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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 18: Valencia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Valencia
Valencia
November 11, 2012

Pedrosa Wins 2012 Finale, Stoner Third in His Last Race

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) scored a masterful victory in today’s Valencia grand finale, winning an incident-packed race that started on partially damp and very unforgiving track.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA
(Repsol Honda Team)
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER
(Repsol Honda Team)

The Spanish hero was joined on the podium by third-placed Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V), riding his last race before retirement.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) finished fourth, some way in front of Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) who rode a storming race on his CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike. That made it five Honda-powered machines in the top six.

Morning rain had left the slow-drying track still wet in places, despite the earlier Moto2 and Moto3 races, so there were plenty of deliberation about tyre choice before the start. Some riders chose slicks, others rain tyres. Pedrosa was one of several riders who started the warm-up lap on rain tyres, then decided to change, rushing into the pits and swapping to their slick-equipped spare bikes. According to the rules, Pedrosa started the race from pit lane, after the main pack, his RC213V fishtailing as he launched, its slick tyres struggling for grip on still-soaking pit road.

Pedrosa took care in the first few laps, working hard to get heat into his tyres and stay on the narrow dry line. At the end of lap one he was 20th, but by lap three he was up to 11th and the fastest man on the track, making good progress over rivals who had started on rain tyres.

However, Pedrosa was not the only man on slicks. Recently crowned World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and a few others had started the race on slicks from the grid and it was not long before Lorenzo was in the lead. Pedrosa moved into second just before one-quarter distance and then began to whittle away his compatriot’s advantage. He had got the gap down to just one tenth of a second when he found a false neutral and ran off the track at turn ten which put him four seconds behind. The very next lap Lorenzo crashed at the same right-hander that had nearly claimed Pedrosa.

The vast majority of the eight crashes during the race round this anti-clockwise circuit where in right-handers, the riders struggling to get enough heat into the right side of their tyres.

When Lorenzo tumbled, Pedrosa inherited a 22 second lead over Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow (who later crashed) and from then on his main challenges were maintaining concentration and staying on the narrow dry line. At the finish he was a gaping 37.6 seconds ahead of Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha), substituting for the injured Ben Spies. This was his seventh win of the year – a MotoGP record for the 27-year-old.

Stoner was one of the majority who started the race on rain tyres, the 2011 World Champion soon deciding he needed slicks and pitting at the end of lap four to change to his ‘dry’ bike. Next time around he was 16th and 31 seconds outside of a podium finish. His advance from that position was impressively determined as he passed other riders and made up a few more places as others fell by the wayside. He moved into third with two laps to go, giving him the opportunity to mark the end of his glittering career with a podium finish.

Nine years ago Stoner won his first GP victory – in the 125 class – here at Valencia. Today the Australian hangs up his leathers as one of the sport’s all time greats, with two MotoGP World Championships and 45 Grand Prix wins across all three classes.

The final victim of Stoner’s career was Bautista who nonetheless had good reason to be happy with his fourth-place finish. Like Pedrosa, Bautista also changed his mind about tyres during the warm-up lap, swapping bikes in pit lane and starting from there. He worked his way through from 19th on the first lap, riding well in the unforgiving conditions.

Like Lorenzo and Nakasuga, Pirro started the race on slicks, staying cautious in the early laps and then making the most of his advantage as the track dried out somewhat. His fifth-place finish was the best result so far by a CRT machine, the lower-cost MotoGP bikes introduced at the start of this season.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) started his last race as a MotoGP rookie on slick tyres and was going well, holding third place just ahead of Nakasuga, when he tumbled at the turn five right-hander on lap ten.

Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) won an unforgettable final victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, coming from the back of the grid to take his ninth win of the year from Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter) who led 17 laps of the 27 lap race, run in treacherously damp conditions. Last year’s 125 World Champion Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team – Suter) led the early stages and finished third, his first Moto2 podium.

