Pedrosa wins in Spain as Lorenzo crashes out
Dani Pedrosa won an incident-packed Valencia MotoGP yesterday, the closing grand prix of the season and the last race of Casey Stoner’s career.
Pedrosa, who started from pole on his Honda, was followed across the line by Yamaha’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga with Stoner, Australia’s 2011 world champion, competing for the final time before retirement, in third.
Jorge Lorenzo, who clinched the world title last month in Australia, crashed out with 17 laps of the race remaining.
In tricky conditions with the track drying after early rain, tyre selection was essential, with some of the riders starting on slicks and others on wet.
Pedrosa managed to avoid any mishaps to clinch his seventh win of the season to end up with 332 points in the riders standings, second behind Lorenzo on 350, with Stoner bowing out in third place on 254 points.
Pedrosa said: “I’m really happy because it was so difficult out there with the track drying up. It was very hard to keep focus towards the end as the gap was so big.
“This is a good way to finish the season.”
Stoner’s team marked the end of their rider’s career with a sign hanging over the track wall saying: “Going fishing”.
The Australian, reflecting on his last ever race, said: “I didn’t want to take any risks out there in my last race, I was scared of crashing in these conditions.
“It’s fantastic to end (my career) this way, a big thanks to everyone, to my supporters all these years, there are a lot worse ways to go out.”
1. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 350; 2. Pedrosa (Honda) 332; 3. Stoner (Honda) 254; 4. Dovizioso (Yamaha) 218; 5. Bautista (Honda) 178; 6. Rossi (Ducati) 163; 7. Crutchlow (Yamaha) 151; 8. Bradl (Honda) 135; 9. Hayden (Ducati) 122; 10. Spies (Yamaha) 88.