Pedrosa wins dramatic crash-strewn Valencian GP

Dani Pedrosa

In the final MotoGP race at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took victory in a dramatic race that was marred with awkward conditions and crashes ahead of Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Casey Stoner.

The race was declared wet by Race Direction despite a near dry line having formed, and only Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, his teammate Nakasuga, and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, chose the softer option slick tires, with all others on the hard wets. However, in a twist unseen this season, Pedrosa, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Ã�lvaro Bautista then decided to start from pit-lane after their sighting lap, with all of them switching to a bike with slick tires.

Pedrosa was carving his way through the pack, whilst many riders that were on wets started coming into the pits to switch to their bikes with slicks, amongst which were Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, Pramac Racing Team’s Hector Barberá, and Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Amid the frantic happenings, Hayden, Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva, and Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo crashed out of contention. On lap eight, Lorenzo was leading with Pedrosa in tow, whilst Bradl was running third with Nakasuga and Crutchlow behind. It was however not to be for the young German as he lost control of his bike in Turn 5 and crashed out. With 18 laps remaining Crutchlow efforts were rewarded by getting past Nakasuga, as Pedrosa had a moment and ran wide, putting him over three seconds back on Lorenzo.

Then there was huge drama as the World Champion was highsided off his bike as he was passing back markers, and was fortunate to walk away unhurt. This left Pedrosa in the lead, who also had his work cut out getting past the slower riders. On lap 19 the crashes continued as Barberá also took a tumble, whilst Espargaro teammate Randy de Puniet ran into the gravel. A lap later he was followed Avintia Blusens’ Claudio Corti, who skidded off into the gravel on his Inmotec chassis.

Just as things looked to have settled down, Crutchlow was caught out by the conditions and dropped out of second place. This moved Bautista up into third, although Stoner was catching up quickly in fourth. And with three laps remaining Stoner was all over the rear wheel Bautista and caught him at the end of the lap down the home straight to move into third.

In the end it was Pedrosa who took checkered flag to score his seventh win of the season, with Nakasuga taking the first Japanese podium this year in his second wildcard entry, and Stoner signing off his GP career with the final step on the rostrum. The first non-podium finisher was Bautista, followed by his teammate Michele Pirro, Dovizioso, Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. Espargaro¢ finished in 11th and secured himself the CRT title this season, whilst Bautista consolidated fifth in the championship.

Race Result – Round 18
1 Dani Pedrosa 48'23.819 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Katsuyuki Nakasuga +37.661 JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Casey Stoner +1'00.633 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Alvaro Bautista +1'02.811 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Michele Pirro +1'26.608 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
6 Andrea Dovizioso +1'30.423 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Karel Abraham +1'31.789 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
8 Danilo Petrucci +1 lap ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
9 James Ellison +1 lap GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
10 Valentino Rossi +1 lap ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
11 Aleix Espargaro +1 lap ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
12 Randy De Puniet +2 laps FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Hiroshi Aoyama +2 laps JAP BQR-FTR BQR
14 Colin Edwards +3 laps USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
15 Cal Crutchlow DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
16 Claudio Corti DNF ITA BQR-FTR BQR
17 Hector Barbera DNF SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 Jorge Lorenzo DNF SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
19 Stefan Bradl DNF GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
20 Roberto Rolfo DNF ITA ART Speed Master
21 Ivan Silva DNF SPA BQR-FTR BQR
22 Nicky Hayden DNF USA DUCATI Ducati Team

Championship standings
1 Jorge Lorenzo 350 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 332 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Casey Stoner 254 pts AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso 218 pts ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Alvaro Bautista 178 pts SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
6 Valentino Rossi 163 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Cal Crutchlow 151 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Stefan Bradl 135 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
9 Nicky Hayden 122 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Ben Spies 88 pts USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
11 Hector Barbera 83 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
12 Aleix Espargaro 74 pts ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Randy De Puniet 62 pts FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
14 Karel Abraham 59 pts CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Michele Pirro 43 pts ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 James Ellison 35 pts GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
17 Yonny Hernandez 28 pts COL BQR-FTR BQR
18 Danilo Petrucci 27 pts ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
19 Colin Edwards 27 pts USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
20 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 27 pts JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
21 Jonathan Rea 17 pts GBR HONDA Repsol Honda Team
22 Mattia Pasini 13 pts ITA ART Speed Master
23 Ivan Silva 12 pts SPA BQR-FTR BQR
24 Toni Elías 10 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
25 Hiroshi Aoyama 3 pts JAP BQR-FTR BQR
26 Steve Rapp 2 pts USA N/A Attack Performance
27 David Salom 1 pts SPA BQR-FTR BQR
28 Roberto Rolfo 0 pts ITA ART Speed Master
29 Franco Battaini 0 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
30 Chris Vermeulen 0 pts AUS SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
31 Aaron Yates 0 pts USA N/A GP Tech

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