2012 Valencia MotoGP Race Result: Difficult Conditions Throw Up Incident-Packed Race

Results and summary of an incident-packed final MotoGP race of the 2012 season at Valencia:

Dani Pedrosa has won the final MotoGP race of 2012, in a race made bizarre by extremely difficult conditions. The Spaniard kept his calm on a drying but still treacherous track, fighting his way through the field after starting from pit lane on slicks, a decision made as he returned from the warm up lap.

The race was other-worldly from start to finish. Before the race had even begun, Jorge Lorenzo's crew chief Ramon Forcada had taken a blow to the head as the team rushed to change tires after the first sighting lap, deciding against wet tires and switching to the slick-shod bike. Lorenzo was one of only four riders who went to the start on slicks, though Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow, and Karel Abraham all made the decision to swap bikes after the warm up lap and start from pit lane. Pedrosa almost crashed out at the very start, his Repsol Honda spinning up on the slicks in the still greasy pit lane.

The start was hectic, but within a few corners, it was clear that Aleix Espargaro had taken charge, leading the race on the Aspar CRT machine for the first couple of laps. Andrea Dovizioso followed, then took over the lead a couple of laps later, but the early running order would prove meaningless, as the remainder of the grid headed into the pits to swap for slick-shod bikes in the laps that followed.

Once the bike swaps were complete, a new order emerged, with Jorge Lorenzo in the lead, and Dani Pedrosa chasing him. Pedrosa was closing on Lorenzo and starting to push the Yamaha man, as the pair started to close on some backmarkers. Just how hard Pedrosa was pushing became clear when the Repsol Honda man hit a false neutral, running wide and losing touch with Lorenzo. 

Lorenzo tried to capitalize on his advantage, pushing hard as he sliced through the back of the field. But his eagerness would prove too much: Lorenzo ran up behind James Ellison through Turns 7 and 8, getting too close on Turn 9, and being forced off the dry line and onto a damp patch. The Spaniard crashed heavily at Turn 10, highsiding nastily but walking away unhurt.

That left Dani Pedrosa the lead, and a gap of over 20 seconds to the men behind. He would not be caught, and went on to win comfortably by a huge margin. 

Behind Pedrosa, Katsuyuki Nakasuga had been bravely holding off Cal Crutchlow, but eventually had to succumb to the pressure from the Tech 3 man. But conditions caught Crutchlow out too, the Englishman crashing out of 2nd with 8 laps to go. That left Nakasuga to take 2nd, a fantastic achievement for the man drafted in to replace the injured Ben Spies. 

Casey Stoner ended his MotoGP career with a podium, after putting in a late charge to pass Alvaro Bautista in the final laps. Stoner had been cautious throughout the race, but he saw an opportunity as the conditions improved and the race wound to its conclusion. Bautista was forced to settle for 4th, while Michele Pirro scored the best result for a CRT bike, bringing the San Carlo Gresini FTR machine home in 5th. Andrea Dovizioso ended the race in 6th, ahead of Karel Abraham and Danilo Petrucci, the IODA rider equally impressive on the Suter BMW CRT machine. James Ellison was the third CRT machine in the top 10, ending in 9th, and ahead of Valentino Rossi on the Ducati, his career with the Italian factory ending with a whimper, not a bang.

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 48'23.819  
2 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA YAMAHA 49'01.480 37.661
3 1 Casey STONER HONDA 49'24.452 1'00.633
4 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 49'26.630 1'02.811
5 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 49'50.427 1'26.608
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 49'54.242 1'30.423
7 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 49'55.608 1'31.789
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA-SUTER 48'32.847 1 lap
9 77 James ELLISON ART 48'41.030 1 lap
10 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 48'45.740 1 lap
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 49'23.359 1 lap
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 48'38.162 2 laps
13 73 Hiroshi AOYAMA BQR 49'13.795 2 laps
14 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 48'55.662 3 laps
Not Classified
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 36'01.838 8 laps
  71 Claudio CORTI INMOTEC 31'25.346 13 laps
  8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 28'34.853 14 laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 21'18.139 17 laps
  6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 15'15.012 21 laps
  84 Roberto ROLFO ART 11'14.135 24 laps
  22 Ivan SILVA BQR 3'47.152 28 laps
  69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 3'47.173 28 laps

 

Race Details
Round Number: 
18
2012
Results and summary of an incident-packed final MotoGP race of the 2012 season at Valencia:

Comments

Crazy crazy race!

