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MotoGP: Stoner ends season on a high

11-7-2011

by moto123.com

2011 MotoGP champion Casey Stoner ended his season on a high note by taking victory in Valencia, by defeating Tech 3 Yamaha Ben Spies in the final moments of the race.

Stoner, who had started from pole, stayed in the lead and looked set to run away to a shining victory without any challengers being able to charge ahead.

But this situation would later change when the rain started to fall in the closing laps and Spies was able to give chase to the Honda rider.

Spies, who had to fight for second with Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, broke away from the Hondas and started closing the Australian down - making it into the lead with two laps to go.

Everyone on hand thought the American would get away with its second MotoGP win but Stoner got a better run out of the last corner of the race and grabbed the victory on the line by just 0.015 seconds.

Dovizioso, in his last ever run for the Honda factory team finished third, therefore claiming third in the championship while Pedrosa slipped back to fifth behind Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha).

Several riders were involved in a first corner brawl as a fast-starting Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista had a brush that lead the Suzuki rider falling and taking out the Ducatis of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, and Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet.

American Superbike champion Josh Hayes took a brilliant seventh on his MotoGP debut, replacing the injured Colin Edwards at Tech 3.

MotoGP Season finale Valencia - Results
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap

1. Casey Stoner Honda 48m18.645s
2. Ben Spies Yamaha + 0.015s
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 5.936s
4. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha + 8.718s
5. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 9.321s
6. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha + 23.818s
7. Josh Hayes Tech 3 Yamaha + 33.118s
8. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati + 37.952s
9. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati + 48.953s
10. Toni Elias LCR Honda + 52.501s
11. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 1m06.519s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda + 1m08.760s

Retirements:
Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 0 laps
Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 0 laps
Nicky Hayden Ducati 0 laps
Valentino Rossi Ducati 0 laps