Australian Casey Stoner finished his championship winning year by overtaking Ben Spies down the final straight to win the season-ending Valencia MotoGP.
The world champion, who clinched the title on Oct. 16, finished in 48 minutes, 18.645 seconds. Spies was only 0.015 seconds behind in light rain on the 4-kilometre (2.5-mile) Comunitat Valenciana Circuit.
Andrea Dovizioso(pictured above), of Italy, was third.
Stoner raced away after his 12th pole of the season and led by 10 seconds from Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who ended the race fifth.
Riders did a lap of honour and gathered on the track to pay tribute to Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, who died in an accident at the Malaysia GP two weeks ago.
With three laps to go, Spies overtook Stoner when the Australian rider ran wide at a corner.
”Because I was in the lead I was also the first one to hit the rain and I wasn’t sure how much to push,” Stoner said. ”Ben got past me and looked confident in the conditions so I said to myself, ‘OK, I’ll push and risk it,’ and I’m very happy.”
Stoner came top of the standings with 350 points, a commanding lead over second place Jorge Lorenzo of Spain with 260 who was not fit to race due to a finger injury. Dovizioso was third with 228.
Loris Capirossi said goodbye to MotoGP and embraced a visibly moved Stoner in front of the Honda 125cc on which the Italian had won his first world title 21 years ago.
Michele Pirro of Italy won the Moto2 category in 46 minutes, 22.205 seconds, beating Mika Kallio of Finland who finished second and third-place Dominique Aegerter of Switzerland.
Pirro dedicated his win to Simoncelli, saying the Italian had been his inspiration.
”I think Marco helped me today,” Pirro said.
Stefan Bradl of Germany finished top of the Moto2 standings with 274 points as Spain’s Marc Marquez ended second with 251 and Andrea Iannone of Italy third with 177.
Nicolas Terol of Spain won the 125cc category world championship at his hometown circuit as he rode his Aprilia into second place behind race winner Maverick Vinales.
Hector Faubel came in third in a race that was preceded by tributes to Simoncelli.
”Right now I don’t even believe it, it has been a very difficult year for me,” said Terol, who finished with 302 points overall.
Johann Zarco of France was second with 262 and Vinales third with 248.
Vinales won the race in 41:44.138.
FINAL 2011 MotoGP STANDINGS:
1 Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team, 350
2 Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, 260
3 Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team, 228
4 Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, 219
5 Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing, 176
6 Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini, 139
7 Valentino Rossi, Ducati Marlboro Team, 139
8 Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team, 132
9 Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech3, 109
10 Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini, 98
11 Héctor Barberá, Mapfre Aspar Team, 82
12 Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech3, 70
13 Álvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 67
14 Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing, 64
15 Toni Elías, LCR Honda MotoGP, 61
16 Randy de Puniet, Pramac Racing Team, 49
17 Loris Capirossi, Pramac Racing Team, 43
18 Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Yamaha Factory Racing, 10
19 Josh Hayes, Monster Yamaha Tech3, 9
20 Kousuke Akiyoshi, San Carlo Honda Gresini/LCR Honda, 7
21 John Hopkins, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 6
22 Shinichi Ito, Honda Racing Team, 3