Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Valencia:
Jorge Lorenzo has sealed his first MotoGP championship is style, by taking victory in the final MotoGP race of the season at Valencia.
The Valencia circuit is often unloved by fans and riders, and the eerily empty stands reflected the crowd's expectation of another processional display in the final race of the year. Their expectations were confounded, however, and the 80,000 fans who turned up were treated to a display of racing among MotoGP's four aliens that they have been waiting for all season.
To nobody's surprise, it was Casey Stoner who entered the first turn in the lead, the Marlboro Ducati rider capitalizing on his pole position. Behind Stoner, however, chaos ensued, with Dani Pedrosa emerging the big winner. The Repsol Honda rider threaded his way through the pack from 8th on the grid to emerge in 2nd after the first couple of corners, with Nicky Hayden and Marco Simoncelli behind him. Jorge Lorenzo was further back, while Valentino Rossi was with Andrea Dovizioso behind Lorenzo.
Hayden was the first of the leading group to drop out, the American washing out his front at Turn 1 and crashing out of the race. Hayden was nearly joined in the gravel by Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard trying to force his way past Marco Simoncelli at Turn 13, painting the inside of the Italian's leathers and nearly crashing, putting on a brilliant save but losing a lot of ground.
At the front, Casey Stoner was not checking out the way that everyone had expected before the race. Instead, Dani Pedrosa was closing fast, a brave display given the Repsol Honda's condition, still recovering from a broken collarbone. Pedrosa soon had Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo also joining the fray, both Fiat Yamaha riders having dispensed with Marco Simoncelli despite the Italian's fierce resistance.
We looked like having the first full contest that MotoGP fans have been looking forward to all year: a head-on clash of all four of the aliens. Dani Pedrosa pushed at Stoner, but the Repsol Honda rider's recently healed collarbone meant he could not keep up the frenetic pace that was being set at the front.
Valentino Rossi was the next to fade. Jorge Lorenzo had been looking for revenge for Motegi, and Rossi was keen to teach his teammate one last lesson before he departed, but the Italian veteran was unable to fight back once Rossi slipped through at Turn 2. Rossi hung on to Lorenzo for three more laps, but Lorenzo's pace was just too much for the Italian to follow.
Lorenzo's charge was clearly unstoppable, and he had only one more obstacle in his path. Casey Stoner resisted for seven laps, before finally succumbing to the pressure of the 2010 World Champion. Once past, there was no more holding him back, and Lorenzo went on to take a comfortable victory, taking Valentino Rossi's points record along the way. Casey Stoner came home in 2nd, while Valentino Rossi ended his career at Yamaha with one last podium.
Behind Rossi, another battle raged for 4th. Dani Pedrosa had been unable to stay with Marco Simoncelli, Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies, and Simoncelli looked like coming out on top of what was a fierce battle, with the two Italians and the Spaniard swapping places for the last 10 laps. On lap 27, Simoncelli made one more desperate dive underneath Dovizioso, Dovizioso coming straight back at him, but while the two Italians were concentrating on each other, Spies stole past to take over 4th, and pulled away to hold on to the position by a comfortable margin. Dovizioso held on to 5th, finishing ahead of another impressive performance by Simoncelli.
|10||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||47'14.482||29.860|
|65||Loris CAPIROSSI||SUZUKI||20'48.058||17 laps|
|69||Nicky HAYDEN||DUCATI||3'13.356||28 laps|