2013 MotoGP Championship Finale Preview
For the first time since 2006 when Nicky Hayden took the title from Valentino Rossi by a mere five points, the MotoGP Championship will be decided at the final round.
And it all goes down this weekend at Valencia, the 18th round in a back-and-fourth series of battles between two Spanish riders – the reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).
Heading into Valencia, Marquez holds a 13-point lead over Lorenzo. The math is simple – the 20-year-old rookie only needs a fourth-place finish or better to take the title from Lorenzo, even if the two-time MotoGP Champion takes the win. Considering Marquez finished third or better in every round but Mugello (DNF, crash) and Phillip Island (DNF, disqualified), a fourth or better shouldn’t be a problem.
And if Marquez, the 2012 Moto2 Champion, displays his patience as he did all season, he can take the title. This would make him the first rookie to take a MotoGP title since Freddie Spencer in 1983.
Weather conditions can quickly change the outcome of the race, such as last year’s scenario when Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the win. Although track conditions declared wet, Pedrosa opted to run slicks. He would take the win ahead of Ben Spies’ replacement rider, Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Casey Stoner (retired, Repsol Honda).
As for Lorenzo, he crashed out on lap 13 of 30, though he already had the title sealed. Lorenzo will do anything possible to take a win, and if he can ride like he did en route to his win at Motegi two weeks ago, this should not be an issue.
Although Pedrosa’s title hopes ended after a third place at Motegi, Pedrosa can help his teammate Marquez by challenging Lorenzo. But this also goes for Lorenzo’s teammate, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. The Italian can also help by challenging Marquez.
The other riders to watch will be Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. The Brit Crutchlow has already sealed his fifth-place finish, and will be looking for an optimal performance aboard the Yamaha before switching to Ducati 2014.
As for Bautista, the Spaniard has improved his performance over the season, and will want to impress his home fans.
The other satellite rider, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, should ride a bit more aggressively as he arrives at full fitness after breaking his right angle in Sepang.
Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden will also be looking for top honors on the GP13 as he gets ready to switch to ASPAR in 2014. His factory Ducati teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, along with Energy T.I. Pramac machines of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Iannone, will be looking to hold off Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro.
Although Espargaro clinched top CRT honors for 2013 MotoGP, his main goal will be to give Parc Ferme another top finish before locals.
This weekend’s final round of MotoGP will also feature Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro and the Australian Martin Bauer aboard the S&B Suter with Remus Racing Team.
2013 Valencia MotoGP on TV
Fox Sports 1 will broadcast Valenica MotoGP live at 8 a.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 10.
2013 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after 17 of 18 rounds):
|14||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||USA||40|
|15||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||36|
|20||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||ITA||11|
|23||Alex DE ANGELIS||Ducati||RSM||5|
|26||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||AUS||2|
|27||Javier DEL AMOR||FTR||SPA||1|