Round 19 Valencia

  • Honda Wins MotoGP’s Coveted Triple Crown Again

    The sterling efforts of Marc Marquez and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa crowned a remarkable and historic season for Honda, by securing the triple crown of Riders, Constructors and Teams World Championships for the second year in a row.


Honda Wins MotoGP’s Coveted Triple Crown Again

CIRCUIT RICARDO TORMO, Valencia, November 18, 2018

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) didn’t finish today’s rain-lashed season finale at Valencia, but the sterling efforts of the 2018 MotoGP World Champion and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) crowned a remarkable and historic season for Honda, by winning the MotoGP Teams World Championship to secure the mighty RC213V the triple crown of Riders, Constructors and Teams World Championships for the second year in a row.

The coveted MotoGP triple crown is the perfect way to celebrate the 70th birthday of the company that Soichiro Honda founded in 1948. And Honda has made a lot more history in this landmark year. Marquez’s fifth MotoGP riders title is the company’s 20th in the premier class, following the successes of fellow Honda champions Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Alex Crivillé, Mick Doohan, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer.

This year’s MotoGP constructors title is Honda’s 24th in the premier class, extending the company’s record which is already far beyond its closest competitors. This championship is also Honda’s 69th constructors success across all Grand Prix classes. And earlier this year Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) won Honda’s 750th Grand Prix, another all-time record and a significant number for the company that started the superbike revolution 50 years ago with the 750cc CB750.

Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa

Marquez started the race from the second row, after crashing during yesterday’s qualifying session. The man who has won five of the past six MotoGP world titles was in the running for another podium to complete what has been a remarkable season until the rain intensified and he lost the rear at turn nine and fell heavily, hurting his left shoulder which he had dislocated when he fell in yesterday’s qualifying session. The 25-year-old Spaniard will have remedial surgery following the final winter tests of 2018 later this month and will be back to full strength for 2019 preseason testing which starts next February.

The race was later red-flagged as conditions deteriorated and a restart arranged, which could only be contested by the riders who were still running when the original race was stopped.

Last year’s Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was one of eight riders unable to make the restart for this reason. The 23-year-old was having a strong ride until he also fell, as the conditions worsened. Indeed he might have taken his best-ever result if he hadn’t fallen, but he ended the day on a happy note with the excellent consolation of securing the important Rookie of the Year prize.

With Marquez unable to take part in the restart, it was left to Pedrosa to carry the Repsol Honda Team colors. The 33-year-old Spaniard splashed his way to an excellent fifth in his final Grand Prix before retirement, which ends an amazing 13-year career with the Repsol Honda Team.

This was Pedrosa’s 295th Grand Prix race, following his debut in the 2001 125cc Japanese GP. The Little Samurai ends a glittering career during which he won 54 GP races – across all three classes, making him Honda’s most successful race winner alongside Mick Doohan – and took the 2003 125cc World Championship and the 2004 and 2005 250 World Championships. In the 70 years of Grand Prix racing only two riders have scored more podiums than Pedrosa’s 153: Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.

The next man to take the checkered flag after Pedrosa was 26-year-old Japanese rookie Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), who scored the best result of his premier-class apprenticeship in sixth place. The result made sure he completed the year 20th in the championship.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) also had a great ride to finish ninth. Bradl was once again substituting for Crutchlow, who was injured during last month’s Australian GP. The 28-year-old rode an excellent race in only his fifth Grand Prix outing of the year.

Honda’s third rookie Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was another who crashed out of the original race.

Moto2 World Championship runner-up Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) won today’s Moto2 race, the last to be powered by Honda CBR600 engines, which have been used since the championship’s inaugural 2010 season. During that time Honda’s four-cylinder 600cc streetbike engines have completed 158 races and covered almost 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles), more than three returns trips to the moon, with only a handful of failures during that time.

The race started on a soaking wet track, with 15 crashes during the 25 laps. Oliveira led the early stages, before Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) took over at the front. Honda’s 2014 Moto3 World Champion forced the pace, upping his speed throughout, while Oliveira gave chase, followed by Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM).

Sadly, Marquez’s hopes of scoring his first victory of the year ended when he slid off. The 22-year-old Spaniard hastily remounted and did superbly to take the final place on the podium in third place, some way behind podium first-timer Lecuona and Oliveira. Vierge also crashed and was unable to continue.

Twenty-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing Tech 3), son of Honda’s 1987 500cc World Champion, muscled his way into fifth place in the final laps, his best-ever Grand Prix finish. His last victim was Catalan GP winner Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing Speed Up), who bettered Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) by less than a second. Twenty-one-year-old Grand Prix newcomer Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40 Kalex) had another great ride to eighth, less than a second behind Schrotter.

The Moto2 top ten was completed by Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex). Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) finished the race two places behind Corsi, equalling his second-best result of the season.

This year’s Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) finished 14th after being barged off the track after just two corners when team-mate and pole-starter Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) fell, along with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex) and Joan Mir (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) crowned his superb Moto3 World Championship victory with a fine ride to second place in the soaking-wet first race of the day. The 20-year-old Spaniard crossed the line four seconds behind Can Oncu, who simultaneously became the youngest-ever Grand Prix winner (at 15 years and 115 days old), the first Turk to win a Grand Prix and the first rider to win on his debut since Noboru Ueda won the 1991 Japanese 125cc Grand Prix at Suzuka.

