Valencia MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa powerless to deny Casey Stoner

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Home favourite Dani Pedrosa failed to prevent Casey Stoner from romping to victory in front of a 117,000-strong Valencia crowd for the final MotoGP clash of the season.

The Repsol Honda rider got the holeshot on his RC212V but once Stoner moved by at only the second corner, Pedrosa never looked like threatening to retaliate in what turned out to be a dull affair as the Aussie streaked away.

Pedrosa, who has yet to win on Bridgestone tyres, said: “I am happy with second place today. I pushed Casey as hard as I could but he had something a little extra and he managed the gap very well.

“Overall, I am also happy with the last few races, because we were able to come back from a difficult period during the middle of the season. We changed tyres and I came in for some criticism, but finally we got back on the pace at the last few races, running close to the front in the wet and in the dry.”

The triple world champion is now hoping for a trouble free campaign in 2009 having spent a lot of time in 2008 struggling with injury.

He added: “It hasn’t been the easiest of years. I broke my right hand during preseason testing, I broke my left hand in Germany and I injured my left knee at Phillip Island. These injuries caused me to lose my rhythm and they interrupted our development work, while everyone else was racing and improving their bikes.

“I have had to push really hard to come back from all these injuries. Tomorrow we start testing for 2009 – I am looking forward to it because things are going well now. I hope to have a good off-season and stay healthy.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt