Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner finished the MotoGP season the way he started it – with a victory. The Australian, who got the season underway back in March with a victory in Qatar under the lights, won today’s Valencia Grand Prix in Spain, besting Spaniard Dani Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda by 3.39 seconds to do so.
For Stoner the win was his sixth of a season in which he finished runner-up to Valentino Rossi in the World Championhip - a year after earning the crown. Rossi, meanwhile, finished third today in Spain, some 12 seconds off Stoner’s pace.
Fourth place went to San Carlos Honda-mounted Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian continuing his run of strong finishes in the final two rounds. Dovizioso again came out on top of a battle with Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden, the 2006 World Champion ending his career with the Honda team with a fifth-place finish.
Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards regained his form to finish the season with a sixth-place finish, the Texan ending up six seconds behind Hayden, but ahead of Shinya Nakano.
Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi and Alex de Angelis rounded out the top 10 finishers.
The final championship point standings have Rossi on top with 373 points, 93 points ahead of Stoner. Pedrosa ended up third with 249 points. Then came Lorenzo on 190, Dovizioso on 174 and Hayden with 155. Edwards finished the season in seventh with 144 points.
“We couldn’t ask for much more than to finish the season like this,” Stoner said. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs and I’m really looking forward to testing the new bike. We were competitive here last year, but I was a bit worried yesterday. Everything felt good this morning and we were good for the race.”
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
5. Nicky Hayden (Honda)
6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
7. Shinya Nakano (Honda)
8. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
9. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)
10. Alex de Angelis (Honda)