Lorenzo wins third MotoGP title after Valencia victory

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Jorge Lorenzo clinched his third MotoGP world championship after fending off Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to win Sunday’s Grand Prix of Valencia.

Lorenzo entered the final race of the season trailing Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi by seven points at the top of the riders’ standings after 17 races.

The Spaniard took pole position on Saturday, putting the two championship contenders at opposite ends of the grid thanks to Rossi’s penalty following his clash with Marquez in Sepang.

Lorenzo managed to retain his lead off the line ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa, while Rossi made a flying start from the back of the grid, rising up to 15th by the end of the first lap – a gain of 11 positions.

Going in search of his tenth world championship and seventh in the premier class, Rossi managed to scythe through the field in the laps that followed to run fourth on lap 13, leaving only Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa ahead.

The trio had gapped Rossi by over ten seconds by this point, leaving the Italian reliant on both Marquez and Pedrosa to pass Lorenzo if he were to win the championship.

Lorenzo appeared to have the title won as Pedrosa fell some two seconds back at one point. However, just as Marquez began to crawl all over the back of Lorenzo with seven laps to go, Pedrosa began to make inroads after saving his tires.

With just two laps to go, less than one second separated the top three, with Pedrosa pushing to pass Marquez for position. However, the outgoing champion was able to hold his teammate back, with their battle giving Lorenzo some relief at the front.

Following a classic and controversial season, Lorenzo crossed the line to win the race by just 0.2 seconds and clinch his fifth motorcycle world championship, his third in the premier class.

Marquez and Pedrosa followed the Yamaha rider across the line in second and third, while Rossi finished the race in a somewhat lonely fourth, leaving him just five points shy of the Spaniard in the final standings.

Pol Espargaro finished fifth ahead of Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith, while Andrea Dovizioso was the sole Ducati to take the checkered flag after Andrea Iannone crashed out early on. Aleix Espargaro finished eighth for Suzuki, beating Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci in ninth and tenth.

American rider Nicky Hayden ended his long MotoGP career with a 17th-place finish for Aspar.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.