MotoGP™: Michelin shines in Valencia sun as Mir becomes season’s ninth winner
Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) pocketed the first victory of his MotoGPTM career by winning the Gran Premio de Europa at Valencia, Spain, Round 13 of the 2020...
The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana – Round 14 of the 2020 MotoGPTM World Championship – as won by Franco Morbidelli. The Yamaha Petronas SRT rider was joined on the Valencia podium by Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Racing Factory), while seventh place sufficed for Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) to make certain of this season’s Riders’ crown. The MICHELIN Power Slick provided further evidence of its versatility with the top four finishers in Spain running two different tyre combinations.
A near-perfect weekend for Morbidelli saw him qualify on pole position and claim his third win of the year.
Miller was first out of Turn 1 from second on the grid, but the Italian – racing on hard and medium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear – regained control during the first of the afternoon’s 27 laps.
He then focused on pulling out a gap to his Australian challenger (medium compound front and rear) who fought back in the closing stages to post the fastest race lap and put Morbidelli under pressure. He even appeared in front briefly during the last lap, but the Yamaha rider responded to pick up the third MotoGP
For the record, Morbidelli completed the 27 laps almost 15 seconds faster than last week’s victor at the same venue, Joan Mir.
Pol Espargaro scored his second podium finish is as many weekends and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) fought back remarkably from 14
The top four featured four different bikemakers, while Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Racing Factory) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) rounded out the top six.
Seventh over the line was Mir who added to Suzuki’s Constructors’ crown by putting the seal on his first MotoGP
By becoming premier-class motorcycle racing’s 15
On the tyre front, the track temperature of 27°C led to just three of the available Michelin tyre specifications being selected for the race. All of the riders opted for the medium front and the hard compound was the favoured choice for the rear, although some exceptions – including Miller – went for mediums all-round.
With one round of the championship to come, the chief focus in Portugal will be on the battle for 2020’s silver and bronze medals. Morbidelli and Rins are currently second and third in the provisional standings, split by just four points.
Next round: Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal, Portimão, Portugal (November 20-22).