The most exciting of MotoGP World Championship seasons is coming to an end with the Valencia MotoGP 2021 grand finale, which is to take place this weekend (November 12-14) at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Cheste.
This year, however, the closing event of the season will be particularly special. The Spaniard round will go down in history as the race where Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), the pilot with the most MotoGP awards – a total of seven crowns – finally says goodbye to the competition.
After 26 campaigns in the World Cup, one of the greatest figures of the speciality is ready to retire. Besides his sporting achievements – nine titles in total – his charisma and personality revolutionized the sport.
His memorable feats on and out the track coupled with his sympathy outside of it grew the popularity of motorcycle racing exponentially and earned it a previously unheard of, global following.
The stands of the Ricardo Tormo circuit will be dressed in yellow to share this emotional farewell to the #46, with his colleagues and fans worldwide.
His colleagues will pay tribute to Rossi
His compatriot Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), runner-up in 2021, arrives at the Valencia Moto GP 2021 in great spirits after his third win of the season at the Algarve MotoGP.
The 2020 champion and third classified in 2021, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), for his part, will try and snatch the first triumph of the current season by the Hamamatsu bike.
His teammate, the also Spanish Alex Rins, and his GSX-RR, will hope to conclude a disappointing campaign by emulating his great performance of last year when he almost climbed up the podium.
Although ‘IL Dottore’ is rightfully expected to steal the spotlight on the day, the newly crowned Fabio Quartararo will try to finish the season on a high.
After crashing off of his first GP as World Champion last week in hostile Portugal, he now will compete in a track that is well suited to his machine. The team from IwatTa has taken a total of eight victories at the Ricardo Tormo.
The #MICHELINPower range of tires is ready for the last round of the 2021 season, the #ValenciaGP.
The particular layout and the potential for cold morning conditions will be a good test for the riders and our tires.
Get our raceguide https://t.co/DtY7NayIHF#MichelinMotoGP pic.twitter.com/eai4Md1i8Z
— Michelin Motorsport (@Michelin_Sport) November 10, 2021
Team Title & Rookie of the year
The Valencia MotoGP 2021 will also see the final fight for the Team World Title and Ducati, which already secured the Constructors’ Title last week in Portimao, is eager to seal a double honour.
Also, the title of Rookie of the Year will be decided at the Valencia MotoGP 2021, and at the moment it could go either way with Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) leading Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) by only three points.
The Madrilenian, however, counts with a certain advantage considering this is the track where he got his first-ever victory in a World Championship (Moto3) in 2017 and again in 2020 (Moto2). On top of that, racing at home always gives that extra morale boost.
Marc Marquez, a worrying absence
Unfortunately, Marc Márquez (Repsol-Honda Team) will not take part at the Valencia MotoGP 2021, just as he wasn’t able to compete in Portugal. The winner in Germany, United States and Emilia-Romagna is suffering from diplopia (double vision) caused by a concussion he endured after a fall while he was practising Enduro. Meanwhile, his teammate Pol Espargaro, third in Cheste 2020, will defend the honour of the team of the golden wing.
Finally, current Tech3 KTM Factory Racing couple, Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona will also be saying goodbye to MotoGP in Valencia. The Italian pilot will be heading to the Dakar, while the Spaniard is changing disciplines to the Superbike World Championship.
Images of Valencia MotoGP 2021: Sepang SRT.