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2012 MotoGP – Rnd 18 Valencia – Race

Katsuyuki Nakasuga stole the show today in an incident packed race, delivering an incredible performance to take second place on the podium for the Grand Prix of Valencia. The Japanese Yamaha test rider, appearing in place of injured Ben Spies, was one of the few who gambled on slick tyres to start the race in damp conditions. The gamble paid off with Nakasuga-san moving from 16th to 11th on the first lap, and then jumping to fourth on lap four as riders came in to change rubber. The one-event wonder was looking safe for third on the podium when second placed rider Cal Crutchlow crashed out in front, leaving him to hold on and focus for the remaining eight laps to claim his incredible podium finish in second, over 20 seconds clear of Casey Stoner behind him. The four-time All Japan Superbike Champion had double cause for celebration with his second son, Haruto, being born on Saturday evening. He is also the only Japanese rider to have stood on the podium this season in all three classes.

2012 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo also gambled on slick tyres and after initially dropping from second on the grid to eighth the Mallorcan began to make steady progress back up the field. By the fourth lap Lorenzo had taken the lead, which he maintained until lap 13, pulling nearly a four second gap to chasing Dani Pedrosa. Disaster struck when he came off the dry line to lap CRT rider James Ellison on the same lap, losing grip on the damp surface and suffering a huge high side crash. Lorenzo was lucky to walk away without serious injury and will be ready to take part in testing on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 2013 season.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Position 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.”

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.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“What a crazy race! I think we could have won today so it’s a real shame we wrap up the season like this. Jorge took a big gamble with the tyres which proved to be a clever choice and rode a very strong race. Unfortunately with such tricky track conditions and much slower bikes making traffic the risk was high. We are very happy he is unhurt after his crash and also that we secured the title in Phillip Island! We’ll take some time to celebrate tonight and then it’s back to work for 2013 on Tuesday! Nakasuga-san was brilliant today and really deserved his podium, he and Ben’s crew put in a great effort for the result.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted today’s results! It’s a pity Jorge’s championship season ended this way in front of his home crowd but we are happy that he has no serious injuries and is ready to test next week. For Nakasuga-san it has been a fairytale day, we are so happy for him and proud of his achievement. After a difficult season it was also a great result for Ben’s crew who deserved this podium today. I would like to wish them all the best for the future.”

Crutchlow and Dovizioso star in dramatic Valencia race

The 2012 MotoGP World Championship concluded in dramatic fashion for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team this afternoon after Cal Crutchlow fell out ofsecond position and Andrea Dovizioso secured a hard fought top six in an incident-packed Valencia race.

Officials declared the 30-lap encounter a wet race but new asphalt was already drying up when the action got underway in front of almost 62,000 fans.

Crutchlow was one of four riders to opt to switch to slick tyres ahead of the start, which meant the British rider joined Dani Pedrosa, AlvaroBautista and Nicky Hayden in starting from th e pit lane.

Crutchlow’s decision immediately paid off with a clear dry line appearing right from the opening lap. He brilliantly built up his pace and needed only five laps to surge from the back of the field into the top five.

Crutchlow then moved into the top three on lap 13 and he found himself promoted into second position when Factory Yamaha rider and new World Champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed unhurt out of the lead on lap 14. The 27-year-old streaked away from Japanese replacement rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, but just as he looked poised to score a career best second place and third rostrum of 2012, he crashed out on the approach to the final corner on lap 23.

Dovizioso’s farewell appearance with the French-based Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team ended with a sixth place finish, but the Italian was left to rue his decision to start the race on Bridgestone’s rain tyres.With section s of the track still damp, Dovizioso seized the lead from Aleix Espargaro on lap three, but he quickly realised that he would need to pit and switch to his YZR-M1 fitted with slick tyres as track conditions continued to improve.Dovizioso switched to slick tyres as he was about to complete the fifth lap, which dropped him out of the top 15. He lost time in the pits when he stalled his YZR-M1 machine before embarking on a brilliant recovery to score his 15th top six finish in 18 races.

