What a weekend it has been for Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo as he complete his last race weekend after nine years with the team at the Gran Premio Motul de la Communitant Valenciana, with an amazing win.
Amazing results in Valencia for Lorenzo
The Spanish rider, who won the 2015 championship with Movistar Yamaha last year, his third since he joined the team nine years ago, dominated all weekend throughout the final race meeting of the year. He set out with one goal clearly, to go out and win, finishing his Movistar Yamaha career, and his 250th grand prix of his career, on a high, and thank them with a great result. And in doing so, he smashed every lap record at the Spanish circuit in the process.
Last year, Lorenzo’s pole lap time was described as the ‘perfect lap’, since then, the MotoGP class have all had to adapt to changes imposed on them all including a new ECU and new tyre manufacturers as French company Michelin took over as suppliers to the MotoGP class from Michelin.
Lorenzo dominated throughout the weekend
Lorenzo dominated on day one of the meeting remaining on top of the timesheets after the two Free Practice sessions. He conceded the top spot to Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) during Free Practice 3 and Free Practice 4. But come Qualifying, he went out on a charge immediately, after waiting at the end of pit lane for the lights to go out, on an empty track, and smashed his previous pole lap record and setting a low benchmark time for anyone to challenge him.
He returned to the pits and swapped tyres, went back out, completed his out lap and on his next flying lap again improved, lowering the pole position time again and smashing his pole record. He repeated this whole process one more time and had definitely done enough to secure pole for his last race before his move to Ducati; his time of 1:29.401 was 0.340 seconds than second on the grid Marquez, and 0.610 seconds than his previous record the year before.
Lorenzo leads his last race with Movistar Yamaha from start to finish
Lorenzo lined up on the grid for the last time in blue and sporting the Movistar Yamaha decals in the prime spot, he got a great start and was able to pull away immediately. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), who was let go by the team to make way for Lorenzo, tucked in behind them and it was as if the two were pulling away from the rest of the pack in the opening laps.
Iannone couldn’t match the pace of Lorenzo for long, and the Spaniard set the fastest lap of the race on lap five, again smashing his Circuit Lap Record from last year with a time of 1:31.171. Iannone found himself under pressure by Marquez, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) and Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) which helped Lorenzo in extending his lead at the front.
Lorenzo’s tyres put his success in jeopardy
This is how it remained until the race started to draw to a close, and Marquez was able to move up second and continue in his pursuit of the race leader; hoping in the meantime that he could end the 2016 season that he won the championship in, with a win.
It looked like he was going to pull it off, as the champion was able to reduce the gap from 4.5 seconds down to 2.2 seconds with a few laps to go. Lorenzo’s front tyre had begun to show severe signs of deterioration, which contributed to the loss of his lead, but he was still able to cross the line a 1.185 second gap between him and Marquez as he won the final race of an amazing 2016 MotoGP season that led to nine different winners.
Lorenzo discusses an incredible final weekend of the season
Lorenzo described his final race weekend with the Movistar Yamaha team as “incredible” due to a “perfect first few laps, the pole position, the fastest lap, and the victory”. He reminisced about how he “arrived here in MotoGP at 20 years old” and on his first race secured his “pole position”. He then compared it to the present saying, “After almost ten years I leave with a pole position and a victory”.
The Spaniard described how he felt he “couldn’t have given Yamaha a better present than this for their supports and their hard work during these years”. He felt that they “always had a competitive and winning bike” and now he said they will “enjoy and celebrate these memories”.
He planned to, at the party after the race, “enjoy the last moments” with his team. He spoke of how during the race you “spend 45 minutes completely focused on what you are doing to dominate this bike”, and he mentioned that “when you cross the line you aren’t very emotional yet and you don’t think too much” as he said a rider “needs to recover”.
Lorenzo began to reflect on his career
Lorenzo said that “after two or three minutes” he then began to remember “the best moments” in his career and also “the hard moments in parc ferme” which he said was “very emotional” with his team. He confirmed he was going to “throw one of [his] biggest and craziest parties” to mark the Valencia GP as being “a good day”. He said, “We have to enjoy all of these experiences and especially this last moment with Yamaha”.
Lorenzo to get his first go of the Ducati in Valencia two days after the season finale
Combining Lorenzo’s results with his teammate, they secured the teams second consecutive FIM MotoGP Team title. We at Vavel would like to wish Jorge the best of luck in his endeavours with Ducati, he will get his first go of the Italian machinery on Tuesday in Valencia where the MotoGP class will complete their first test over the winter.