Dani Pedrosa wins Round 17, the final round of the 2009 MotoGP season
AllAboutBikes.com Content Editor
Racing before a home crowd, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa won the final round of the 2009 MotoGP season, leading every lap from start to finish at Valencia. After pole-sitter Casey Stoner didn’t make the grid due to a high-side during the warm-up lap, the Spaniard Pedrosa, who started on the front row, charged to the front and saw nothing but clear track during the entire Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
“It’s fantastic to win here and I really wasn’t expecting it,” Pedrosa said. “We had some problems with the setup but in the end we proved we were competitive.”
With the win, Pedrosa finished third in the championship with 234 points, edging out Stoner. The Australian won at Valencia last year, and although he missed three races due to chronic fatigue, the Marlboro Ducati rider still finished fourth in the championship with 220 points.
Finishing 2.63 seconds behind Pedrosa was Valentino Rossi, who secured his ninth World Championship (seventh in the premier class) with his second-place finish at Malaysia. The Fiat Yamaha rider’s second-place finish at Valencia was his 13th podium of the season. The Italian’s final points were 306.
“We were a lot slower this weekend, but it didn’t matter as I was already the world champion,” said Rossi. “I’m happy. Tomorrow (Monday) we will go out and try the new bike for next season.”
Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished third, 2.91 seconds behind Pedrosa. The Spaniard almost crashed during the opening lap, but he held on. And because Stoner didn’t start, the second-place spot in the championship was sealed from the first lap of the race. He finished second in the championship with 261 points.
“The stable called me and said Stoner was out of the race. I should have put my foot down but instead I allowed Dani to take a second up on me and that was enough,” Lorenzo said. “All in all it has been a good season and I will come back stronger next term.”
Two American’s rounded out the top five, with Colin Edwards taking fourth on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, a lengthy 32.15 seconds behind winner Pedrosa, and Ducati Marlboro rider Nicky Hayden taking fifth after holding off San Carlo Honda Gresisni rider Toni Elias.
Edwards’ finish allowed him to finish the championship in fifth with 161 points, just one point ahead of Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso.
In seventh was the other American, Ben Spies, who entered into his first MotoGP race this weekend as a Wildcard for the Sterilgarda Yamaha Team. Spies, who just won the 2009 World Superbike title during his rookie year in the series, will be teammates with fellow Texan Edwards during the 2010 MotoGP season.
Spies held of Dovizioso, who finished in eight; by holding off Dovizioso, Spies helped his future teammate Edwards secure fifth place in this year’s championship.
Finishing ninth was Rookie of the Year Mika Kallio of Pramac Racing, and tenth went to San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex de Angelis.
For Round 17 results, click here.
MotoGP Final Point Standings:
- 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Fiat Yamaha Team: 306
- 2. Jorge LORENZO (SPA), Fiat Yamaha Team: 261
- 3. Dani PEDROSA (SPA), Repsol Honda Team: 234
- 4. Casey STONER (AUS), Ducati Marlboro Team: 220
- 5. Colin EDWARDS (USA), Monster Yamaha Tech 3: 161
- 6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (ITA), Repsol Honda Team: 160
- 7. Toni ELIAS (SPA), San Carlo Honda Gresini: 115
- 8. Alex DE ANGELIS (RSM), San Carlo Honda Gresini: 111
- 9. Loris CAPIROSSI (ITA), Rizla Suzuki MotoGP: 110
- 10. Marco MELANDRI (ITA), Hayate Racing Team: 108
- 11. Randy DE PUNIET (FRA), LCR Honda MotoGP: 106
- 12. Chris VERMEULEN (AUS), Rizla Suzuki MotoGP: 106
- 13. Nicky HAYDEN (USA), Ducati Marlboro Team: 104
- 14. James TOSELAND (GBR), Monster Yamaha Tech 3: 92
- 15. Mika KALLIO (FIN), Pramac Racing: 71
- 16. Niccolo CANEPA (ITA), Pramac Racing: 38
- 17. Gabor TALMACSI (HUN), Scot Racing Team MotoGP: 19
- 18. Aleix ESPARGARO (SPA), Pramac Racing: 16
- 19. Sete GIBERNAU (SPA), Grupo Francisco Hernando: 12
- 20. Ben SPIES (USA), Sterilgarda Yamaha Team: 9
- 21. Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN), Scot Racing Team MotoGP: 9