MotoGP: Season Grand Finale In Valencia
So there we have it, the last race of the Moto GP 2012 season, the last race to see Casey Stoner ride in the GP class, and the last time that Rossi will ride his Ducati, and I can already hear the sighs of relief. This year has been a roller-coaster of a year for most riders and many have said they are already looking forward to the 2013 season to see what it brings.
But before we go too far ahead and start talking about the possibilities of next season, let’s have a look at the Grand Finale that happened on Sunday at the Circuit.
The weather in Valencia was the worst I’ve seen it for four years. The sun was well and truly hiding and the rain was out to play. Race day came and the track was strangely half wet and half dry which automatically said to me that it was going to a fun race, well for me viewing it from the comfort of my own home… So now the riders had the ultimate conundrum, to have slicks or to not have slicks is the question?? Well either way the race was unpredictable, dangerous and very memorable just the way we like it!
From the moment the lights went green, riders were slipping and sliding all over, Dani Pedrosa’s back wheel practically did a u turn, so much so that he could wave hello to it, but he recovered well and continued. The first corner was like a cavalry charge, everyone was in the mix, and I mean everyone, this was very much anybody’s race at this point.
So, we were off and Espargaró stormed ahead in the lead, Espargaró? Yes, my eyes weren’t deceiving me; he was actually leading the race along with Pramac Hector Barbera. Rossi wasn’t far behind and kept slipping in to 2nd and out to 3rd. By lap 3 Dovi had pushed hard and got up into pole position, but it wasn’t long before our 2012 World Champion made his charge, going from 8th position down to 1st, Lorenzo managed to hold a steady pace, keeping it nice and smooth whilst Repsol Hondas Dani was coming from behind and he too had charged down from 20th position to 2nd in the space of 6 laps!! This was impressive riding to say the least, so much so that Lorenzo was now catching up with the back runners, and it was this that cost him his last podium of 2012.
Lorenzo was fast approaching James Ellison, he was keeping a good pace and looked like he wanted to continue that pace by passing Ellison as quick as he could, but unfortunately, Ellison proved to be an obstacle and forced Lorenzo to move from his dry line on to the wet. This caused a very aggressive tank slapper resulting in a high-side. Poor Lorenzo was forcefully tossed upwards into the air and landed in the kitty litter, shaken but unharmed thank goodness.
So as you can guess, Pedrosa moved in to the top spot and behind him there was Crutchlow, Nakasuga (who is a test rider for Yamaha but was used as Ben’s replacement for the final race), Bautista and San Carlo’s CRT rider Michele Pirro.
Crutchlow, who changed his tyres late on in the race, was riding a magnificent race, he was second and looked set to take a podium position, But for some reason, Cal pushed extremely hard in to a corner resulting in him sliding off the side of his bike, he tried to hold on in good rodeo style, but, the bronco bucked and he came off in a dramatic high-side being tossed across the track like a rag doll, but thankfully, yet again, our rider was safe an unharmed.
So now Nakasuga took the runner-up position and held his position to the end giving him a wonderful podium position, and can I say this was absolutely fantastic for a replacement rider to be able to achieve this, it really does make you think, why can’t Ben do this, if this guy can get on for one weekend and achieve good results and race pace, maybe the bike isn’t the problem, and this gives me wonderful high hopes or Valentino’s success next year on the Yamaha!
Bautista moved up and became third, but behind him was a very fast approaching Casey Stoner, and yes, you guessed it, Casey managed to steal Bautstia’s podium and move him to fourth with two laps remaining.
As Stoner flew over the line for the last time, his pit board that was displayed by his crew said “Gone Fishing,” and I never thought I’d say it, but I had a little lump in my throat. What a fabulous talent he has, and what a wonderful competitor we are losing, he is a very unique rider with skills I have seen to be untouchable, even by Valentino Rossi!
Stoner has been awarded with MotoGP‘s masters in the “MotoGP Legend” status. He will now sit alongside the likes of Agostini, Sheene, Roberts, Surtees Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner.
So, the race finalised with Dovi in sixth, Karel Abraham in seventh and CameIoda Racing Danilo Petrucci in eighth. Ellison held to ninth while Rossi rounded out the top-10.
Lorenzo is the World Champion of 2012; this is his second title in the GP class as he was crowned champion in 2010. Can he do it again next year? We’ll have to wait and see.
So that’s my final race blog for this season guys, but do not fear, Tracey is here, and I shall still be keeping your engines warm with motorcycle news and reviews throughout the winter months!
Until then, ciao for now
By Tracey Ann Daniels - MotoGP correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing In the picture: Casey Stoner Picture form the web