Casey Stoner signed off with a third place finish in a Valencia MotoGP won by Dani Pedrosa
Last Updated: December 18, 2012 5:04pm
Dani Pedrosa: Denied retiring Honda team-mate Casey Stoner a final victory
Casey Stoner signed off his MotoGP career with a podium place as Dani Pedrosa claimed victory in Valencia on Sunday.
Spaniard Pedrosa started from the pit lane but took advantage of a crash by world champion Jorge Lorenzo to power his Repsol Honda to comfortable victory.
Katsuyuki Nagasuka, standing in for injured Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies, claimed second to leave retiring two-time world champion Stoner in third.
Pedrosa claimed pole in Saturday's qualifying but opted to start from the pits following a last-minute change of tyres after a rain shower slicked the Circuit de Valencia.
The 27-year-old was quickly through the field and up to second behind Yamaha rider Lorenzo, who handed him the lead and ultimately the victory, when he hit a wet patch passing back-markers and highsided out with 17 laps to go.
Pedrosa finished a comfortable37.661 seconds clear of Nagasuka with Stoner winning a tight battle for third after passing San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista with two laps to run.
It was a frantic race that saw several riders crash out, including Briton's Cal Crutchlow, who was in second place when he lost control of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 22 laps in.
Steffan Bradl had suffered a similar fate a few laps earlier, the young German coming off his LCR Honda on Turn 5 just eight laps in.