Dani Pedrosa won the final race of the MotoGP World Championship season yesterday to claim third in the final standings ahead of Casey Stoner.
World champion Valentino Rossi was second in the race at Valencia ahead of Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo but drama before the start took Stoner out of the race and ended his bid to take second in the final points table from Lorenzo.
Stoner was due to start the race from pole position but slid off his Ducati Marlboro machine on the warm-up lap and was unable to line up on the grid because his bike was too damaged and he could not make it back to the pit lane in time to use his back-up machine.
Repsol Honda's Pedrosa took the lead off the start line and never looked back as he steadily pulled clear of the battle for second between Lorenzo and Rossi.
Toni Elias was also briefly involved in the battle for second after a fine first corner saw him move past Lorenzo and Rossi but the Gresini Honda rider eventually faded to finish the race in sixth.
Lorenzo did well to avoid falling off his Yamaha on the fourth lap and Rossi was able to get by to claim second place, a position he was to hold until the flag.
Lorenzo closed the gap to below one second but Rossi always had the answer.
Colin Edwards finished fourth on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and that was good enough for him to finish the season in fifth position.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), Elias, Ben Spies (Yamaha), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), Mikka Kallio (Pramac Ducati) and Alex De Angelis (Gresini Honda) completed the top 10.
Spies was having his first ride in a MotoGP as a wild card rider for the Tech 3 team he will race for next season after winning the FIM Superbike World Championship for Yamaha this season.
His move past Dovizioso in the closing stages meant the Honda rider lost out on fifth in the series standings to Edwards who will be Spies' team-mate full time next season.
Spies' fine debut was in stark contrast to British rider James Toseland who he will replace at Tech 3 next season.
Toseland was only 12th before returning to World Superbikes, where he is twice former champion, where he will take the place vacated by Spies for 2010.