The first MotoGP since Marco Simoncelli's death in Malaysia two weeks ago started in almost the worst possible way yesterday in Valencia when the Spanish Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista lost control seconds after the start and took out Italy's Valentino Rossi, Frenchman Randy De Puniet and American Nicky Hayden, all on Ducatis.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. It was the third race in a row that seven-times champion Rossi had crashed out, bringing to an end a tough season. The champion, Casey Stoner, mounted a thrilling charge to pip Ben Spies to the line while British Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow finished fourth and took the Rookie of the Year award. REUTERS