Marquez – who next year joins Dani Pedrosa in the factory Repsol Honda MotoGP team – was sent to the back of the grid for an incident with another rider during Friday practice. This was his second win from the back of the grid – he won the 2010 Portuguese 125 GP from the back row after falling on the sighting lap.

The 19-year-old was astonishing on the first lap, passing 23 riders. By half-distance he was up to fourth, but by then Simon and Terol were way out on their own and seemed out of his reach. Lapping more than a second a lap quicker than the leaders, Marquez passed Terol with seven laps to go and took the lead with three laps remaining.

Simon and Terol finished second and third, making it an all-Spanish podium. An all-Swiss duel for fourth place went to Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) who got the better of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) by less than a second.

Terol’s team-mate Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team – Suter) scored his best Moto2 result in sixth. Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) was seventh ahead of Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) who crashed and remounted to finish eighth, just ahead of Toni Elias (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex) and Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex).

Hector Faubel (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was Honda’s top finisher in the last Moto3 race of the year, the Spaniard in the thick of the action in the lead group throughout. At the finish line the Spaniard was fifth, less than four seconds behind the winner.

The race was run on a wet track, with many riders falling victim to the slippery conditions. Several in the lead group slid off, leaving Danny Kent to take the win from KTM team-mate and recently crowned World Champion Sandro Cortese at the final corner.

Faubel was not the only Honda rider running up front. Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) briefly led the race during the early stages, but the winner of May’s wet French GP then slipped back a few positions to complete the 24 laps in sixth place, comfortably ahead of Jakub Kornfeil (Thomas Sabo GP Team – Honda).

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) had a difficult end to his 2012 season, finishing eighth which puts him a close third in the final World Championship standings. After Cortese, Vinales has the second largest victory haul of the year, with five wins.

Faubel’s team-mate Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was one of the front-runners who fell during the race, taking Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) with him at two-thirds distance. The pair had been running third and second when they fell.

Most riders have little chance to rest after today’s racing. Moto2 winter testing begins tomorrow, with MotoGP following the next day for a two-day session here.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
Michele PIRRO
(San Carlo Honda Gresini)

MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner
“After Marquez'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 four or five 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, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“Considering everything that happened today, we're very happy with a podium. My motivation wasn't particularly high 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.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 4th
“That was definitely the most difficult race of the season. On the warm-up lap I decided to come in and swap the bike for my other bike with slick tyres because I could see the track was drying. I tried to manage the situation as best I could out there and focus on our objective of making sure of fifth in the championship, but I'm not happy with the performance because again I had no feeling from the front. But anyway the season is over now and I am happy with where we have finished and with the progress we have made over the course of the season. Thanks to the team, Fausto Gresini and all the sponsors who have supported us. Now we start looking towards 2013 and I am happy to be with the same team and all the guys who have worked so hard this year. We have a good base to work from and improve next year.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 5th
“What a fantastic day! To finish fifth and as the top CRT, with the best CRT result of the season, is wonderful. It wasn't an easy race, but we tried to push our best and take a few risks. Like last year when I won the Moto2 race I could feel Marco's hand on my shoulder, giving me a push, and I feel this is a fitting way to say good bye to Team Gresini. The past two years with them have been very important for my career so I want to thank each and every member. The memories of our victory together here at Valencia last year and this fantastic result today will stay with us forever and it has been wonderful to write a small chapter in the history of this great championship. Thanks everybody.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“We had very tricky conditions today as almost everybody was on wet tyres because the dry line was less than 10cm wide and we decided to go on slicks because we wanted to avoid a bike change which could cost us a lot of time. At the end we made the right choice and I want to thank the team for their support because it’s not easy for a rider to decide when the surface is so slippery. I was on a good pace from the beginning and was third when I crashed out. The rider in front of me was slower and I wanted to overtake him quickly but in turn five I was a bit too aggressive and lost the control of the bike. I should have waited a bit longer to make the move and I feel bad for the team because I lost the chance to fight for the podium. However I feel happy today because I will be awarded as Rookie of the Year and this is simply great. This first year in the premier class has been incredible for me and I must thank Lucio and his team because at the beginning I was a bit worried but now I know this team is like a family.”

