Posted: 12 Nov 2012
The final round of the 2012 MotoGP series kicked off at Valencia this weekend, and riders were forced to contend with extremely tricky track conditions, with many entering the race having not had any dry track time until race day. Even on the grid many riders were undecided on the right tyre to go out with. Jorge Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl chose slicks while the rest of the field selected wets. However after the sighting lap, Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden, Bennetts-backed Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista all pulled into the pit-lane swapped onto bikes with slick tyres and started from pit-lane.
It was a MotoGP first as the race got underway as the CRT bike of Aleix Espargaro took the lead. Lorenzo looked to have made the best choice as his slick tyres warmed up and he was lapping quicker than the rest of the field. Many of the riders who had chosen to stick with their wets where now entering the pits periodically to change, including Casey Stoner, Hector Barbera and Andrea Dovizioso. Among this action, Hayden, Silca and Roberto Rolfo crashed out on the slippery and freshly surfaced track.
Lorenzo was leading the pack and Pedrosa was taking chucks out of his lap times to catch up with the Championship winner. Bradl was in third place followed by Ben Spies’ replacement and Yamaha test rider, Nakasuga. Bradl lost control at turn five, crashing out of contention. With the track drying in parts and the dry line getting wider around the track Crutchlow sped past Nakasuga, Pedrosa ran wide and lost three seconds on race leader Lorenzo.
Perhaps unaware of his big lead on Pedrosa, Lorenzo was overtaking back markers when he experienced a massive highside and was thrown off his bike, but luckily suffered no serious injuries. Pedrosa was then in the lead and began overtaking the back markers himself.
Lap 19 saw more crashes with Barbera crashing out and CRT rider De Puniet taking a trip across the gravel - Corti followed the same fate just a lap after.
Despite having a comfortable lead ahead of Nakasuga, Crutchlow crashed out of second place meaning that Bautista was elevated to third, however, he had Stoner right behind him who made his move on the start finish straight.
Pedrosa crossed the line as the race winner, a fitting end to his season, wildcard Nakasuga took second place and Stoner achieved third place.
Espargaro finished in 11th and secured himself the CRT title this season.
Final MotoGP 2012 Championship standings: