MotoGP race interviews Valencia

Dani Pedrosa was in awesome form. The Honda rider led from start to finish, leaving his rivals struggling to match his pace during the 30 lap event run in cool, windy conditions. Starting from the front row of the grid the local hero took just three laps to open a 2.1 second gap over his pursuers, using the speed of his RC212V to maximum advantage (Pedrosa was fastest through the start/finish speed trap at 316.6km/h). At one stage he was 4.4 seconds in front of closest challenger Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), finally crossing the line 2.6 seconds ahead of the Italian who just bettered team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Dani Pedrosa Speaks… 1st

"It’s really great to finish off the season with a win, especially here in front of my home fans. I was waiting on the grid with my visor up, and I was looking to the side for Casey (Stoner) to arrive, but the marshal in front of me was walking to the side and I was thinking: ‘Where is he going?’ So I assumed something had happened to Casey on the warm-up lap. In the first few laps, I had to be careful because you have to warm up the tires here, especially on the right-hand side. But once that was done, we maintained a good pace and kept focused. In the last laps, the wind was strong and it would have been easy to make a mistake, but I was able to control the gap to Valentino and take this win."

Valentino Rossi Speaks… 2nd

"I’m really happy about this result because it was fantastic to be able to ride well at Valencia and it’s my best finish here since 2004. Of course it would have been better to win but I lost some time at the start battling with Elias and Lorenzo and by that time Pedrosa had gone and at this track it’s almost impossible to make up a two second gap. It’s not one of our best tracks but after the problems we had all weekend we can be very pleased, we made a great modification in warm-up so thanks to all my guys for this. We’ve ended the championship on the podium and it’s been a great season, another world title and the triple crown for Yamaha, I am very proud. Thank you to Yamaha, all my team, Bridgestone and everyone else, now we will have a little party before we start work on the 2010 bike tomorrow!"

Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… 3rd

"I had some good fights at the start and I was feeling quite strong but then I made a big mistake in the slow corner and I was lucky not to crash, so Valentino got by. I was in a bit of pain and I took some time to recover,\ and by then the gap was a bit too big to catch him. Anyway I’m happy to get another podium in Spain and I am so proud to have finished second in the championship; I want to thank everyone, Yamaha, Bridgestone and all my team, because we have worked so hard and this is a great achievement in just our second season. Now I can’t wait to start testing the new bike and I look forward to being even stronger next year."

Casey Stoner Speaks… DNF

"Obviously this is a frustrating and disappointing way to finish the season. There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout the year and we have ended on a low, but with another lesson learnt for next season. We have had this strategy for two years and not had a problem until today so I guess it is better it happened here than in the first race of next season in Qatar! The important thing is that after back-to-back wins in Australia and Malaysia we have shown our pace here at Valencia and we know we have everything in place to be competitive next season if we do the job right over the winter. Now I am looking forward to working on the bike over the next three days and then spending a couple of months building up my physical fitness, which I haven’t been able to dedicate myself 100% to for such a long time. We know it will be hard next year but we are confident that we can be back and fighting again. I want to give my personal thanks to everybody in the team – to Filippo and everybody at Ducati Corse for giving me a bike that was competitive even when I wasn’t and for working to make sure it was firing on all cylinders when I came back. I also want to thank Livio Suppo, who is leaving the team, for all the support he has given me since I joined Ducati and especially during the difficult moments this season."

Nicky Hayden Speaks… 5th

"I thought it might be possible to do a little better than that today but I didn’t get the best start. The clutch was slipping a little bit down the first couple of straightaways and I lost some positions. After that I managed to pull myself up again and from there it was a case of doing my best to try and bridge the gap to Colin (Edwards). The bike was working quite well but every time I closed a tenth or two he had an answer and pulled it back out. Towards the end I had some issues in a couple of left-handers and my pace dropped too much. Anyway, I had an enjoyable race, going back and forth with a few guys at the beginning especially. It’s not a spectacular result but we’ve end the season with two top fives and we know we have a direction to work in over the winter. It hasn’t been a great season for me in terms of results but the improvements we have made since the start are huge and I’m excited about the future. We’re thirteenth overall, which looks awful on paper, but we are only eleven points off seventh and I had three first-lap incidents that weren’t my fault – just one of those could have made the difference. Next season starts tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back to work! There will be some changes in the team and a few guys leaving who I will miss. I want to thank them because even though it’s on old saying it really is true that Ducati is like a family. All I can say is good luck to them and I’m looking forward to welcoming the new guys in."

Colin Edwards Speaks… 4th

"Things really fell my way today but over the course of the season I feel like I really deserve fifth place in the championship. At best I was thinking I could finish fifth in the race but then I saw Casey wasn’t on the grid and immediately I thought ‘well, there’s some more points up for grabs.’ I got a great start and the bike was working awesome but those three out front were untouchable. I don’t know how they do it, what they’ve got or what they eat for breakfast, but I couldn’t run their pace. In the middle of the race I couldn’t carry the corner speed I wanted to so I tried to smooth myself out and just rode out of my skin. I was doing the best I could but wasn’t sure where Dovizioso was. It turns out Ben got by him and that point proved crucial. I gave him a big bug after the race and anything he wants me to buy him, he can have it. I’m glad he adapted so quickly to the Yamaha because him riding so well is what got me that fifth overall and I’m really looking forward to working with him. To finish fifth in the championship is a great feeling when you look at the talent in front of me. I was consistent all season and feel like I rode some of my best races to get this final position. I’m happy for myself and for my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. We are a really close unit and they always give me 100 per cent, so hopefully they can take a lot of satisfaction out of this result as well. I wish James all the best for the future too and am convinced he can carry on Yamaha’s success in World Superbikes."

