Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 20, 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 20 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.

Andrew Van de Burgt
Editor in Chief
Find out more about our subscriptions

Ben Spies insists second place still satisfying after being denied Valencia win in photo-finish with Casey Stoner

Ben Spies, Yamaha, Valencia 2011Ben Spies said he still took a lot of satisfaction from second place at Valencia even though Casey Stoner denied him victory in the MotoGP season finale by just 0.015 seconds.

Spies fought through from fourth to catch and pass Stoner for the lead as drizzle intensified in the closing stages.

But with victory seemingly in the bag for the Yamaha rider, Stoner got a better exit from the final corner of the race and edged his Honda ahead as they took the chequered flag.

Spies had spent most of the distance fighting Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso for second as Stoner got away, and had no expectation of challenging for victory.

"It was a weird race for us because obviously the way the conditions were was very tricky," said the American.

"Once the race got underway I saw Dani and Dovi were battling it out. I knew they had a championship battle on the line too, so I was watching that and knew their tyre combinations versus mine and was just watching and seeing what was going to happen and waiting for somebody to make a move, and then I was just going to play off that and see what happened.

"Then it started to rain quite heavily and I made a couple of passes, and then all of a sudden Casey appeared in front of us."

Spies admitted that it was harder to judge his pace once he was in the race lead and unable to use Stoner as a marker.

"I followed him for a little bit and then he made a mistake and I went by, and once I got out there it was still raining quite badly and I had nobody in front of me so it was hard to determine how much grip was on the track," said Spies.

"The last two laps, I decided 'alright, this is first or second place, just get on the podium, but maybe we can win the thing. Let's just try to stay consistent.'

"He took a couple of risks on the last few corners and caught us. I tried to get a run out of the last corner but we lacked a little steam going to the line."

Having been unable to start the last two grands prix due to head and rib injuries sustained in a Phillip Island qualifying crash, Spies said he had to see second place as a positive way to round off the year despite the frustration of being denied a win by such a narrow margin.

"That's the way it goes," he said. "I'm happy to end the season like this. With the month I've had, it's been horrible. But we ended it with a good result and now I'm happy to start testing on Tuesday or Wednesday and start next season."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
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
Stoner: I had nothing to lose
Stoner pips Spies in ultra-close race
Hayes tops Valencia warm-up