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MotoGP Valencia: Pedrosa wins Spanish crash-fest

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took victory in today's MotoGP finale at Valencia by virtue of the fact that he stayed on while all about him, including new champion Jorge Lorenzo and Britain's Cal Crutchlow, erm, didn't.

The Spaniard increased his string of wins to seven for the season in a wet home encounter, diving into the pits after the warm-up lap to change from wets to slicks and coming back out, with Crutchlow and Nicky Hayden in tow, at the back of the pack.

Lorenzo, who was one of the only riders to gamble on slicks from the grid, led on lap four as the rack started to dry after CRT man Aleix Espargaro leapt away from the start on full wets but it was soon clear that slicks were the way forward.


The 2012 champion pulled a substantial lead but Pedrosa was setting fastest lap after fastest lap, reeling in his compatriot as the likes of Valentino Rossi pitted in to change bikes.

Pedrosa moved into second when he passed Yamaha stand-in Kats Nakasuga, who had mirrored his team lader's tyre choice, as Crutchlow also started to move through the field, hauling in Nakasuga and Stefan Bradl, who fell out of third on lap seven, just after Hayden lobbed in at turn 13.

On lap nine, Pedrosa had slashed Lorenzo's lead but then made an error and lost three second when he ran wide. The Yamaha man, meanwhile, caught lappee James Ellison at an awkward part of the track, tried to ride around the outside but crashed, giving Pedrosa a massive lead.

Ellison, meanwhile, was oblivious to Lorenzo's crash and then found himself able to pass Rossi after the Italian had made an error but was clearly struggling on the slicks.

Crutchlow, meanwhile, had benefitted from his stablemate's tip-off and was set for his best ever result when he crashed out of second place with eight laps to go, losing the front over the crest into the last corner.

All this, of course, left Nakasyga in second place with Casey Stoner occupying the final podium spot after he passed A;varto Bautista with two laps left to run.

Michele Pirro was the first of the CRT runners in fifth place with Andrea Dovizioso in sixth. He would have been the last of the lapped riders had he not gone back past leader Pedrosa on the penultimate circuit.

Karel Abraham was seventh, Danli Petrucci eighth and Britain's Ellison took ninth. A great final result for the Kendal man who now faces the sack. Rossi rounded out the top ten. Only 14 riders finished.

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