Ducati Team’s AndrewZh is the new MotoGP™ eSport World Champion thanks to two faultless performances in a thrilling Global Series finale at the #ValenciaGP that went all the way to the final lap of the final race to cap off a vintage season of competition.
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain played host to a star-studded final round, which featured appearances from three MotoGP™ riders, a roster of glitzy prizes and high drama that had all in attendance on the very edge.
In the end just five points covered the first three riders – AndrewZh, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s trastevere73 and Cristianmm17, representing Team Suzuki Ecstar – in the Championship after three action-packed rounds in the Global Series. All three contested the podium places in the final race, with the victory fight going right the way to the final corner.
Before the lights went out for Race 1, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro took to the stage to offer the finalists tips on how to attack the Phillip Island Circuit, the scene of the first of the evening’s two races. Having dominated the intermediate class outing there in 2012, the Spaniard was better placed than most do so.
From the first lap, trastevere73 heeded Espargaro’s advice, storming into an early lead from pole position ahead of adrianDP26 (Team Suzuki Ecstar). The early exchanges were akin to the recent Australian Grand Prix, with as many as ten riders contesting the leading positions. But reigning champion trastevere73 eventually broke clear, demonstrating his trademark consistency from the first lap to the end to win by 2.033s.
The drama came thick and fast behind. A mistake on the fifth lap demoted AndrewZh from second to fourth. But the Championship’s form man fought back to put maximum pressure on adrianDP26 for second. And the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider would crack, crashing at turn one on the final lap, handing a crucial second to the Ducati Team man with Cristianmm17 close behind in third.
The double points on offer in the final round meant trastevere73 led AndrewZh by just six points going of the final race. Cristianmm17 ensured it was a three-way fight until the end, 21 points back.
Prior to the evening’s second encounter, five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) was on hand to present the Tissot Pole of Poles Award to AndrewZh after the Italian gamer took the highest number of pole positions in this year’s series. And the celebrity appearances didn’t end there: Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) joined commentary duo Matt Dunn and Jack Appleyard for the second race, with the entertaining Italian offering his unique wit and insight to proceedings.
The season finale would prove to be a lights-to-flag triumph for Cristianmm17. Shadowed by AndrewZh and trastevere73 in the early laps, the Team Suzuki Ecstar gamer remained calm in the face of relentless pressure from AndrewZh, who knew second place enough to secure his maiden MotoGP™ eSport crown. A trastevere73 mistake on the seventh lap ultimately decided the contest.
A tearful AndrewZh accepted the brilliant first prize of a rapid BMW M135i xDrive before Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta handed out the silverware in the final podium ceremony. While disappointed on missing the chance to win his third successive eSports title, trastevere73 picked up a new Yamaha YZF-R3 for finishing second overall. Cristianmm17 received a Lenovo Legion™ Y730 high-speed computer as reward for third.
After a brilliant finale, all three contestants will no doubt be back for more in an expanded eSports Championship that returns for a fourth instalment in 2020!
Click here for full race results and standings and make sure to stay up to date on everything MotoGP™ eSport on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – or on MotoGP™ channels, and head to the MotoGP™ eSport official website for more information.
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