You would have gotten some odds on NAKASUGA coming 2nd I think! 1st wildcard podium since T.Bayliss at this track back in 2006?

Total votes: 32

Wow...

Congratulations Nakasuga-san! What a brilliant ride from you. We need Japanese riders back in this class (and all of the classes to be honest) and I sincerely hope your ride encourages and inspires your countrymen to find their way back to this series.

Sorry Lorenzo, well done Dani - this title was just about a dead heat - and goodbye Casey : (

Total votes: 37

Second Yamaha....

I agree, Congratulations Nakasuga-san! I really think that it is good for any sport when an event like this occurs.

I wonder how that second Yamaha might have gone if Spies was riding it? It might well have had a wheel fall off.

Total votes: 31

Nakasuga

was really impressive (as Marquez). Brilliand ride and not just few laps. From a wild-card!
I am surprised by Lorenzo's mistake. Probably he need a WC at stake to be focused and errorless as usual.

Total votes: 28

Crazy race.

Nakasuga was fantastic. But Dani was on another planet. Starting out of pits and then overtake more then half of racers for one lap. He overtake most of them twice. In such unfriendly condition this is incredible.

Total votes: 31

Nice to see Pedrosa finally

Nice to see Pedrosa finally have a season without injuries.

Total votes: 29

Film clip

I know this is off subject a bit, I'm looking for a clip on Youtube of Stoner sideways on the apex ripple strip of turn 3 philip Island from 2 weeks ago.....it had 105,000 views and now it is gone.

Does anyone know where this can be viewed? it was titled "Casey Stoner curb slide"

Total votes: 26

Yep....

Dorna.

They don't want anyone on YouTube to see anything MotoGP related.

Total votes: 31

Good Marketing

Heaven forbid anyone who doesn't see the whole race live should be able to see any action without paying Dorna for it.. How is the MotoGP fanbase supposed to grow if non-fans or potential fans can't see any of the action after the fact? If the current fanbase/sponsorship cannot sustain the spending of the teams (hence all the cost-saving measures), surely getting more fans (and hence more money) is the only long-term way to save the sport? Surely that is the aim of any organisation? Nobody new is going to pay to watch those clips, I guarantee you that. Heck, I've been a fan of the series for 15 years, and I'm not going to pay to see them, unless I attend a race event of course.

Instead of introducing new engine displacements every 5 years and spec tires and spec ecus and CRTs and engine rules and rookie rules etc, why not just let people watch the highlights for free on youtube? Or actively promote the clips on youtube? If a youtube user puts up a video, tell them that motogp will host it on their youtube channel and split the ad revenue with them. Every user-created video I've seen on youtube is superior to the short highlights crap that Dorna put on their channel. Why are they banning people from promoting their sport/organisation? I understand taking down videos of serious crashes (Like Marcos) or videos that are abusive toward Dorna, but why take down videos that show the few highlights from otherwise dull races/championships? THey need to get with the program a bit

Total votes: 34

Lorenzo blaming CRT James Ellison

Lorenzo blamed Ellison who had turned and seen J-Lo behind, but then moved back onto the racing line rather than letting him through...

I will not miss this CRT class once it's gone from MotoGP.

Total votes: 36

It was frustrating to watch

But I can't believe Ellison was trying to block a known race leader. To his credit if not as a compliment, he has experience with blue flags in MotoGP. So either there wasn't a blue flag or he was following the rule about safely moving from the racing line. Being that the racing line was the only safe place he may have just been waiting until the straight. When Lorenzo was riding too close there's no way Ellison could have predicted if he was going to go around the outside or where he was going to be. When Lorenzo came up on the previous backmarkers they were clearly aware he was coming and were able to slow and move aside before he arrived. With Lorenzo on his tail a sudden slowing would not have been the safe maneuver. The point is, this had nothing to do with the CRT paradigm.

