Casey Signs Off 2011 Season With Valencia Victory
The MotoGP World Championship finished in the same way it started, with a victory for Casey Stoner. The Australian of the Repsol Honda Team finished an excellent season with a well-deserved victory at the Comunitat Valenciana Grand Prix. The third step of the podium was for his team mate Andrea Dovizioso, who this way secured the third position in the final classification, while Dani Pedrosa reached the finish line in fifth.
He started the year winning the first Grand Prix, Qatar’s, and today he succeeded again in the last round of the season. Casey Stoner, the 2011 MotoGP World Champion was able to match his own personal most victories record in one year Ã¢â‚¬â€10 in 2007Ã¢â‚¬â€ at the Ricardo Tormo. Starting from the first position of the grid, Stoner was able to built some advantage in the first laps. His pace could not be matched by his team mates, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, the two first riders to try to catch him. His advantage increased up to ten seconds.
In the last part of the race, the rain started to fall on the Valencian track and differences were reduced. The Aussie saw 3 laps from the end how a brave Ben Spies, who arrived from the fourth position, overtook him and led the last laps. Stoner was at his wheel, keeping a sensible distance despite Spies attempts to escape and finally overtook the American in the finish line, with a difference of only 15 thousandths.
His team mates, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, had one of the most thrilling duels of the race. From the second lap, both riders overtook each other all the time, and only the rain prevented to see the battle last until the end of the race. The Italian gathered his second consecutive podium and secured the third place in the final classification of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
This morning, the three riders of the Repsol Honda Team participated in the lap of honour and the minute of roar that the World Championship organized as a tribute to Marco Simoncelli. The Repsol rider Marc MÃƒÂ¡rquez did not want to miss that tribute that all the motorcycling family wanted to give to the Italian rider at the Valencian track.
With this Comunitat Valenciana Grand Prix, the Repsol Honda Team puts an end to an excellent season where the whole team, together with Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, achieved three World Championships, the riders’, the constructors’ and the teams’. From Tuesday, and also in Cheste, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will start to prepare the 2012 season with the new 1000cc RC213V.
1st – 48:18.645
“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 [Spies] 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”.
Source: Repsol Media