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Dovizioso wins wet Valencia MotoGP, Espargaro takes maiden KTM podium; veteran racer Dani retires

Italian bike racer Andrea Dovizioso Sunday made a frantic win in the restarted Valencia MotoGP race that was disrupted by rains
Italian bike racer Andrea Dovizioso Sunday made a frantic win in the restarted Valencia MotoGP race that was disrupted by rains
PTI
NEWS
Modified 18 Nov 2018
News

Valencia (Spain), Nov 18 (PTI) Italian bike racer Andrea Dovizioso Sunday made a frantic win in the restarted Valencia MotoGP race that was disrupted by rains, as the Spaniard Pol Espargaro claimed the Red Bull KTM's first-ever podium in the premier class.

For Ducati, this is the first win a decade in Valencia and its rider Espargaro has made that possible easily in the restarted race.

Dovizioso secured the win of the 2018 MotoGP campaign, which was stopped after the 15th of the 27 laps in a frantic restarted race in the rained Valencia circuit known for creating many surprising winners.

Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, who has been with Honda Racing all through his career, announced his retirement from the circuit after finishing fifth in the Valencia race Sunday.

After the initial race was red-flagged due to heavy rains making track conditions unsafe after 15 laps, the Valencia MotoGP restarted with a 14-lap sprint event but with notable absentees including reigning world champion, the Spaniard Marc Marquez, who also announced his retirement from professional racing after winning five world crowns including the Catalan MotoGP, and the pole-sitter Maverick Vinales of Spain, as a record number of riders crashed out in the first start.

Spaniard Alex Rins, who darted into the lead in the same style he led the opening race, was chased by Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi of Italy in a three-rider breakaway.

Dovizioso showed faster pace as the rain relented to reel in the Spaniard Alex Rins and pass the Suzuki rider at the very start of the second lap before quickly building a good lead.

Rossi also got by Rins for second place before crashing off while pushing to catch Dovizioso, which instantly gave the Ducati rider a gap to take a lead ahead of Rins and fetch victory for Ducati for the first time in a decade at Valencia.

With Rins settling for second place, Espargaro recovered from an off in the opening race to power to the podium, marking Red Bull KTM's first-ever podium in the premier class.

Ducati test rider and wildcard Michele Pirrograbbed of Italy had an impressive fourth place as Dani Pedrosa signed off his MotoGP career with a battling fifth place as top Honda rider with rookie japanese Takaaki Nakagami impressing in the sixth place for LCR Honda.

The French racer Johann Zarco claimed the top MotoGP Independent honours for the second straight year with seventh place for Monster Yamaha Tech3 on its final race with the Japanese manufacturer.

The Brit Bradley Smith, another to recover from an opening race off, ended his Red Bull KTM partnership with his best result of the year in the eighth place ahead of the LCR Honda stand-in Stefan Bradl of Germany as Tech3's Hafizh Syahrin of Malaysia rounded out the top ten.

The 19th MotoGP has 25 Racers participating at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat, Valencia which saw an impressive Marquez of Honda Repsol team qualifying for the fifth global crown that unfortunately ended in rainy a crash.

Meanwhile, the Moto3 went to Can Oncu of Turkey and Moto2 to the Dutch Miguel Oliveira

Published 18 Nov 2018
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