Final Results: Grand Prix at Valencia2007-11-04 02:04
Pedrosa closes 2007 with victory at Valencia
A home victory for Dani Pedrosa, combined with a DNF for Valentino Rossi, gave the Spaniard second place in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship at the Gran Premio bwin.com de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Starting from pole for the fourth consecutive race, Pedrosa was desperate not to let World Champion Casey Stoner get away from him in front of his local crowd. The difference in top speed between the Honda RC212V and the Ducati Desmosedici GP7 was nowhere near as apparent as it was at the season-opening race at Qatar in March, as evidenced when the Spaniard drafted past Stoner on lap six. The gap between the two remained comfortable for Pedrosa, who crossed the line with a 5.4 second advantage for his first home MotoGP victory.
John Hopkins ended his long-standing association with Rizla Suzuki by taking fourth place in the World Championship. The Anglo-American needed to finish ahead of Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi and team-mate Chris Vermeulen to confirm the position in the standings, and that he did with the trio finishing just behind Hopkins' GSV-R800. Melandri and Capirossi were also riding their final races for Gresini Honda and Ducati respectively, whilst Vermeulen will look to progress yet further with Suzuki next season.
Making his 276th and final Grand Prix appearance, Brazilian veteran Alex Barros bowed out of the MotoGP World Championship with seventh place at Valencia, ahead of 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden on the American's last outing with the number one plate. Hayden had battled valiantly in the early going, but dropped down the running in the latter stages of the race.
Randy de Puniet and Toni Elias completed the top ten, also riding for the last time before switching teams for another year in the premier class.
Needing only one point to put himself out of the reach of Pedrosa in the overall classification, Valentino Rossi was the odds-on favourite to take second position for the year. However, yesterday's practice crash and three fractures in his hand were always going to make things difficult for the Italian, although in the end it was a mechanical issue that forced Rossi to return to the garage and watch on as Pedrosa achieved the only result that could demote him to third.
Carlos Checa finished in 12th, also making his final Grand Prix appearance. The Spaniard had a special cake waiting for him in the LCR Honda garage and was greeted by applause from his team.
MotoGP riders stay on for testing at Valencia next week, out on track on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mika Kallio signed off his rookie season in the 250cc class with a second win of the year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The Finn had started from pole, but was not by any means a runaway winner as he chased down leader Alex de Angelis in the latter stages of the race.
250cc World Champion Jorge Lorenzo looked on course for a win to end his quarter litre career in style, but an engine problem at the midway point dropped the Spaniard down to seventh. It had looked as if De Angelis, another rider moving on to pastures new next season, would repeat his only 250cc win at the scene of his maiden victory, but a move by Kallio two laps from the finish gave the KTM rider the triumph.
Competing at his home race as a wild card rider, Alex Debon rode a fantastic race onboard the Aprilia machine that he has developed so much this season, holding of Andrea Dovizioso to deny the Italian a final podium before his move to MotoGP. Debon will be a full-time rider next year, with the hope of building on his first ever podium in the quarter litre class.
Hector Barbera headed a tight group battling for fifth position, which included his countrymen Julian Simon and the aforementioned Lorenzo. Yuki Takahashi, Thomas Luthi and Sepang race winner Hiroshi Aoyama completed the top ten.
Looking to fight with the leaders at his home track, Alvaro Bautista crashed out of the race on lap 20.
As expected, the thrilling battle for the 125cc World Championship went right down to the last lap in Valencia, but not even a popular home victory was enough for Hector Faubel to deny Gabor Talmacsi the lower cylinder class title.
The duo both had bad starts from the front two positions on the grid, but by the end of the first lap Talmacsi had pushed through the pack to lead the race. A man with a plan, the Hungarian extended his lead, before his Aspar team-mate and title rival set a blistering series of fast laps to begin the battle in earnest by lap nine.
Attempting to slow down the pace with the intention of allowing other riders to pass Talmacsi, Faubel made moves every lap on the championship leader. It nearly worked, with third Aspar rider Sergio Gadea able to move up into contention by the final lap. Tense moments followed, including a pair of near-collisions between the trio, before Faubel salvaged something for the day by crossing the line first for his second victory in as many years at his home circuit.
Talmacsi was overjoyed as he snatched second place, the 26 year-old confirming himself as the first ever Hungarian World Champion in history. He will stay on in the Aspar team to defend his title next season before moving up to 250cc in 2009.
Gadea completed the all-Aspar podium, with Mattia Pasini just behind him on his final 125cc race. He in turn held off Lukas Pesek, who was unable to make up the 15 point deficit on Tomoyoshi Koyama that would have moved him up to third in the overall classification.
Esteve Rabat completed the top six, ahead of Pablo Nieto, Bradley Smith, Koyama and Pol Espargaro.
Source: Dorna Communications
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