ROUND 18 - Spain 9-11 November 2012
Laps:Moto3 - 24 laps
Moto2 - 27 laps
MotoGP - 30 laps
Lap Records:125cc/Moto3 - Hector Faubel, Aprilia (2007) 1:39.380 = 145.079km/h
Moto2 - Karl Abraham, FTR (2010) 1:36.611 = 149.237km/h
MotoGP - Casey Stoner, Ducati (2008) 1:32.582 = 155.732km/h
The results at Valencia:-
MotoGP1 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), 48 mins 23.819 secs (race average speed 148.955km/h)
2 Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha), 37.661s behind
3 Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda), 1:00.633 behind
PP Pedrosa, 1:30.844 =158.711 km/h • FL Pedrosa, 1:33.119, 154.834km/h
Moto21 Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol) 48 mins 50.706 secs (race average speed 132.830km/h)
2 Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia), 1.256s behind
3 Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), 11.372s behind
PP Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Movil HP 40 Kalex), 1:35.191 = 151.463 km/h • FL Marquez, 1:46.440, 135.456km/h
Moto31 Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 45 mins 5.891 secs (race average speed 127.880 km/h)
2 Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo), 0.056s behind
3 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo KTM), 0.114s behind
PP Jonas Folger, 1:41.163 = 142.381 km/h • FL Khairuddin, 1:49.662, 131.5 km/h
MOTOGP: PEDROSA WINS, STONER THIRD, LORENZO CATAPULTED
After an amazing sequence of events in the 30-lap race, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) eventually cantered to his seventh win of the season, as he finished ahead of Japan’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga – deputising for the injured American Ben Spies – and Australia’s Casey Stoner in his final MotoGP ride.
The race was declared wet by Race Direction despite a dry line appearing on the circuit – with only a few riders choosing soft slick tyres from the get-go, including world champion Jorge Lorenzo, his team-mate Nakasuga and Helmut Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP). But then the plot thickened again, with Pedrosa, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista all deciding to start from pit-lane after the sighting lap as they switched to bikes with slick tyres. Stoner wasn’t of them, starting the race on wets, a decision he would later lament as “taking the easy option”.
When the race got underway it was frantic, with Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró leading the early exchanges. But it didn’t take long for Lorenzo to start asserting his authority as a number of riders who started on wets came into the pits, including Stoner and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Bradl was the first of the big names to depart after crashing on lap eight, while Crutchlow was ahead of Nakasuga not long after. Stoner was well back, behind a number of CRT machines, at this juncture.
The race then started to settle down and resemble a more conventional pecking order, before huge drama followed when Lorenzo was catapulted over the bars of his Yamaha with 17 laps to go after getting into trouble while trying to lap CRT rider James Ellison (Paul Bird Motorsport). It was only Lorenzo’s second DNF of the season, and in the other 16 races he was either first or second.
Lorenzo’s demise left Pedrosa in the lead from Crutchlow, before the latter fell with seven laps to, leaving Nakasuga with a vice-like grip on second place – one he would not relinquish as he finished 37 seconds behind Pedrosa.
But Pedrosa wasn’t on easy street, either.
“It was hard to keep doing the lap times when you see ‘plus 40 seconds’ on your pit board all the time,” Pedrosa said.
“But finally it came right and I am very pleased for the team and all the fans. It’s been a good season.”
Stoner, meanwhile, was closing in on third-paced Bautista at a rapid rate of knots, and he easily moved into third with three laps to run to sign off his MotoGP career with yet another podium – his 69th in the premier class and 89th in grand prix racing.
“It’s a bit surreal at the moment, as it’s been a disappointing weekend. I like this track but we had one dry session and it’s been difficult to live with, said Stoner.
“I don’t feel confident when the track is wet and I am constantly tense and not riding like I know I can, especially in the half wet, half dry conditions we had today.
“Another time I would have gone to the slick immediately but something holds me back and makes me go for the easy and safe option, which ended up being the completely wrong choice.
“We just kept our head down and trying to reel off the lap times. I didn’t want to run out off that dry line so I always kept a margin. It’s hard for me to ride like that as I am normally very free and open and very happy to push. But there’s something inside of me not wanting to push and further my injuries. But our hard work paid off and we made the passes count.
