Jorge Lorenzo bids Yamaha farewell with victory in Grand Prix of Valencia-MotoG

Jorge Lorenzo bids Yamaha farewell with victory in Grand Prix of Valencia-MotoG

IT was a fitting way for Jorge Lorenzo to wave goodbye to the factory Yamaha MotoGP squad‭.‬


The outgoing world champion dominated the final round of the 2016‭ ‬season at Valencia‭, ‬leading from pole position to chequered flag and ending a five month victory drought for his team‭.‬



Lorenzo held off a late charge from new world champion Marc Marquez‭, ‬while Andrea Iannone rounded out the podium in third after‭ ‬winning a race-long scrap with Valentino Rossi‭.‬


“This was my final gift to Yamaha‭,‬”‭ ‬Lorenzo‭, ‬who will join Ducati for 2017‭, ‬said‭.‬


Lorenzo checked out in the early laps while a fast-starting Iannone‭, ‬leaping from the third row‭, ‬acted as a cork in the bottle for the rest of the pack‭.‬


Marquez went the other way‭, ‬falling to seventh after a slow start from the front row‭.‬


“The biggest problem of the race was the start‭, ‬I lost a lot of positions‭,‬”‭ ‬Marquez said‭.‬


“But then it wasn’t so difficult to overtake‭. ‬I tried to stay calm and attack‭.‬”


Marquez picked off those in front of him one-by-one until reaching the back of Iannone and Rossi‭. ‬He spent several laps sizing them up before carving his way up to second and slicing time out of Lorenzo’s lead‭. ‬


“With a couple more laps maybe I could have made the pass for the win‭,‬”‭ ‬Marquez said‭.‬


Lorenzo‭, ‬in his 250th grand prix start‭, ‬said he worried about losing the victory toward the end‭.‬


“I suffered those last 10‭ ‬laps‭,‬”‭ ‬he said‭. ‬“I knew he‭ (‬Marquez‭) ‬was attacking so I was pushing to the limit‭.‬”


Maverick Vinales rounded out the top five‭, ‬while Pol Espargaro‭, ‬Andrea Dovizioso‭, ‬Aleix Espargaro‭, ‬Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista completed the top 10‭.‬


Jack Miller left the final race of the season with a point in his pocket for 15th place‭.‬


Marquez will receive his world champion’s trophy in the sport’s prizegiving ceremony on Sunday night‭, ‬but there won’t be much time to rest‭.‬


Preparations for the 2017‭ ‬season begin on Tuesday with the first round of pre-season testing‭.‬


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