Oliviera took the win ahead of Lecuona and Marquez at Valencia, in the wet and slippery season finale.
Luca Marini started on pole ahead of both Dynavolt bikes, Xavi Vierge being second and Schrotter rounding out the front row. World Champion Pecco Bagnaia was 6th.
Before the race even started Fabio Quartararo was ordered off the grid as he couldn’t start his Speed Up, and would be forced to start from the back of the grid.
The race started with a big accident, the poleman Marini was involved, as was Joan Mir and Lorenzo Baldassarri who all went down, as Bagnaia was also involved but didn’t come off. Vierge would lead, but Mattia Pasini would soon assume the lead. Then out of nowhere, Miguel Oliviera would take over the lead. Alex Marquez would seem up for the race today, divebombing Pasini to assume second place, as Danilo, Pawi and Cardelus would crash out. Iker Lecuona was fifth and absolutely flying.
Lecuona would soon dispose of Pasini and Vierge, and take off after Marquez and Oliviera, as Sam Lowes would crash out yet again, closely followed by Brad Binder on another KTM. Marquez would take a look at Oliviera on the final corner, but the door would be slammed shut. The move would be completed and Marquez would lead with 20 laps to go at turn 1. Jorge Navarro would do the usual and crash out yet again.
The man with the pace was Joe Roberts, the wet weather man was showing well on the NTS chassis, as was Niki Tuuli on his Petronas Kalex, with them being 9th and 10th respectively, and Quartararo being 11th after his last place start. Roberts would catch fire really quickly, going up to 7th with 17 laps to go, and taking the fastest lap. He would unfortunately end his race early with 16 laps to go, stepping over the limit and paying the price, wrecking the NTS chassis in the process and being unable to restart.
With 15 laps to go, Marquez would hold station in the lead, Oliviera was making slight inroads but not enough to catch the Marc VDS man, then boom! Marquez decided to pull the pin, and set the fastest lap and stretched the lead to over two seconds. Oliviera seemed unable to respond to the pace of the Spaniard, as Vierge found the upped pace too hot, dropping his Kalex at turn 8 and promoting the KTM of Lecuona up to third. Lecuona would have a huge moment of his own, going wide at the final corner and just avoiding the gravel.
With 10 laps to go, riders who were showing well were Andrea Locatelli in 6th, Tuuli in 8th and Odendaal in 14th on the sister NTS.
9 laps to go and disaster for Marquez! He dropped it from the lead at the now infamous hairpin, with Oliviera inheriting the lead, however it wasn’t all bad for Marquez, as he had made the pace so hot he was able to remount and still be in third place, just ahead of Pasini. Tuuli would have the ride of his short Moto2 career, and take fifth from Simone Corsi with 8 laps to go. But then he too would end up on the floor, a sad way to end his Moto2 stint. Corsi would end up feeling the pace, dropping to eighth behind Remy Gardner and Schrotter, who had disappeared after his front row start. Forward Racing must have been looking forward to dropping the Suter chassis, as their riders were 16th and 20th respectively.
Barely any positions would change with 3 laps to go, meaning Oliviera would win the race, ahead of podium debutante Lecuona and Marquez rounding out the podium. Locatelli would fade to tenth, but get back past Corsi to end up 9th. Gardner would pass Quartararo for fifth on the last lap, as World Champion Bagnaia seemed to have one eye on the MotoGP test with Ducati on Tuesday, cruising round to 14th knowing the title was done.
With no more rounds to go, the 2018 season is done. We now look forward to 2019, with an entirely new control engine, the Triumph 765cc triple. Will anything change? Find out here on NowMoto when the tests roll around!
Full results here.
Final Championship standings here.
Featured images- MotoGP.com