Lorenzo to celebrate title as Stoner retires

Updated 10 November 2012
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Lorenzo to celebrate title as Stoner retires

VALENCIA, Spain: The Valencia MotoGP brings the curtain down on both the 2012 season and Australian legend Casey Stoner’s glittering career tomorrow.
Although the drivers’ titles have been decided in all categories the season-closer provides fans with a chance to appreciate Stoner’s final race before retirement.
There should also be several all-Spanish battles in front of the home fans as Honda rider Dani Pedrosa gets a last chance to outwit MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo after his crash in Australia handed the Yamaha man his second world title after 2010.
Pedrosa who has won global crowns at 125cc and 250cc levels, has also won five times in Valencia over the past ten years but saw his chances of winning this year’s championship go up in smoke on just the second lap in Australia when he was leading.
The 27-year-old needed to finish ahead of Lorenzo and trailed by only 23 points in the standings at the start but will instead settle for the runner-up spot for the third time after 2007 and 2010.
Meanwhile Stoner, who shocked the sport when he announced he was retiring at the end of the season after winning MotoGP titles in 2007 and 2011, leaves the circuit on a mixed note after declaring this week that he had “lost respect for the sport.” A week after winning at his “home” Phillip Island circuit for the sixth time, Stoner is looking forward to the simple things in life.
“The problem is not my passion, it’s the passion which is missing on the circuit, the one I found as a kid and which made me commit to the sport all these years,” Stoner told www.panorama.it.
“There are many reasons why I’m quitting — one day I will explain everything.” He added: “If I had to say in a few words, I’d say I’ve lost my respect for the championship and I don’t really agree with the direction it has taken.” Although only 27, Stoner says he is happy to spend more time with his wife and daughter Alessandra Maria.
It has also been a modest season for two-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi who is looking for his first win of the campaign on what has been an underperforming Ducati for the Italian.
In Moto2, Spaniard Marc Marquez has already wrapped up the title on a Suter but will come under scrutiny from compatriot Pol Espargaro who despite being certain to finish second overall can finish the season in style and spoil his rival’s final race with victory on his Kalex.
Finally in Moto3, the Spanish stranglehold has been broken by Germany’s Sandro Cortese who has dominated the category and has an insurmountable lead.
The real battle here will be for the runner-up spot as Kalex rider Luis Slalom leads fellow Spaniard Maverick Vinales on a FTR Honda by just nine points.


Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 2-1 away to take control of semifinal

Updated 25 April 2018
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Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 2-1 away to take control of semifinal

MUNICH: Real Madrid substitute Marco Asensio scored a second-half winner on Wednesday to end Bayern Munich’s unbeaten record at home this season and give his side a 2-1 win in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Joshua Kimmich had put the home side in front, but Marcelo equalized before the interval. Asensio came after the break and Lukas Vazquez set up the 22-year-old to claim Madrid’s second away goal 12 minutes into the second half.
The result puts the two-time defending champions in a favorable position before the second leg in Madrid next Tuesday, though Zinedine Zidane’s side will be wary after conceding three goals at home to Juventus in the previous round.
Bayern had to substitute the injured Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng in the first half, but the side had plenty of chances to score more goals with Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski all missing good opportunities.
Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless for the first time in the competition this season. The Portuguese star had an effort ruled out in the second half for using his arm to control the ball.
Bayern, which is chasing a treble in Jupp Heynckes’ last season in charge, was hoping to make up for last year’s exit to Madrid, and for the Spanish side’s 5-0 aggregate win at the same stage in 2014.