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Spanish roadtrip: Valencia, a colorful GP !

Our Frenchman Johann Zarco will finish Rookie of the Year on the Tech 3!

After exploring Italy last September, I used my favorite excuse, MotoGP to reach Spain and the city of Valencia, and attend the end of a colorful season... Well, colors ! This will be discussed precisely in this story. Indeed, in mid-November, the Iberian Peninsula is bathed in light and warmth that take us far from the first chills of the French winter. So, would you like to follow me on the Valencia MotoGP ? Let's go!

Spain: world leader in Motorcycle Speed!

During the 1960s, the world of motorcycle Grand Prix was dominated by Italy. After an unchallenged reign of King Agostini, the Americans arrived at the end of the 70s with their style from Dirt Track. They will dominate the discipline until the 90s…

It was not until 1999 that Spain captured its premier 500cc title with Alex Crivillé. However, this breakthrough will quickly be stopped by a young Italian newly arrived in the premier category, a certain Valentino Rossi. On the other hand, since the 2010s, and Jorge Lorenzo's premier coronation, Spain has won seven titles in eight seasons. In order to understand this hegemony, several elements can be put forward…

With his first MotoGP title, Jorge Lorenzo launched Spanish domination!

Jorge Lorenzo began Spanish domination in 2010 with his 1st MotoGP title.

First of all, the Spanish have a national championship allowing the accession of young pilots to the highest level in the world. The CEV (Spanish Speed ​​Championship) is home to the Moto2 European Championship and since 2015, the Moto3 Junior World Championship. Look no further, this is it grand Prix talent pool !

If several Moto3 World Championship teams also have CEV structures, Team Monlaù EG 0,0 is present in all categories. From Moto3 Junior to MotoGP … A real launching pad for aspiring riders.

Aron Canet, Monlaù EG 0.0 driver

Aron Canet, prodigy from the CEV and riding under the colors of Team Monlaù Estrella Galicia 0,0!

Then, the country has numerous circuits, four of which host MotoGP . So, Jerez, Barcelona, ​​Aragon and Valencia are part of the calendar every year. For the Motorland Aragon, the schedule is even busier with the reception of the World Superbike in April.

Last point, the majority of sponsors who adorn the fairings of the World Cup motorcycles are Spanish... Of course, money does not equal talent. But when you have money, you often have the best parts… And that helps.

Valencia, a city to discover urgently!

Because the motorbike is always a good excuse to travel, I suggest you follow me to discover Valencia…

Yes, we are at the beginning of November in the heart of Valencia!

Valencia in November is the perfect anti-gloominess remedy!

Thanks to its geographical location on the edge of the Mediterranean, the city enjoys mild weather for most of the year. I know, saying it like that while the cold has taken up residence in France, it's nasty. But during our visit, we had more than 20°C every day... In the middle of November, that's always the case! Brief. Let's put the weather aside and get lost in the historic heart of Valencia...

Halfway between tradition and modernity, the center of the city offers rich architecture. Just start from thereNorth Station (Gare du Nord sounded less “real”! Haha), to bypass the arenas and head towards the Plaza del Ayuntamiento before getting lost in the streets surrounding the Mercado Central

What could be more typical than an arena in the city center?

No doubt, you are in Spain!

After walking so much, if you feel hungry and you want to do something local, two options are available to you. Between tapas and Valencian-style paella, the hungriest stomachs will have something to occupy themselves. Here, the plates are generously garnished and the flavors are spicy…

Once satisfied, let's leave the Spanish gastronomy and head 30 kilometers further west, towards the town of Cheste.

Cheste: dream setting for suspenseful finale

Inaugurated in September 1999 in Cheste, the ricardo Tormo circuit is decidedly sinuous. Its name was given to it in homage to a Valencian pilot who died in 1998, who was titled in 50 cm³ at the end of the 1978 and 1981 seasons.

If from its first year of operation, the route hosts a round of the motoGP calendar, it will become the host of the championship finals from 2002. Its design is close to that of an arena. Indeed, the stands surround the track and offer you a breathtaking view of the action. It doesn't matter where you are! By the way, don't look for a lawn here. Only “permanent” places are available…

The Ricardo Tormo arena with its track in the center...

The Ricardo Tormo circuit: a real arena!

Despite the 30 km that separate the Ricardo Tormo circuit from Valencia, it is easily accessible. In fact, in addition to the traditional road networks, a train departing from the Valencian city center serves the route. When we know that the Valencia MotoGP recorded the highest attendance of the season ahead of Le Mans (Cocorico!), the fact of favoring public transport can be important.

The presentations having been made, let's leave the container aside to focus on the content... Saturday November 11. It’s 2:30 p.m. THE premier category qualifications are preparing to deliver their verdict for the last time of the season.

