Stoner wins season finale and leads all-Bridgestone podium Ducati rider Casey Stoner has today taken victory in the season finale at Valencia, ending the 2008 season as he started it with a dominant win. It is the Australian's sixth win of the...
Stoner wins season finale and leads all-Bridgestone podium
Ducati rider Casey Stoner has today taken victory in the season finale at Valencia, ending the 2008 season as he started it with a dominant win. It is the Australian's sixth win of the season and the 15th victory for a Bridgestone-shod rider this year.
Stoner led an all-Bridgestone podium with Honda's Dani Pedrosa in second position and 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi in third, concluding Bridgestone's most successful MotoGP season in style. The result takes Bridgestone's combined podium tally for the year to 35 with Stoner's pole position from Saturday afternoon extending the number of pole results this season to 12.
Honda Gresini's Shinya Nakano continued his recent strong run of form to take seventh position at the chequered flag with team-mate Alex De Angelis also scoring a top ten result this afternoon. Suzuki's Loris Capirossi also featured in the mid-field scrap, taking an eventual ninth position.
After a weekend of mixed and often inclement weather, over 117,000 attending spectators enjoyed brilliant sunshine for today's 30-lap race, but the inconsistent weather over the weekend made race tyre choice difficult. Of the five time sessions this weekend, only this morning's warm-up session was held in completely dry conditions with work centered on finding the most appropriate tyre for the race. Most Bridgestone riders demonstrated consistent pace over the full race distance in spite of the hot track temperatures with the three podium finishers in a class of their own at the front of the field. Stoner set the fastest lap of the race with a time 0.2s quicker than last year's race best
Preparations for next season get underway tomorrow with a scheduled two-day test in Valencia. Bridgestone will use the occasion to start its own development for 2009 when it will be the sole tyre supplier to the MotoGP world championship.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"I could not have asked for a better way to end this successful season for Bridgestone. Casey rode a faultless race and thoroughly deserved his sixth win of the season. Together with Casey and Ducati, we have taken wins at the beginning and end of this season. Dani and Valentino were also competitive and helped us to our fifth 1-2-3 result of the season. We have taken an amazing 15 wins this year with Valentino and Casey's successes, as well as 1-2 in the championship, something that I am very proud of. We enter a new era for next season with a sole tyre supply regulation, but it has been a great pleasure for Bridgestone to have been part of a competition scenario with our rivals in MotoGP since 2002. After such a long season, I would like to thank each and every one of our riders, teams and their staff for a tremendous support this year, and to all Bridgestone staff at the track and at the factory for their invaluable individual contributions. Tomorrow marks the first day of testing in preparation for next season and we will surely have another big challenge ahead of us."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Race Tyre Development
"I am pleased with the performance of our tyres in today's Valencia Grand Prix after a complicated weekend. The wet weather on Friday and Saturday greatly reduced the possibility to evaluate our slick tyre range so we were left with just 20 minutes of warm-up to prepare for the race. We worked hard with our teams to allow them to select the most suitable tyre for the race distance and most riders were able to push hard throughout the 30 laps. Track temperatures were hotter today than at any other point over the weekend, so most riders preferred a hard spec rear tyre to help with the durability. Casey produced a very competitive performance and the top three riders showed a great consistency which definitely helped them obtain their podium results today."
Casey Stoner - Ducati - Race Winner
"We couldn't ask for much more than to finish the season like this. This weekend has been largely affected by the weather. We were struggling a bit to find the best set-up yesterday and also to identify the best tyre for the race. We found a good solution and were quick in warm-up this morning. The bike worked fantastically throughout the whole race, as did the tyres, and it is fantastic to sign this season off with a win."
Weather: Dry - Air 26C, Track 34C