Stoner snatches victory from Spies
Valencia MotoGP: Stoner snatches victory from Spies
06 November 2011 14:11
2011 MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) stole his tenth win of the year from Ben Spies on the finish line, having managed to get the drive out of the final corner to power past Spies and win the last 800cc MotoGP race by just 0.015 seconds.
Ben Spies had looked certain to take his second victory of the season for Yamaha, having maintained pressure on Repsol Honda team mates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa for much of the race, the Texan took second before capitalising on a mistake from Stoner that saw the Australian run wide to take the lead on lap 28.
Spies looked confident leading, but a cautious approach to the final corner gave Stoner the opportunity to close on the American and snatch victory on the finish line.
Andrea Dovizioso secured a hard-earnt third place, and in the process third in the championship, having been caught up in a tumultuous start that saw Alvaro Bautista clipping the Italian's rear wheel and losing the front end, with the Suzuki rider sliding across the densely packed track and taking out a trio of Ducatis in the process.
Bautista's machine knocked Valentino Rossi off, leading to a domino effect that saw Nicky Hayden and Randy De Puniet all ending the race in the gravel trap at the first corner, a galling end to the difficult season fared by the factory Ducati squad.
Dovizioso caught the leading pack, passing Spies and then Pedrosa to take second. Stoner pulled out an impressive lead whilst his team mates spent the next third of the race trading places, whilst Spies stalked the duelling Hondas.
With thirteen laps remaining Spies tried to take third from Pedrosa but was unable to get the drive out of the corner to secure the position. Pedrosa and Dovizioso continued to jostle for second, whilst Stoner's gap of almost ten seconds began to shrink in the increasingly heavy rain.
Spies passed Pedrosa to take third and with five laps remaining passed Dovizioso at turn five to take second place just 2.3s behind Stoner.
With just three laps remaining Spies closed on Stoner before taking advantage of a rare mistake from the world champion, who ran wide at turn six, to take the lead. Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who had been locked in a battle for fifth with Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) throughout the race, took fifth and began putting Pedrosa under pressure on the penultimate lap.
On the final lap Pedrosa dropped off the pace and in a surprise twist both Crutchlow and Abraham passed the Spaniard. Abraham took a tight line to take fourth with Crutchlow promptly reclaiming his position and in the process the Czech rider clipped his back wheel and crashed out of the race. Crutchlow secured his best result of the season in fourth and was awarded the accolade of 'Rookie of the year'.
Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha Factory Racing), who was standing in for an injured Jorge Lorenzo, put in an impressive performance to finish the race in sixth, whilst Josh Hayes who was filling in for Colin Edwards on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine took seventh.
Karol Abraham managed to remount and finish in eighth following his off-track excursion, ahead of Loris Capirossi who finished his three hundred and twenty-eighth and final GP in ninth place.
1. 25 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 149.2 48'18.645
2. 20 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 149.2 +0.015
3. 16 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 148.9 +5.936
4. 13 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 148.8 +8.718
5. 11 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 148.7 +9.321
6. 10 89 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 148.0 +23.818
7. 9 41 Josh HAYES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 147.5 +33.118
8. 8 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 147.3 +37.952
9. 7 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 146.7 +48.953
10. 6 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 146.6 +52.501
11. 5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 145.9 +1'06.519
12. 4 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 145.8 +1'08.760
14. Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 0 Lap
19. Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 0 Lap
46. Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0 Lap
69. Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 0 Lap