Press releases from the teams, from the single tire supplier and from Honda after Sunday's dramatic MotoGP race at Valencia:
Pedrosa wins dramatic season finale with Stoner in 3rd
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship came to an exciting climax today with a fantastic display from the Repsol Honda Team. Dani Pedrosa took victory in the Grand Prix of La Comunidad Valenciana (his sixth at this track) and finishes the season runner-up to champion Jorge Lorenzo by just 18 points but with the most victories of the championship, with a total of seven. 2011 World Champion Casey Stoner completed the final GP of his career and took third place, his tenth podium of the year.
It was one of the most dramatic races of the season. Tricky weather conditions caused confusion at the start with only two riders - Lorenzo and Bradl -starting with slicks tyres on the grid. After the sighting lap, several riders chose to change to slick tyre bikes and start from the pit lane, including Dani who lost his advantage of being on pole position.
With the asphalt drying up very quickly, Dani managed to catch race leader Lorenzo within 12 laps, just before the Yamaha rider crashed out. Dani took the lead with a huge advantage of 23 seconds and remained calm to control the pace until the end, crossing the finish line with gap of 37 seconds and securing Honda's 19th premier class Constructor's Title.
Casey chose to remain on the wet tyre for the start but came in to the pit lane for the slick tyre bike on lap 4. The Australian was very cautious at the beginning but gradually caught up and passed the majority of the field and took third place with two laps to go, celebrating a podium in his last race. Casey finishes the championship in third position, a place that he already secured with his win in Australia.
On completion of his final MotoGP race, two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey, was nominated as a MotoGP Legend. He becomes the 20th MotoGP Legend, joining an exclusive club, whose members are: Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees and Carlo Ubbiali.
Casey retires at the age of 27, having amassed two MotoGP World Championships, 45 Grand Prix victories, 89 podium finishes and 43 pole-positions.
DANI PEDROSA 1st Final Championship Standing: 2nd with 332 points
"After Márquez's race, I thought I should do something similar! But seriously, I'm really happy with this win, it was very difficult at the start to make the decision with tyres. I saw Jorge on slicks on the grid and I was pretty sure with my decision, but standing there the track was drying up very quickly and before the start I didn't know if it would be better to forget about the pole and start from the pits or go out on wets and stop after 4 or 5 laps. In the last corner of the sighting lap, the instinct told me to get in immediately. I started from the pit lane and I managed to be fast from the beginning, I caught Jorge and then I made a mistake and lost three seconds again, but one lap later he also made a mistake and crashed out. >From this point another race began for me. It was tough to maintain concentration with such conditions and a big advantage, so I planned the second half of the race like a practice session, taking the corners, the lines, lap by lap. It's a great end of the season and I'd like to thank all the Repsol Honda Team!".
CASEY STONER 3rd Final Championship Standing: 3rd with 254 points
"Considering everything that happened today, we're very happy with a podium. My motivation wasn't particularly high today as I haven't wanted to push in the wet and haven't felt comfortable on the bike. I just didn't want to take any risks of crashing and damaging my ankle again so I was very cautious and this isn't how I like to ride. Even with the choice of going with the wets, not the slick tyres at the beginning of the race, I took the easy option which really isn't me. When I saw the slicks had a big advantage, we came in and changed bikes and went back out and pushed as hard as we could, without taking unnecessary risks. In the end we were able to chase down Alvaro and take the last spot on the podium in our last race. My team are l ike my second family, we've been through a lot of ups and downs together and it's going to be difficult not to see them every week. I'm sorry for them and for everyone who has supported me for so long but this is the way it is and it's time to say goodbye. Thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and all our sponsors, and to everyone in the Repsol Honda Team".
Nakasuga Steals the Show in Valencia
Katsuyuki Nakasuga stole the show today in an incident packed race, delivering an incredible performance to take second place on the podium for the Grand Prix of Valencia. The Japanese Yamaha test rider, appearing in place of injured Ben Spies, was one of the few who gambled on slick tyres to start the race in damp conditions. The gamble paid off with Nakasuga-san moving from 16th to 11th on the first lap, and then jumping to fourth on lap four as riders came in to change rubber. The one-event wonder was looking safe for third on the podium when second placed rider Cal Crutchlow crashed out in front, leaving him to hold on and focus for the remaining eight laps to claim his incredible podium finish in second, over 20 seconds clear of Casey Stoner behind him. The four-time All Japan Superbike Champion had double cause for celebration with his second son, Haruto, being born on Saturday evening. He is also the only Japanese rider to have stood on the podium this season in all three classes.
2012 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo also gambled on slick tyres and after initially dropping from second on the grid to eighth the Mallorcan began to make steady progress back up the field. By the fourth lap Lorenzo had taken the lead, which he maintained until lap 13, pulling nearly a four second gap to chasing Dani Pedrosa. Disaster struck when he came off the dry line to lap CRT rider James Ellison on the same lap, losing grip on the damp surface and suffering a huge high side crash. Lorenzo was lucky to walk away without serious injury and will be ready to take part in testing on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 2013 season.
Position : 2nd Time: +37.661
“I’m so very happy with this result, the conditions were very difficult today. It was a tough race but the team were amazing and I have to thank them for making the best choice for my set up for the race. It is like a dream or a miracle for me to be on the podium as the qualifying was not so good. I want to thank Yamaha for giving me this special opportunity to race here in MotoGP, it has been amazing.”
Position : DNF Time:
“I’m happy because we are world champions and that is the most important thing. Maybe if we had arrived here without the title decided it could have been another story and I wouldn’t be so happy. I had a lot of hopes to win today, I chose a really risky tyre strategy and I was making a really good race. Dani was catching me a little bit but then I managed to have a four second lead. 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.”
“What a crazy race! I think we could have won today so it’s a real shame we wrap up the season like this. Jorge took a big gamble with the tyres which proved to be a clever choice and rode a very strong race. Unfortunately with such tricky track conditions and much slower bikes making traffic the risk was high. We are very happy he is unhurt after his crash and also that we secured the title in Phillip Island! We’ll take some time to celebrate tonight and then it’s back to work for 2013 on Tuesday! Nakasuga-san was brilliant today and really deserved his podium, he and Ben’s crew put in a great effort for the result.”
“I don’t think anyone could have predicted today’s results! It’s a pity Jorge’s championship season ended this way in front of his home crowd but we are happy that he has no serious injuries and is ready to test next week. For Nakasuga-san it has been a fairytale day, we are so happy for him and proud of his achievement. After a difficult season it was also a great result for Ben’s crew who deserved this podium today. I would like to wish them all the best for the future.”
Variable weather conditions affect season-ending MotoGP race at Valencia
The final race of the 2012 MotoGP season, at Valencia, was seriously affected by uncertain weather.
After the wet warm-up session, in which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had found a good rain setting, the precipitation stopped and the MotoGP race started with a track that was only damp.
Most of the riders began the race with rain tyres, though a small group risked slicks, returning to the garages to change bikes just before the lights went out. That group, which was obliged to start from pit lane, included the eventual winner, Dani Pedrosa, and Nicky Hayden. The American was caught out by the tricky conditions and crashed before he was able to take advantage of having made the right choice.
Valentino Rossi started with rain tyres and was in fourth place when, 25 laps from the end, he re-entered pit lane to switch bikes. With the dry tyres, he no longer felt at home and was only able to finish in tenth place.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th
“It’s really a shame that the last race with Ducati finished this way. Things went well this morning in the wet warm-up, and in similar conditions, it would have been possible to do a nice result. Instead, this half-and-half situation was truly difficult. In the end the right choice was to use the slick tyres, but my bike on the grid had a very different setting from the other one, so I didn’t feel like switching. With the rain tyres, I felt fine at first, but then when it was necessary to switch, the situation became more complicated. There was a thin dry line, but I couldn’t put the bike where I wanted and as soon as I would go off that line, it was very risky. I could only try to finish. I would have liked to finish these two years with Ducati better. They were two difficult seasons, but I nonetheless leave behind many people that I enjoyed working with, and with whom it was nice to go racing.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNF
“It’s a shame to end a difficult season in a bad way, but at least I’m 100 per cent okay from the crash. On the grid, it was a really close call between slick tyres and rain tyres. If the track had been warm, it would clearly have been better to start on slicks, but the cold surface temperature made it close. On the warm-up lap, Lorenzo was going faster than us on slicks, so in my opinion, it was the right decision to come in and switch bikes and start from pit lane. After that, it was okay on the dry line, but to make passes, you had to go out where it was treacherous. I got behind Petrucci and couldn’t find a way past. I was waiting to go by him on the front straightaway, but I got a little bit wide in the last corner and hit a patch. I went down so quickly that there was no way to save it. Next season starts now, so hopefully things will be better.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“Today we lost an opportunity to have a nice race, both with Nicky and with Vale, and although that can happen in such uncertain conditions, we’re obviously not happy. Nicky switched bikes immediately, like Pedrosa, who won in the end, but he was done in by the slippery asphalt. Vale went well in the early laps, while he was on the rain tyres, but he didn’t feel good with the slicks. He tried until the end, without ever being able to push hard enough. We would have liked to finish differently, but anyway, we tried until the end.”
