November 09, 2012 | By Paul Kelly
MotoGP Race Preview: Grand Prix of Valencia
Race: Grand Prix of Valencia
Date: Sunday, Nov. 11
Round: Eighteenth of 18 races in 2012
Circuit: Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain
Distance: 30 laps on 14-turn, 2.489-mile circuit
2011 Winner: Casey Stoner, Honda
2012 Points Leader: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
U.S. Riders: Nicky Hayden, ninth, 122 points; Ben Spies, 10th, 88; Colin Edwards, 18th, 25.
TV: MotoGP: 8 a.m. (ET) Sunday, Nov. 11, SPEED. Moto2: 3 p.m. (ET), Sunday, Nov. 11, SPEED. Moto3: Noon (ET) Tuesday, Nov. 13, SPEED.
Casey Stoner won his home Australian Grand Prix for an unprecedented sixth consecutive year, but even Stoner’s last race on native soil was overshadowed by Jorge Lorenzo clinching his second MotoGP World Championship.
Lorenzo finished second Sunday, Oct. 28 to seal another premier-class world title, joining the championship he won in 2010. Spaniard Lorenzo wears the crown due to mind-numbing consistency, as he has finished first or second in 16 of 17 races this season on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine.
The title chase became simple for Lorenzo when rival Dani Pedrosa, who entered the race 23 points behind Lorenzo in the standings, crashed out of the lead, race and championship hunt on Lap 2.
Jorge Lorenzo: Lorenzo returns home to Spain for a triumphant final race of the 2012 season, as he clinched his second MotoGP World Championship on Oct. 28 at the Grand Prix of Australia. Lorenzo has finished first or second in 16 of the 17 races this season on his Yamaha Factory machine, a record for a single season in the premier class of the World Championship.
Casey Stoner: Stoner will finish his MotoGP career at this event coming off a victory at his home Grand Prix of Australia on Oct. 28 on a Repsol Honda. Stoner is retiring after this event at age 27. He won the World Championship in 2007 and 2011 and has 38 career MotoGP victories.
Valentino Rossi: Rossi’s ill-fated two-year tenure at Ducati will end at this race, likely without a victory and with just three podium finishes. It’s a shocking result for seven-time MotoGP World Champion Rossi, who was expected to revive fabled Italian marque Ducati when he arrived in 2011. But Rossi has been lost in a pile of technical problems the last two seasons and will return to Yamaha, with which he won four world titles, in 2013 as teammate to reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Colin Edwards: A season to forget will come to a merciful end for popular American rider Edwards, who is 18th in the MotoGP standings in his first year on production-based Claiming Rule Teams machinery. Edwards hasn’t finished the last two races due to various mechanical problems, mainly with the electronics of his Suter-BMW, in a microcosm of a tough season. Edwards will stay with the Forward Racing team in 2013 after the team promised to improve the bike, probably by using the spec electronic control unit that series organizer Dorna will offer to all teams.
NEWS and NUMBERS
Two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner will retire after this event at age 27. Stoner has 45 career Grand Prix victories across all three classes, tied for seventh all-time. Stoner has 38 career victories in the premier class, a total surpassed only by Valentino Rossi (79), Giacomo Agostini (68) and Mick Doohan (54)
All three World Championships were decided before this event, with Jorge Lorenzo winning in MotoGP, Marc Marquez in Moto2 and Sandro Cortese in Moto3
This will be the record 11th consecutive year that Valencia has hosted the motorcycle Grand Prix season finale
Japanese rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga will replace the injured Ben Spies as Lorenzo’s teammate this weekend at Yamaha Factory Racing. Nakasuga finished ninth this season as a wild-card Yamaha rider at the Japanese Grand Prix
2009 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama returns to MotoGP this weekend on a Claiming Rule Teams entry fielded by Avintia Racing, replacing the injured Yonny Hernandez. Aoyama raced in MotoGP in 2010-11 before moving to World Superbike this season. He will race full time in MotoGP in 2013 on Avintia’s CRT entry.
2013 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event.
Visit www.imstix.com, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.imstix.com. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.
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