Eight months and seventeen races since the start of the championship in Qatar, the MotoGP teams and riders are arriving in Spain for the final round of the season, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
The race at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, which is situated at Cheste close to Valencia, is the fourth event this year on Spanish soil. It is a medium-slow and twisty track that runs in a counter-clockwise direction. As is tradition, the race on Sunday will be followed by official IRTA tests in preparation for next season and on Tuesday and Wednesday, the two Ducati Team riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, will continue working with the new tyre supplier and on the development of the new unified software.
The Ducati Team has obtained two MotoGP wins at Valencia, with Troy Bayliss in 2006 and with Casey Stoner in 2008. Andrea Dovizioso has taken part in seven MotoGP races, with his best result a third place in 2011. Last year he finished in ninth place after qualifying fourth. For Andrea Iannone, this will be the third MotoGP race at this circuit: in 2014 the Italian qualified on the front row with the second-quickest time, but after leading for several laps, he had to make a pit-stop to change the bike and he finished the GP well down the field.
Iannone is currently lying fifth in the overall standings with 188 points, two behind Dani Pedrosa, while Dovizioso is in seventh place with 153 points.
Valencia will also see the return of Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro, who will race the Desmosedici GP15 for the third time this season as a wild-card. Pirro has scored one win at the Spanish circuit, in 2011 in the Moto2 category.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 5th (188 points)
“The Valencia track is a favourable one for us: last year with the GP14 I led for the first ten laps and remained in the leading positions for the next 5, so I hope to be able to fight with the top guys again this year. I think that the GP15 has a good potential at Valencia and I will try to make up the two-point gap separating me from Pedrosa. For me it’s vitally important to finish fourth in the championship, so I will focus my race on Dani and try and finish ahead of him.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th (153 points)
“We are going to Valencia with the firm intention of getting a good result, even though it’s not going to be easy because for the last few races my feeling with the GP15 hasn’t been the same as it was in the early part of the season. In any case I will give my all, as always, because I want to finish this season in the best possible way.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 23rd (8 points)
“I am pleased to take part in the final race of the MotoGP season at Valencia, because for me it is very important to be able to confirm the progress of the GP15 and the form I showed at Misano, unfortunately only in practice. I want to make amends for the misfortune I had in the San Marino GP and I am confident I can have a good weekend.”
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit
The Valencia circuit, which was inaugurated in 1999, hosted its first Grand Prix that same year. The 4 km long track contains fourteen corners and an 876 metre long main straight. Although the circuit is relatively small, the main complex houses 48 pits and the long grandstands that surround the track, stadium-like, can contain over 150,000 spectators. The circuit layout creates a unique atmosphere, giving the public a spectacular view of the entire arena.