MotoGP Race Report: Grand Prix of Valencia

Sunday, October 26, 2008

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Casey Stoner earned his sixth victory of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship at the Grand Prix of Valencia on Oct. 26, standing at the top of the podium just as he did at the opening-round race at in March.

Casey Stoner earned his sixth victory of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship at the Grand Prix of Valencia on Oct. 26, standing at the top of the podium just as he did at the opening-round race at Qatar in March

"We couldn't really have asked for much more today," Stoner said. "To end a difficult season in this way is a fantastic feeling and it's a nice way to thank everybody at Ducati for their hard work. Once again my crew got it right, finding a good setting for the bike despite limited dry track time."

With his victory, Stoner, the 2007 MotoGP World Champion, finished second in points, by a margin of 373-280, to 2008 World Champion and Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi.

The Australian led every lap from the pole on the Ducati Desmosedici GP8 and finished 3.390 seconds ahead of Spaniard and local hero Dani Pedrosa, who finished second for the Repsol Honda Team by nearly nine seconds over Rossi.

The result was Rossi's 16th podium in the 18-race season, while Pedrosa's second-place effort was his 11th podium of the year.

American riders Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards fared well in the season finale, with Repsol Honda Team rider Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., finishing fifth and Tech 3 Yamaha rider Edwards, of Houston, closely trailing in sixth. Fellow American John Hopkins finished 14th for the Kawasaki Racing Team.

Just as he did at the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Hayden battled for position throughout the race with with JiR Team Scot MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso. After starting third on the grid, Hayden slipped behind Dovizioso and gave chase throughout the race, with "Dovi" holding on for a fourth-place finish.

"We started out the weekend like a bit of a fairytale - fastest in the first three sessions, so we were off to a good start, I think the conditions were better for us then," Hayden said. "Yesterday afternoon we were third and on the front row, then this morning we had a big 'off' which probably didn't help things. I just lost the front at Turn 9, maybe conditions were a bit too cool for that front tire.

"I rode hard this weekend, now I'm looking forward to doing something different. I have to finish off by saying thanks to my team, to Honda, to Michelin and to everybody here. They made me a world champ, I'm grateful to them all."

A new era begins for Hayden Oct. 27, when he moves to the Ducati Marlboro Team and begins testing at Valencia. Many of the MotoGP teams and riders will participate in the test, signaling the beginning of preparations for the 2009 season, provisionally scheduled to start April 12 at Qatar.

RESULTS

VALENCIA, Spain - Results of the 30-lap Grand Prix of Valencia race, with position, rider, country, motorcycle/tire, time behind winner:

1.

Casey Stoner

Australia

Ducati/Bridgestone

   

2.

Dani Pedrosa

Spain

Honda/Bridgestone

+3.390 seconds

3.

Valentino Rossi

Italy

Yamaha/Bridgestone

+12.194

 

4.

Andrea Dovizioso

Italy

Honda/Michelin

+24.159

 

5.

Nicky Hayden

United States

Honda/Michelin

+26.232

 

6.

Colin Edwards

United States

Yamaha/Michelin

+32.209

 

7.

Shinya Nakano

Japan

Honda/Bridgestone

+34.571

 

8.

Jorge Lorenzo

Spain

Yamaha/Michelin

+35.661

 

9.

Loris Capirossi

Italy

Suzuki/Bridgestone

+38.228

 

10.

Alex de Angelis

San Marino

Honda/Bridgestone