Marquez and Mir look to end 2018 in style in Valencia’s grand finale
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir are confident they can conclude the 2018 Moto2 World Championship in positive fashion when the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia hosts the final round for the 17th season in succession this weekend.
For the fourth time this season, Alex Marquez and Joan Mir can count on passionate home support when they go in search of a podium in the final race of 2018 at the 4km Valencia track in Spain.
Marquez and Mir are still firmly in contention to clinch fourth position in the overall World Championship standings from Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri.
After a stunning pole position and hard fought ride into the top 10 in Malaysia, Alex Marquez is just five-points adrift of Baldassarri going into Sunday’s crunch battle.
Alex Marquez has great memories of Valencia from when he took a nerveless third place in a nail-biting title decider against Jack Miller to win the 2014 Moto3 World Championship. And last year he stormed to a sensational pole position before finishing fifth in the Moto2 encounter.
Joan Mir, who has already secured the 2018 Moto2 ‘Rookie of the Year’ award in dominant fashion, also has desires on fourth place in the overall standings and he still has a great opportunity to achieve that given he is only two-points behind teammate Marquez.
Mir too boasts an excellent record in Valencia and he was beaten by the small margin of 0.056s by Brad Binder in the 2016 Moto3 showdown. He repeated second place one year ago with a remarkable recovery from 19th after he was forced off track while fighting inside the top three on lap three.
This weekend’s Moto2 race marks the end of an era for the intermediate World Championship ahead of an exciting technical switch in 2019.
Sunday’s race will be the final time that the Moto2 field will compete against each other using the Honda CBR600RR-inspired engine that has powered the category since its inception in 2010.
Next season, the Moto2 grid will race against each other using the new Triumph 765cc three-cylinder motor, and Marquez and new teammate Xavi Vierge will begin preparations for 2019 immediately after Valencia with an important three-day test session in Jerez from November 23-25.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS is immensely proud to have made such a valuable contribution to Moto2 in its current format, with victories for Scott Redding, Mika Kallio, Tito Rabat, Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez. Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS won the 2014 and 2016 titles respectively with Rabat and Morbidelli, and the team is now eager to repeat its tremendous past success when Moto2 starts a new chapter next season.
The action in Valencia this weekend gets underway with FP1 on Friday at 1055am local time, with the final race scheduled to start at 1220pm on Sunday.
Alex Marquez: 5th in the overall standings on 157 points
“It’s always a special emotion to be in Valencia”
“Valencia has always been a special track for me and I have always been able to ride fast there. It’s always a special emotion to be in Valencia after 2014 and I know I will have incredible support from my fans like always. I want to finish the season strongly and enjoy the weekend before our attention turns to 2019 with the very important first official test with the new Triumph engine in Jerez.”
Joan Mir: 6th in the overall standings on 155 points
“The crowd in Valencia is always very passionate”
“I’m really looking forward to the race in Valencia, as it is the last race of the season and the crowd there is always very passionate. Last year I was ready to win the Moto3 race, but I had a run off track due to the crash of another rider and I had to make a comeback for the second place. It will be also my last Moto2 race, so I would like to make a great result as a farewell to the class and I am determined to end my brief but hugely enjoyable time with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS on a high note.”
Track facts / Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Cheste, Spain)
Length: 2.489 miles (4,005 metres)
Width: 12 metres
Corners: 9 (left) + 5 (right)
Longest straight: 876 metres
Moto3 Race: 25 laps, 62.3 miles (100.1 km)
Best pole: Johann Zarco (1'34.879 – 2016)
Circuit record: Tom Lüthi (1'35.312 – 2016)
Top speed: Pol Espargaro, 173.3 mph (279.6 kph) – 2012)
2017 race winner: Miguel Oliveira (43'15.845)