STONER TAKES WIN NUMBER 10
Australia's Casey Stoner ended the 2011 MotoGP year in the best way possible at the weekend, with victory number 10 in his championship-winning season at the Valencia Grand Prix.
Every rider chose Bridgestone's softer rear tyres, while most opted for the same tyre on the front of their bike with rain threatening. However, two riders who stayed with the harder option front tyre were Stoner and American rider Ben Spies - and it was these two who would provide a thrilling finish to the season.
With spots of rain falling, Stoner took an early lead in very tricky conditions, leaping ahead by 10 seconds in almost as many laps while four riders crashed out at the first corner.
That was the way it stayed until the rain returned in the dying laps. The Australian Honda rider got slower as Spies got faster, with the American catching and passing the 2011 World Champion.
It was looking like a definite victory for Spies right until they exited the final corner, at which point Stoner dramatically snatched victory away by a mere 0.015 seconds.
"All weekend the conditions have been atrocious as when it rained it wasn't fully wet and when it was dry it wasn't properly dry and the race was really difficult to deal with. It was different corner by corner and you didn't know how hard to push into each corner," Stoner said.
"Ben was looking really good and I didn't think I'd get a chance to do anything, but we decided to take some risks on the last lap of the season and managed just to pip him on the line. Sorry to Ben, but I'm very happy to end the season like this."
The result saw Stoner finish a dominant 90 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo in the Championship.
"What an exciting race with which to end the championship this year, although of course I feel very sorry for the four who crashed at just the first corner," said Taka Horio - General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department.
"Ben rode a fantastic race and would have been a deserving winner, but congratulations of course to Casey for his dominant performance and record-equaling 10th victory this season." FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
|1. ||Casey Stoner (Aust) |
|2. ||Jorge Lorenzo (Sp) |
|3. ||Andrea Dovizioso (It) |
|4.||Dani Pedrosa (Sp)|