There were numerous tumbles in the treacherous conditions, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) the first to go at the fourth corner of the first lap, taking with him Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW).

The early leader was pole-starter Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda NSF250RW) who led the first 11 laps, eking out a narrow lead over Oncu. But on lap 12 of 23 he fell at the tricky turn four – the first right-hander of the anti-clockwise circuit with a downhill entry to the corner, which makes it easy to lose grip. The 18-year-old Italian was distraught after his tumble, which robbed him of a potential first Grand Prix victory.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) battled with Martin for a podium finish for much of the race, until the 20-year-old Italian made a small error. He eventually finished fourth, to make sure of the runner-up position in the riders championship, giving Fausto Gresini’s team a title one-two. Honda had already won the constructors crown, its 18th in Moto3/125cc class. Martin’s riders title success was Honda’s 17th Riders World Championship in the category.

Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) splashed his way through the conditions – which caused 15 crashes, none of which was serious – to take the checkered flag in fifth place to complete the 2018 season fourth overall, ahead of first-lap fallers Dalla Porta and Canet, who nonetheless finished the year fifth and sixth overall, making it six NSF250R riders in the top six of the championship.

Front-row starter Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) finished the race in eighth place, his best-ever Grand Prix result. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) was 11th.

MotoGP winter testing begins at Valencia on Tuesday. The two-day outing is followed by another two-day session at Jerez later this month. Next year’s testing starts at Sepang, Malaysia, in February.



Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 5th
“For sure I had a particular feeling before today’s race, knowing that the moment of my final race had arrived. Well, actually it turned out that I had two! Unfortunately the weather was really tricky. In both races, I struggled so much with the rear and couldn’t really get on the gas. I was actually expecting to have a better feeling in the second race, as there was less water on the track. But we changed the tires and I had no grip, so I could only try and finish the race with no crashes. It’s a bit of a shame, but when I got back to the pits, I found everybody waiting for me – the team, my family, my people – and there was a very emotional atmosphere. I was pleased to see their emotion. It meant a lot to me. Now I’ll have several events to attend, but after that I’ll try and have some time to myself and relax a bit before next year.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 6th
“It was really tough. I was scared on every lap, each corner, but it’s an amazing feeling. It’s a little bit strange, I never thought I’d finish as the top independent rider, but it’s an amazing day for me and a great race. There was a lot of pressure, but last night Cal (Crutchlow) texted me and told me to concentrate, make no mistakes and, because I had nothing to lose, push hard. That was great, so thanks to him, and also to my team, it’s an unforgettable day. It’s so good to finish the season like this and now we will look to next season, starting with the test here on Tuesday. But tonight we will definitely have a party!”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda CASTROL: 9th
“First of all I would like to say thank you to HRC and LCR for the support and help I have received after replacing Cal for these two races. I also wish Cal well and hope he can return next year even stronger on the bike. I enjoyed working with LCR again, there are still a lot of things I remember from the past. Today was an incredibly difficult race as you could see from the track condition, the amount of water there was incredible and there were many crashes. My confidence in the wet was not great because I don’t have any experience riding the MotoGP bike in the wet, so for this reason I needed some laps to feel good. It took a while, but in these conditions it’s easy to make mistakes and I’m happy I finished the race in ninth position. It’s ok and thanks to the team for all their efforts.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: DNF
“Today I had a big highside, but the shoulder was okay, just a bit painful from yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a mistake that I chose the medium rear tire on the grid, as that turned out not to be the best option. I said sorry to the team, as it was my decision; I had felt really good on it in FP3, but when it began to rain heavily after the start, everything became very difficult and got worse and worse, as it was difficult to keep the temperature in the tire. Anyway, now it’s time to enjoy these final moments having achieved the triple crown, which is something really special. The season has been very good, one of my best, without too many mistakes; today’s was probably my worst one. I’m really proud of my 2018 season, but a new one begins on Tuesday.”

Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: DNF

“This was good race for me. It was exciting and I was having fun because I started from 15th position was in fifth when I went out. When the heavy rain came and conditions started to get dangerous I didn’t slow down as I should have so I ended in the gravel and didn’t get the bike back to the box in time for the re-start. I was fast in the wet conditions and this makes me very happy.”

Thomas Luthi, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: DNF
“The final race of the season ended little early but there were some positives because I could fight with and overtake some other riders. The crash was a sad moment but I had aquaplaning with the rear wheel and high-sided. The conditions were quite tricky and I was not the only one to crash like this. I didn’t score any points but I was determined to get the best out of this race so it was important to take a chance and feel the limit.”


Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 1st
"We end the season with a great result that was what we were looking for this weekend. We took a victory in difficult conditions, because the track was drying out and the tire temperature was increasing, making it very easy to make a mistake. I tried to control my pace, not brake too hard, not push excessively and take the win. Today the most important thing was not to be the fastest rider; It was a matter of being consistent and not making mistakes. At the start I calmed down and focused on taking the lead, but then I saw that Marquez was coming through strong and I did not want to fight so early in the race. I stayed behind him until he made the mistake and I was able to control the rest of the race. It is important to have won the team championship because the guys have been working hard for many races and tests. We have always fought for the top positions. I congratulate everyone for this achievement. We have been able to finish on a high with Red Bull KTM Ajo. I thank them for three amazing years."

Iker Lecuona, Swiss Innovative Investors: 2nd
“That was amazing – the race was so difficult because yesterday qualifying went so badly for us after I had a crash. This morning when we saw the rain we thought this will be perfect for me, because on Friday I worked very well with my team in the rain and we got some good lap times. I pushed a lot in the race, and when Marquez and Vierge crashed I made sure that I was very smooth, so that I dint also crash. It’s an amazing day – thanks to everyone who pushed me to this result.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 3rd
To come back and finish on the podium after my crash is a good result which secured my fourth place in the championship which is satisfying. I’m a little disappointed because the victory was there, I could feel it, but I was pushing a lot out front. I decided to breathe a little bit and be more calm but made a small mistake. The podium is a good finish to the season and I want to thank my team who did a great job and I’m happy for that even though the results we expected did not come.”


Jorge Martin, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 2nd
“The goal was to finish on the podium. It wasn’t easy given our starting position but I did all I could to get back to the front without taking too many risks. Diggia and I had a good pace and I capitalized on his mistake to pull away and seal second place. I’m really happy for the team: we won it all this year and I’m especially happy because Fausto deserved it. I hope the team will keep winning in the future. Thank you so much.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 4th
“I’m really happy: at the beginning I managed to pass a lot of riders, but the race was tough. Once I saw that Bezzecchi had crashed out, I tried to control proceedings. When I had that moment on corner exit I decided to just go for the points I needed and as soon as I was told that fourth place was enough, that’s all I cared about. We are vice-champions and I would like to thank the team for this amazing year.”

Enea Bastianini, Leopard Racing: 5th

“It was a very difficult race, marked by many crashes in the very first moments. I had to be careful because every time I wanted to overtake, there was a crash in front of me! So the leading group ran away immediately and I had trouble to get them back. However, I managed to keep a good pace throughout the race, claiming many positions and crossing the finish line in fifth place: a nice end for this season and my Moto3 experience.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 19: Valencia Race

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
3 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
4 Michele PIRRO (Ducati Team)
5 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Johann ZARCO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
8 Bradley SMITH (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
9 Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda CASTROL)
10 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
11 Scott REDDING (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
12 Jorge LORENZO (Ducati Team)
13 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
14 Karel ABRAHAM (Angel Nieto Team)
15 Jordi TORRES (Reale Avintia Racing)
RT Alvaro BAUTISTA (Angel Nieto Team)
RT Maverick VIÑALES (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
RT Danilo PETRUCCI (Alma Pramac Racing)
RT Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
RT Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
RT Jack MILLER (Alma Pramac Racing)
RT Franco MORBIDELLI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
RT Thomas LUTHI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Iker LECUONA (Swiss Innovative Investors)
3 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
4 Mattia PASINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
5 Remy GARDNER (Tech 3 Racing)
6 Fabio QUARTARARO (HDR Heidrun - Speed Up)
7 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
8 Augusto FERNANDEZ (Pons HP40)
9 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
10 Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
11 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing)
12 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
13 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)
14 Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
15 Jesko RAFFIN (SAG Team)
16 Isaac VIÑALES (Forward Racing Team)
17 Xavi CARDELUS (Marinelli Snipers Team)
18 Jules DANILO (Nashi Argan SAG Team)
19 Federico FULIGNI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
20 Lukas Tulovic (Forward Racing Team)
RT Niki TUULI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
RT Xavi VIERGE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
RT Tommaso MARCON (HDR Heidrun - Speed Up)
RT Jorge NAVARRO (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
RT Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
RT Sam LOWES (Swiss Innovative Investors)
RT Khairul Idham PAWI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
RT Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
RT Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Pons HP40)
RT Joan MIR (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Jorge MARTIN (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
3 John MCPHEE (CIP - Green Power)
4 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
5 Enea BASTIANINI (Leopard Racing)
6 Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)
7 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
8 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT (Honda Team Asia)
9 Marcos RAMIREZ (Bester Capital Dubai)
10 Celestino VIETTI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
11 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
12 Stefano NEPA (CIP - Green Power)
13 Raul FERNANDEZ (Angel Nieto Team)
14 Andrea MIGNO (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
15 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
16 Kazuki MASAKI (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
17 Gabriel RODRIGO (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
18 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
19 Darryn BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
20 Marco BEZZECCHI (Redox PruestelGP)
RT Vicente PEREZ (Reale Avintia Academy 77)
RT Philipp OETTL (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing)
RT Tony ARBOLINO (Marinelli Snipers Team)
RT Izam IKMAL (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
RT Albert ARENAS (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
RT Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
RT Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
RT Aron CANET (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
RT Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
RT Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)