BRADL TAKES THE BEST ROOKIE FO THE YEAR HONOUR DESPITE THE CRASH IN VALENCIA
Valencia, 11th November: the ultimate round of 2012 season at Ricardo Tormo circuit was marred with awkward conditions and crashes as the 30-lap race was declared wet by Race Direction despite a near dry line having formed, and only a couple of riders including Stefan Bradl chose the slick tyres, with all others on the hard wets.
Bradl started his final race as a MotoGP rookie from the middle of the second row and amid the frantic happenings he was running third but lost control of his bike in Turn 5 and crashed out on lap 10. Although this unfortunate last race, the 22-year-old German has not come worse than ninth in any race he finished this year. That record has made him the runaway winner of Rookie of the Year honours (8th place overall with 135 points).
Stefan: “First of all we had very tricky conditions today as almost everybody was on wet tyres because the dry line was less than 10cm and we decided to go on slicks because we wanted to avoid a bike chance which could cost us a lot of time. At the end we made the right choice and want to the thank the Team for their support because it’s not easy for a rider to decide when the surface is so slippery. I was on a good pace since the beginning and was lapping third when I crashed out. The rider in front of me was slower and I wanted to overtake him quickly but in turn 5 I was a bit too aggressive and lost the control of the bike. I should have waited a bit longer to make the move and I feel bad for the Team because I lost the chance to fight for the podium. However I feel happy today because I will be awarded as the Best Rookie of the Year and this is simply great. This first year in the premier class was incredible for me and must thank Lucio and his Team because at the beginning I was a bit worried but now I know this is like a family”.
Crutchlow and Dovizioso star in dramatic Valencia race
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship concluded in dramatic fashion for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team this afternoon after Cal Crutchlow fell out ofsecond position and Andrea Dovizioso secured a hard fought top six in an incident-packed Valencia race.
Officials declared the 30-lap encounter a wet race but new asphalt was already drying up when the action got underway in front of almost 62,000 fans.
Crutchlow was one of four riders to opt to switch to slick tyres ahead of the start, which meant the British rider joined Dani Pedrosa, AlvaroBautista and Nicky Hayden in starting from th e pit lane.
Crutchlow's decision immediately paid off with a clear dry line appearing right from the opening lap. He brilliantly built up his pace and needed only five laps to surge from the back of the field into the top five.
Crutchlow then moved into the top three on lap 13 and he found himself promoted into second position when Factory Yamaha rider and new World Champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed unhurt out of the lead on lap 14. The 27-year-old streaked away from Japanese replacement rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, but just as he looked poised to score a career best second place and third rostrum of 2012, he crashed out on the approach to the final corner on lap 23.
Dovizioso's farewell appearance with the French-based Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team ended with a sixth place finish, but the Italian was left to rue his decision to start the race on Bridgestone's rain tyres.With section s of the track still damp, Dovizioso seized the lead from Aleix Espargaro on lap three, but he quickly realised that he would need to pit and switch to his YZR-M1 fitted with slick tyres as track conditions continued to improve.Dovizioso switched to slick tyres as he was about to complete the fifth lap, which dropped him out of the top 15. He lost time in the pits when he stalled his YZR-M1 machine before embarking on a brilliant recovery to score his 15th top six finish in 18 races.
Andrea Dovizioso 6th - 218 points:
"It is a pity that I could only finish my last race with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in sixth position. I'm sorry because I selected the worst strategy possible with the tyre choice and I'm disappointed. Normally I am always very strong at interpreting the conditions in the right way but this time I chose to start on the wet tyres and it was clearly the wrong decision. The o ther decision that compromised my race was I stayed out too long before coming in and changing to slicks. I didn't have a reference because I was in the lead but when I saw Jorge I understood it was already too late. But I still came in to change to slicks. I then stalled the bike, so I lost more time. I didn't give up and found a good rhythm so I get back into the top six which is at least decent finish. It has been a fantastic season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I have enjoyed the experience a lot. The Team is incredibly professional and it has been an honour for me to ride with them and achieve a lot of success together."
Cal Crtuchlow DNF - 151 points:
"Obviously I am very disappointed to finish the season like that. I wasn't sure whether to start on wet tyres but I saw Dani pit and just followed him. Going to slicks was obviously the right choice but although there was a dry line, in some places it was so narrow that you couldn't go off line to overtake because it was way too risky. Dani got through the pack quicker than me but once I got into a fast rhythm I felt really at ease. I had a comfortable lead over third and it was looking good for me to get my best MotoGP result when I hit the smallest wet patch going into the final corner. It just flicked the bike enough to throw me off the left side and I was actually lucky not to get tangled up with the bike. It is a shame because I wasn't pushing that hard, but in those conditions we saw loads of people getting caught out. But once again I showed I was really fast and we take a lot of positives from the second half of the season. I've been on the podium twice and in the last races I've been right in the battle for the podium. I'd like to have had a few more finishes but I've shown my potential this year and that I am good enough to fight with the best in the world. I can now look forward to 2013 with a lot of confidence."
