Motorcycling: Michelin man Pedrosa steals Stoner's glory

The 22-year-old Spaniard Dani Pedrosa may have signalled a healthier future for MotoGP competition in 2008 when he won the final race of the season in Valencia yesterday on his Repsol Honda.

On his Michelin-shod bike, Pedrosa prevented the Australian Casey Stoner, on a Marlboro Ducati equipped with Bridgestone tyres, from scoring a third consecutive victory. In taking his second win of the year, Pedrosa also lifted himself into second place in the championship, relegating Valentino Rossi, the former king of MotoGP racing, into third position.

Stoner, 21, had already clinched the championship with a searing run of 10 wins from 18 races that caused virtual panic in the paddock. No one could break the Stoner-Ducati-Bridgestone grip as a sport synonymous with wheel-to-wheel action was suddenly confronted with Formula One-style monotony.

The organisers threatened to convert MotoGP almost overnight into a single-tyre championship to level the competition, and Rossi schemed to abandon Michelin for Bridgestone in 2008.

ButPedrosa's five-second win over Stoner on the 2.5-mile Ricardo Tormo circuit indicates that Honda and Michelin have regained their composure and technical ability, and may be able to compete effectively next year.

"This was an important win for Michelin," Pedrosa said. "I had to push hard at the beginning to catch Casey. At the end the tyres started to move quite a bit, but I was trying to get more grip from them."

Stoner said: "With five laps to go I started to lose grip from the right side of my rear tyre, so I decided to call it a day. Everyone's going to come out tougher and stronger next year, but I will do everything I can to make sure than I come out on top."

Rossi, the five-times MotoGP champion, gamely started from the sixth row of the grid in 17th place after crashing in qualifying on Saturday and fracturing three bones in his right wrist and little finger. This preserved his remarkable record of having competed in every one of the 100 races that have taken place since the new era of MotoGP competition was launched in 2002.

He needed to finish only in 15th place to score a solitary point and maintain another record, that of having finished in the top two of a motorcycle world championship for the 12th year since 1996. But his 800cc Fiat Yamaha developed a technical problem after he had climbed to 14th, and he dropped to third position in the rankings.

The American John Hopkins closed a five-year career with Suzuki by taking the final podium position before he switches to Kawasaki next year.

Britain's James Toseland, who won the World Superbike Championship on a Ten Kate Honda this year, was at Valencia to review the series that he will join next season. He will start testing for the Yamaha Tech 3 team in Malaysia on 13 November.

2007 MotoGP final results

Leading final race positions: 1 D Pedrosa (Sp) Honda 46mins 43.533secs, 2 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 46:48.980, 3 J Hopkins (US) Suzuki 47:03.937, 4 M Melandri (It) Honda 47:08.360, 5 L Capirossi (It) Ducati 47:09.337, 6 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 47:09.395, 7 A Barros (Br) Ducati 47:13.003, 8 N Hayden (US) Honda 47:13.866, 9 R De Puniet (Fr) Kawasaki 47:14.428, 10 T Elias (Sp) Honda 47:14.563, 11 S Guintoli (Fr) Yamaha 47:22.296, 12 C Checa (Sp) Honda 47:26.039, 13 C Edwards (US) Yamaha 47:30.105, 14 S Nakano (Japan) Honda 47:33.753, 15 M Tamada (Japan) Yamaha 47:40.412

Final Riders Championship Standings: 1 Stoner 367pts, 2 Pedrosa 242, 3 V Rossi (It) Yamaha 241, 4 J Hopkins 189, 5 M Melandri 187, 6 C Vermeulen 179, 7 Capirossi 166, 8 Hayden 127, 9 Edwards 124, 10 Barros 115, 11 De Puniet 108, 12 Elias 104, 13 Checa 65, 13 A Hofmann (Ger) Ducati 65, 15 A West (Aus) Aprilia 59

Manufacturer Championship Standings: 1 Ducati 394pts, 2 Honda 313, 3 Yamaha 283, 4 Suzuki 241, 5 Kawasaki 144, 6 KR212V 14

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?