Andrea Dovizioso

Position 6th – Time +1.30.423

“It is a pity that I could only finish my last race with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in sixth position. I’m sorry because I selected the worst strategy possible with the tyre choice and I’m disappointed. Normally I am always very strong at interpreting the conditions in the right way but this time I chose to start on the wet tyres and it was clearly the wrong decision. The other decision that compromised my race was I stayed out too long before coming in and changing to slicks. I didn’t have a reference because I was in the lead but when I saw Jorge I understood it was already too late. But I still came in to change to slicks. I then stalled the bike, so I lost more time. I didn’t give up and found a good rhythm so I get back into the top six which is at least decent finish. It has been a fantastic season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I have enjoyed the experience a lot. The Team is incredibly professional and it has been an honour for me to ride with them and achieve a lot of success together.”

Cal Crutchlow

DNF

“Obviously I am very disappointed to finish the season like that. I wasn’t sure whether to start on wet tyres but I saw Dani pit and just followed him. Going to slicks was obviously the right choice but although there was a dry line, in some places it was so narrow that you couldn’t go off line to overtake because it was way too risky. Dani got through the pack quicker than me but once I got into a fast rhythm I felt really at ease. I had a comfortable lead over third and it was looking good for me to get my best MotoGP result when I hit the smallest wet patch going into the final corner. It just flicked the bike enough to throw me off the left side and I was actually lucky not to get tangled up with the bike. It is a shame because I wasn’t pushing that hard, but in those conditions we saw loads of people getting caught out. But once again I showed I was really fast and we take a lot of positives from the second half of the season. I’ve been on the podium twice and in the last races I’ve been right in the battle for the podium. I’d like to have had a few more finishes but I’ve shown my potential this year and that I am good enough to fight with the best in the world. I can now look forward to 2013 with a lot of confidence.”

Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“That was an incredible way to finish the season and the excitement in the first laps when Cal was on slicks and Andrea on wets was really compulsive viewing. Nobody really knew what to expect because the conditions were so tricky but Cal was doing a brilliant job. He had built up a big lead over third place and with only a few laps to go we were getting more confident that he could he get his best result in MotoGP and the best result of the season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Unfortunately a small damp patch caught him out but I don’t think the punishment fitted the crime. Cal has enjoyed a fantastic second season and shown the form that we all knew he could after 2011. We are already really looking forward to 2013 and I am convinced that he is only going to be an even bigger threat. Andrea did another good job in his f inal race for us but it was a pity that he stalled the bike when he came in to change to slick tyres. That lost him a lot of time but the decision to start on wet tyres compromised his hopes of ending a memorable season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team on the podium. I have to say huge thanks though to Andrea. He has been amazing in 2012 and he has become the most successful rider we have ever had in MotoGP with six podiums. He finished fourth in the World Championship and he was key to helping us take third in the Team World Championship. We only finished behind Yamaha’s Factory Team and HRC, so that is a great achievement for a non-factory squad.”

2012 MotoGP Spain

Valencia 11/11/2012 30 Laps

race I
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 48’23.819
2 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 0’37.661
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’00.633
4 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’01.811
5 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’26.608
6 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 1’30.423
7 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’31.789
8 Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA -1Laps
9 James Ellison ART GBR -1Laps
10 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA -1Laps
11 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP -1Laps
12 Randy De Puniet ART FRA -2Laps
13 Hiroshi Aoyama BQR JPN -2Laps
14 Colin Edwards Suter USA -3Laps

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 18 of 18

1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 350
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 332
3. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 254
4. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 218
5. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 178
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 163
7. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 151
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 135
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 122
10. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 88
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 83
12. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 74
13. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 62
14. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 59
15. Michele Pirro FTR ITA 43
16. James Ellison ART GBR 35
18. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 27

Circuit Length:
4005

Temp:
13

Weather:
Wet

Lap Record:
1’32.582
(Casey Stoner, 1/1/2008)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’30.844
(Daniel Pedrosa, 11/11/2012)

Last Years Winner:
Casey Stoner

Manufacturer Standings

11/11/2012

1 Honda 412
2 Yamaha 386
3 Ducati 192
4 ART 100
5 FTR 43
6 BQR 35
7 Suter 27
8 Ioda 27
9 BQR-FTR 2
10 Kawasaki 2

Team Standings

11/11/2012

1. Repsol Honda Team 603
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 458
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 369
4. Ducati Marlboro Team 285
5. San Carlo Honda Gresini 221
6. Power Electronics Aspar 136
7. LCR Honda MotoGP 135
8. Pramac Racing Team 93
9. Cardion AB Motoracing 59
10. Avintia Blusens 44
11. Paul Bird Motorsport 35
12. Came Ioda Racing Project 27
13. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 27
14. Speed Master 13