“It’s a good feeling to be on the podium. I would like to thank everyone who has followed and supported me over the years. I owe a lot to people and I just want to say thank you.”
Stoner finished his final year in third position on 254pts, behind Lorenzo (350) and Pedrosa (332) and ahead of Dovizioso (218) and Bautista (178).
The first non-podium at Valencia finisher was Bautista, followed by his teammate Michele Pirro in the highest ever finish for a CRT machine, Dovizioso, Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci. Espargaró finished in 11th and secured himself the CRT title this season.
Qualifying: A lack of dry sessions was telling, but the three big guns qualified for the front row: Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner. That was before the Pedrosa would start form pit lane in the race… Crutchlow again got the better of team-mate Dovizioso to qualify in fourth, with Bradl completing the top five.
MOTO2: MARQUEZ PULLS A BLINDER – NEXT STOP MOTOGP
Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol) has farewelled the Moto2 paddock in the most phenomenal circumstances, consigning most of his compatriots to also-ran status as he romped to victory from last position on the grid (33).
Marquez, who was crowned Moto2 world champion at Phillip Island, was smacked with the grid penalty after officials declared he rode in an irresponsible manner during free practice. The Spaniard didn’t appeal the decision – which was definitely bad news for his colleagues as he was determined to right the wrong with an inspirational performance in the 27-lap race. And he duly obliged, slicing his way through to 11th after lap one before adopting a more patient mindset as he latched onto some faster riders.
But once he inched his way through, Marquez then reloaded and set his sights on Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) and Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia). Terol was swiftly dispatched and with five laps to run he was close to six seconds behind Simon. The sizeable gap quickly vanished and on lap 25 Marquez was in front, and his final winning margin was 1.256 seconds. Next stop for Marquez will now be his first MotoGP test with Repsol Honda on November 14 as a replacement for the retiring Casey Stoner.
Marquez finished the season with the most Moto2 (250cc) points in history, eclipsing the late Daijiro Katoh. Marquez finished on 324pts, ahead of Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Movil HP 40) on 268 and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) on 193.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) were fourth and fifth in the race, while Phillip Island winner Espargaro worked his way back to eighth after an early crash.
Australia’s Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) didn’t compete after failing an anti-doping test carried out at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 20, and his sanctions included missing this year’s final round.
Qualifying: Espargaro started from his eighth pole position of 2012, but Marquez was the real talking point. He was second fastest behind Espargaro, but would start from last on the grid after it was deemed by Race Direction that he “rode in an irresponsible manner during the Moto2 free practice causing danger to rider Simone Corsi (ITA)”, which is an infringement 2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations. That bumped Luthi and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team) up to the front row.
MOTO3: KENT SEIZES VICTORY OVER CORTESE WITH LAST TURN STUNNER
Danny Kent pounced on the final corner of the 24-lap race to pass unsuspecting Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate and long-time leader Sandro Cortese, which was enough to secure the Briton his second win of the year – the first coming at Motegi. On a wet track, the master tactician Cortese had seemingly done enough to wrap up his sixth win of the year before Kent, emboldened by his strong pace at the final turn, saw an opportunity and took his chances. The result was emphatic, and he then dug in his heels to hold off Cortese in a dash to the finish line, with Malaysian Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo) making it a trifecta for KTM after a late charge into third position.
Kent’s stirring win saw him climb two spots in the championship to finish in fourth position, behind Cortese, Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) and Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia). Cortese and Vinales won 10 of this season’s 17 races between them.
Polesitter Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) was completely out of luck with bike problems, and was forced to start from pit-lane. He then circulated for a few laps before calling it quits for good.
Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology) was in his element on the wet track, ploughing though the pack from 25th on the grid before he made acquaintance with the leading group. But with five laps to run he crashed at turn one and was unable to re-join the action. Fellow Australian Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – backing up after his superb third place at Phillip Island two weeks ago -- was 19th, the same position as he qualified. Sissis finished his rookie season in 12th, while Miller was 23rd in the final standings.
Qualifying: Another typical scenario, with the top 11 riders separated by less than a second, with Folger, Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia) and Salom making it onto the front row. Meanwhile, Kent was back on row three.