Valencia MotoGP 2021: Bagnaia wins Rossi’s farewell GP

Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) has taken his fourth victory (AragonSan Marino & Algarve) of the year at the 2021 season’s finale this Sunday for the Valencia MotoGP 2021.Thanks to this impressive result, the red team has defeated Yamaha for the teams’ crown, just as they did for the constructors’ championship, which they secured at the previous GP.

The most precious of trophies, however, the pilot’s crown, escaped them this year to go to Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha). The French pilot and now 2021 World Champion concluded fifth this Sunday, in the wake of Joan Mir (Suzuki), fourth.

The Spaniard Martin has been the other great winner of the day, defeating Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) for the Rookie of the Year title after winning his fourth podium of the season. 

The rider from Madrid has had an excellent campaign after overcoming a very serious accident in Portugal. His performance has been at such a level that he could well become one of the big MotoGP names next season. 

Farewell to Rossi, the legend 

All of the above, however, has been overshadowed by the farewell of a megastar that will forever shine in the galaxy of two-wheel racing. After 26 seasons and nine crowns, seven in MotoGP, the legendary Valentino Rossi has brought the curtain down on his competing days. His retirement marks the end of a golden era of MotoGP, where he became one of the best pilots of all time. 

After crossing the finish line in tenth place, all other pilots approached him to express their respect, affection and gratitude for what he has given to the sport while the stands, dressed in yellow in his honour, chanted his name in a very emotional tribute.

Martin and Bagnaia dominate the race   

As for the Valencia MotoGP 2021 itself, this can be divided into two clear phases, with Martin and Bagnaia taking turns at the lead of the race. 

During the first part of the event, poleman Jorge Martin held on to the lead of the Valencia GP. For the initial fourteen laps, he kept the Italian at bay, although the latter kept hot on his heels, so much so that they were making similar times.

Then, with thirteen laps left, everything changed. At the 14th lap, the Turinesse passed the Madridlian with a clinical manoeuvre. From that moment on, the scenario changed into one with two incredibly equal pilots going head-to-head for the win. Their matching performances gave the impression that they were bound to keep up the fight right until the final metres. 

Pecco escapes towards victory 

Bagnaia, however, managed to slowly but steadily open up the distance with his rival, soon increasing his advantage to four-tenths of a second. In the end, Martin, who was also concerned about defending his second place, was unable to keep up with the pace of the #63.

Martin’s worries were not unjustified. Down the track, Miller was performing a spectacular come back to get right behind him. Both pilots completed the final laps very close indeed but Martin was able to keep hold of his second place, sandwiched between the two official Ducatis of Bagnaia and the Australian rider. 

Once the checkered flag had been waved, however, all eyes moved on to Rossi. As expected, he stopped in front of the stands to receive a well-deserved tribute from his fans and colleagues. A historic day. 

Images of the Valencia MotoGP 2021: Ducati Corse.

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