2019 MotoGP Valencian Grand Prix Preview

It’s the finale of the 2019 MotoGP season this weekend with a few things still to be decided in the riders’ championship.

Marc Marquez could finish off a dominant season by claiming his sixteenth consecutive top two finish in Valencia. The 2019 MotoGP champion has only failed to finish inside the top two in one race this season, that being at the Circuit of the Americas where he crashed.

18 Malasia GP 31, 1, 2 y 3 de noviembre de 2019, circuito de Sep
Marc Márquez. Malaysian GP 2019” by Box Repsol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Maverick Vinales is third in the championship going into the final round of the 2019 season, having won last time out in Malaysia. It put Vinales seven points ahead of Alex Rins, with the factory Yamaha rider in better form having finished inside the top five in seven of the last eight races while Rins has only been inside the top five in three races across the same period.

Eighteen points separate Rins and Danilo Petrucci who is twenty five points behind Vinales. Petrucci has finished inside the top ten in five of the last seven races and has only retired once all season, that coming at the Australian Grand Prix. He is however only four points ahead of Fabio Quartararo and ten ahead of Valentino Rossi.

Quartararo bounced back from retiring in Australia with pole position and seventh place in the race in Malaysia. Rossi on the other hand goes to Valencia having been either fourth or eighth in eight of the last ten races, having finished eighth and then fourth in the two races prior to this weekend.

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Further down the championship is Aleix Espargaro in fourteenth and Francesco Bagnaia in fifteenth, the two separated by just two points going into the weekend with Espargaro on a three race point scoring run, while Bagnaia has finished inside the top fifteen in the last four races.

Iker Lecuona will make his debut in the premier class this weekend, earlier than expected, as he replaces Miguel Oliveira at Tech3 after the Portuguese rider has been ruled out of the final round of the season due to injury. It does mean however that Lecuona will have a head start of sorts with the team he will be racing for in 2020.

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With Oliveira having missed Australia, Malaysia and now Valencia, it gives Johann Zarco an opportunity to overhaul the Tech3 KTM rider as only three points separate the two. Zarco finished thirteenth on his debut with LCR Honda and was collided into by Joan Mir in Malaysia when Zarco was riding inside the top ten.

This weekend is due to be the last race for Mika Kallio before going back to testing duties, having been riding the second KTM factory bike. He goes into the weekend having finished inside the top fifteen in two of the five races he has contested so far this season, his most recent points finish coming last time out in Malaysia.


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