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:
"That was an incredible way to finish the season and the excitement in the first laps when Cal was on slicks and Andrea on wets was really compulsive viewing. Nobody really knew what to expect because the conditions were so tricky but Cal was doing a brilliant job. He had built up a big lead over third place and with only a few laps to go we were getting more confident that he could he get his best result in MotoGP and the best result of the season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Unfortunately a small damp patch caught him out but I don't think the punishment fitted the crime. Cal has enjoyed a fantastic second season and shown the form that we all knew he could after 2011. We are already really looking forward to 2013 and I am convinced that he is only going to be an even bigger threat. Andrea did another good job in his f inal race for us but it was a pity that he stalled the bike when he came in to change to slick tyres. That lost him a lot of time but the decision to start on wet tyres compromised his hopes of ending a memorable season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team on the podium. I have to say huge thanks though to Andrea. He has been amazing in 2012 and he has become the most successful rider we have ever had in MotoGP with six podiums. He finished fourth in the World Championship and he was key to helping us take third in the Team World Championship. We only finished behind Yamaha's Factory Team and HRC, so that is a great achievement for a non-factory squad."
PIRRO TAKES CRT 'WIN' AT VALENCIA
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship could not have ended any better for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Michele Pirro taking a career best fifth place to finish the season with a CRT 'victory' whilst Alvaro Bautista took fourth to secure fifth place overall in the final championship standings. A season of hard work was rewarded for Michele and his team, just as it was last year when he took Moto2 victory here at Valencia. Today's result was also the best yet for any CRT rider in the first year of the new machines. Alvaro Bautista narrowly missed out on a podium finish to departing champion Casey Stoner after conceding a position with just two laps remaining but fourth place was enough for him to secure his objective before the start of the race and for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini to finish the campaign on a high.
Alvaro Bautista (4th) “That was definitely the most difficult race of the season. On the warm-up lap I decided to come in and swap the bike for the other one with slick tyres on because I could see the track was drying. I tried to manage the situation as best I could out there and focus on our objective of making sure of fifth in the championship but I'm not happy with the performance because again I had no feeling on the front. But anyway the season is over now and I am happy with where we have finished and with the progress we have made over the course of the season. Thanks to the team, Fausto Gresini and all the sponsors who have supported us. Now we start looking towards 2013 and I am happy to be with the same team and all the guys who have worked so hard this year. We have a good base to work from and improve next year.”
Michele Pirro (5th) “What a fantastic day! To finish fifth and as the top CRT, with the best CRT result of the season, is wonderful. It wasn't an easy race but we tried to push our best and take a few risks. Like last year when I won the Moto2 race I could feel Marco's hand on my shoulder, giving me a push, and I feel this is a fitting way to say good bye to Team Gresini. The past two years with them have been very important for my career so I want to thank each and every member. The memories of our victory together here at Valencia last year and this fantastic result today will stay with us forever and it has been wonderful to write a small chapter in the history of this great championship. Thanks everybody.”
Fausto Gresini “It was a difficult race and we have suffered a lot! The primary objective was for Alvaro to secure fifth in the championship and we have achieved that. He struggled throughout the race but he managed the situation well and even though it would have been nice to see him on the podium there wasn't much he could do about Stoner. Anyway, mission accomplished and this was a good way to end our first season together. To cap off a fantastic day we have achieved victory with Pirro amongst the CRTs, which has been a goal of ours since the start o the season. It came in a strange race but the important thing is that it came and I am delighted for everybody in the team who has worked so hard on this project for the last year. Fifth place is an extraordinary result, the best of any CRT this year, and it is nice to be able to say goodbye to him with this wonderful memory to savour.”
Seventh place in Valencia: Abraham's best result of the season and personal best in MotoGP for the second time
Two years ago in Valencia, Karel Abraham won for the first time in his career. Last year he battled for fourth. This year he achieved his best result of the season in a “wacky race” at Circuit Ricardo Tormo and managed to repeat his personal best in MotoGP. Battling for seventh place, Karel managed, among other things, to defeat nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi for the first time during a race.
