Dani Pedrosa took full advantage of Casey Stoner’s shock warm-up lap blunder to record only his second victory of a tough season in yesterday’s Valencia MotoGP clash.
With Stoner a red-hot pre-race favourite but out before the 30-lap clash had even got underway, Pedrosa stormed to a resounding victory to add to his only other victory of the season in Laguna Seca back in July.
It was Pedrosa’s fifth success at the Valencia circuit and his latest success never looked in any doubt as he streaked away from Fiat Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
His eighth premier class victory also saw him snatch an unlikely third place overall in the world championship standings with Stoner’s demise relegating the Aussie back down to fourth after a disastrous day.
Pedrosa said: “It’s really great to finish off the season with a win, especially here in front of my home fans. I was waiting on the grid with my visor up and I was looking to the side for Casey to arrive, but the marshal in front of me was walking to the side and I was thinking: ‘Where is he going!’ So I assumed something had happened to Casey on the warm-up lap.
"In the first few laps I had to be careful because you have to warm up the tyres here, especially on the right hand side. But once that was done, we maintained a good pace and kept focused.
"In the last laps, the wind was strong and it would have been easy to make a mistake, but I was able to control the gap to Valentino and take this win. I was thinking back to Laguna Seca where Valentino closed the gap a lot, and I also knew that Jorge was catching Valentino too, so I just kept pushing.
"I’m very happy for the team because we struggled quite a lot in practice here, and yet we were able to win in front of all the Spanish fans. I’d like to thank the fans too. To get third in the championship is not what I was expecting but it’s a nice surprise, even though Casey wasn’t in the race.”