Italian veteran rider Valentino Rossi topped the championship leaderboard all through the 2015 MotoGP season but in the last race at Valencia, he lost the World Championship to his Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi would still have become the 2015 world champion by securing at least the second place at Valencia but he was too hard-pressed by starting from 25th on the grid. The 7-time MotoGP champion and 9-time overall, couldn’t make it to his eighth MotoGP title and finally settled for the fourth place behind the Spanish trio of Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Rossi strongly believed that Marquez was manipulating the proceedings in favor of Yamaha’s Spanish rider Lorenzo and the rift between him and Marquez kept widening from the contests at Termas de Rio Hondo and Assen. In the Malaysian GP at Sepang, their soured relationship reached a critical point, when the two champion riders clashed bitterly in trying for the third-place finish behind Lorenzo. Their unseemly tussle culminated in Marquez crashing out for the sixth time in the 2015 MotoGP season. Rossi finished third but the Race Direction found him guilty of a deliberate and unacceptable action and handed him a grid penalty for the season-ending crucial race at Valencia. The veteran rider started from the 25th and last place on the grid and just managed to finish fourth. That was not enough for Rossi with Lorenzo taking the top podium spot and winning the 2015 MotoGP world championship.
Italy’s Valentino Rossi was a disappointed man, when the MotoGP season ended with the final race of the season at Valencia. Rossi claimed that 2013 and 2014 champion Marc Marquez was responsible for his overall second-place finish. According to Rossi, Marquez was deliberately stopping him from winning his 8th MotoGP World Championship and helping Jorge Lorenzo. However, Rossi’s resentment and his dangerous duel with Marquez at the Malaysian GP in Sepang really set him back. If he had avoided the grid penalty, he could still have won because he still led Lorenzo by 7 points going into the last race of the season. Rossi’s appeal for the penalty waiver was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and he had to begin with a severe handicap. The only concession Rossi got was one-place promotion because of a last-minute technical glitch with Cal Crutchlow.
On race day, Jorge Lorenzo, who had secured the pole in the qualifying, was quickly off the blocks. The Spaniard had a 7-point deficit to overhaul in beating his closest rival and Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi. The Italian still had a great chance since he led the points’ table during the entire 2015 season but an ugly incident at Sepang cost him the title. On Sunday November 8, 2015, Lorenzo stayed in front for 30 laps in one of the most attended events at the Ricardo Tormo circuit of the Spanish city of Valencia. While Lorenzo led decisively, Rossi did his best to improve from his last place on the grid. The Italian picked up spots and by the time the first lap ended, he was already 15th. In the early laps, Ducati rider Andrea Iannone suffered an unfortunate crash and that allowed Rossi to jump to the 9th spot. While Lorenzo continued to lead, the seasoned Italian improved further to fourth place behind Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. However, Pedrosa was 11 seconds ahead and Rossi still had a lot of work to do. Although Marquez was chasing Lorenzo, he never really tried to overtake him. However, Pedrosa and Marquez had a brief fight for the second spot while Rossi on the fourth place couldn’t get close enough. Finally the race ended with Lorenzo emerging the winner ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa with a disappointed Rossi finishing fourth. The fifth and sixth places were taken by Monster Yamaha Tech3 team of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith respectively. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was seventh, Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro was eighth, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow ninth and Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci finished tenth.
When the race ended, Jorge Lorenzo grabbed Spain’s flag and rode with it around the track in his victory lap. It was Lorenzo’s third MotoGP World Championship and fifth overall. His other premier class victories had come in 2010 and 2012. Lorenzo also had a slice of MotoGP history by becoming only the third driver to come from behind and win the championship in the final race. In 1992, it was Wayne Rainey, who had beaten Mick Doohan and in 2006 Nickey Hayden had done that by also beating Valentino Rossi. The Valencia race also marked the last MotoGP appearance for 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden and the final MotoGP event on Bridgestone tyres.