Casey Stoner underlined his mastery of the 2011 season with a superb victory in the final race. The Australian World Champion looked to be in a class of his own after charging away from pole position but rain late in the race forced him to ease the pace. He was passed by Ben Spies but then stole victory from the Texan on the line.
After an emotional tribute to Marco Simoncelli's earlier in the day the MotoGP race started with drama on the run into the first corner when Andrea Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista touched with Bautista going down taking out Valentino Rossi, Randy de Puniet and Nicky Hayden.
Dovizioso stayed upright and chased fellow Red Bull athletes Stoner and Dani Pedrosa through the first lap. Lap 2 saw Dovizioso pass Pedrosa for 2nd, Spies followed a corner later and Pedrosa was pushed back to 4th briefly. A fierce battle then ensued with Dovizioso and Pedrosa swapping places in 2nd several times a lap and Spies looking for a way past both.
Stoner raced away to a commanding lead as he has so often this year. With 7 laps to go Spies went past Pedrosa in a most determined manner as Dovizioso had opened up a slight advantage in 2nd. Behind them Karel Abraham and Cal Crutchlow fought for 5th and also for the Rookie of the Year title.
Dovizioso and Spies got away from Pedrosa and Spies pressured Dovizioso as they lapped closed the 3 second gap on Stoner. The drops of rain that had been around from the start then got considerably heavier and the World Champion eased off. The conditions quickly became more and more treacherous, cold and increasingly wet.
At 4 laps to go Stoner's lead was down to 1.5 seconds. Spies then took 2nd and headed the charge on Stoner with Dovizioso a clear 3rd ahead of Pedrosa.
With 3 laps to go Stoner went wide and Spies was through to lead. Before the lap was over Spies was also wide but held on. That spurred on Stoner and he attached Spies again.
Starting the last lap Pedrosa was under pressure from Crutchlow and Abraham. Abraham passed both then fell as he touched Crutchlow who had repassed him leaving Crutchlow to 4th ahead of Pedrosa.
Stoner's final challenge seemed to have failed as half way round the last lap Spies looked to have it won. But then Spies just couldn't get the drive out of the final corner and Stoner blasted past on the run to the line to take his 10th victory of the year.
Stoner admitted that it was a tough race. “All weekend the conditions have been atrocious, wet and cold. It was raining from the start of the race and you just didn't know how hard to go into each corner. Then it started to rain harder and hard and the rear started to come round a bit and I eased off more. Then I thought that at least if anyone came past I would be able to see what was happening to them. Then I made a small mistake and selected neutral and Ben got past."
"Ben was riding great, real smooth, making no mistakes. On the final lap I thought, 'well this is the last lap of our season,' and I decided to take more risks than I had all year and I went for it. I closed on him into the last corner and got the drive coming out. So sorry to Ben but I'm happy to get the win.”
Dovizioso was happy with his 3rd both in the race and the World Championship. “It has been a difficult weekend and to fight for 3rd in the championship with Dani here was difficult for me so I needed an intelligent strategy. That meant passing Dani every time I could and it worked."
Pirro takes Moto2 but Bradl is champion.
Pole position man Michele Pirro claimed his first ever GP win in the final round of the season, crossing the line over six seconds ahead of Mika Kallio with Dominique Agerter 3rd.
Stefan Bradl crashed out early but had already claimed the World Championship after Marc Marquez was forced to pull out of the event when it became clear during practice that his lingering injuries were preventing him from performing.
Vinales takes the 125 win and Terol the title.
Maverick Vinales won brilliantly, finally taking the lead decisively with 6 laps to go. He crossed the line first to score his 4th win of his remarkable debut GP season, with Nico Terol second and Hector Faubel third.
Ex Rookies Cup Champion Johann Zarco lost his outside chance of the title when he crashed out on lap 3, a frustrating end to the season after finishing in the top 6 at all 16 previous rounds.