Lorenzo crash paves way for Pedrosa win

Dani Pedrosa ended the season on a high as he won in Valencia

Dani Pedrosa ended the season on a high as he won in Valencia

First published in National Sport © by

A spectacular crash from newly-crowned champion Jorge Lorenzo allowed Dani Pedrosa to claim victory in the final MotoGP race of the season in Valencia.

Lorenzo wrapped up the championship with victory in Australia last month, but he was unable to register his seventh win of the season on Sunday amid wet conditions at the Spanish circuit.

Yamaha rider Lorenzo burst into the lead after a frenetic opening ahead of Pedrosa, but the champion crashed out of the race near the halfway point as he attempted a tricky overtaking manoeuvre on a back marker.

With a healthy lead over Pedrosa, Lorenzo shifted his bike to the edge of the track as he tried to overtake, but the wet conditions made his bike slip and he flew off into the gravel at pace. He walked away unharmed.

From that moment Pedrosa, who started from the pit lane with slick tyres, started to open up a gap between himself and Katsuyuki Nakasuga and he never looked back.

The 27-year-old, who was already guaranteed second place in the championship, finished the race nearly 37 seconds ahead of Nakasuga, who only joined the Yamaha Factory Racing team two weeks ago because of an injury to Ben Spies.

Pedrosa said afterwards: "I am really happy because the conditions made it so much more difficult out there. I stayed really calm and I think it was the right decision to start on slicks."

Two-time world champion Casey Stoner finished third in his last-ever race.

Stoner told BBC Sport: "I took the easy way out today by starting on wet tyres and to be honest, I was scared of crashing. I didn't want to injure my foot any more than I have already, especially in my last race. You can see there were a lot of crashes today.

"My eyes were the size of dinner plates the whole race. With a couple of laps to go I decided to go for it and it's a fantastic way to end it. I want to thank all my supporters down the years."

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