MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 18: Valencia GP > Race Results
MotoGPValenciaOctober 26, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 18
Valencia Grand Prix at Ricardo Tormo -Valencia

Stoner Wins, Pedrosa Chases Hard For Second

Qualifying >>

Casey Stoner (Ducati) won this end of season finale by nearly four seconds from a battling Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) who finished the year strongly, with the 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) relegated to third place.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

It was Dani who sped off the line to lead the pack into turn one with one his trademark lightning starts from the front row. Stoner stayed with him with Colin Edwards (Yamaha) holding third place and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V), who crashed in the morning warm-up, fourth.

Into turn two and Stoner slid up the inside of Dani to steal the lead and the Aussie never let it go from then on. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) had scorched from row three into fifth place and the rookie ace was destined to have yet another great day in his debut season with fourth at the flag.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) who started from sixth on the grid ran wide on lap one compromising his chances of a top ten finish when he looked to have the potential for at least that here. The Frenchman’s luck once again deserted him on a crucial opening lap.

Hayden knew he had to get past Edwards to stand any chance of catching the runaway lead pair of Stoner and Nicky’s team-mate Dani. On lap two the Kentucky Kid did just that but he now had to close a one second gap to the leaders. It never happened.

Stoner and Dani were too quick for any pursuers with Stoner proving beyond the reach of even the masterly Pedrosa who knows how to win here at Valencia. By lap six of this 30-lap contest Stoner led Dani by one second and the Spanish star held nearly four seconds over the chasing pack.

And that pack order was about to change dramatically. Rossi had taken time to get among the immediate challengers, lying seventh at the end of lap one. But by lap seven he was third having disposed of Dovi on lap four and then both Edwards and Hayden on lap six.

Dovi maintained fourth but couldn’t make any inroads on Rossi. Rossi in turn could make no impression on Pedrosa and Dani could only watch as Stoner guarded his lead from him. Hayden in fifth was closer to Dovi but not close enough to trouble him for the rest of the race.

There was action downfield as Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) fought off the attentions of John Hopkins (Kawasaki), Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland (Yamaha), and Marco Melandri (Ducati). The eight riders in front of them, including Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) in seventh, were spread thinly along ‘Cheste’s’4.005km – covered by 22 seconds.

Little changed in the closing laps except the gaps between riders, although Lorenzo moved up to eighth past Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) at the flag to secure the Rookie Of The Season title from his erstwhile rival Dovi. He ended the season fourth overall with 190 points to Dovi’s fifth place in the final standings with 174.

250cc Grand Prix
Reigning World Champion Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) won this frantic 27-lap race, but the star of the show was the flying Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) who finished second. Spanish interest lay with Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) who was third.

Mika Kallio, who crashed out of second place on the final lap, got the holeshot and led Julian Simon (both KTM) into turn one. When the early race order settled, a six-rider lead group headed by Kallio, with Takahashi in sixth, had established itself.

By the halfway point Simoncelli, Kallio and Takahashi had opened a two second gap to Simon in fourth. He then retired with mechanical trouble as Bautista chased this lead trio. In the final laps Takahashi dropped away before Kallio fell and the Japanese star earned a well-deserved second place.

Takahashi, scoring his third podium of the season to finish fifth overall in the points standings.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) finished eighth for his fifth top ten finish of the year.

125cc Grand Prix
Simone Corsi took his fourth win of the season ahead of his Aprilia team-mate Nico Terol with 2008 World Champion Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) third. Corsi had to work hard for this win, enmeshed in a five-rider group from mid-race distance the Italian stole across the line just one tenth of a second ahead of Spaniard Terol.

The win moves Corsi to second overall in the final points standings as 2007 World Champion Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) who led him by six points going into this race, crashed out. It was the Hungarian’s last 125cc Grand Prix. British rider Bradley Smith (Aprilia) finished a strong fourth.

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – 3rd in World Championship.
“I am happy with second place today. I pushed Casey as hard as I could but he had something a little extra and he managed the gap very well. We worked hard all weekend, so my thanks to my team and also to Repsol, the bike I rode today was one of the best-looking bikes I’ve ridden. The crowd was great, it was fantastic to see so many fans here, packing the grandstands and obviously really enjoying the spectacle and pushing us along. Overall, I am also happy with the last few races, because we were able to come back from a difficult period during the middle of the season. We changed tyres and I came in for some criticism, but finally we got back on the pace at the last few races, running close to the front in the wet and in the dry. It hasn’t been the easiest of years. I broke my right hand during preseason testing, I broke my left hand in Germany and I injured my left knee at Phillip Island. These injuries caused me to lose my rhythm and they interrupted our development work, while everyone else was racing and improving their bikes. I have had to push really hard to come back from all these injuries. Tomorrow we start testing for 2009 – I am looking forward to it because things are going well now. I hope to have a good off-season and stay healthy.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 4th - 5th in World Championship.
"This was my last race with my Team, with whom I’ve been with for seven consecutive years. I still remember when running in the Italian Championship, being contacted by them to join the Team. From tomorrow I will be an official Honda rider and this is the achievement of a dream, but there is also sorrow to leave a Team that has always believed in me, that gave me the opportunity to contest the MotoGP championship. We have had a good season, often in front of ‘official’ factory machines and we achieved all the goals we set ourselves. Today in the race, I started well but after that I knew things would become difficult. I lost time overtaking both Nicky Hayden and James Toseland, but I was not able to stay with Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. For next year I will have a motorcycle, which I can develop and also I will have a new team with different working methods. I know I must still improve, I will have to understand how to steer the development of the motorcycle, and in the race I must be more consistent. There will be equality of tyres also, which will be good for me. Today I left my bike with Yuki Takahashi, as he is coming to this category, and he was my team-mate in 250s. I think he could do well in MotoGP, as in recent years he has had injuries that have influenced his results, but he has come back so strong. His approach to it will be interesting, as with MotoGP, at first it seems easy but then it becomes very challenging!"

