2009-11-08 02:52
Dani Pedrosa led from start to finish in today’s Grand Prix of Valencia to win the final race of the 2009 season in dominant fashion on his Honda RC212V. Underlining his brilliance at the Valencia circuit, Pedrosa set the fastest lap of the race on his way to his second victory of the season - a win which elevated him to third place in the World Championship standings following Casey Stoner’s surprise exit on the warm-up lap.

Pedrosa made it look easy today, but this was a masterclass of flat-out riding for the entire 30-lap race. The 24-year-old Spaniard led into Turn One, and an inch-perfect first five laps gave him a gap of 2.1 seconds as his pursuers squabbled over second place. Then, for the next five laps, Pedrosa was pursued hard by Valentino Rossi, and the gap hovered at around the two seconds. But Pedrosa was in control and put on a surge of speed, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 10 and extending his lead to over four seconds by two-thirds distance. From then on, it was a case of maintaining his rhythm, and he brought his factory Honda home to take the his second MotoGP win at Valencia; his fifth win here in all classes of Grand Prix racing.

Andrea Dovizioso put in a fighting performance and battled valiantly through the field after a less-than-perfect start left him in 14th place on the first lap. Riding with real determination, he reeled off a series of passes, overtaking Loris Capirossi, James Toseland, Ben Spies, Alex De Angelis, Marco Melandri, Mika Kallio and Randy de Puniet on his way up to seventh place. Unfortunately for Dovizioso, Ben Spies was able to retake a place in the closing stages, and this meant that Dovi wasn’t able to retain fifth place in the world championship. However, the Italian now has his sights firmly set on tomorrow’s test session here at Valencia, which effectively marks the start of the 2010 MotoGP campaign.

Today’s win for Pedrosa topped off a satisfying day for Honda, as earlier in the day Hiroshi Aoyama won the last 250cc World Championship for the Scot Honda Team.


DANI PEDROSA – 1st – World Championship Position: 3rd 234 points

“It’s really great to finish off the season with a win, especially here in front of my home fans. I was waiting on the grid with my visor up and I was looking to the side for Casey to arrive, but the marshal in front of me was walking to the side and I was thinking: ‘Where is he going!’ So I assumed something had happened to Casey on the warm-up lap. In the first few laps I had to be careful because you have to warm up the tyres here, especially on the right hand side. But once that was done, we maintained a good pace and kept focused. In the last laps, the wind was strong and it would have been easy to make a mistake, but I was able to control the gap to Valentino and take this win. I was thinking back to Laguna Seca where Valentino closed the gap a lot, and I also knew that Jorge was catching Valentino too, so I just kept pushing. I’m very happy for the team because we struggled quite a lot in practice here, and yet we were able to win in front of all the Spanish fans. I’d like to thank the fans too. To get third in the championship is not what I was expecting but it’s a nice surprise, even though Casey wasn’t in the race. This season has not been easy and tomorrow’s testing will be important so that we can start 2010 in the best possible shape. This gives us a good start towards that."

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 8th – World Championship position: 6th 160 points

“We overtook a lot of riders in the race, but I cannot be happy with this result because we lost fifth place in the championship, and keeping that position was our target today. I had a bad start and lost a lot of time overtaking riders with a slower pace than mine, and this caused me to lose contact with Edwards and Elias. If I had started from further up the grid, I had the rhythm and pace to fight with them, but starting from the fourth row everything is more difficult. In the end Spies overtook me and I couldn’t re-pass him, and with the eight position at the finish I lost my fifth position in the championship. I don’t want to make any excuse for this result. I’m just looking forward to the future. We have worked a lot this season and, although it hasn’t been easy, we have learned a lot. I’d like to thank my team for their hard work, and from tomorrow the 2010 season starts. Honda has brought a new chassis and I’m really looking forward to testing it.”


“This win was a great result for Dani and the Repsol Honda Team. The target this weekend was to sign off the season with another victory, and we did that. Dani’s performance was very impressive and, even if Casey had started the race, I think Dani had a big potential to win this afternoon. I’d like to say thank you to Dani and also to the Team for this result. Andrea rode very hard today and showed how strong he can be in race conditions. Unfortunately his grid slot and the start he got meant that it was an uphill struggle, even though he came through the field well. He’s disappointed today, but he has the ability and talent to simply come back stronger from this. Tomorrow the Repsol Honda Team will continue to work with renewed effort. We are already focused on another win at the first race of 2010.”

Race Result - Round 17
1 Dani Pedrosa 46m 47.553 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Valentino Rossi +2.630 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo +2.913 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
4 Colin Edwards +32.515 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
5 Nicky Hayden +34.585 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
6 Toni Elias +34.888 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
7 Ben Spies +37.706 USA YAMAHA Sterilgarda Yamaha Team
8 Andrea Dovizioso +38.364 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
9 Mika Kallio +42.491 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
10 Alex De Angelis +43.689 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
11 Randy De Puniet +46.018 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
12 James Toseland +50.226 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
13 Aleix Espargaro +57.168 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
14 Loris Capirossi +1m 06.877 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
15 Chris Vermeulen +1m 11.701 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
16 Gabor Talmacsi +1m 14.405 HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
17 Marco Melandri +1m 33.425 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team

Championship standings
1 Valentino Rossi 306 pts ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 261 pts SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Dani Pedrosa 234 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Casey Stoner 220 pts AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
5 Colin Edwards 161 pts USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
6 Andrea Dovizioso 160 pts ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Toni Elias 115 pts SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
8 Alex De Angelis 111 pts SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
9 Loris Capirossi 110 pts ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
10 Marco Melandri 108 pts ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team
11 Randy De Puniet 106 pts FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
12 Chris Vermeulen 106 pts AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
13 Nicky Hayden 104 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
14 James Toseland 92 pts GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
15 Mika Kallio 71 pts FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
16 Niccolo Canepa 38 pts ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
17 Gabor Talmacsi 19 pts HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
18 Aleix Espargaro 16 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
19 Sete Gibernau 12 pts SPA DUCATI Grupo Francisco Hernando
20 Ben Spies 9 pts USA YAMAHA Sterilgarda Yamaha Team
21 Yuki Takahashi 9 pts JAP HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP

Source: Repsol Honda Team

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