The race was affected by weather from the very beginning. Following morning rain showers the track was getting dry and the teams chose different tactics of how to deal with the changing conditions. Cardion AB Motoracing went into the race with tyres for wet races, as did many other racers. Some of them changed their tyres, in exchange for having to start from the end of the pit lane. Other racers also had to change their tyres after only a few laps, which resulted in changes in the lead and the situation was very confusing for the racers themselves.
Abaja demonstrated a skilful battle, which included overtaking Valentino Rossi and battling for sixth place with the best satellite racer of the season, Andrea Dovizioso on Yamaha.
Due to the confusing situation in the first few laps many riders, including Karel Abraham, started to fall behind and the leaders eventually started to lap everyone else. Abraham was the last rider who managed to complete the entire race, because he overtook the winner of the race, Dani Pedrosa.
“It was indeed a wacky race and there was much excitement on the track. There were many surprising moments. At one moment, I was overtaken by the winner of the race, Dani Pedrosa, but I had no idea I was just being lapped. I thought he had just had his tyres changed in the pit. So I was in fact racing with him without actually having to. On the other hand, it's great that I managed to overtake him and stay in front of him. I am really glad that I managed to achieve the best result among Ducatis and leave Valentino Rossi behind. When I caught up with him I thought he had a wet tyre and I was really surprised that he had a slick. On the other hand, I am a little upset that Dovizioso eventually overtook me, because I could have finished sixth. It was a tyre lottery prior to the race. It was not the wisest of choices on our part. I am a little disappointed, but, then again, there is no point in looking back. With slick tyres from the very beginning, I could have been on the podium. On the other hand, I would have risked falling because the dry racing line was really narrow at the beginning of the race.
Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic, Cardion AB Motoracing
“I am really happy after today's race. Not just because it was his best race of the season and because he managed to repeat his career best. I am particularly glad that we have managed to conclude our cooperation with Ducati with a very good result. In addition, Karel proved that he is able to race against riders who have much better bikes. The decision before the race about the best tyres was a tough one. We thought, just like some other teams did, that a wet tyre would allow us to gain some advantage for a subsequent pit stop. Unfortunately we had to make the pit stop after just a few laps and lost about 30 seconds which Karel was unable to erase. On the other hand, it was a wise decision to use the front soft slick tyre, as Karel managed to achieve excellent lap times and was even faster than Pedrosa, Dovizioso or Nakasuga. We quickly managed to overtake Valentino Rossi. This race marks the end of our cooperation with Ducati. I am glad it was a dignified goodbye. Starting tomorrow, it will be a brand new chapter with an Aprilia CRT bike. We need to work hard from the very beginning. Our ambition is to have the best CRT bike in the 2013 season.”
Pedrosa wins and Stoner places third in season finale
Dani Pedrosa wins final GP of the year after starting from pitlane with slicks, whilst Casey Stoner says goodbye with a third place.
In an intelligent clever maneouver after the sighting lap, Dani Pedrosa took the start of the Valencia Grand Prix from pitlane, changed bikes and opted to run slick tyres. In just seven laps, the Spaniard climbed more than 15 positions and finally took an epic victory, on the day of Casey Stoner's departure from Grand Prix racing. Stoner joined his teammate on the podium.
After the opening laps of uncertainty, on lap 13 Dani Pedrosa found himself out on his own in the lead after a crash for Jorge Lorenzo. The Repsol rider led the way by a wide margin over his pursuers. With this win, Pedrosa becomes the MotoGP rider with the most victories this season, with seven wins. Casey Stoner, who changed his bike in the early laps after starting with a machine set up for the wet, eventually finished third. The Australian staged a comeback that led him to the podium, from which the World Champion leaves GP racing.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ BEST CRT RIDER FOR 2012
Spaniard places eleventh in final race of the season and leads for two laps, claiming best CRT honour ahead of teammate Randy De Puniet by twelve points
Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo had looked to be the trio to battle for the podium at the Valencia GP, but there were twists in the final round of the year. The starting grid featured variations in tyre choice amongst the MotoGP riders, and when the thirty lap contest began, several riders had gambled on slick tyres. Dani Pedrosa had started from pit lane but went on to win the race, after Jorge Lorenzo crashed out in a spectacular fall. Substitute rider Kats Nakasuga took second, with Casey Stoner in third for his final race before retiring.
Aleix Espargaró made history today by becoming the first CRT rider to lead a MotoGP race, and he did so for two laps at Valencia. He had to pass through the pits later on in the race to change bikes, in order to use the slicks that were appropriate for the conditions. He then set about overtaking his teammate, and claimed the best CRT rider of 2012 honour.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders were once again close to one another on race day, as Randy De Puniet used slick tyres from the start and battled with a lack of front grip. The Frenchman might have been unable to keep up with his teammate, but his twelfth place finish was just behind Espargaró and he placed runner-up to the Spaniard in the overall CRT standings. Espargaró claimed 74 points over the course of the year, winning out by 12.
