Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

Casey Stoner admits he threw caution to the wind in epic Valencia finale

Casey Stoner wins at ValenciaWorld champion Casey Stoner said he took more risks in the last half-lap of the MotoGP season finale at Valencia than he had all year as he snatched victory from Ben Spies in a thrilling conclusion to the 2011 campaign.

Stoner beat Spies over the line by just 0.015 seconds after getting a better run out of the last corner in slippery conditions.

Spies had earlier escaped from a big battle for second to chase down Stoner as the rain fell - the Australian having pulled away in the earlier, less treacherous, stages.

Honda rider Stoner said the weather had made it an extraordinarily tough race from the outset.

"All weekend to be honest the conditions have been atrocious really," he said.

"The conditions weren't wet, they weren't dry, and then even when we had a dry track it wasn't really dry, there were always some spots or some wet patches. The conditions have just been really difficult to deal with and the race was no different.

"There was rain the whole race - just little bits and pieces, it would change what corner it was and how hard it was lap by lap, so you didn't really know how hard to go into each corner as you were approaching it."

He felt he was in complete control until the rain intensified late on.

"We built up a really good lead, really comfortable, and every time I felt there was a bit too much rain I'd back off, wait for the rain to subside, they'd catch me a bit and then I'd be able to increase the lead again. And I felt pretty good out there. The bike was working well," Stoner said.

"Then it got to the point where it just started to rain heavier and heavier, and I went into a couple of corners and the rear came round on me and I just really wasn't too keen on pushing any harder than I was and I thought 'at least when they catch up, if somebody does come past, I'll keep going at what I'm comfortable with and when somebody comes past I'll be able to see then where the limits are and if they're getting a bit slippery or not.'

"Ben came past after I made a small mistake and hit neutral, and he was looking great - he was riding the corners really nicely, smoothly. I was able to catch him a little bit on the brakes and the acceleration points, but other than that I didn't think I was going to get a chance to do anything and I wasn't really willing to take any risks."

But he said he then realised that with nothing to lose, he may as well throw caution to the wind on the run to the flag.

"I suppose on the last half of the last lap, I thought 'this is it, this is the last lap of the year for us' and I just decided to go for it and take some risks that I haven't taken all season," Stoner explained.

"It came out very good for us. We were able to catch Ben going right into the last turn. We got a fantastic drive - I don't think I could've got a better run going onto the last straight and I managed to just pip him on the line.

"Sorry to Ben, but we're very happy to end the season like this."

Stoner's Valencia win was his 10th of the year, and means he ends the campaign 90 points ahead of nearest rival Jorge Lorenzo in the standings.

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
  RELATED STORIES
Sixth place a shock for Nakasuga
Pedrosa keen to improve wet skills
Hayden escapes injury in collision
Bautista says crash unavoidable
Tech 3 thrilled with Hayes' efforts
Crutchlow: Fourth a boost for 2012
Capirossi pleased to finish final race
Dovizioso: I just had to beat Pedrosa
Spies says second still satisfying
Stoner pips Spies in ultra-close race
Hayes tops Valencia warm-up
Haymarket