As expected Casey Stoner dominated today’s MotoGP race at Valencia, as the Repsol Honda rider took off immediately saying good-bye with embarassing ease to the rest of the field, only to find an unexpected and hard charging Ben Spies pass him with two laps to go as it began raining.
The race went down to the line as Spies was looking for dry spots on the track and in the final turn Stoner came out of it better than the Texan, to power pass him on the straight to win with a mere 0.
015 second margin.
Stoner took his 10th victory of this 2011 season closing the 800cc era with another epic win and taking his tally of wins in this class to an incredible 33.
Dovizioso claimed third in the championship as he took third on the podium, after battling for almost the entire race for second with team mate Dani Pedrosa, but the Spaniard suddenly and visibly began to fade and ended up in fifth behind Cal Crutchlow (4th) who took the 2011 Rookie of the Year award after Karel Abraham crashed out in front of him.
The Cardion AB rider was able to rejoin and finish in 8th.
Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga rode finished in sixth, ahead of an impressive Josh Hayes, who took seventh on his MotoGP debut, ahead of retiring Loris Capirossi, who was expecting much more in his final race and tribute to Simoncelli than 9th.
Toni Elias was 10th in his final MotoGP race, while departing Aspar rider Hector Barbera took 11th.
Hiroshi Aoyama was 12th and the last rider to cross over the finish line, in what was his last race in MotoGP before heading to World Superbikes with Ten Kate Honda.
The race immediately lost four riders at turn 1 of lap 1, when Alvaro Bautista trying to avoid hitting Andrea Dovizioso’s rear whee,l braked hard, lost traction and crashing out wiped out three Ducati’s – Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Randy de Puniet and none of the riders were able to rejoin the race.
MotoGP Valencia race results:01- Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – 30 laps in 48’18.
64502- Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.
01503- Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 5.
93604- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 8.
71805- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 9.
32106- Katsuyuki Nakasuga – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 23.
81807- Josh Hayes – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 33.
11808- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 37.
95209- Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 48.
95310- Toni Elias – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC212V – + 52.
50111- Hector Barbera – Mapfre Aspar Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1’06.
51912- Hiroshi Aoyama – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC212V – + 1’08.