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MotoGP Valencia – Race

World Champion Jorge Lorenzo signed off his victorious season in style today, taking his ninth win in front of his home fans at Valencia. Valentino Rossi finished third on his 117th and final appearance for Yamaha, bringing to a close a wonderful seven-year partnership with his YZR-M1.

Lorenzo and Rossi both dropped places at the start, the Mallorcan slipping to fifth and the Italian right back to ninth in the race to the first corner. Lorenzo soon began looking for a way past Marco Simoncelli but almost crashed in the process, somehow making a spectacular save but dropping several places to ninth. Rossi meanwhile made it up to fourth by the end of the third lap and was on the hunt for third, trying to get by his determined fellow Italian Simoncelli.

On lap six Rossi moved into third and Lorenzo, who had brilliantly recovered his composure after his near-miss to gain back the places he had lost, followed him through next time around to take fourth, with Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in front of the Yamaha pair. At one third of race distance Rossi and Lorenzo dispatched Pedrosa and then it was Lorenzo’s turn to pass his team-mate, moving into second behind Stoner. Rossi tried his best to go with him but the shoulder that has plagued him all season stopped him riding at the maximum on the twisty track and he dropped off, content to at least finish on the podium for one final time with Yamaha.

Lorenzo was unstoppable by this stage and the cool-headed 23-year-old stormed ahead of Stoner on lap 23 to take a final win on home soil. His win today brings his season points-tally to 383, a new record for a rider in a premier-class season.

Rossi’s final podium for Yamaha secured third place in the standings and the Italian bid an emotional farewell to his beloved M1, stopping on the cool down lap to kiss his bike in an echo of the first of his 46 Yamaha wins, at Welkom back in 2004 when the ‘Yamaha and Rossi’ story first began.

Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1stTime: 46’44.622
“Coming here to Valencia I really wanted to win one more time in this fantastic season, in front of my home fans. In the practices I was fast all weekend, but it seemed like Casey was even faster. I made a good start today but in the second corner trying to pass Casey I got overtaken by three or four riders, then I had a hard fight with Simoncelli when I nearly fell! I kept calm after that and concentrated and then lap-by-lap I recovered. I had a wonderful fight with Casey at the end. Winning here in front of my home crowd at this special track is one of the happiest moments of my life. We are proud to have got the record for the most number of points with 383, I used to be known as a crazy rider who crashed too much so to demonstrate consistency in this way makes me proud. Thanks to Yamaha and everyone involved for a fantastic season – now we have time to celebrate tonight before we start working for 2011 on Tuesday. Finally I want to say goodbye and good luck to Valentino – I am looking forward to racing him next year!”

Valentino Rossi – Position: 3rdTime: +8.998
“Honestly I’m happy with this final result with Yamaha, because we had a difficult weekend here. I didn’t get a good start but I realised straight away that I was much faster today and that my bike felt good. At one point I thought I might be able to win but in the later part of the race I just didn’t have enough strength to stay with Lorenzo and Stoner, this is a very hard track when you’re not completely fit. I started to make a few mistakes because I didn’t have enough power to stop the bike so after a bit I decided it was better to slow down and keep my third place. Arriving on the podium was my way to say thank you to my bike, to Yamaha and to all the people who have worked with me in these seven seasons. It’s been a great experience and I have enjoyed it so much. 46 is a great number of wins – of course I wanted more but I think I can be happy with what I have done here. We have finished the season strongly with five podiums in a row and after such a difficult season we can feel happy about how we have ended. It’s been a wonderful seven years, great fun with a special atmosphere, many fantastic victories and four world championships. I stopped with my bike after the race today just like I did at Welkom when this story began, it was the right way to say goodbye to ‘her’. Thank you to everyone, we have wonderful memories.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“Number 99 with nine wins in 2010 – it sounds a bit strange but we are so happy with that! I think it was the best race of the season for us. It proved that Jorge is the rightful champion because he beat everybody after slipping to ninth place, like his team-mate Valentino has done in so many races. What can I say except that we have the best rider on the best bike! Well done to Jorge and to all the team for a great job this season.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“I think we had a very good race with Valentino after a difficult weekend. The team worked really hard and we finally found a good setting for the race. Unfortunately Valentino’s physical condition, when all the riders are on the limit, meant he had to pay the price today and couldn’t fight right to the end but we were very competitive and that’s what we wanted for our last race. This is the last race with Yamaha for many of us, including me; my nineteen-year experience with Yamaha finishes here. I just want to thank Yamaha and everybody who worked together with us, they have been years that I will never forget.”

Spies ends 2010 with fantastic fourth in Valencia finale

Ben Spies rounded off a memorable rookie MotoGP season in superb style in Valencia today, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider fighting his way to a fantastic fourth position.

