News 10 Oct 2010

MotoGP: Rossi wins, Lorenzo world champion in Malaysia

Jorge Lorenzo was confirmed as the 2010 FIM MotoGP World Champion on Sunday at Sepang in the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, while Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi returned to victory lane.

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi returned to the winner's circle at Sepang on Sunday.

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi returned to the winner's circle at Sepang on Sunday.

Jorge Lorenzo was confirmed as the 2010 FIM MotoGP World Champion on Sunday at Sepang, as the 23 year-old Fiat Yamaha rider rode to a third place finish in the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

It was a thrilling race that was won by Valentino Rossi, as the Italian took his first victory since the season opener in Qatar, on a day on which his great rival and current teammate celebrated his first premier class title.

“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!” Lorenzo commented. “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 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!”

Pole sitter Lorenzo got off to a fantastic start and led into turn one as the race got underway, but Rossi’s getaway from the starting grid was not so swift and he had dropped as low as 11th on the opening lap. Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) suffered a huge disappointment when he crashed out of the race on the opening lap.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) stuck with Lorenzo and the pair established a slight gap at the front, but by only the third lap Rossi had recovered to fourth position as he set his sights on the leaders. Soon he was into third and closing quickly on Dovizioso.

Rossi was repeatedly laying down fast laps as he homed in on the leading duo and, just past the midway point of the race, the Italian took the lead, having first passed Lorenzo and then Dovizioso. The two Italians swapped first position again in what was a thrilling fight to the end.

Rossi was not to be denied his second win of the season however and crossed the line 0.224s ahead of Dovizioso, with Lorenzo in third and cementing the 2010 title with his 13th podium of the season as the celebrations started.

“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,” Rossi said. “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.”

Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took fourth position with rookie Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) equalling his season’s best result in fifth. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) followed, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) eighth having battled closely with former 250cc rival Aoyama. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) completed the top ten.

Toni Elías was crowned the first-ever Moto2 World Champion at Sepang on Sunday after the Spaniard took fourth place in the 14th round of the 2010 campaign.

Roberto Rolfo was also celebrating as he took his first World Championship victory since triumphing in the 250cc class at Jerez in 2004, after a fantastic race that saw both Rolfo and Elías involved in separate battles.

Stepping onto the podium for the first time this season was Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who challenged Rolfo for the win late on, with Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) completing the rostrum after a marvellous duel with Gresini Racing’s Elías.

Completing the top five was Alex Debón (Aeroport de Castelló-Ajo), with top-ten results for Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) and Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2).

Pole sitter, Julián Simón, who was the only man who could prevent Elías from confirming the title, finished a distant 21st, after crashing while battling at the front of the race.

Marc Márquez won from pole position at Sepang on Sunday to take over the leadership of the 125cc Championship by three points. The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider led home a podium that was completed by Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) and Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar), who Márquez now replaces at the top of the championship standings.

Today’s battle for the race win was fought out exclusively by the three riders at the top of the championship standings, despite a hard charge at midrace distance by their three teammates, Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar), Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing) and Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), that briefly saw six riders clear at the front of the race.

Terol, Márquez and Espargaró all led at one point as first position continued to swap hands. With six laps to go Márquez began to turn the screw and opened up a gap of almost a full second over Espargaró, setting a fastest lap of the race in the process. From there the 17 year-old remained calm and controlled, eventually crossing the finish line 2.341s clear of Espargaró, with Terol just over a second further back.

Vázquez won the battle of the chasing pack for fourth position, with Smith and Cortese within half a second of him. The top ten was completed by Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing).

Márquez now tops the standings on 247 points, with Terol second on 244 and Espargaró third on 235 with three rounds remaining.

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