Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo clinched the 2010 MotoGP World Championship on a day that saw Valentino Rossi return to winning ways in Malaysia. Third place for Lorenzo – his thirteenth podium from fifteen races so far this year – was enough to make him only the second Spanish rider ever to win the premier-class crown. Rossi meanwhile put on one of the displays of his career after dropping to 11th at the start, taking his 46th win for Yamaha on the number 46 M1.
Lorenzo got a brilliant start from pole and set off in front with Andrea Dovizioso in tow, whilst Rossi, starting sixth, slipped right back through the field in the charge to turn one. A few corners were enough to let the Italian know that all was not lost today however and he quickly began to pick off his competitors, scything through the field to make it up to third by just the fourth lap.
By now Dovizioso was putting pressure on Lorenzo and on lap nine the Spaniard gave way to the Italian, knowing that finishing safely was more important than the winner’s laurels today. Next time around Rossi passed his team-mate and set off after his compatriot, despatching Dovizioso in turn at exactly the same point on the next lap. Dovizioso mounted one more challenge four laps from the end but Rossi, still the reigning World Champion for a few more minutes, was determined to stand on top of the podium and eventually crossed the line 0.244 seconds ahead. The win moves Rossi up to third in the championship, one point ahead of Casey Stoner.
It was Lorenzo’s day however and third place for the 23-year-old was enough to seal him an emotional first premier-class title to add to his two 250cc crowns. It was a special moment for the Mallorcan, who has won seven races this year and finished off the podium only twice in a remarkable display of consistency that shows him to be a deserving champion.
Valentino Rossi – Position: 1stTime: 41’03.448
“This is a wonderful moment for me, I am so happy to win like this and take my 46th win with Yamaha on ‘my’ M1. It was one of my worst starts and for a moment I was really worried, but within a few corners I understood that I could go for it, because my bike felt great today thanks to a small change we made in warm-up, Jeremy’s idea really worked! I rode so well and it was a fantastic race, one of the best of my career I think. I wanted this 46th win so much because as everyone knows it’s a special number for me! Thanks to my team because everyone worked so hard this weekend and I think this is a great repayment for everyone. To win like this, from 11th at the first corner, is a great feeling. Finally I want to say congratulations to Yamaha and to Jorge; he has been fast all season, at all tracks and in all conditions and he deserves to be the World Champion.”
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 3rdTime: +6.035
“This is a dream come true for me today, I can’t really believe it yet; I need five minutes on my own just to relax, enjoy the quiet and take in what I have done! This is something I have always wanted and something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, so it is the most incredible moment for me. It is difficult to find the words to thank everyone, I am just so happy, but I have to say thank you to Yamaha, my team and everyone who has made this happen. I started very well today, I didn’t lose any positions but then Andrea and Valentino came past me and I wasn’t riding as well as I could have, so I didn’t want to push too much. Anyway I knew that winning the race wasn’t the most important thing this time. I had to just put myself on autopilot and get the points I needed. Now we can relax and enjoy the last three races of the championship, but first of all we are looking forward to celebrating tonight!”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“What a race! It was a fantastic race and great weekend because we had a difficult day yesterday and could only qualify sixth, but the team did a great job to change the bike and Valentino felt very comfortable in the race. He rode very well, making the fastest lap in the race and coming from 11th position and 2.5 seconds down on the leaders on the first lap. This milestone 46th win was a great way to celebrate Valentino’s amazing time with Yamaha. It’s a wonderful day for Yamaha all round because Jorge is the World Champion so we say congratulations to him, he’s been very strong this year. All of our team are very happy today! Now we’re looking forward to Australia, another great track for Valentino, and we hope his victories are not over with yet with Yamaha.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“This is a wonderful day for our team and I can’t believe what an amazing first year I have had with Jorge in MotoGP! Jorge has proven over and over that he is a winner and our tactics this season – to always go for the podium – have paid off and here we are, World Champions! As usual Jorge was clever today and he knew that he had to be careful, as he has been many times this season, and it was the right move. He has won seven races and been on the podium many more so it really has been a wonderful season. Thank you to everyone for working so hard and well done to Jorge.”
