Dani Pedrosa dominated MotoGP's season finale in front of his home crowd at Valencia as Casey Stoner failed to start after a formation lap crash.
The Ducati rider, who had won the previous two races and topped every session of the weekend in Spain, suffered a high-side on the warm-up lap and retired on the spot, leaving a empty space in pole position. So it was left to Honda's Pedrosa to make his usual perfect start from the second slot of the grid and immediately open a gap over the rest of the field, led by Toni Elias (Gresini Honda) and the Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Within four laps, the nine-time champion and his teammate had overtaken Elias, but Pedrosa was already 2.4 seconds up the road. From then on, the gaps between the leading four riders began to increase, with Pedrosa running away and Lorenzo unable to keep up with Rossi's pace.
But with 13 laps left in the 30-lap race, and a gap of 2.4sec from the Italian, Lorenzo began edging closer and closer to his rival. The gap, however stayed around one second for the last three laps, with Rossi taking second at the flag.
Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) had a fine race to fourth ahead of Nicky Hayden's Ducati, with Elias finishing sixth. But the best impression in the race was probably made by Ben Spies, who, in his fourth MotoGP race as a wild card and his first for Yamaha, finished a brilliant seventh, passing several riders including Honda's Andrea Dovizioso six laps from the end. The Italian thus finished eighth, ahead of Pramac Ducati's Mika Kallio, with Gresini Honda's Alex de Angelis completing the top 10.
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1. Dani Pedrosa Honda 46m47.553s
2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 2.630s
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 2.913s
4. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 32.515s
5. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 34.585s
6. Toni Elias Gresini Honda + 34.888s
7. Ben Spies Yamaha + 37.706s
8. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 38.364s
9. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati + 42.491s
10. Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda + 43.689s
11. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 46.018s
12. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha + 50.226s
13. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati + 57.168s
14. Loris Capirossi Suzuki + 1m06.877s
15. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki + 1m11.701s
16. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda + 1m14.405s
17. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki + 1m33.425s
Casey Stoner Ducati 0 laps