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
The signs the old Marquez is really back to trouble his MotoGP rivals Plus

The signs the old Marquez is really back to trouble his MotoGP rivals

OPINION: Marc Marquez has completed the first three races of his MotoGP comeback from a fourth major operation on his right arm and has already achieved more points than Honda scored in his absence. While there is still some way to go before he is ready to win races, there have been plenty of signs to suggest that the old Marquez really is back

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2022
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022