11th Aleix Espargaró: "I am very happy, because finally we were able to claim the prize for best CRT riders of the year. The race was very strange, as on the grid I was a little nervous about the tyre choice. I knew that I could go faster with the slicks, but it was very risky so I used the wets. There was a dry line that was rather unstable, so it was only my teammate who used slicks in the end. Once the race began, I focused on going as hard as I could until the tyre went off, then I changed bikes. I concentrated on catching Randy, and when I passed him I relaxed a bit to enjoy the race and finish as high up as possible. I think that we have had a formidable season and that this has been reflected with the best CRT prize. The most important thing is that the team has supported me, which I value a lot. Jorge gave me a lot of confidence from the start and I want to thank him and enjoy having reached our goal."
12th Randy De Puniet: "Against all predictions, we decided to go with the slicks when the track was still damp. I think that it was a good choice. On Friday I felt really comfortable in a similar situation, but I don't know what happened in the race today that made me feel so strange. I didn't have any confidence in the front end and I was having a lot of difficult in keeping the bike up. That meant that I went wide on a number of occasions. I am a bit annoyed, because having watched the race, I can see that with a better feeling I could have fought for the top positions. Now the season is over, we need to focus on doing a good job in the test this week and go into the winter break feeling calm."
FAREWELL RACE FOR SAN CARLO AND HONDA GRESINI
Today at Valencia sees the final day of a long and successful seven-year collaboration between Honda Gresini and San Carlo. With technology and passion at the heart of their relationship the two companies have enjoyed over 100 Grands Prix together, with San Carlo President Mr Alberto Vitaloni and Fausto Gresini creating the synergy for an exciting and emotional era together, which was also marked by great sadness due to the death of Marco Simoncelli. Unfortunately all good things come to an end but the mutual respect and affection will remain, as will the memories of a fantastic project together.
Fausto Gresini “This is an announcement we have to make with a heavy heart because over these years together with San Carlo we have built an important project which has created fantastic moments and also been subject to great tragedy due to the death of Marco. The extraordinary backing and energy of San Carlo President Alberto Vitaloni has provided the backbone of a project I will be eternally proud to have put together. My heartfelt thanks go to Alberto Vitaloni for making this incredible experience possible.”
Alberto Vitaloni “Our adventure with Team Honda Gresini has been an intense experience for me and my partners. We have been bonded together by a powerful synergy and we appreciate every single component of the team, their unity and the shared joy of a team sport. We have been part of a project that has created moments of great joy and others of deep sadness. To lose a person like Marco, who was always more of a friend to us than a rider, brought great suffering. I would like to thank Fausto and all his staff. It was a pleasure and an honour to work with you and our time together will always be one of my greatest memories.”
Edwards scores important points at Valencia
It has not been the best weekend for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team given the mixed weather conditions on track, the team has still been able to get in the points with Colin Edwards in the 14th position in this last race. A result that does not reflect the efforts of the rider and his team but that allows the American rider to finish the season in 20th place, alongside Danilo Petrucci.
An exciting weekend for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team with its new rider Claudio Corti. Dignified debut race for the Italian rider, aside from the crash, with the Inmotec bike. Tuesday the beginning of his new adventure with the CRT begins.
Colin Edwards – 14th
“The conditions for the race were half wet, half dry. You were both gambling if you went with dry and you gambling if you went with wet. With this particular bike I felt the safest option was to go with wet. Went out and our rain setting, we must have changed something from this morning and when I got in the corner and open full gas it just wouldn’t go anywhere. I came in, changed bike and just went out and it stopped downshifting. At that point I was just kind of surviving and waiting to see what happened and finally finished the race and got a few points. The season is over and in a few days we start testing and I am looking forward to it.”
Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief
“This weekend we found a good setting for both rain a dry. Today the track conditions were difficult; we started off with rain tires knowing that we were taking a risk and it didn’t turn out well. We cannot say we are happy of the way the season has ended but I would like to thank Colin because he has invested himself a hundred per cent. The bike was not at a level in which it could match his talent and we will try to work in order to provide him with the necessary to show his full potential.”
Claudio Corti – Not Classified
“Exciting weekend in which the weather conditions have complicated things a bit in my MotoGP debut. I have had a taste of everything; rain, dry, mixed conditions and even a bike change during the race. At some point I was even in the points for a minute but had to turn off the electronics because it was not working as it should and I crashed. I would like to thank Inmotec for this opportunity to ride with their bike, to Avintia Racing for their technical support, great team. On Tuesday the new adventure will begin with NGM Mobile Forward Racing.”
