misano circuit in Italy. At his home race, the rider from Forlì started from row 2, then overtook his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to move into the lead on the sixth lap. He held the position right until the end of the race, taking the chequered flag 2.8 seconds ahead of Marquez.
Sunday, 09 September 2018 18:05 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Two weeks after his Silverstone pole, Jorge Lorenzo has done it once again at the Misano Adriatico circuit by setting a new outright track record during the second qualifying session. His time of 1’31.629 means the Spanish rider has now set three poles this season, taking the Ducati Team up to a total of 40 pole positions in the Italian manufacturer’s history in MotoGP.
Sunday, 09 September 2018 11:36 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Fantastic performance by Ducati Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso to take pole position and second place in British Grand Prix qualifying
The Ducati Team riders had a brilliant day in difficult conditions at Silverstone today, with Jorge Lorenzo setting pole position in Q2 ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in second place.
Sunday, 26 August 2018 13:43 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Jorge Lorenzo scored a splendid victory in the Austrian Grand Prix, round 11 of the MotoGP World Championship, which was held today at the Red Bull Ring circuit near Zeltweg in Styria.
Sunday, 12 August 2018 18:47 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Ducati Team had an excellent day today at the Red Bull Ring, with its two riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo qualifying second and third respectively for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix. The all-important Q2 session was held on a dry track after the morning’s FP3 run, which was run in the wet, left the overnight positions unchanged.
Saturday, 11 August 2018 18:47 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo take the top 2 places on the first day of Austrian GP free practice at the Red Bull Ring
It was a good start for the two Ducati Team riders at the Red Bull Ring near Zeltweg today, where this weekend’s eleventh round of the championship – the Austrian Grand Prix – is taking place.
Friday, 10 August 2018 20:40 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Both Ducati Team riders put in great performances today at the Automotodrom circuit near Brno, with Andrea Dovizioso celebrating his 100th GP for Ducati by winning the Czech Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who finished a close runner-up.
Sunday, 05 August 2018 23:37 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Ducati Team riders get off to a good start in the German Grand Prix, with Jorge Lorenzo first and Andrea Dovizioso fourth on the opening day of practice at the Sachsenring
The German Grand Prix weekend got off to a positive start for both Ducati Team riders at the Sachsenring. After two free practice sessions at the German circuit, Jorge Lorenzo ended the day at the top of the timesheets with a fastest lap of 1’20.885 while his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was classified fourth with a time of 1’21.309.
Friday, 13 July 2018 14:32 Published in Rider and Team Releases