MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix
Venue: Circuit Ricadro Tomo, Valencia, Spain
Race Date: Sunday, November 14, 2021
You can make an argument the race itself will take a backseat this weekend in Spain. Fabio Quartararo cannot be caught in the standings – he is 40 points clear and a race win yields 25 points – and even if this was coming to the wire with multiple rides in it to win it, then the retirement of 26-year motorbike riding icon Valentino Rossi would still be the biggest story in the paddock. Rossi – who has raced in an insane 44% of all the Grands Prix staged in the 70-year history of the sport – is unlikely to win, but his sendoff will be a sight to behold.
Francesco Bagnaia – 16/10
Bagnaia is the form rider and it makes sense that he is the favorite to win here. The Italian has won pole position in each of the last five races and he has parlayed that advantage into three wins, a third place, and a retirement. If it had not been for a rough stretch in the middle of the season where the Ducati rider picked up only one podium finish over the course of eight rounds we could have been in for a grandstand finale to the season here.
Fabio Quartararo – 28/10
This is an interesting one. Quartararo has obviously been the form rider this season – his DNF last time out was the only one in a year of remarkable consistency – but he has never been particularly good at this track. Yamaha has eight wins in Valencia, however, and it feels like at some point his talent will just take over and allow for a strong run at this raceway.
Jack Miller – 11/2
Miller finished third in Portugal last week and he is tracking towards a fourth-place finish in the championship that would be his best end-of-season result to date. Miller’s biggest issue has been his lack of total consistency in the upper half of the top 10, with two wins and two third-placed finishes being offset by four retirements and six other finishes of sixth or lower. His podium finish in Portugal was his first since Round 7 in Spain and he will be looking to end his season with a flourish.
Joan Mir – 15/2
Mir has had a disappointing year following on from his MotoGP title in 2020. He is still – by far – the most impressive Suzuki rider, but the improvements made by Ducati and Yamaha have prevented Mir from winning a single MotoGP this season. He has finished third a total of four times and his best finish of the season to date was last weekend in Portugal where he took second.
It is disappointing that Marc Marquez and his Honda are not in this one with the Spaniard still suffering from vision problems after an off-road training accident a couple of weeks ago. He had finished second, fourth, first, and first in the four prior rounds. It really is hard to look past either Bagnaia or Quartararo, but as an outside bet, Mir would be the one to go for if you like the risk/reward of a dark horse at 15/5 with BetXchange.