Ellison Ends Season In Style
PBM UK rider James Ellison saved one of his best rides until the very last Grand Prix of the season when the Cumbrian rider claimed a brilliant ninth place at today's Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
The 31 year old from Kendal struggled during the weather-hit free practice and qualifying to start from 20th position on the grid aboard the CRT-specification Aprilia ART but it was in a dramatic race that the former World Endurance and double European Superstock Champion excelled.
Opting for wet tyres at the start, Ellison made a storming start to run in seventh place in the early stages as he diced it out with World Champion Jorge Lorenzo amongst others but as the track dried, like many other riders, he went into the pits to change to the bike with dry tyres.
Re-emerging in 16th place, James gradually battled his way up the leaderboard as the track gradually dried to overtake nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi and held onto ninth place until the end of the 30-lap race at the Spanish track and in doing so, was first Aprilia home taking third in the CRT class.
The result equalled the ninth place James scored in Malaysia last month and took his tally to 12 points scoring rides in the 18GPs, including three times in the top ten, to consolidate his 16th position in the final standings and fourth in CRT. The result also saw the Penrith-based PBM UK team finish a creditable 11th in the Teams Championship in their rookie season in MotoGP.
James Ellison: "Well, I'm not going to lie, it was another emotional race today, a lot of feelings came out as I was riding round knowing it was my last GP and knowing my dad wasn't here to see me do so well and knowing that everything I have worked so hard for all year has come to an end. I've really enjoyed working with the PBM UK team and will miss every single one of them especially my garage crew of Phil, Mick, Dave, Dan, Brucie and Glen as we have grown so close through the year enjoying the good times and sticking together through the bad. I'd like to thank Paul Bird for the opportunity this year, Kelly for her hard work behind the scenes and everyone else that made my return to the premier class possible. There are too many to list but I'd like to thank you all individually and you know who you are. Regarding the race I think we made the right decision by starting on wets and pulling in for slicks early on, a ninth place and ninth fastest lap was a great way to end the season. As for the future, who knows, but I will be racing a motorcycle in 2013."
Phil Borley, Technical Director: "Another very good ride by James today which was achieved again in challenging conditions and to finish the last race of the season in the top ten, equalling our best results and consolidating our fourth position in the CRT rider classification is really satisfying. Our thanks go to James and all the team for their work this year, 2012 has certainly been a memorable year for Paul Bird Motorsport. We look forward to the challenges ahead and will work hard to improve on what we have learned this season."
CRASH FOR ROBERTO ROLFO IN THE RACE AT VALENCIA
The eighteenth and last race of the 2012 season was held today from the MotoGP class, at the circuit of Cheste.
The warm up of this morning was held on wet track: Rolfo and his crew took the occasion to try some options for the setting in case of rain. Roberto began his race from the seventh row of the starting grid on wet tyres and, after few laps, he decided to get back to the pit lane to use the second bike, which had slick tyres on. On the seventh lap, however, the Italian crashed out and he didn’t have the chance to rejoin the race, being forced to leave Valencia without achieving any point.
Roberto Rolfo #84 - crashed out
“I’m sorry because this could have been a good race. We started off with rain tyres and we used them till they were working well. I got the guys to know I was going back to the pit lane and when we changed bike we were fast, we managed to make a small gap from Ellison, whom I had overtaken on the last turn of that lap. On slick tyres I was comfortable immediately and we had a good performance in each corner. On the seventh lap, however, I crashed out, maybe there were still some very wet spots on the track or the tyre was still too cold. The crash ruined the bike quite a lot and I couldn’t restart. There were a few crashes like this one, maybe I should have taken it easier. We didn’t get any points and this adventure ends in this way. I’d like to thank the team for these four races, they were a lot of fun. I got along with the crew and, despite the results, this was a positive experience.”
Pedrosa wins exciting season finale at Valencia
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 13-13°C; Track 14-14°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa capped off his most successful MotoGP™ season by winning an exciting flag-to-flag race at Valencia.
Pedrosa started the race in pit lane after making a late decision to swap to slick tyres and his decision paid off as he went on to cross the finish line 37.661 second ahead of his nearest competitor, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga who scored his first ever MotoGP podium. In third place was Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner in his last ever MotoGP™ race. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro scored the best CRT result of the season by finishing in fifth place, the Italian rider being one of those to start the race on slick tyres.
