Believe it or not, the 2018 MotoGP has been one of the finest and most thrilling seasons of all times. From the first round in Qatar to the last race at Valencia, we witnessed many things this year; super saves, great racing, disheartening disappointments, and whatnot. Finally, after months of competition, the 2018 MotoGP concluded with a dramatic wet Valencia GP.
It was a rainy race weekend at Valencia. You can judge the severity of the conditions just by the fact that the red flag was waved during the race. The water made it extremely dangerous for the riders to continue racing. Around 11 riders were out of the race with 14 laps remaining; Marc Marquez, the 2018 MotoGP world champion, was one of them.
It was Vinales who started the race with the pole position but he could only hold on to it for a few seconds. Alex Rins took the lead from the first lap and gained a good gap from Dovizioso who was running second. With each passing lap, it really became difficult for the riders to push harder.
By the time 14 laps were remaining, Alex was losing his lead as he started to struggle to find grip in the wet. He was closely followed by Dovi and Rossi. During a corner in the same lap, he went a bit wide which allowed both Dovi and Rossi to get past him. Rossi became aggressive and soon overtook Dovi but went wide and returned to the second spot. It was then when the red flag was declared. It was announced that the race, if time allowed, will resume and the grid positions will be the same as they were during lap 13. This made Alex return to the front of the pack.
After the race resumed, the leading pack remained the same- Alex, Dovi and Rossi. It felt like these three will reach the podium in the same order. But unfortunately, Rossi pushed a bit harder in order to catch Dovi and crashed, and joined the race back at the 13th place. Within a few laps later, Dovi took the lead of the race from Rins. And that was it. Andrea Dovizioso on his Ducati opened the 2018 MotoGP by grabbing the title in the first race in Qatar, and he closed the season by finishing first in the last race.
Emotions were flowing all around the pitstops and the stands. But it was a special race for Red Bull KTM as Pol Espargaro secured the first-ever podium for the team in the premier class. During the first half of the race, Marquez was the only rider to have a medium rear tire. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him and he was out pretty soon and hurt his shoulder once again.
The 2018 Valencia GP was not only the last race of the season, but it was also the last race of Dani Pedrosa’s career. The guy on his Honda gave us his best performances a plethora of times and now he has retired from racing. It is a sad moment to see such a talented rider leave this amazing motorsport.
So that was it, guys. Now I am wondering what am I supposed to do on empty weekends with no MotoGP race to look forward to. It is really worrying me a little. But the good thing is, I am that much more excited for the 2019 MotoGP when Lorenzo and Marquez would not only be racing as competitors but also as teammates.
Final MotoGP championship standings:
Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 321 points
Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP18) 245 points (-76)
Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 198 points (-123)
Maverick Viñales SPA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 193 points (-128)
Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 169 points (-152)
Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 158 points (-163)
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 148 points (-173)
Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Ducati (GP18) 144 points (-177)
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Ducati Team (GP18) 134 points (-187)
Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 133 points (-188)
Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 117 points (-204)
Alvaro Bautista SPA Angel Nieto Team (GP17) 105 points (-216)
Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP17) 91 points (-230)
Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 51 points (-270)
Franco Morbidelli ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 50 points (-271)
Hafizh Syahrin MAL Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1)* 46 points (-275)
Aleix Espargaro SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 44 points (-277)
Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 38 points (-283)
Tito Rabat SPA Reale Avintia (GP17) 35 points (-286)
Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V)* 33 points (-288)
Scott Redding GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 20 points (-301)
Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (GP18) 14 points (-307)
Karel Abraham CZE Angel Nieto Team (GP16) 12 points (-309)
Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda (RC213V) 10 points (-311)
Mika Kallio FIN Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 6 points (-315)
Katsuyuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2 points (-319)
Xavier Simeon BEL Reale Avintia (GP17)* 1 points (-320)
Jordi Torres SPA Reale Avintia (GP16) 1 points (-320)