The Valencia MotoGP at the culmination of an intense season…

When they arrived in Spain, Joan Mir in Moto3 and Franco Morbidelli in Moto2 were already titled. On the contrary, in MotoGP , the fight rages on... Indeed, after 17 rounds of rare intensity, Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso are still in the running for the title.

Riding his Ducati, Desmo Dovi won 6 victories in 2017!

Six victories this season for Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati!

Author of an impressive start to qualifying, Marquez fell a few minutes before the end of the session... While there was astonishment in the public, Johann Zarco was announced early after the first half of his last lap. The Frenchman will narrowly fail to take pole from the Honda driver, and will start from 2nd place on Sunday. If in the MM93 box, we exult, on the side of the Ducati stand the faces are closed... Dovizioso, author of an average qualifying, is content with 9th place on the starting grid. The title moves a little further away for the friendly Italian.

Sunday November 12, 2:00 p.m.

The curtain is about to fall on the 2017 season. Despite the speakers who have continued to set the mood since the morning, the tension is such when the lights go out that the stands are completely silent... Finally the start is given! As usual, Johann Zarco will take charge of operations. And to think that it's only his first season... Behind, Marquez and Dovi observe each other. The Spaniard will attempt an impossible overtake on our Frenchman but, once again avoiding a fall, he will instantly return command to the Tech3 driver. In fact, telemetry would later reveal that Marc Marquez delayed his braking by more than 30 meters, blocking his front wheel for 50 meters in the process. Certainly, there remains an extra-terrestrial...

6th title for Marquez who once again achieves an improbable rescue!

Marc Marquez has once again saved the unthinkable… He is champion for the sixth time!

While nothing seemed completely decided for the title, Lorenzo then Dovizioso made two mistakes in the same lap, causing the fall and retirement of the two Ducati riders. From now on, the title will no longer escape Marc Marquez, author of an extraordinary season, and Pedrosa, freed from possible team instructions, took victory in the final lap of the race. Johann Zarco will finish second in the Valencia MotoGP , after having lit up the entire World Championship with his exploits. Rookie.

Our Frenchman Johann Zarco will finish Rookie of the Year on the Tech 3!

Johann Zarco, Rookie of the Year and new Top Gun in the MotoGP category!

In Valencia, double ration of MotoGP

If you thought it was over, wait a bit... Because in Valencia, if the seasons end, against all expectations, they also begin.

Indeed, from the Tuesday following the race, the Valencia MotoGP paddock takes advantage of the last rays of sunshine of the year to test the prototypes who will face each other at the opening of the next championship, in Qatar.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit therefore sees the beginning of the future Rookie of the premier category. It is also the scene of changes of colors and teams of certain drivers. Finally, it offers the possibility of observing the test riders on track…

Learning MotoGP for Takaaki Nakagami during the Valencia tests!

This year, Takaaki Nakagami made his MotoGP debut in Valencia

For the occasion, the motorcycles are equipped with black fairings. These tests represent one of the rare chances given to the public to freely observe them in these refined liveries...

The last lights of the day will allow us to discover between shadow and light. It's the perfect time to create some final memories before the winter break...

A successful end to the day for Karel Abraham... See you in Qatar!

The day is coming to an end. Last starting attempts for Karel Abraham before putting the leather away…

The Valencia GP on the news side

If this summary has made you want to go to Valencia, here are two or three pieces of information that may be useful:

  • Like a Misano, there is no real campsite adjacent to the circuit. The town of Cheste is popular with spectators since it is located nearby. Valencia offers a multitude of hotels, and it is well served, particularly by train.
  • Valencia being a large city, it is full of Airbnb type accommodation. It can be a good plan to spend the week there… In addition, the metro lines make your life easier for a few euros.
  • “Pre-season” tests take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday following the race. They are completely free. During these two days, only the stands located along the pit straight are accessible.
  • Please note: if the train stops directly at the circuit on the days of the Grand Prix, during the tests, it will drop you off in Cheste. Don't panic, many taxis know the phenomenon and offer to take you in groups... Summary, €1.97 for a Station-Circuit journey in a mini-bus and between enthusiasts.

More photos from the GP and pre-season testing in Valencia

You are on your hunger question photos ? Discover all my photos in Valencia in this Facebook album ! And while you are, don't forget tolike my page and of subscribe to my publications 😉

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A biker at heart since childhood, I have long dreamed of being able to hit the road behind the handlebars of my own machine! After having owned roadsters, sports cars or even trails, it is on the handlebars of a very retro café racer that I navigate for professional journeys or during more or less long rides. Passionate about motorcycling competition, I have fun photographing my favorite drivers on the circuits of France and Europe...

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