Many damp patches greeted riders on the sighting lap but throughout the track a large dry line was apparent, so tyre choice for the race was not decided until the very last moment. Seven riders selected slick tyres on the grid, while a further four riders changed bikes during the warm-up lap for a total of eleven starters on slick tyres. The softer slick options, the soft compound front and medium compound rear slick, were the only dry tyres used during the race. Among the eleven riders that started the race on wet tyres, seven selected the harder front option, while six selected the harder rear option. All the riders that started on wet tyres pitted and changed to bikes with slick tyres within the first five laps of the race.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“What an amazing finish to the season we had today! Congratulations to Dani for scoring his seventh win of the season, but I am also very pleased for Nakasuga-san on his first MotoGP podium and that Casey was able to stand on the podium in his final race. Also, well done to Aleix for ending the season as the top CRT rider in the first year of this new class. With the conclusion of another exciting season Bridgestone now looks to the future and the post-season test next week will form the basis of our MotoGP tyre development programme over the winter break.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“It was expected that we would have wet weather today but the condition of the track for the start of the MotoGP race was just dry enough for some riders to consider slicks, although almost every rider originally planned to run on wet tyres. Of those riders that did start the race on wet tyres, the majority went for the alternative hard option wet tyre as this specification provides better durability on drying tarmac. Ultimately though, every rider switched to the softer option slick tyres during the race despite the track being quite damp off the racing line which unfortunately caught a few riders out. Overall it was a very challenging race, but our tyre allocation provided options that were well suited to the variable conditions.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“On the grid I was expecting to do a few laps on the wet tyres before changing bikes, but while waiting for the start the track became dry enough for slicks. On the warm-up lap I wasn’t sure if I had time to change my bike, but I was able to enter pit lane and change quickly. The start was the most critical point and from then I just focused on having a good race. It was hard to keep concentration once I had my large advantage but in the end it came out alright and I am very happy to take this win for my fans and my team.”
Honda Clinch 61st Constructors Championship
Today in Valencia, with Dani Pedrosa's victory, Honda Motor Company won their 61st Constructor's Championship (Repsol Honda RC213V).
The 2012 MotoGP Constructors Championship is Honda’s 19th in the premier class - six in MotoGP and thirteen in 500cc - to add to the six 350cc titles, nineteen in the 250cc class, fifteen in the 125cc class, and two in the 50cc category. With 12 victories this season, Honda riders have won 658 races, a number that’s sure to continue growing.
Honda’s 2012 Repsol Honda Team riders, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, both contributed to the Constructors Championship which is calculated by the result of the highest placed motorcycle of a Constructor, according to the position in the race. They scored a combined tally of 412 points with Dani Pedrosa taking Honda’s top result ten times, and despite missing three races due to injury, Casey Stoner was Honda’s top points-earner seven times. Honda satellite rider, Alvaro Bautista also contributed to the tally with his 3rd place finish in San Marino.
A Honda rider finished on the podium in every race this season and the Contructors Championship was won by the following placed finishes: Qatar – Pedrosa 20, Spain – Stoner 25, Portugal – Stoner 25, France – Stoner 16, Catalunya – Pedrosa 20, Great Britain – Stoner 20, Netherlands – Stoner 25, Germany – Pedrosa 25, Italy – Pedrosa 20, USA – Stoner 25, Indianapolis – Pedrosa 25, Czech Republic – Pedrosa 25, San Marino – Bautista 16, Aragon – Pedrosa 25, Motegi – Pedrosa 25, Malaysia - Pedrosa 25, Australia - Stoner 25, Valencia - Pedrosa 25.
Honda is an engineering company, whose legendary and innovative machines have attracted the best in the world. Machines that are the creation of some of a brilliant engineering corps, which had the bikes over to the dedicated globe-trotting race technicians who are overseen by passionate team managers who demand, and receive, excellence. Men like Shuhei Nakamoto, the Executive Vice-President of Honda Racing Corporation, whose laser-like focus, brutal honesty, and selfless dedication were instrumental in bringing Honda the first Constructors Championship of the new 1000cc era.
TETSUO SUZUKI - HRC PRESIDENT, SENIOR MANAGING OFFICER AND DIRECTOR OF HONDA R&D CO.,LTD
“To win back to back Constructors Titles, our 61st, is a wonderful achievement and it is a credit to our dedicated team and talented riders. This second successive title is testament that HRC is stronger than ever. Unfortunately Dani missed out on the Rider's Championship by the narrowest of margins, he fought until the end and we congratulate Jorge Lorenzo on a very strong season. We are sorry to say farewell to our 2011 Champion, Casey and we wish him the very best for his future. I must thank all our sponsors and technical partners for their ongoing valuable support and input, and also thanks to all our fans around the World. We hope to repeat this victory again next season!".