Casey Stoner finishes his final MotoGP race in third at Valencia season-closer
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship came to an exciting climax today with a fantastic display from the Repsol Honda Team. 2011 World Champion Casey Stoner completed the final GP of his career and took third place, his tenth podium of the year.
It was one of the most dramatic races of the season. Tricky weather conditions caused confusion at the start with only two riders – Lorenzo and Bradl -starting with slicks tyres on the grid. After the sighting lap, several riders chose to change to slick tyre bikes and start from the pit lane, including Dani who lost his advantage of being on pole position.
With the asphalt drying up very quickly, Dani managed to catch race leader Lorenzo within 12 laps, just before the Yamaha rider crashed out. Dani took the lead with a huge advantage of 23 seconds and remained calm to control the pace until the end, crossing the finish line with gap of 37 seconds and securing Honda’s 19th premier class Constructor’s Title.
Casey chose to remain on the wet tyre for the start but came in to the pit lane for the slick tyre bike on lap 4. The Australian was very cautious at the beginning but gradually caught up and passed the majority of the field and took third place with two laps to go, celebrating a podium in his last race. Casey finishes the championship in third position, a place that he already secured with his win in Australia.
On completion of his final MotoGP race, two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey, was nominated as a MotoGP Legend. He becomes the 20th MotoGP Legend, joining an exclusive club, whose members are: Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees and Carlo Ubbiali.
Casey retires at the age of 27, having amassed two MotoGP World Championships, 45 Grand Prix victories, 89 podium finishes and 43 pole-positions.
CASEY STONER – 3rd – Final Championship Standing: 3rd with 254 points
“Considering everything that happened today, we’re very happy with a podium. My motivation wasn’t particularly high today as I haven’t wanted to push in the wet and haven’t felt comfortable on the bike. I just didn’t want to take any risks of crashing and damaging my ankle again so I was very cautious and this isn’t how I like to ride. Even with the choice of going with the wets, not the slick tyres at the beginning of the race, I took the easy option which really isn’t me. When I saw the slicks had a big advantage, we came in and changed bikes and went back out and pushed as hard as we could, without taking unnecessary risks. In the end we were able to chase down Alvaro and take the last spot on the podium in our last race. My team are l ike my second family, we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs together and it’s going to be difficult not to see them every week. I’m sorry for them and for everyone who has supported me for so long but this is the way it is and it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and all our sponsors, and to everyone in the Repsol Honda Team”.
Source: Repsol Honda Team