Total votes: 32

Yep!

Agreed - if going off the racing line meant losing control like Lorenzo did, it's hard to expect Ellison to take that chance just to let Lorenzo through... also that particular part of the track has a very fast left/right with not much in the way of an alternative line once you have committed to the left... at race pace you have to stay on the racing line to make the right.

Red mist moment for Lorenzo - racing incident.

Total votes: 31

Not the first time

I can recall having seen Ellison pulling the same manoeuvre on at least one previous occasion. Possibly held up Stoner for half a lap allowing Rossi to get on his tail earlier than he otherwise would have? Anyway, how is it Ellison's the only back marker that is repeatedly unaware that he should be giving way!!?!!

Total votes: 24

Blue Flag Offender?

I wasn't aware of his pattern. Maybe he does have a blindness for the blue flag. That did seem to be a chronic problem with a 125 rider or two. But I'd still stand by the point that he has a rationale for not moving over immediately.

Total votes: 26

When did Lorenzo say this?

In the press release Lorenzo stated he made a mistake, that doesn't sound like blaming Ellison. I'd be interested in reading or hearing where he stated otherwise.

Total votes: 26

Lorenzo statment

I came up to the slower riders and I’m not sure what happened, maybe the marshals didn’t put up the blue flags quickly enough but I was losing some time stuck behind them. I was behind Ellison and he stayed on the racing line, I couldn’t wait for another corner to overtake him as I was losing time. I overtook and made a mistake, outside the dry line and I had a big high side.”

Total votes: 22

Meh

Dani overtook CRT bikes twice. First time without blue flag. This was JL mistake. Nothing more and nothing less. Dani was way faster then JL. There was no need for risk like that 17 laps to go. It would make no difference if he would lose 1 second behind that CRT bike. Dani would take him down anyway.

Total votes: 30

Good point

That's true - 26 had to deal with a whole lot more passes than 99 in that race, and he did so without any incidents. And the first time he had to round the CRT bikes up the dry line was way smaller, and as you say there were no flags at the time as he was simply racing for position, rather than starting to lap bikes.

Maybe Lorenzo just had a race where the pressure finally got to him - it had to happen sooner or later this season.

I thought Lorenzo's comments were quite gracious given that the incident cost him the race and just about sent him off the track in an ambulance, he's a good guy.

And as much as I'm going to miss Stoner's presence, the 99/26 (and hopefully soon to be 46) battle is really coming of age now, so roll on 2013! :) :) :)

Total votes: 27

Agreed

In the beginning of 2012 you would not even think about scenario where Dani is playing mind games with JL. Dani putting JL under pressure? It was good year nevertheless.

I hope that 46 on Yami and 93 on Honda are both fast. They are both aggressive riders. One old dog and one new dog. Combined with 99 perfection and Dani new aggressive and reliable performance .... That will make crazy 2013 year.

Total votes: 24

"Dani would take him down

"Dani would take him down anyway."

that's being a bit too sure about something that never had a chance to happen, isn't it ? you never know what might have happened to dani while in pursuit of lorenzo.. for all we know they both might have crashed up or something...nothing is so certain unless it has already happened or if you have had an undeniable vision of future like gandalf.. don't get so blinded by the fanboism that you have for dani.. :)

"It would make no difference if he would lose 1 second behind that CRT bike."

yes it was most likely lorenzo's mistake for the most part, he got impatient or something and for once in this season he got confused under the pressure in the last minute in a confusing and horrible track condition and made a mis-judgement etc etc, but try telling him or even dani or other gp racers or basically any professional racer that losing a second or something in traffic doesn't make any difference to the race because the guy behind you would have had you anyway and then let's see what they reply to that.

Total votes: 22

whimper, not a bang

Would be Edwards finishing behind Petrucci. It makes me really sad.

Total votes: 23

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