Dani Pedrosa won Sunday's Valencia MotoGP
season finale from a pit lane start, after a dramatic accident for race leader and newly crowned double champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga finished in a shock second, while Casey Stoner
hunted down Alvaro Bautista to snatch a podium place in his final MotoGP
appearance before retirement.
Lorenzo had been one of the few riders to correctly choose slick tyres for the drying conditions, with Nakasuga and Stefan Bradl the only other manufacturer riders.
Pole sitter Pedrosa realised his wet tyre error on the warm-up lap and was joined by Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautistato in pulling into the pits to change bikes, meaning an end of pitlane start.
Slick tyres soon began to pay off with Lorenzo rising from eighth to first in the space of four laps, as more and more wet-tyre riders peeled into pitlane.
Once all were on dry bikes, Lorenzo was leading by three seconds from title runner-up Pedrosa, with Bradl third, Nakasuga fourth and Cal Crutchlow fifth. Bradl crashed out soon after.
Pedrosa caught Lorenzo after ten laps, but then ran wide and lost five-seconds.
However Lorenzo then got into a tank-slapper while trying to lap James Ellison, just before the halfway mark of the 30 laps - which turned into a massive highside on corner exit.
The Yamaha star was left fuming but lucky not to be hurt as he trudged through the gravel to only his second non-score of the year.
The incident left Pedrosa with a huge lead over Crutchlow - who also started from pit lane - but the Englishman then crashed with seven laps to go, ending his hopes of rising higher than seventh in the standings.