World champion Casey Stoner led the way this weekend with another MotoGP win by the tightest of margins, this time at the season-closing race in Valencia, where there was also an emotional pre-race tribute to Marco Simoncelli…
Riders from all three MotoGP categories completed a lap of the Valencia track in honour of Simoncelli. Former world champion Kevin Schwantz led the procession on board Simoncelli’s San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V bike.
Once the race began, Stoner gave another example of his dominance this season by opening a 10-second lead, then incredibly falling back into the clutches of Ben Spies and losing the lead – before grabbing victory on the line from Spies by just 15 thousandths of a second! Andrea Dovizioso (pictured below on the podium with Stoner) finished third, which was enough for him to take third place in the overall standings ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa's challenge for third place in the championship ended when he finished in fifth place in Valencia. The Spainiard will hope to renew his title challenge and stay injury-free on the new 1,000cc Honda RC213V next season.
Marc Márquez might have been disappointed not to challenge Stefan Bradl for the Moto2 title after failing to recover in time to race ijn Valencia after an eye problem from his Malaysia crash, but the 18-year-old was named the series Rookie of the Year after a stellar debut season.
Having thought he'd wrapped up the ASP World Tour title already, surfer Kelly Slater discovered he needed another heat win in the Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco to mathematically discount Owen Wright's challenge for the title.
Slater duly did, beating young Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo in round four, to claim an incredible 11th ASP Tour title.
After Intercontinental Rally Challenge title contender and newly-crowned S-WRC champion Juho Hänninen surprisingly rolled out of the IRC Cyprus Rally's very first stage, it was left Andreas Mikkelsen to pip series leader Jan Kopecky to the 2011 title by a single point. Red Bull Rally's Patrik Sandell, pictured, finished the season on a high with third place in the event behind Mikkelsen and Kopecky, after the charging Nasser al-Attiyah also had to retire. Hänninen recovered to 16th by the rally's end, one place ahead of Burcu Cetinkaya.
The Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria, was the latest venue to be thrilled by Flying Steps' display to the music of Bach for Red Bull Flying Bach, a unique mix of breakdancing and classical music.
At the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Red Bull Racing Toyota's Kasey Kahne came from ninth to third in the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Meanwhile, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Cole Whitt was in action at the same venue in his Chevrolet, his 17th place leaving him ninth in the championship.
- Read the race report from Valencia
- More from the Burgtheater at redbullflyingbach.com
- Check out the official IRC, NASCAR and ASP World Tour pages