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Pedrosa wins dramatic season finale with Stoner in 3rd

The 2012 MotoGP World Championship came to an exciting climax today with a fantastic display from the Repsol Honda Team. Dani Pedrosa took victory in the Grand Prix of La Comunidad Valenciana (his sixth at this track) and finishes the season runner-up to champion Jorge Lorenzo by just 18 points but with the most victories of the championship, with a total of seven. 2011 World Champion Casey Stoner completed the final GP of his career and took third place, his tenth podium of the year.

It was one of the most dramatic races of the season. Tricky weather conditions caused confusion at the start with only two riders - Lorenzo and Bradl -starting with slicks tyres on the grid. After the sighting lap, several riders chose to change to slick tyre bikes and start from the pit lane, including Dani who lost his advantage of being on pole position.

With the asphalt drying up very quickly, Dani managed to catch race leader Lorenzo within 12 laps, just before the Yamaha rider crashed out. Dani took the lead with a huge advantage of 23 seconds and remained calm to control the pace until the end, crossing the finish line with gap of 37 seconds and securing Honda's 19th premier class Constructor's Title.

Casey chose to remain on the wet tyre for the start but came in to the pit lane for the slick tyre bike on lap 4. The Australian was very cautious at the beginning but gradually caught up and passed the majority of the field and took third place with two laps to go, celebrating a podium in his last race. Casey finishes the championship in third position, a place that he already secured with his win in Australia.

On completion of his final MotoGP race, two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey, was nominated as a MotoGP Legend. He becomes the 20th MotoGP Legend, joining an exclusive club, whose members are: Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees and Carlo Ubbiali.

Casey retires at the age of 27, having amassed two MotoGP World Championships, 45 Grand Prix victories, 89 podium finishes and 43 pole-positions.

Dani Pedrosa, 1st
Final Championship Standing: 2nd with 332 points:
"After Márquez's race, I thought I should do something similar! But seriously, I'm really happy with this win, it was very difficult at the start to make the decision with tyres. I saw Jorge on slicks on the grid and I was pretty sure with my decision, but standing there the track was drying up very quickly and before the start I didn't know if it would be better to forget about the pole and start from the pits or go out on wets and stop after 4 or 5 laps. In the last corner of the sighting lap, the instinct told me to get in immediately. I started from the pit lane and I managed to be fast from the beginning, I caught Jorge and then I made a mistake and lost three seconds again, but one lap later he also made a mistake and crashed out. From this point another race began for me. It was tough to maintain concentration with such conditions and a big advantage, so I planned the second half of the race like a practice session, taking the corners, the lines, lap by lap. It's a great end of the season and I'd like to thank all the Repsol Honda Team!".

Katsuyuki Nakasuga, 2nd - Time +37.661:
“I’m so very happy with this result, the conditions were very difficult today. It was a tough race but the team were amazing and I have to thank them for making the best choice for my set up for the race. It is like a dream or a miracle for me to be on the podium as the qualifying was not so good. I want to thank Yamaha for giving me this special opportunity to race here in MotoGP, it has been amazing.”

Casey Stoner, 3rd
Final Championship Standing: 3rd with 254 points:
"Considering everything that happened today, we're very happy with a podium. My motivation wasn't particularly high today as I haven't wanted to push in the wet and haven't felt comfortable on the bike. I just didn't want to take any risks of crashing and damaging my ankle again so I was very cautious and this isn't how I like to ride. Even with the choice of going with the wets, not the slick tyres at the beginning of the race, I took the easy option which really isn't me. When I saw the slicks had a big advantage, we came in and changed bikes and went back out and pushed as hard as we could, without taking unnecessary risks. In the end we were able to chase down Alvaro and take the last spot on the podium in our last race. My team are l ike my second family, we've been through a lot of ups and downs together and it's going to be difficult not to see them every week. I'm sorry for them and for everyone who has supported me for so long but this is the way it is and it's time to say goodbye. Thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and all our sponsors, and to everyone in the Repsol Honda Team".

Valentino Rossi, 10th
“It’s really a shame that the last race with Ducati finished this way. Things went well this morning in the wet warm-up, and in similar conditions, it would have been possible to do a nice result. Instead, this half-and-half situation was truly difficult. In the end the right choice was to use the slick tyres, but my bike on the grid had a very different setting from the other one, so I didn’t feel like switching. With the rain tyres, I felt fine at first, but then when it was necessary to switch, the situation became more complicated. There was a thin dry line, but I couldn’t put the bike where I wanted and as soon as I would go off that line, it was very risky. I could only try to finish. I would have liked to finish these two years with Ducati better. They were two difficult seasons, but I nonetheless leave behind many people that I enjoyed working with, and with whom it was nice to go racing.”

Jorge Lorenzo - DNF
“I’m happy because we are world champions and that is the most important thing. Maybe if we had arrived here without the title decided it could have been another story and I wouldn’t be so happy. I had a lot of hopes to win today, I chose a really risky tyre strategy and I was making a really good race. Dani was catching me a little bit but then I managed to have a four second lead. I came up to the slower riders and I’m not sure what happened, maybe the marshals didn’t put up the blue flags quickly enough but I was losing some time stuck behind them. I was behind Ellison and he stayed on the racing line, I couldn’t wait for another corner to overtake him as I was losing time. I overtook and made a mistake, outside the dry line and I had a big high side.”

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