Pedrosa triumphs in dramatic finale
World MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo was denied a victorious season finale on home soil when he crashed out while leading an incident-packed Valencia Grand Prix on Sunday to hand victory to fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo, who clinched his second world title two weeks ago at Phillip Island off Australia, lost control of his machine with around 17 laps remaining and catapaulted off the track to leave Honda's Pedrosa with a comfortable lead over Briton Cal Crutchlow in third.
Lorenzo was able to walk away from the accident and did not appear to have sustained any injuries.
Crutchlow crashed with seven laps left and Pedrosa cruised to his seventh win of the year, one more than Lorenzo, almost 40 seconds ahead of Japanese Yamaha pilot Katsuyuki Nakasuga, standing in for injured American Ben Spies, in second.
Pedrosa's Honda teammate Casey Stoner, in the Australian double world champion's final race before retiring, pipped Yamaha's Alvaro Bautista to third a further 23 seconds back.
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In a chaotic start to the 18th and final race of the season, several riders including Pedrosa had to change to bikes with slick tyres after they realised on the warm-up lap that the track was quickly drying out after a damp morning.
Lorenzo already had his slick tires and raced into an early lead before Pedrosa, who had started from the pit lane after the tire change, climbed more than 15 positions in only seven laps and hauled him in.
"It was quite exciting at the start as some riders had slicks and others had wet tires," Pedrosa said in an interview with Spanish television.
"When we did the warm-up lap I realised I needed the slicks," he added. "I have never started from the pit lane before and I was full of doubts.
"I made a mistake when I was right behind Jorge and then he made one himself. It's fantastic to win the last race."
The Honda mechanics paid tribute to Stoner as he crossed the line and hung out a sign reading "Going fishing" for the 27-year-old, a possible hint of how he may fill some of his time after falling out of love with the sport.
Stoner told Spanish television he had ridden a careful race as he was worried about hurting the foot he damaged in Indianapolis in August.
"We went way too late to the slick tires but we brought it home and got on the podium and there are a lot worse ways to end my career," he said.
"I want to thank my team, all my supporters for all these years, all my sponsors. I'm a little disappointed not to be able to win this race."
Lorenzo tops the final championship standings with 350 points, with Pedrosa in second on 332 and Stoner on 254.
In the Moto2 category, champion Marc Marquez, who will replace Stoner at Honda next season, charged from last on the grid to win ahead of Spanish compatriots Julian Simon and Nico Terol.
Briton Danny Kent took victory in Moto3 ahead of Italian champion Sandro Cortese and Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia.
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 48'23.819
2 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing +37.661
3 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team +1'00.633
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini +1'02.811
5 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini +1'26.608
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1'30.423
7 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing +1'31.789
8 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project 1 Lap
9 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport 1 Lap
10 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team 1 Lap
11 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar 1 Lap
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar 2 Laps
13 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens 2 Laps
14 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing 3 Laps
Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 8 Laps
Claudio CORTI ITA Avintia Blusens 13 Laps
Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team 14 Laps
Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing 17 Laps
Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP 21 Laps
Roberto ROLFO ITA Speed Master 24 Laps
Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens 28 Laps
Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team 28 Laps