Moto2

Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol: race winner
“Before the race I didn’t think I could win. It was an advantage for me to ride without the pressure of the championship – my mentality was to make a good start, rider 100 per cent and see what happens. The difficult thing is that the closer you get to the front the more difficult it is to pass because the riders are stronger. I had a nice battle with Rea, Aegerter and Zarco – I passed them and they passed me many times. Then I saw that Nico and Julian were many seconds in front, so I didn’t expect to beat them. I was on the limit at every corner – okay, if I crash, I crash! To finish the championship with a victory is very good and now I am 100 per cent focused on MotoGP. I am very enthusiastic to discover a MotoGP bike on Tuesday and to work with the best team.”
Julian Simon, Blusens Avintia: 2nd
“I’m happy with second and my congratulations to Marc – I think they need to make him start from even further back on the grid! I led many laps but in the end I couldn’t push anymore because my front tyre was starting to slide. The last laps were complicated as the track dried a bit, though I was able to stay close to Marc. My thanks to my team and now I am looking forward to a great 2013.”
Nicolas Terol, Mapfre Aspar Team: 3rd
“My first season in Moto2 has been quite difficult because there are so many fast riders and because I’ve had to learn to ride a four-stroke. So it’s a dream to score my first Moto2 podium here at this circuit, in front of my fans and family. It’s an important result because it gives me a good feeling for next year. I pushed very hard but when Julian and then Marc came past it was not possible to go with them, though I made the podium which makes me happy.”

Moto3

Hector Faubel, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse: 5th
“It was a beautiful race – special and fun. Initially it was difficult because I was far behind. But then I started passing slower riders. It was a shame not to be on the podium, but I gave everything I could to get there. Now I want to thank Pedro Machado and my sponsors for giving me this opportunity.”
Louis Rossi, Racing Team Germany: 6th
“The race was good, except for my mistake. I downshifted to first going into turn one after a few laps and ran off the track. I’m sad because without that I would have been able to fight for the podium. Anyway, we were strong, we led the race, we had a good pace and we got some points. Now it feels a bit strange to leave this team and begin my career in Moto2 – my thanks to the team for all they’ve done this year.”
Jakub Kornfeil, Thomas Sabo GP Team: 7th
“I still have big problems in the early stages. I always lose so much in the beginning and it takes a while to get into the racing rhythm. We tried to use a harder tyre because we knew it would work later on. It was quite difficult to move up from 18th place. In the beginning I was fighting with Popov and he was really hard to beat. Then my feeling with the bike improved so I closed the gap to Salom, Vinales and Ajo. I was able to overtake both of them. In another lap, I also passed Ajo. I knew Faubel was in the front and if I did not score some decent points, I would be relegated to 16th in the standings, But I was comfortably seventh and Faubel made a mistake that cost him a podium finish. This weekend had not been going well, so seventh place is a perfect way to end the season.”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 18: Valencia

MotoGP
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
5 Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
8 Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
9 James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)
10 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
11 Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
12 Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
13 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Avintia Blusens)
14 Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol)
2 Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
3 Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
4 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
5 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
6 Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
7 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8 Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
9 Toni ELIAS (Italtrans Racing Team)
10 Esteve RABAT (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
11 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
12 Gino REA (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
13 Dani RIVAS (TSR Galicia School)
14 Yuki TAKAHASHI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
15 Ricard CARDUS (Arguinano Racing Team)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
4 Brad BINDER (RW Racing GP)
5 Hector FAUBEL (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
6 Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
7 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
8 Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)
9 Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)
10 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
11 Philipp OETTL (HP Moto Kalex)
12 Juan Francisco GUEVAR (Wild Wolf BST)
13 Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
14 Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
15 Josep RODRIGUEZ (Moto FGR)

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