The final Grand Prix of the 2022 MotoGP FIM world championship ended a memorable, educational and tremendously fun maiden season for CFMOTO at the peak of motorcycle racing competition. The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana pulled the series to Spain for the fourth time this year and to the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on the east coast where the CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team were able to close their accounts for the Moto3 term with Carlos Tatay and Xavi Artigas scoring 13th and 23rd positions respectively.
Highlights from the twentieth and last MotoGP Grand Prix of ’22:
- Xavi Artigas fights near the front but is undone by a crash six laps from the finish
- Carlos Tatay appears in CFMOTO colours for the last time and takes 13th place
- Tatay’s podium finish in Indonesia is the highlight: the first Grand Prix trophy for CFMOTO as the team classify 7th in the standings
- Bright sunshine and a bumper attendance at Valencia send MotoGP in the winter period but 2023 tests begin in the coming days and weeks
- CFMOTO are already eying next season with Artigas set for his second campaign with the team and promising Australian Joel Kelso comes into the fold
MotoGP had been on the road and roving across the continents for the last six weeks so there was a feeling of calm and familiarity as the series parked at the flat, compact and ‘stadium-set’ Ricardo Tormo Circuit for the last date on the 2022 calendar.
The Spanish venue has been ever-present on the Grand Prix trail since the track was built in 1998. The friendly Valencian climate and the proximity of the vast site close to the city means it has been a popular draw and has been a routine choice to finalise each MotoGP season. The track itself involves a limiting 14-corner, 4km trajectory that stresses the left side of race tyres and is tricky for clear overtaking spots. Turning, turning and turning is key to bike set-up but the motorcycles also need effective acceleration and top speed for the single long principal straight.
For CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP’s two Spanish ‘aces’ the 25th Grand Prix at Valencia meant a return to a well-known stage. Both Tatay and Artigas have spun many laps in formative junior championships as well as Grand Prix outings and tests. The secrets of the Ricardo Tormo have long been unlocked but the autumnal climate can sometimes throw a curveball into play. Through Free Practice on Friday the sunshine hid windy conditions and the blue sky contained slightly lower temperatures on Saturday, meaning the riders had to be extra careful for grip and tyre warmth.
Carlos and Xavi avoided any drama and put their CFMOTO machinery directly into Q2 on Saturday. After a typical flurry of fast laps and looking for the optimum ‘tow’ it was Artigas who took the most advanced position on the grid with 15th as Tatay followed close in 16th. Less than one second divided the top 18 riders as the Moto field prepared for another 23-laps of intense track space swapping.
Sunday morning dawned, and CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP were as intent and focussed as the Spanish sun was bright. 100,000 spectators had funnelled into the expansive seating areas and the atmosphere crackled, with championships still to be decided in the Moto2 and MotoGP categories.
Moto3 opened the programme and 14 racers formed the third group pushing for 5th with Artigas in the unmistakeable shade of the CFMOTO machine at the front of the posse. Tatay was further back in the same melee and forced his way to 13th by the flag. Artigas set the fastest lap on the way to 7th but then lost control into Turn 6 with only six laps to go. He was able to recover his bike and re-enter the race but was chasing space in 23rd.
A long Grand Prix year that kicked off in Qatar in March ended with Tatay and Artigas collecting 15th and 16th positions in the championship table. CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP were ranked 7th from fifteen teams in Moto3.
After a well-earned break, the prospects for 2023 are already being analysed! Tests for next season will get underway with private sessions as well as official IRTA days and the trip to Portugal to race again will not be far away.
Xavi Artigas: “Well, the season is over and it didn’t finish in the way we wanted, especially because the first part of the race was good and I was fighting near the front. It was a strange crash but I was able to grab the bike and finish the race at least. Thanks to all of the team for this year: it’s been a challenge at times but we always tried as hard as we could and now we’ll prepare as well as we can for next season.”
Carlos Tatay: “The season has finished and it’s been a year where we’ve learned a lot. Thanks to the team for always supporting me. We had some complicated moments but we pushed through them and moved forward. I wanted more from the results but gave what we could. Now it’s time for a new direction in my career but I will always carry a part of this team in my heart. I hope we can cross paths again soon.”
Zhen Su, CFMOTO Racing Development Manager: “Being part of MotoGP has been delivered everything we expected! It has been emotional, exciting, thrilling and sometimes frustrating; but this is motorsport and it’s fantastic that we’ve contributed to the show. We have watched how Chinese fans have followed CFMOTO in Grand Prix racing and especially the Moto3 class which can be so crazy and it proves even more our decision to step in for 2022 was correct. We are extremely enthusiastic for the future and how we can use all our lessons from this year both on the track and off it. I want to thank the CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team for all their efforts and professionalism through a very long calendar. We cannot wait to go again! In 2023!”
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana
1. Izan Guevara (ESP), GASGAS 38:10.406
2. Deniz Öncü (TUR) KTM +0.062
3. Sergio Garcia (ESP), GASGAS +6.557
4. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +14.133
5. Ayumu Sasaki, (JPN), Husqvarna +14.574
13. Carlos Tatay (ESP, CFMOTO +17.777
22. Xavier Artigas (ESP), CFMOTO +36.526