Morbidelli looking to bow out on a high at Valencia
Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli heads to Valencia looking for a record equalling ninth victory in the final Moto2 race of the 2017 season.
Morbidelli, who has led the championship since the opening race in Qatar, has racked up 11 podium finishes this season, including eight race wins. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider needs only one more victory to equal Marc Márquez's record of nine Moto2 race wins in a single season from 2012.
If Morbidelli needed any further incentive then it's provided by the fact that this will be his final Moto2 race before stepping up to MotoGP with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in 2018. The Italian would like nothing more than to bow out from the intermediate class from the top step of the podium this weekend in Valencia.
Álex Márquez also heads to Valencia looking to sign off his 2017 Moto2 campaign with a strong showing in Valencia. The former Moto3 World Champion has enjoyed his most successful season in the intermediate class so far, racking up three race wins and three podium finishes on his way to fourth place in the championship standings.
Márquez has won two of the three races held in Spain this season and he heads to Valencia fully fit and keen to fight for his fourth win of the season in front of his home crowd.
“The championship is done, the pressure is gone but I still want to win in Valencia and this is what we will be working towards this weekend. Equalling Marc's record for the most race wins in a single season is not a goal we're focussed on, but it would be nice to finish my last Moto2 race before stepping up to MotoGP on the top step of the podium. Of course, it won't be easy, as we've seen how strong the KTM riders have been the last few races, but we will give it our best shot!”
“I'm fully motivated for the final race of the season and I head to Valencia in a better physical condition that I started the overseas races. This week is the first time since the injury in Misano that I've been able to train normally, so the feeling going into this weekend is very positive. The last race in Malaysia ended in a crash and disappointment, but I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike and putting that behind me with a strong race in front of my home crowd in Valencia.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The pressure is off for both riders as we head into the final race of the 2017 season in Valencia. Franco was crowned as Moto2 World Champion in Malaysia and Álex's fourth place in the championship cannot be challenged by the rider in fifth place. It means Franco and Álex are free to ride their own race this weekend and, as both are not only keen to end the season with a win but also quite capable of doing so, I suspect we'll see them battling together at the front, which would be a fitting end to such a successful season for the team.”