The 2011 MotoGP season will come to a conclusion this weekend at Valencia, where the final round of the campaign will take place at the famous Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Primarily the thoughts of the entire MotoGP community remain with the family and friends of Marco Simoncelli, whose funeral took place last week in the Italian rider’s hometown of Coriano. The Gresini Team has confirmed it will be present at this weekend’s Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana with the team garage set up and displaying Simoncelli’s bike in tribute.
As the riders refocus on riding once again and with Casey Stoner already having been crowned World Champion, there still remain a number of positions to be decided in the final standings.
Jorge Lorenzo is assured of runner-up spot in the overall classification regardless of whether the Yamaha Factory racing rider takes part this weekend. The Spaniard is still recovering from surgery to a finger injury he received following a crash in Phillip Island, and confirmation of whether he will ride or not this weekend is still to come.
Third place remains a closely contested position with Repsol Honda team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa just four points apart. The Italian will be keen to sign off from his time in the factory Honda outfit with a strong result and final classification, before he moves onto the Tech 3 team in 2012.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) will expect to be back to full fitness after a tough weekend at Sepang, and the American looks set to seal fifth in the standings, although Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) can still challenge him. Rossi’s team-mate Nicky Hayden could also still finish ahead of his Ducati colleague.
Colin Edwards will be absent this weekend as he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in Malaysia, and will be replaced in Valencia by American superbike champion Josh Hayes. Edwards’ fellow American will also remain in Valencia for the Test on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cal Crutchlow, on the second Tech 3 machine, leads Karel Abraham (Cardion ab Motoracing) by a single point in the race for the Rookie of the Year title.
This weekend will also see Loris Capirossi take part in his final Grand Prix, bringing to an end his illustrious 22-year World Championship career which will have spanned 328 race starts by the time the Italian takes to the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Preparations for the 2012 season will continue on Tuesday, as the traditional Valencia Test takes place with manufacturers pushing on with the development of their prototypes ahead of the introduction of the new 1000cc engine capacity limit next season.
The Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana was completed in 1999 and held rounds of the MotoGP and Spanish Motorcycle Championships in the same year. The Cheste track has several layouts, running anti-clockwise with varying lengths. MotoGP events are held on a 4km track comprising of five right handed corners, eight left handers and a 650m straight. Although the track is regarded as quite small, the pit complex contains 48 garages whilst the stadium style grandstands can seat up to 150,000 spectators.
The circuit layout which allows all parts of the circuit to be seen from any stand helps to create a unique atmosphere enjoyed by Spanish and international riders alike and as the last race of the season there is always a party feeling to the Grand Prix, which was voted best GP of 2005 by IRTA.
How to arrive:
The Circuit is located in Cheste, approx. 15 km from the Valencia Manises International Airport and 20 km from the Valencia City Centre.
CIRCUIT DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA RICARDO TORMO
Autovia A-3 Salida 334
Apdo. Correos 101
46380 Cheste (Spain)
From the airport take the Autovia A-3 Madrid – Valencia, in the direction of Madrid. After 10 Km take the Exit No. 334 called “Circuito-Urbanizaciones”.
Where to sleep:
Nest hostels sponsors this event, offering the two best hostels in the center of Valencia. http://www.circuitvalencia.com/alojamientos_low_cost.html
More info on www.circuitvalencia.com