Valencia MotoGP: Pedrosa prevails with tyre change

By Liam Marsden -

MotoGP

 11 November 2012 13:49

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa has won at Valencia today in tricky conditions which saw riders roll up to the grid on a mix of wet and slick tyres.

With the track drying Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista opted to change from wets to slicks and start the race from pit lane.

2012 champion Jorge Lorenzo was the only front runner to start the race on slick tyres, struggling to get away from the line.

Aprilia CRT rider Aleix Espargaro was the surprise leader over the first few laps on wet tyres, but he soon dropped a couple of places before changing to slick tyres.

Lorenzo's gamble paid off as his tyres came up to temperature and the Spaniard soon took to the front. Pedrosa and Crutchlow quickly worked their way through the field, with Pedrosa quickly catching Lorenzo by the half way stage.

With 16 laps to go, Lorenzo caught up to several back markers. He tried to pass James Ellison round the outside and in the process ran on to the wet tarmac, being thrown off the high side of the bike.

This pushed Pedrosa in to the lead ahead of Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Crutchlow.

Crutchlow then passed Nakasuga to take second position, but crashed on the brakes going in to the final corner with just seven laps remaining.

At 31-years-old Nakasuga managed to finish in second place.

After switching to slick tyres early in the race, Casey Stoner was starting to move up the order, and with just a couple of laps remaining passed Alvaro Bautista and moved in to third place to finish his final MotoGP race on the podium, one minute behind Pedrosa.

San Carlo rider Michele Pirro was the first CRT rider home in fifth place behind Bautista.

Espargaro finished 11th behind Valentino Rossi to secure the inaugral CRT championshipp.

1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 149.0 48'23.819
2 20 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 147.0 +37.661
3 16 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 145.9 +1'00.633
4 13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 145.8 +1'02.811
5 11 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 144.6 +1'26.608
6 10 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 144.5 +1'30.423
7 9 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 144.4 +1'31.789
8 8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 143.5 1 Lap
9 7 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 143.1 1 Lap
10 6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 142.9 1 Lap
11 5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 141.1 1 Lap
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 138.3 2 Laps
13 3 73 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens BQR 136.7 2 Laps
14 2 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 132.6 3 Laps

Not Classified
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 146.7 8 Laps
  71 Claudio CORTI ITA Avintia Blusens Inmotec 130.0 13 Laps
  8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 134.5 14 Laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 146.6 17 Laps
  6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 141.8 21 Laps
  84 Roberto ROLFO ITA Speed Master ART 128.3 24 Laps
  22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 126.9 28 Laps
  69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 126.9 28 Laps