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 5th - 6th in World Championship.
“We started out the weekend like a bit of a fairytale – fastest in the first three sessions, so we were off to a good start, I think the conditions were better for us then. Yesterday afternoon we were third and on the front row, then this morning we had big off which probably didn’t help things. I just lost the front at turn nine, maybe conditions were a bit too cool for that front tyre. I had to swap bikes for the race and my crew had to change a lot of stuff: callipers, swingarm and so on. My other bike didn’t feel so smooth. It wasn’t too bad but I definitely liked my first bike better, but that was my fault. In the race I didn’t quite get the start I wanted and those guys were just quicker in the beginning, my rhythm wasn’t quick enough. It obviously would’ve been better to finish my last race with Honda a bit stronger. I rode hard this weekend, now I’m looking forward to doing something different. I have to finish off by saying thanks to my team, to Honda, to Michelin and to everybody here. They made me a world champ, I’m grateful to them all.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 7th - 9th in World Championship.
“I’m happy with seventh place today because it was important for me to get to the finish line, which is why I pushed hard but without taking too many risks. Considering that I started the race from fifteenth I had to be very focused to make up positions at the start, taking another couple of riders over the opening laps before catching Edwards, although it was difficult to get past him. We had gone for a hard tyre with an eye on the later stages of the race and I think we made a good choice. I’m satisfied with this season because over the final few races in particular we’ve had some good races and despite a couple of ups and downs I’m happy with how it’s all gone. I want to thank Team Gresini and my fans for their support and I will go away with great memories of the people I have had the pleasure to work with this season.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 10th- 14th in World Championship.
“With the way this weekend started we’ve managed to finish it off in positive style so I’m happy. Tenth place is gratifying even though we were hoping for better. Unfortunately the weather here proved a real setback for us and our preparations for the race – especially because we lost our way a little in the last races and we needed more time to sort the bike out. I want to thank everybody who has worked with me this season – they have all done everything they could to help me because for a rider the first year in MotoGP is always the most difficult. Tomorrow we start a new adventure on a new bike, with new technical staff, and I’m curious to see how the new season shapes up.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 15th – 15th in World Championship.
"I am very disappointed because I wanted to get a better result in the last race of the season. In the first lap I made a small mistake and had to go wide to avoid Toseland. At the end of the first lap I was the last rider and lost twelve seconds from the leader. After that I started to push but was impossible to come back. My wrist ached a lot and I did my best to finish the race. Honestly I expected something better because my pace in race trim was fast but now it's time to work for next season. I want to thank my crew, the Honda and Michelin staff for their good job during this championship".

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 2nd - 5th in World Championship.
"I am happy here because I wanted to end my last season in 250s in the best possible way, giving another podium to my team. During practice we worked hard on the settings for the race and the bike was perfect. Yesterday I was not satisfied with qualifying, because I knew that I could do more and to the team last night I said we would be today on the podium. I started pushing from the start, I gave 100% and gave no thought to anything, just to give the bike full gas! I want to thank the whole team, as we have been very close during this year’s world championship. Tomorrow I will ride for the first time on the Honda MotoGP bike and right now I'm feeling many different emotions, all together. I am happy, eager and I am realizing a dream."

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 8th – 13th in World Championship.
“After qualifying I was aiming for a top five finish but I made another bad start and was only 14th at the end of the first lap. My bike was third fastest yesterday and running really good again today and I slowly made up positions. My problem was that I took too long to pass Pasini, I was not aggressive enough. The leading group were very fast and I could not make a better place because we were running around the same lap times. Overall I am happy with my season but I have think about a lot before next season, particularly my race starts!”

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 23rd.
“ I stalled on the starting grid and obviously started from way back. I was nevertheless able to close on a group led by Bastien Cheseaux and Daniel Saez. We did the whole race together and it was really interesting. We had a good fight and in the final lap I made two mistakes and wasn’t able to finish on top of that group. Cheseaux had the last word, it’s a real pity. But I must admit that we didn’t necessarily have the right settings. The grip changed throughout the week end, making it extremely difficult to dial the precise set-up for my Honda. But I really feel that I could have a much more satisfying result with a better start. Nevertheless I had some fun out on the racetrack and really feel I had made some improvements.”

MotoGP World Championship Round 18
Valencia Grand Prix at Ricardo Tormo -Valencia

1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
7 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
8 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
9 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
12 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
13 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
14 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
15 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
4 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
5 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
6 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
7 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
8 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
9 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
10 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
11 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
12 Alex BALDOLINI (Matteoni Racing)
13 Imre TOTH (Team Toth Aprilia)
14 Daniel ARCAS (Blusens Aprilia)
15 Simone GROTZKYJ (Campetella Racing)
1 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
2 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
3 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
4 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
5 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
6 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
7 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
8 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
9 Pablo NIETO (Onde 2000 KTM)
10 Esteve RABAT (Repsol KTM 125cc)
11 Lorenzo ZANETTI (ISPA KTM Aran)
12 Efren VAZQUEZ (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
13 Lorenzo SAVADORI (I.C. Team)
14 Alexis MASBOU (Loncin Racing)
15 Enrique JEREZ (ISPA KTM Aran)

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