As well as claiming the coveted Rookie of the Year title and finishing leading non-factory rider in 2010, Spies set another personal milestone this afternoon when he secured a top six place in the overall rankings. Locked on 163-points with Nicky Hayden going into the 30-lap race, Spies’ latest outstanding result earned him the distinction of finishing top American after Hayden’s early mistake ruled him out of contention. On his final appearance fo r the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, Spies produced a fantastic farewell performance, overhauling Dani Pedrosa, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso with an inspired display of aggressive riding in the final ten laps.

Seventh until lap 20, Spies closed down what was close to a three-second deficit to the Honda trio before he move by Pedrosa on the 21st lap. Showing the overtaking prowess that has been a feature of the 26-year-old’s outstanding season, he then swept by Simoncelli and Dovizioso on lap 27 before reeling off a blistering series of laps to leave the Italian duo trailing in his wake on his way to a 13th top six finish of the year.

It was a frustrating finale for Colin Edwards as he was unable to capitalise on an excellent practice and qualifying performance. Cooler and cloudier conditions this afternoon saw Edwards opt to race with the softer Bridgestone rear tyre. But the 36-year-old was hinder ed by a lack of acceleration grip and he slipped down to 12th.

Today’s race concluded another hugely successful season for Herve Poncharal’s Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad. The French outfit finished the leading non-factory team in the prestigious Team World Championship for the second successive season.

Ben Spies – Position: 4th Time:+ 17.643
“I’m patting myself and my Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew on the back because to get sixth overall in the points is a great achievement for all of us. It was a good race and once I settled I could see the three Hondas coming back to me quite quickly. I kept them about a second in front of me and pounced when I felt confident I could pass them and pull away. They had some acceleration on me off the turns, so I knew when I made the pass it needed to be into a string of corners and not onto a straight. Once I passed Andrea and Marco I put my head down for a couple of laps and got rid of them. To finish fourth after last week’s crash in Estoril is the perfect finish to what has been a great season. I said at the beginning of the season that a top five feels like a win and now this feels more like a normal result. I’ve had a better year than I thought I would have, so thanks to my team and all the people around me who have given me unbelievable support. I’ve learned a lot this season and I’m confident I will be even stronger in 2011.”

Colin Edwards – Position: 12th Time: + 33.604
“I wanted to finish the season on a high to reward my crew for all their hard work, but that was way below what I was expecting and to say I’m disappointed and frustrated is an understatement. Right from the start it just didn’t feel like I had any grip when I accelerated. We’d set the bike up on the hard tyre for most of the we ekend but we went for the soft option because the temperature was a little bit lower. But coming out of the corner I didn’t have the grip to stay with anybody and it is a big pity because the changes we’d made to the bike for the hard tyre this weekend had helped me feel much more confident and comfortable. Congratulations to Ben though on getting sixth overall. He’s been awesome and he’s only going to get stronger.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“There is not much else I can say about Ben because once again today he showed what an incredible talent he is. It is not easy to recover the gap like he did today, especially when you’re competing in such a high calibre field. But he was patient and once he caught that group it was a pleasure to watch him in full attack mode and he deserved to be sixth in the Championship. That is an amazing achievement for a rookie and I tak e great pride in knowing the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team played a big part in his success. I’d like to thank Ben for everything he has done for Tech3, Yamaha and Monster in 2010. I have no doubt he has a very bright future ahead of him and it is a shame our experience together was so short. It was a privilege to have Ben in our team and we will never forget his achievements. I wish him all the best for the future. Today was not what Colin expected and I know he is very disappointed. He had looked very strong all weekend and it was a shame he could not be in the fight for the top six. Finally I’d like to congratulate Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo because in 2010 they have been an unbeatable combination and they proved that again today.”

Circuit Length: 4005
Temp: 22
Weather: Dry

Lap Record: 1’33.043 (Marco Melandri, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1’31.002 (Valentino Rossi, 29/10/2006)
Last Years Winner: Daniel Pedrosa

2010 MotoGP Spain – Valencia 07/11/2010

Race 1 – 30 Laps
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 46’44.622
2 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 0’04.576
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’08.998
4 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’17.643
5 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’19.160
6 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 0’20.674
7 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’26.797
8 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’29.288
9 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 0’29.452
10 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 0’29.860
11 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 0’31.761
12 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’33.604
13 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0’36.622
14 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 0’38.968
15 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 0’56.169
Rider Standings 07/11/2010
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 383
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 245
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 233
4. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 225
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 206
6. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 176
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 163
8. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 125
9. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 116
10. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 103
11. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 103
12. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 90
13. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 85
14. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 65
15. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 53
21. Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha JPN 1
Manufacturer Standings 07/11/2010
Pos. Manufacturer Points
1. Yamaha 404
2. Honda 342
3. Ducati 286
4. Suzuki 108
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