Date : 11/11/2012
Weather : Wet
Temperature : Air: 13ºC, Ground: 15ºC
Humidity : 81%
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 like 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".