Last chance to beat Marc Marquez for 2019 concludes

Image via Twitter @marcmarquez93

Last season Marc Marquez flew at Valencia but not in the manner in which he wanted, thrown off his Honda in the torrential rain.

This year the reigning MotoGP Champion is once again hoping to fly. But this time to victory.

Not a happy hunting ground for Marc Marquez

It is not often that one gets to say that given Marquez’s prolific form since entering MotoGP in 2013.

In those six years he has managed only one victory in Valencia, the Spaniard’s final home race of the campaign.

He does, though, have four additional podiums to his name so, not a happy hunting ground by Marquez’s standards, although others would appreciate having that record.

Last time out in Valencia he came down in the rain, one of several riders who did not take the restart in the red-flagged rain-shortened 14 lap race.

Instead it was Andrea Dovizioso who claimed the victory ahead of Alex Rins and Pol Espargaró.

But while last year Dovizioso only had pride to ride for, this year he needs to beat Marquez in order to help Ducati salvage something from 2019: The teams’ championship.

The Ducati works team is two points ahead of Repsol Honda, who have already clinched the riders’ and manufacturers’ titles.

Dovizioso has not won a MotoGP since August’s outing at Spielberg while Marquez went on a five-race winning streak that was finally ended by Maverick Viñales in Malaysia.

“The Cheste circuit has never been really easy for us, even though it’s true that last year we scored a great win in rainy conditions, which proved that anything can happen,” said Dovizioso.

“Personally speaking, I really want to finish the season with a good result and safe in the knowledge that we gave our all right until the very end.

“The level of the championship is getting higher all the time, and we’ve seen this in the last three races outside of Europe, but I have confidence in the good job we’re doing to finish the championship on a high.”

Mother Nature could have her say

With 378 corners over 27 laps, the tight and twisty character of the Valencia circuit doesn’t make for an easy lap in the dry. It is especially tricky in the wet.

This weekend Mother Nature is forecast to have her say over the proceedings with a cold and windy weekend on the cards.

The weatherman says it could rain on Sunday, although nothing like the biblical downpour that caused havoc last year.

Third place is still up for grabs

MotoGP has one spot remaining on the riders’ championship podium with third place up for grabs.

Marquez wrapped up the title back in Thailand while one race later Dovizioso secured second. It is now up to Vinales to grab third.

The Yamaha rider sits on 201 points thanks to his victory last time out in Malaysia while Rins, who has been the more consistent over the last five races, has 194.

He needs to out-score his compatriot by eight or more points to climb onto the season’s podium.

If they are level on points after Valencia, P3 will go to Vinales as he has more third-place results on the board.

The South African affair

Brad Binder will bid farewell to Moto2 at Valencia, the South African stepping up to MotoGP with KTM next season.

Slumping to one of his worst result in Japan, Binder bounced back with back-to-back wins in Australia and Malaysia.

He’ll be out to prove KTM’s faith in him is justified with another win in Valencia and hold onto second place in the riders’ standings.

He’s just four ahead of Thomas Lüthi with 25 points in play.

As for Darryn Binder, the younger brother has just one Moto3 podium on the board and will be eager add a second and show CIP Green that they’ve made the right call retaining him for 2020.

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