Victory on home soil saw Dani Pedrosa end the 2009 MotoGP World Championship on a high at Valencia, as the Repsol Honda man enjoyed a start-to-finish win in the final race of the 2009 season. For Aussie Casey Stoner, it was a devastating warm-up lap crash to finish his season.
Victory on home soil saw Dani Pedrosa end the 2009 FIM World Championship on a high at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, as the Repsol Honda man enjoyed a start-to-finish win in the final race of the 2009 season and Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed the podium.
The drama started before the race had even commenced, as pole position holder Casey Stoner’s high-side crash on the warm-up lap meant he was unable to take his place on the grid. That allowed Pedrosa to lead the grid from second position on the front row, and after taking the holeshot he did not look back, sealing third spot in the overall standings in the process.
World Champion Valentino Rossi followed the Spaniard home in second place, finishing 2.630s behind Pedrosa as he ended his title-winning season with his 13th podium of the campaign.
The Italian’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who did well to hold onto his bike when a moment on the opening lap almost threw him off, was a further 0.283s behind as he took third, having already sealed second spot in the Championship by virtue of Stoner’s non-start.
Stoner ended the season in fourth place overall, with Colin Edwards’ fourth place in the race allowing him to snatch fifth in the 2009 standings from Andrea Dovizioso.
The top five on the day was completed by Stoner’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden, who held off the challenge of Toni Elías as the Spaniard came in sixth in his final race with the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.
Wildcard rider Ben Spies rode to an impressive seventh-placed finish, and in depriving Dovizioso of that spot – the Italian finished eighth – played a direct role in helping his future Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Edwards take fifth in the Championship.
There were also top-ten finishes for Rookie of the Year Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini).
A dramatic 250cc race ended with Hiroshi Aoyama claiming the World title after defending champion Marco Simoncelli crashed out when in the lead, as Héctor Barberá took the victory.
Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Team) and Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Racing) completed the podium, as Barberá won by a margin of 3.663s and sealed second spot in the World Championship standings ahead of Simoncelli.
Scot Racing Team rider Aoyama survived a run-off in lap nine, which dropped him down to eleventh position – the lowest finish he could afford in order to claim the title – as an engrossing race then saw Simoncelli lose the front of his bike when going into turn two with seven laps to go, thus ending his race.
Thomas Luthi (Emmi – Caffe Latte), Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) all finished ahead of Aoyama in the race. The new World Champion also survived an earlier scare when nearly touching bikes with Bautista, before Simoncelli recovered from falling to eighth place from first on the grid to lead the race.
Aoyama’s run-off then added more entertainment, before Simoncelli’s crash handed him the title as both Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar) and Jules Cluzel (Matteoni Racing) also suffered spills which ended their seasons on a low.
It was a third straight one-two for Bancaja Aspar team-mates Julián Simón and Bradley Smith in the 125cc contest, as the pair put on another enthralling display which went down to the last lap.
Taking their duel to the very last corner of the race again, Simón managed to hold off his rival for another thrilling finish, as he eventually finished 0.220s ahead.
Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team) completed the podium after riding a lonely race in third, confirming fourth place in the World Championship, with Nico Terol finishing tenth in the race as he sealed third in the season’s overall standings.
Simone Corsi won the battle for fourth place ahead of the impressive Marcel Schrotter, with Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing Team), Efrén Vázquez (Derbi Racing Team), Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten) and Randy Krummenacher (Degraaf Grand Prix) all finishing inside the top ten.