2009 Valencia MotoGP Race Result - Warm Up Incident Throws Result In Air

Result and summary of the final MotoGP round of 2009 at Valencia:

Dani Pedrosa saved his 2009 MotoGP season by taking his second victory of the year in the final race at Valencia. Pedrosa did have a little help from Casey Stoner, the Australian highsiding off on the warmup lap, the bike too broken to remount and get back to the line.

Most of the credit for victory must go to Pedrosa, though. The Spaniard got his usual rocket start off the line, diving into Turn 1 ahead and inching away from the front. Toni Elias was 2nd into Turn 1, ahead of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. The two Fiat Yamaha men were clearly ready to sort out the pecking order inside the team for 2010, Lorenzo diving up the inside of Rossi to take over 3rd. 

Getting past Rossi may have been easy, Toni Elias presented a larger problem. The Spaniard resisted Lorenzo's very forceful attentions for two laps, but had to submit into the final corner, Rossi following Lorenzo past into Turn 1 at the end of the straight. Lorenzo put his head down to try and catch Pedrosa and drop Rossi, but he was pushing a little too hard, nearly losing the bike at the edge of the track at Turn 11, allowing Rossi past and into 2nd.

From then, the race turned into the usual MotoGP game of cat-and-mouse, with the gaps between Pedrosa, Rossi and Lorenzo growing and contracting without it ever producing a fight. Pedrosa came home first, well ahead of Rossi, while Lorenzo closed his team mate down on the very last lap, but not quite enough to take him out of 3rd.

There was more interest behind the remaining 3 aliens, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden had edged past Elias in the first half of the race, but Hayden couldn't catch Edwards, and Edwards had no chance of catching the front three. Elias was left to finish 6th, while Ben Spies capped an extremely impressive MotoGP debut with a 7th finish, after dropping down to 12th in the early part of the race and elbowing his way past Melandri, Kallio, De Angelis and Dovizioso.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 46'47.553  
2 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 46'50.183 2.630
3 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 46'50.466 2.913
4 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 47'20.068 32.515
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 47'22.138 34.585
6 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 47'22.441 34.888
7 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 47'25.259 37.706
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 47'25.917 38.364
9 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 47'30.044 42.491
10 15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA 47'31.242 43.689
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 47'33.571 46.018
12 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 47'37.779 50.226
13 44 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 47'44.721 57.168
14 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 47'54.430 1'06.877
15 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 47'59.254 1'11.701
16 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 48'01.958 1'14.405
17 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 48'20.978 1'33.425
Not starting
  27 Casey STONER DUCATI    
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What a race.

I don't remember the last time I saw a rider HIGH-SIDE on the warm-up lap...

OK. Before the naysayers start in, let's do the math:

"If Casey..."

If Casey hadn't taken a break in the season, let's say that he won ALL the races he missed. If so, he'd have made up 15 points on Rossi, if Rossi had finished 2nd in all 3 races, 27 with Rossi in 3rd, and 75 with Rossi crashing out of all 3 races.

75 points wouldn't have cut it, my friends. 87 points would have made a difference, but 75...nope. He was beaten, fair and square. Rossi did what he needed to do for the last couple races to wrap up the World Championship, as well as the BMW M Award. Casey was on BLAZING form, that's beyond question, but the whole "making beds in a burning house" thing comes to mind. It was, as Gavin and Nick always say, "done and dusted" by then.

The World Champion this year is the rightful champion. He's earned it, he's asserted his dominance for the 9th time, and that's that. He's the GOAT, and whether or not Casey took time off for a break/illness/fishing trip...means exactly NOTHING.

On to other matters, congrats to Pedrosa. A signature win, if there ever was one. A lonely, dominating, drama-free, Stoner-style win. What can one say? He was on fire! He actually SMILED and SHOOK THE CAMERA afterwards!

Oh, and Spies was really impressive. Maybe he's not an alien, but he may well turn out to be. I don't think he had ANY business passing Dovi, Hayden, etc. on his first outing on the M1. WOW. (I can say that backwards. WOW.)

Helluva season. Bring on 2012(by which time Rossi will have 11 World Championships...HA!)!!!

Good little piece Mr. Tide. One minor thing, though. Big Ben never got close enough to Hayden to make a pass. He dropped down to the bottom of the 3rd group and rode there for awhile, before charging past them and taking Dovi for 7th with some 5 laps to go. Hayden was up the field a couple spots.

Your analysis is honestly less than convincing. As he has said many times, Stoner rode while ill at Catalunya, and then for the next four races before the break. That's a total of 5 races where he was less than 100%. Plus the 3 he missed. Together that's pretty much half the season. And consider the last races, where Stoner did 'convincingly' defeat Rossi (Valencia excepted of course, but all signs pointed to another strong race from Stoner). So who knows.

But Rossi is, to say the least, a deserving winner, in any case. As Stoner said in 2008: it is very difficult to make up points on such a strong and consistent competitor.

Which was an issue in the past for some people. The MotoGP newsfeed in the upper right corner usually has some pretty good spoiler headlines. As is again the case today.

That's something I know about and am mulling over solutions for. Sorry, but I hope to have a solution when the bikes hit the track again, at least for registered users. 

You don't have to do anything on my account (not that you would or would not). Even though I live in Europe and can catch the races live (well, MotoGP at least), even if I didn't, 'spoiler' comments or whatever would not bother me.

Eurosport used to carry MotoGP in Germany. They always carried all races live: 125, 250, MotoGP. Their coverage was something to look forward to. Then for 2009 (also for 2010 I think), Dorna gave the German rights to DSF. What a joke. During the football season, on Sunday from 0930 until 1300 DSF airs first highlights of Saturday's Bundesliga games, and then a live talk show about football. Hence they almost never show the 125 and 250 races live. Once they show up at 1300, their coverage is crap -- spending LOTS of time in the paddock talking to also ran German riders from the 125 and 250 classes, instead of a proper buildup for the MotoGP race. Boring and irritating beyond words.

And often they are just plain clueless. For instance, today they completely failed to grasp the significance of first Dovizioso passing De Puniet, which put him on the same points as Edwards (who was 4th in the race at the time) in 5th for the championship (Dovizioso would have taken 5th in a tiebreak), assuming the race standings stayed that way, and then again the significance of Spies later overtaking Dovizioso, which put Edwards alone back in 5th for the championship. And that's how it finished.

Later in the paddock, when Edwards went right to Spies' garage and gave Spies a hug, they said it was Edwards congratulating and welcoming his future teammate. Wrong! It was Edwards saying 'Thanks!' to Spies for passing Dovizioso, which gave Edwards 5th in the championship.

Everyone but the people at DSF seemed to realize this.


I have always thought it unfair that a wildcard rider can take points from a series contender.
Let the the WC's (pun intended), run, but they should NOT be able to take points.
Nothing against Spies or Edwards at all, but its not the first time WC's have "upset the boat" and if I had invested a full season of effort, time and money, I would be pissed if a one hit wonder spoilt my party.


If you had invested a full season of effort, time, and money (particularly if you are on a factory Honda), and you are getting beat by a WC who has had roughly a total of three hours of experience on a new (satellite) bike, I would tend to think that you fully deserved to have all the points "taken" from you that you've just surrendered to a brand new rider after having had a full season yourself of developing your own bike. (Even though I personally would much rather have preferred to have seen Dovi take fifth over CE.)

Regarding the Stoner crash, what exactly is the "grid strategy" that the team employs which presumably results in not-warm-enough tires? Is this "strategy" something that distinguishes it from those of other teams in the paddock?