Dramatic GP in Valencia as Stoner wins on the line and Dovizioso seals third in the Championship

Date: 06/11/2011
Weather : Dry
Temperature: Air: 17 degrees, Ground: 16 degrees
Humidity: 49%

World Champion Casey Stoner could not have finished the season any better, after winning the final race of the season in Valencia in spectacular fashion in a race to the line with Ben Spies. With this podium, Casey celebrates his 16th podium finish of the year, equaling the record for most podiums in a single season in the premier class, previously achieved by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Alongside Casey and Ben on the podium was Repsol Honda team mate Andrea Dovizioso, who finished third in the race and also wrapped up third place in the Championship. Dani Pedrosa, who was also fighting for the podium until the last five laps, crossed the finish line in fifth position and finished 2011 MotoGP World Championship in fourth place.

Before the last race of the Championship, all riders across all classes in the MotoGP community paid their respects to Marco Simoncelli in a tribute lap led by MotoGP legend Kevin Schwantz riding Marco's Gresini Honda '58' bike.

The riders took to the grid with slick tyres and on the warm up lap some drops of rain began to appear hinting at a potentially thrilling race. Stoner pulled away from the start and at one point had an advantage of nine seconds ahead of his team mates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, who were jostling for position until lap 23.

Then on lap 24, a new race began when it started to rain more heavily. Spies overtook Pedrosa and Dovizioso, and with two laps remaining, Stoner made a small mistake after engaging neutral instead of first gear and Spies took the lead. Stoner tracked him closely and then taking a slightly different line coming out of the last corner of the final lap, Stoner's Honda RC212V drove him to the finish line first, just 0.015 seconds ahead of the American.

Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa enjoyed a tough but clean fight however, in the final laps the Andrea adapted to the rain better taking his seventh podium of the year and with it celebrated his best Championship classification in his MotoGP career with third position.

This has been a fantastic season for the Repsol Honda Team who celebrate the 'Triple Crown' after adding the Team Championship (with 528 points compared to Yamaha's 446 points) to the riders' and Constructor's titles already won in Australia. The team will return to the Valencia track on Tuesday in the first official testing day for 2012. Riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner will take part in the two day test.

On Tuesday, Stefan Bradl will have the opportunity to ride the World Championship winning RC212V as a gift from HRC for winning the Moto2 Championship. It was planned to invite runner-up Marc Marquez to also ride the bike, but unfortunately due to his injury sustained in Malaysia this is not possible.

CASEY STONER – 1st – Final World Championship Position: 1st with 350 points
"My heart was in my throat! We did such a good job all the race and then it started to rain heavily. Being the first one to arrive to the conditions on the track, I wasn't sure how hard to push so I slowed up to ensure I finished the race and I thought if they come past I can stay with them. Then coming onto the back straight I made a slight mistake when I went into neutral instead of first gear and Ben came past me. I tried to stay with him but he was riding very well, fast and smooth and he looked confident in the conditions, more so than me. In the first half of the final lap he made a nice gap but I knew we were quick in the second half of the lap. I thought to myself, we haven't been able to take any risks all season, this is the time to take one and see what we can do. I knew I had a better exit line out of the final turn and I kept my head down and went for the line. It's amazing to win this on the finish line, I've had it done to me in the past a few times but I've never done it to anyone else! I'm sorry for Ben, he rode a great race, a big thanks to my team for all their hard work this year".

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 3rd – Final World Championship Position: 3rd with 228 points
"I'm so happy with third place in the Championship, it's a great achievement born from a lot hard work throughout the year. Before arriving here I knew I only had a few opportunities to arrive in front of Dani, because he has been always so fast here. Dani was faster than me also in this race weekend so I had to make a good strategy to beat him. Considering that I had a soft front tyre, I knew I couldn't push hard for 30 laps, I tried to stop him when I was in front of him, then every time he overtook me, I tried to pass him immediately. It was a good battle and with the rain at coming with 7-8 laps to go, I wanted to push harder for the win because I'm good in these tricky conditions however, third position in the Championship was too important so I decided not to take any additional risks. Thanks to my team for these three years spent together, I'm very pleased to finish my career at Honda with third in the Championship, my best result so far in MotoGP. On the final lap I thought of Marco and in the end I succeeded here on a track where I have always struggled. Marco helped me in this challenging mission, Ciao Marco".

DANI PEDROSA – 5th – Final World Championship Position: 4th with 219 points
"It wasn't an easy race. I did my best, trying hard but I wasn't feeling good on the bike, I was rigid and didn't ride very well. But especially in the end with more water on the track I struggled a lot as in Australia, so this is something I will try to improve with my riding in the future. I had a good battle with Andrea and in the last laps I lost a place to Cal Crutchlow, but I couldn't do any more. Andrea and I were on a soft front tyre and we were maybe struggling a little more than Ben or Cal who were on a hard front, but it's not an excuse. I just want to move forward and think about next year and the test we have on Tuesday. It has been a tough year, but we will try to take the positives from here and be optimistic for the 2012".

Race Result - Round 18

1 Casey Stoner 48'18.645 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Ben Spies + 0.015 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Andrea Dovizioso + 5.936 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Cal Crutchlow + 8.718 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Dani Pedrosa + 9.321 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Katsuyuki Nakasuga + 23.818 JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
7 Josh Hayes + 33.118 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Karel Abraham + 37.952 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
9 Loris Capirossi + 48.953 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
10 Toni Elias + 52.501 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
11 Hector Barbera + 1'06.519 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
12 Hiroshi Aoyama + 1'08.760 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
13 Randy De Puniet DNF FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
14 Alvaro Bautista DNF SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
15 Valentino Rossi DNF ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
16 Nicky Hayden DNF USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team

Championship standings

1 Casey Stoner 350 pts AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 260 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Andrea Dovizioso 228 pts ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Dani Pedrosa 219 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
5 Ben Spies 176 pts USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Marco Simoncelli 139 pts ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
7 Valentino Rossi 139 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
8 Nicky Hayden 132 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
9 Colin Edwards 109 pts USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
10 Hiroshi Aoyama 98 pts JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
11 Hector Barbera 82 pts SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
12 Cal Crutchlow 70 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
13 Alvaro Bautista 67 pts SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
14 Karel Abraham 64 pts CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Toni Elias 61 pts SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
16 Randy De Puniet 49 pts FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
17 Loris Capirossi 43 pts ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 10 pts JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
19 Josh Hayes 9 pts USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
20 Kousuke Akiyoshi 7 pts JPN HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
21 John Hopkins 6 pts USA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
22 Shinichi Ito 3 pts JPN HONDA Team HRC
23 Sylvain Guintoli 0 pts FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing

Circuit information
First race 1999
GPs held 12
Laps 30
Race distance 120.150km / 74.670miles
Track length 4.005km / 2.489miles
Track width 12m
Longest straight 0.876km / 0.544miles
Corners 14 (5 right, 9 left)
Pole position Right

Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana
Autovía A3 Valencia-Madrid
Salida 334. 46380 - Cheste
(Valencia) SPAIN
T: +34 96 252 52 20
F: +34 96 252 52 24
Website: www.circuitvalencia.com

Circuit records
Pole position 1m31.002s (158.436km/h) Valentino Rossi (Yamaha, 2006)
Race lap 1m32.582s (155.732Km/h) Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2008)
Race time 46m43.533s (154.283km/h) Dani Pedrosa (Honda, 2007)
MotoGP Wins 2 (Dani Pedrosa 2007, 2009) (Valentino Rossi 2003-04)
2010 Winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)