MotoGP – 2015 Season Finale in Valencia, Spain

The helicopter shot from above the starting grid set up the story: Jorge Lorenzo was on pole, while his teammate and only championship rival Valentino Rossi was in last place.  For either man to win the 2015 title, he would have to beat the other.

Lorenzo set not only the fastest qualifying time to achieve his pole position for today’s final round of the 2015 season, but smashed the lap record too.  In what he called “the lap of his career”, the 28 year old used his trademark butter smooth riding style to decimate the previous circuit record set by Marquez last year.  It not placed him in command for the the start of today’s race, but was a harbinger of things to come.

Rossi, for his part, reverted to type, looking more relaxed and almost jovial in the preamble.  There was nothing to do but take risks and push as hard as possible to try and reach the front runners in a bid for the world championship he characterized as “desperate”.

From the green lights, there was red mist in his eyes.  By the first corner, Rossi had moved up seven places.  By the end of lap 4, he was 9th out of 22.  Mounted aboard what has consistently been the best motorcycle of the 2015 season and armed with the most MotoGP experience of anyone in history, this in an of itself was not shocking.  But the aggression was surprising.  The opening laps of any motorcycle race are a free for all melee, where physical contact is frequent and serious damage can occur.  Rossi passed strong mid-fielders like brothers Aleix and Pol Espargaro, and Andrea Iannone under heavy breaking, often with millimeters of margin to spare.

Meanwhile at the front, Lorenzo, Marquez and Dani Pedrosa had stormed off in that order, with Lorenzo commanding every lap with characteristic perfection.  Like so many times before, Lorenzo peeled off lap after lap within a few tenths of a second of each other, demonstrating the consistency that has paid off for him so often before.  Marquez got close, particularly in the final five laps, but never made an attempt to get past.

By mid race, Rossi was in a strong fourth, and pulling ahead of the rest, but the gap between himself and the leading trio was nearly 12 seconds, an almost insurmountable amount of ground to make up.  Rossi’s world championship hopes depended on Repsol Honda riders Marquez and Pedrosa getting past Lorenzo.

Pedrosa overtook his teammate twice for second place in those final few laps, but Marquez retaliated immediately.  The result of this skirmish was that Lorenzo pulled a half second ahead in the final two laps making his victory almost assured.  Lorenzo crossed the line to complete a perfect weekend, and to win his third MotoGP world championship, his fifth at grand prix motorcycle racing level.

2015 MotoGP World Champion : Jorge Lorenzo
Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 156.7 45’59.364
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 156.7 +0.263
3 16 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 156.7 +0.654
4 13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 155.6 +19.789
5 11 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 155.2 +26.004
6 10 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 155.1 +28.835
7 9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 155.1 +28.886
8 8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 154.8 +34.222
9 7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 154.7 +35.924
10 6 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 154.5 +39.579
11 5 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 154.5 +39.746
12 4 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 154.1 +47.053
13 3 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 153.7 +54.081
14 2 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 153.6 +56.646
15 1 45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 153.5 +57.278
16 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 153.5 +57.363
17 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 153.4 +58.742
18 6 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 153.4 +59.086
19 76 Loris BAZ FRA Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 153.1 +1’04.339
20 24 Toni ELIAS SPA Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 153.1 +1’04.413
21 43 Jack MILLER AUS LCR Honda Honda 153.1 +1’05.212
22 13 Anthony WEST AUS AB Motoracing Honda 151.9 +1’27.281

7 thoughts on “MotoGP – 2015 Season Finale in Valencia, Spain”

  1. The most hollow championship in years,

    Marquez should be explaining himself to Honda for playing gaurd behind Lorenzo not even a single attempt to pass or pressure the Yamaha?

    Lorenzo ??? Thumbs down on the podium at the last GP towards his Yamaha teammate ,

    But the biggest crime of all in getting his lawyers involved in trying to crash the Court of Arbitration hearing that he has no business in (against his Yamaha teammate ) This makes him the most political racer since Alan Prost in F1

    Yamaha Management … No comments from them that I have read on their opinion regarding Lorenzo politic’s ,???

    This year should have been a fair fight between 2 riders and the cards would have fallen in the right place,

    Rossi from last to 4th a great day’s work , if he had started even in 6th on the grid the rythum at the front would have been very different .

    Alan Prost is the least liked F1 champion ever and Lorenzo is fast on his way to joining him from the 2 wheel world

    1. I’d suggest Shumacher (who Marquez seems to be trying to emulate — great talent marred by dirty driving) is disliked even more than Prost, but I’ll agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments! If I was in charge of Yamaha I’d kick Lorenzo so far out the door he wouldn’t have a clue where he landed.

  2. I’m taking credit for this but I agree 100% with your comments.

    “Repsol — Spanish
    Movistar — Spanish
    Lorenzo — Spanish
    Marquez — Spanish
    Dorna — Spanish
    Rossi — Italian”

    “Just sayin’ …”

    1. Sorry to have mis-attributed your excellent quote! For the record, I don’t believe Honda would be involved in any mischief, Dorna I might give a pass to because of Rossi’s value to the sport (and therefore Dorna’s majority owner Bridgepoint Capital), but I’m convinced that little sh*t Marquez had his own agenda (certainly supported by repsol if not Movistar), to the point of getting in the way of his own team-mate at the end of the race.

  3. Shame that such a great season had a slimy ending that’ll forever cast doubt on Lorenzo’s title. Rossi’s press conference after the race reinforced his conviction that Marquez was doing his best to keep him (Rossi) away from the title. I’d say that was problematic in Australia, absolutely no doubt in Sepang, and probable in Valencia. I mean, when has Marquez NOT made a do-or-die attempt to get past somebody?

    After the race Lorenzo said, “They (Marquez and Pedrosa) knew what I had in play. The fact they are Spaniards like me helped me.
    “That helped me because for sure in another kind of race they would have tried to overtake, which they didn’t this time.
    “If Valentino had been in my position and with Italians behind they would have done exactly the same. The title had to be for Spain.”

    Seems to confirm Rossi’s opinion. Sad, really.

    As was posted elsewhere, I believe by TK4 …
    Repsol — Spanish
    Movistar — Spanish
    Lorenzo — Spanish
    Marquez — Spanish
    Dorna — Spanish
    Rossi — Italian

    Just sayin’ …

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