Fantastic fourth for Spies in sweltering Sepang
Ben Spies strengthened his bid for a top six MotoGP world championship finish today, the Texan riding to a fantastic fourth place in scorching hot conditions at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Spies rode a tentative first four laps while he gained confidence in the left-side of his hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre, the 26-year-old’s pace still quick enough to keep him fighting in the top six.
Once confident he could push to his true potential, Spies was able to reel off a series of fast laps to hunt down and pass fellow American Nicky Hayden on lap eight. Spies continued to increase his pace and his times were only bettere d by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso at the front of the field. Having quickly left Hayden trailing behind him, Spies then produced a stunning series of laps to close down a two-second deficit on Marco Simoncelli.
He caught and passed the Italian on lap 14 and was again able to quickly establish a gap that Simoncelli had no chance of closing as he streaked away to finish top non-factory rider. His tenth top six finish of an outstanding rookie season puts Spies 13-points clear of Hayden in the race for sixth overall in the 2010 rankings with three races remaining.
It was an eventful 20-lap race for Colin Edwards, the 36-year-old looking to carry on the momentum gained from his season best fifth place in Japan a week ago. A minor braking issue hampered Edwards in the early laps and once he’d adapted his riding style to compensate, he then battl ed a front-end grip issue. He was embroiled in an exciting four-rider tussle when he crashed at turn four on lap ten. His Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team worked frantically to repair his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards returning to the track to try and score 13th place. Unfortunately his efforts were unrewarded as he missed the cut-off for scoring points by just one lap.
Ben Spies – Position: 4th Time: +13.676
“I got a reasonable start but I suffered with the left side of the rear tyre not coming up to temperature as quick as I’d hoped. But once it did it worked great and I was able to fight my way through to another really strong result. I was behind Nicky for a while and got stuck there but once I got by him I was reeling off 2.02s to get into fourth and I was happy with my race pace. I knew I couldn’t get third and that was a little frustrating because looking at the times of the top three, if I could have got away with them I really feel I could have been there. I know Lorenzo wasn’t pushing like his life depended on it with what he had at stake but I could have been closer to the front. It was still a good race for me and I made some good passes and I’m looking forward to Phillip Island now. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha. Jorge has been fantastic all season and he definitely deserved to win the title. He hasn’t made a mistake and I’m really looking forward to working with him in 2011.”
Colin Edwards – Position: DNF
“That wasn’t an easy race at all. Right off the line I felt good and made a couple of passes but I understood from the start that I had small problem with the front brake. At one point I nearly ran into the back of Ben and that made it really difficult in all the hard braking points and there are plenty of those at this track. On ce I adapted to that I was having some issues with the front tyre. I’d had a couple of moments over the weekend but after about four laps I was struggling to hold a line. I was still pushing hard because I was in a good fight when I crashed at turn four. I don’t know whether it was the brake or the tyre or a combination of both that put me down but it was one of those where I was waiting for it go. I wasn’t going to give up, run wide and let a load of people fly by but just lost the front. I went back out to try and score some points but unfortunately I was one lap short of being classified. I wasn’t going to get in the way of Valentino, Andrea and Jorge, so I got out of the way and that lap cost me a finish. Finally I’d like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha. They’ve been an awesome combination. He’s been the fastest rider all year and he’ll be the man to beat next season that’s for sure.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“On behalf of everyone in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, I’d like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha for their fantastic achievement this season. Jorge has demonstrated all year that he has been the fastest rider and his consistency has been very impressive. It was also a good day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and once again Ben was outstanding. He wasn’t as fast as he would have liked to be in the early laps but once he found his rhythm he was easily the fastest rider behind the top three. Once again he made some really exciting overtakes and I think a big crowd here today enjoyed watching Ben. It is a big shame for Colin because he deserved more for all his efforts this weekend. Unfortunately he crashed while pushing hard to improve his position. We fixed his bike so he could try and get some points and I want to thank Colin for going back out and trying his best for the team. It was unfortunate that he just failed to co mplete the required number of laps but we can look forward to both Ben and Colin having a successful race in Australia next weekend.”
Circuit Length: 5548
|2010 MotoGP Malaysia – Sepang 10/10/2010|
|Race 1 – 20 Laps|
|10||Randy De Puniet||Honda||FRA||0’31.850|
|8.||Randy De Puniet||Honda||FRA||94|