Valencia MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa wins action-packed season finale

Dani Pedrosa triumphed in a wild and chaotic Valencia MotoGP finale in which champion Jorge Lorenzo violently crashed out while leading

Valencia MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa wins action-packed season finale

The Yamaha rider had been under pressure from Pedrosa when he attempted to lap James Ellison. Slipping onto the treacherous wet line, Lorenzo lost the rear and, after a long fight to save his bike, was eventually bucked off, landing heavily on his back before sliding out into the gravel.

In his absence Pedrosa was able to cruise to victory for Honda, the pair having been more than 20 seconds clear of the field following a frantic opening in which the drama began even before the lights went out.

A drying track led to confusion and last-minute tyre calls all along the grid. While the majority opted for wets, Lorenzo gambled and ended up calling it perfectly by opting to start on slicks.

Some, including Pedrosa, realised on the warm-up lap that they needed to follow suit and consequently headed into the pits rather than returning to the grid.

As the lights went green Pedrosa was therefore missing from pole, but by starting from the pitlane he did at least limit the damage - in the region of 25s - every other rider had to face by stopping after a handful of laps to switch onto a dry set-up bike.

Lorenzo initially fell to 11th as his slicks took time to warm up, but was soon fifth and by the end of the third lap had moved into a lead he would hold until his fall.

In his absence, the lead was - for the first time in MotoGP history - claimed by a CRT rider as Aleix Espargaro stretched away in the opening stages.

The Spaniard even had the pace to respond after being demoted one spot by Andrea Dovizioso, but once on the dry he faded and within 10 tours of the track found himself being lapped.

Several more would fall victim to the treacherous conditions, including Cal Crutchlow, who fell seven laps from the end while running second.

His woe was Katsuyuki Nakasaga's gain. Replacing the injured Ben Spies at Yamaha for the weekend, the Japanese rider inherited second and held it until the flag.

It appeared he and Pedrosa would be joined by Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, but with one lap to go Casey Stoner's fightback from his mid-race stop was completed as he stole ahead and into third.

The Australian therefore bows out with a victory and a podium in his final two races in MotoGP.

Michele Pirro rode superbly to finish fifth on the CRT Gresini FTR-Honda, ahead of Tech 3's Dovizioso - who lost additional time trying to get his second bike started - Karel Abraham and Danilo Petrucci.

In his final race for Ducati, Valentino Rossi could only manage 10th.

He was lapped 14 laps from the finish, an inglorious end to his two-year spell with the Italian outfit.

Results - 30 laps: Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 48m23.819s 2. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha + 37.661s 3. Casey Stoner Honda + 1m00.633s 4. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda + 1m02.811s 5. Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda + 1m26.608s 6. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha + 1m30.423s 7. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati + 1m31.789s 8. Danilo Petrucci Ioda Suter-BMW + 1 lap 9. James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia + 1 lap 10. Valentino Rossi Ducati + 1 lap 11. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia + 1 lap 12. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia + 2 laps 13. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki + 2 laps 14. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW + 3 laps Retirements: Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 22 laps Claudio Corti Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki 17 laps Hector Barbera Pramac Ducati 16 laps Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 13 laps Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 9 laps Roberto Rolfo Speed Master Aprilia 6 laps Ivan Silva Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2 laps Nicky Hayden Ducati 2 laps 
shares
comments
MotoGP: Spec ECU and datalogger made mandatory for 2014

Previous article

MotoGP: Spec ECU and datalogger made mandatory for 2014

Next article

Valencia MotoGP: Casey Stoner lacked confidence in final race

Valencia MotoGP: Casey Stoner lacked confidence in final race
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Sam Tremayne
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021