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Stoner nips Spies for Valencia victory
Casey Stoner (R) nips American Ben Spies at the line
World Champion Casey Stoner could not have finished the season any better, after winning the final race of the season in Valencia in spectacular fashion in a race to the line with Ben Spies. With this podium, Casey celebrates his 16th podium finish of the year, equaling the record for most podiums in a single season in the premier class, previously achieved by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

The Repsol Honda rider launched from pole position and into the lead off the start of the Gran Premio Gernerali de la Comunitat Valenciana, the final race of the season and of the 800cc machines. Although the race was declared wet, the field all sported slicks tires in the difficult conditions that claimed the first casualties in the very first corner.  

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) lost the front just tipping into the first turn of the race, taking out Pramac Racing’s Randy de Puniet along with both Ducati Team riders, Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi. The crash was the Rossi’s third race in succession to conclude with a fall, marking the end of a difficult season for the seven times MotoGP World Champion.

Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa managed to avoid the incident, and with Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) already holding first and second in the Championship, the campaign for third between the teammates remained to be decided this weekend. Neither of the Repsol Honda riders showed any sign of deferring to the other as the two fought for the second spot on the podium, as well as the final Championship position, until the final laps of the race when the Spaniard slowed slightly as the slight rain fall picked up.

Honda riders Dovizioso and Pedrosa are hounded by Spies in 4th.  In the closing laps Spies would pass both Dovizioso and Pedrosa.  He then hunted down race leader Casey Stoner and passed him for the lead, only to lose out in a photo finish at the flag.
Ben Spies rode behind the Honda men as they battle for second, until on lap 23 the Texan made his move on Pedrosa for third, then put on the afterburners and closed in on Stoner, passing Dovizioso on the way to the front.

With three laps left, Stoner ran it wide, letting the American through to take over the head of the race and who then pulled an immediate one second gap at the front. The Yamaha man looked set to take the win, until in the very last corner of the race when the World Champion rocketed past the Texan at the line to claim his tenth win of the season and in the final race of the 800cc era.

The chase for the Rookie of the Year award between Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also went down to the very last lap, with the Czech rider poised to take the title until he fell in the final corner, handing Crutchlow the title and fourth place in the race. Abraham was able to rejoin the race to finish in eighth, ahead of Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing), who concluded the final race of his career with a ninth place.

Fifth place went to Dani Pedrosa, with Lorenzo’s replacement rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha Factory Racing) claiming sixth ahead of Colin Edwards’ replacement on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, Josh Hayes. Toni Elías (LCR Honda) completed the top ten finishers, with Hector Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) and Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) the final race finishers.

CASEY STONER – 1st – Final World Championship Position: 1st with 350 points
"My heart was in my throat! We did such a good job all the race and then it started to rain heavily. Being the first one to arrive to the conditions on the track, I wasn't sure how hard to push so I slowed up to ensure I finished the race and I thought if they come past I can stay with them. Then coming onto the back straight I made a slight mistake when I went into neutral instead of first gear and Ben came past me. I tried to stay with him but he was riding very well, fast and smooth and he looked confident in the conditions, more so than me. In the first half of the final lap he made a nice gap but I knew we were quick in the second half of the lap. I thought to myself, we haven't been able to take any risks all season, this is the time to take one and see what we can do. I knew I had a better exit line out of the final turn and I kept my head down and went for the line. It's amazing to win this on the finish line, I've had it done to me in the past a few times but I've never done it to anyone else! I'm sorry for Ben, he rode a great race, a big thanks to my team for all their hard work this year".



Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 48'18.645
2 20 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.015
3 16 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda +5.936
4 13 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +8.718
5 11 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +9.321
6 10 89 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +23.818
7 9 41 Josh HAYES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +33.118
8 8 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati +37.952
9 7 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +48.953
10 6 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +52.501
11 5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati +1'06.519
12 4 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +1'08.760
13 0 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati DNF 0 Laps
14 0 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki DNF 0 Laps
15 0 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati DNF 0 Laps
16 0 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati DNF 0 Laps

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