Ben Spies Speaks… 7th

"It was a good day. We got a good start which something I didn’t think was going to happen. For the first six or seven laps I wasn’t really on it, I wasn’t used to the way the tires come in so I was halfway taking it easy and halfway getting pushed around because I didn’t want to do anything silly. Once we got into a rhythm I got to follow some people and it was ok, then I slowly started to pass some people and got my eyes set on the guys in front. Once I got passed Dovizioso I could see Nicky Hayden and Tony Elias up ahead. I knew I wasn’t going to catch them but I tried to keep my pace going and was able to keep it steady. It’s been a dream first weekend for us, to get seventh on a track I don’t particularly favour is pretty cool, the feeling is the same as winning a superbike race. I’m happy we’ve kept the bike off the ground and made solid progress all weekend which was our number one goal. I just want to thank Yamaha for giving me this opportunity, and all the sponsors that helped put this together for the weekend, especially Sterilgarda, BM Group, Fimer, Parts Europe and everybody else who made it possible to get this thing going, I think we did a good job for them."

James Toseland Speaks… 12th

"I really enjoyed my last race. I wanted to give my team everything I had and I’m proud to say I did that. I had a good first few laps and took a few risks with not a lot of temperature in the tyres and got myself into a good position. But unfortunately on about lap 15 the rear tyre turned on the rim and I wasn’t able to keep the pace and stay in the bunch that were battling for seventh place. I’d like to congratulate Colin for fifth in the championship because he has done a brilliant job. I’d like to thank everybody working with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team for all the effort and support they have given me. I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time with them and I’ll take a lot of interest in how they perform in the future. I’ve made a lot of friends in MotoGP and at Tech 3 and the team will always hold a special place in my heart. Now I’ve got to look to the futu re and I do so relishing a new challenge with Yamaha."

Randy De Puniet Speaks… 11th

"Honestly I would have preferred to finish the last race of the season in the top six positions and I am a bit disappointed about today’s result. I took a good start from the third row ending the first run 6th but after 12 laps I started to lose grip on the left side of the rear. I could not control the bike in the corners as it slid too much; that’s why the other guys caught me! However I want to thank Lucio and the Team for their efforts; we had a positive season together and I am pretty sure we could have had a better result if I hadn’t suffered the left ankle fracture in the middle of the season. I am happy to continue with them for next year because we have got the potential to be the most competitive Honda private Team".

Toni Elias Speaks… 6th

"I started the weekend with a bit of a cold, which hasn’t helped, and we had a few technical issues to resolve too. The team have done a great job though to give me a bike that I was able to ride to the maximum in qualifying yesterday and in the race today, which gave me the opportunity to take seventh place in the championship, which six riders were going for. I was calm going into the race because I know I usually start well and after that it was a case of pushing as hard as I could to stay with the front guys, who were on another planet again here. I managed to stick it out with Nicky and Colin for the whole race although they were slightly faster than me and it was an effort to stay with them. In the end I knew seventh place in the championship was ours if I could finish sixth so I gritted my teeth to the end. There are so many people I want to thank. My MotoGP adventure is over for now but I hope to be back as soon as possible after taking on the new challenge that awaits me, starting tomorrow, in Moto2."

Andrea Dovizioso Speaks… 8th

"We overtook a lot of riders in the race, but I cannot be happy with this result because we lost fifth place in the championship, and keeping that position was our target today. I had a bad start and lost a lot of time overtaking riders with a slower pace than mine, and this caused me to lose contact with Edwards and Elias. If I had started from further up the grid, I had the rhythm and pace to fight with them, but starting from the fourth row everything is more difficult. In the end Spies overtook me and I couldn’t re-pass him, and with eighth position at the finish I lost my fifth position in the championship. I don’t want to make any excuse for this result. I’m just looking forward to the future. We have worked a lot this season and, although it hasn’t been easy, we have learned a lot. I’d like to thank my team for their hard work, and from tomorrow the 2010 season starts. Honda has brought a new chassis and I’m really looking forward to testing it."

Alex De Angelis Speaks… 10th

"I’m happy because we’ve finished the season with a good position in the championship, virtually the first satellite rider if you consider that Edwards is a test rider on pretty much factory machinery and Elias was on the factory Honda. We’re also ahead of the two factory Suzukis. It was a difficult race today because the rear was sliding around a lot but I think I held my own and did pretty well with what we had. I want to thank all the sponsors and everybody in the team for helping me make this position in the championship possible."

Mika Kallio Speaks… 9th

"The ninth position isn’t a great result but for how it went the race today it can be ok. When I was in the group that was fighting for the seventh position I felt some pain in the left arm and I couldn’t brake as late as I would have want to overtake De Angelis. Once overtook him I made it to find back the good rhythm of the beginning of the race but I was too late to reach the riders in front of me. I want to thanks the Pramac Racing team for the great work done this year and I confide to grow together next season."

Aleix Espargarò Speaks… 13th

"Horrible start but from the second part of the race I made to registered interesting lap times. I lost too much time in the fight with Vermeulen and lap after lap I reached and overtook without too many complications Talmacsi, Melandri and Capirossi. I wanted to try to reach Toseland but it was too late and we were riding with similar lap times. Now I can say my stage at Pramac Racing is over, from tomorrow we will begin the real job. I am ready, motivated and I hope to grow a lot next year."