It was a victory on home soil for Dani Pedrosa at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, as the Repsol Honda man enjoyed a start-to-finish win in the final race of the 2009 season.
The drama started before the race had even commenced, as pole position holder Casey Stoner’s high-side crash on the warm-up lap meant he was unable to take his place on the grid. That allowed Pedrosa to lead the charge from his position on the front row, and after taking the first corner in the lead the Repsol Honda rider never relinquished it, sealing third spot in the overall standings in the process.
World Champion Valentino Rossi followed the Spaniard home in second place, finishing 2.630s behind Pedrosa as he ended his title-winning season with his 13th podium of the campaign.
The Italian’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who did well to hold onto his bike when a moment on the opening lap almost threw him off, was a further 0.283s behind as he took third, having already sealed second spot in the Championship by virtue of Stoner’s non-start.
The Australian ended the season in fourth place overall, with Colin Edwards’ fourth place in the race allowing him to snatch fifth in the 2009 standings from Andrea Dovizioso.
The top five on the day was completed by Stoner’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden, who held off the challenge of Toni Elías as the Spaniard came in sixth in his final race with the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.
Wildcard rider Ben Spies rode to an impressive seventh-placed finish, and in depriving Dovizioso of that spot – the Italian finished eighth – played a direct role in helping his future Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Edwards take fifth in the Championship.
There were also top-ten finishes for Rookie of the Year Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini).
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