2004 MotoGP Valencia Results

October 31, 2004
Kevin Duke
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A legend in the motorcycle industry, Duke Danger is known for his wheelie riding antics, excellent writing skills, appetite for press intro dinners and a propensity to wake up late. Once a fearless member of the MotoUSA team, the Canadian kid is often missed but never forgotten.

Valentino Rossi performed as a World Champion should, winning the Valencia MotoGP race over bitter rival Max Biaggi, the latter setting a new lap record during his chase. Troy Bayliss put in a strong performance to finish in third spot, three seconds behind the Italians. Former title contender Sete Gibernau didn’t have the pace to keep up with the front runners, disappointing the 122,000 Spanish fans by finishing in the fourth spot.

Valentino Rossi whipped everyone in this race - just like he did all year - Valencia
Valentino Rossi took his ninth win of the season at Valencia.

“To win nine races has been unbelievable for everybody,” said Rossi,” and we also won the team award, which was not so bad either! The finish of the season was perfect for us – three in a row. It was more difficult for me today than in Sepang and Phillip Island because I find this track worse than them. I slid at the start and lost some time but after two or three laps I was able to recover. Tamada was looking very strong and I had a tough fight with him until he slowed and dropped back. My rhythm improved and I was able to push 100% to the end. Then there was a fight with Biaggi behind, and he was very strong. It is unbelievable to win here, and wonderful in front of this crowd. This year really has been unforgettable for me, my mechanics and Yamaha.” 

Colin Edwards was the highest-placed American at Valencia, finishing in eighth place in his final ride for Honda. Nicky Hayden, who just signed on with Honda for another two years, crashed out of third place while battling with Biaggi and pole-sitter Tamada with eight laps remaining and didn’t finish the race. Californian John Hopkins finished a distant 12th on his Suzuki after his Bridgestones lost grip.

“I just struggled all through the race and didn’t get where I wanted to be,” said Hopkins, who signed on for another year with Suzuki. “Not much to say about that. I do want to say farewell to Garry Taylor. Unfortunately we couldn’t close the year with the good result I hoped to give him. The crew has worked hard all year long and done a great job. Suzuki has improved the bike tremendously and the Bridgestones also. I can’t wait to have a better combination next year and to have a hell of a year.”

Kawasaki’s Shinya Nakano posted a seventh-place result which put him in tenth position in the championship, his stated goal at the beginning of the season. Nakano’s race time was a massive 60 seconds faster than the best Kawasaki at Valencia in ’03.

“My target was top ten in the championship and a strong result in the final race, so I’m happy to achieve both of those today. I made a really good start, I was seventh in turn two, and was able to hold a place in the top ten even after a battle with Alex Barros. I couldn’t run at the frontrunner’s pace, but this is an excellent result for the ZX-RR. We have learnt a lot this season, so my thanks to Kawasaki and Bridgestone. I know that next year we will make even more progress in the MotoGP World Championship.”

Valencia Results:
1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2. Max Biaggi (Honda)
3. Troy Bayliss (Ducati)
4. Sete Gibernau (Honda)
5. Makoto Tamada (Honda)
6. Alex Barros (Honda)
7. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki)
8. Colin Edwards (Honda)
9. Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
10. Norick Abe (Yamaha)
11. Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki)
12. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
13. Jeremy McWilliams (Aprilia)
14. Carlos Checa (Yamaha)
15. Neil Hodgson (Ducati)
16. Garry McCoy (Aprilia)
17. Gregorio Lavilla (Suzuki)
18. Nobuatsu Aoki (Proton)
19. James Ellison (Harris WCM)
20. Olivier Jacque (Moriwaki Honda)

Final Championship Standings:
1. Rossi, 304
2. Gibernau, 257
3. Biaggi, 217
4. Barros, 165
5. Edwards, 157
6. Tamada, 150
7. Checa, 117
8. Hayden, 117
9. Capirossi, 117
10. Nakano, 83
11. Xaus, 77
12. Melandri, 75
13. Abe, 74
14. Bayliss, 71
15. Hofmann, 51
16. Hopkins, 45
17. Hodgson, 38
18. Roberts, 37
19. McWilliams, 26
20. Byrne, 18