2010 MotoGP Sepang Insider

October 11, 2010
Scott Mathews
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There are few people worthy of getting an audience with Mathews but he makes himself available on occasion to the racers of the Grand Prix paddock. If they’re lucky, he might even mention their name. He’s Scott Mathews, and he’s bringing you the inside scoop on MotoGP.

Rossi on the gas at Sepang 2010.
After some a bad start Rossi was able to charge from 11th to 1st; taking his second win of the season.

Valentino Rossi’s Sepang MotoGP victory will live long in the memory after the Italian fought his way through from 11th to take his 46th win for Yamaha. The Italian produced one of the finest displays of his distinguished career, recovering from a dire start to overhaul early leaders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso by the halfway stage. The Fiat Yamaha rider, who feared he would have to withdraw from the championship after the next race in Phillip Island to undergo surgery on his damaged right shoulder, held off a fierce challenge from Dovizioso to win for only the second time in 2010.

The nine-time world champion said: “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. I rode so well and it was a fantastic race. 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.”

Lorenzo will some post-race celebrations... - Sepang 2010
Lorenzo was greeted by two famous Italian plumbers after claiming the 2010 MotoGP crown.

Jorge Lorenzo realized a lifelong dream yesterday when he clinched a maiden MotoGP world title at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Required only to finish ninth or higher in the 20-lap race, the Spaniard cruised to a comfortable third behind Italian duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to seal the title with three races remaining.

The 23-year-old, who had previously won two world 250 titles in 2006 and ’07, won the title having claimed seven victories and 13 podiums in 15 races, He said: “This is a dream come true for me, I can’t really believe it yet! 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.”

Lorenzo has yet to decide whether or not he will ditch his famous number 99 and run the number one plate in 2011.
He said: “I don’t know yet if I will use the number one next season. If I can think of a good design then yes, if not I stick with 99!”

Yamaha moved a step closer to claiming a third successive MotoGP triple crown after Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up his first premier class title at a scorching hot Sepang yesterday. The Japanese factory holds a commanding 88-point lead over Repsol Honda in the Team standings and a 29-point advantage in the all-important Constructor points.

Jorge Lorenzo - Sepang 2010
Yamaha’s double podium at Sepang helped advance the Japanese manufacturer even further ahead in the team standings and constructor points as well.

Out-going senior Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa, who was not present in Malaysia, said: “First of all, I want to congratulate Jorge Lorenzo for clinching the 2010 MotoGP world championship title at Sepang, with three rounds still remaining in the season. As a member of the Yamaha factory team, I am very proud to have had the pleasure of watching Jorge progress from Rookie of the Year in 2008, when he first moved up to MotoGP, to finishing second in the 2009 series to now becoming the 2010 MotoGP world champion. In Japan last week Jorge signed a new two-year contract that will see him continue to ride for Yamaha in 2011 and 2012, and we hope to see him win the championship again in the two years to come.”

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis added: “Firstly let me say it gave me great satisfaction today to see a young athlete achieve his dream. I would like to congratulate Jorge on his excellent season, resulting in him winning his first MotoGP world title. It was a super result for the Fiat Yamaha team, with Valentino winning the race and Jorge coming home safely in third spot, giving us two important victories at the same moment. The points haul today is also very important for the Team and Manufacturer championships. Now that the first, and most important, title is ours we will try our best to win the next three races and hopefully in the process the manufacturer and team titles to complete another ‘triple crown’ year.”

Dani Pedrosa at the Spanish Grand Prix - Jerez
Pedrosa looks forward to a return at Phillip Island to finish out the last three races of the season.

Dani Pedrosa passed on his congratulations to fellow Spaniard and bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo after the Fiat Yamaha rider secured his first MotoGP world title in Malaysia yesterday.

Pedrosa’s injury absence after he smashed his left collarbone in a practice crash in Japan the previous week meant Lorenzo needed to score six-points in Sepang to become only the second Spanish rider in history to win the premier class title. He duly obliged by taking third behind Valentino Rossi and Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso in yesterday’s classic 20-lap race.

Pedrosa, who is planning a return to action in Phillip Island this weekend, said: “I think it’s very good for Spain to have another world champion in the top class after Alex Crivillé’s first title back in 1999. That was a long time ago… too long. So I’d like to say congratulations to Lorenzo today. He rode very well this year right from the beginning of the season and made very few mistakes – so he deserves the title. Of course, I would like to have been there today to try and keep the championship alive for a bit longer – even if we only had a very small chance of catching him. But it wasn’t to be. My recovery and physiotherapy after the operation is continuing to go well, and I hope to feel good enough for Australia and to get back to the level we achieved recently for the last races of the season.”

Casey Stoners day ended too soon  with a Lap 1 DNF - Sepang 2010
After two wins in a row Stoner saw an abrupt end to his podium streak with a DNF.

Casey Stoner’s hopes of winning a third successive MotoGP race ahead of his vital home clash at Phillip Island this weekend ended in disaster yesterday in Malaysia. The Aussie had quickly gained two places on the opening lap at Sepang when he lost the front-end of his factory Ducati GP10 at the final corner on the first lap. He was lying in third position behind Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso when he tumbled out, his GP10 machine too badly damaged to continue.

The 24-year-old, who had stormed back to winning from at the Motorland Aragon and Twin Ring Motegi recently, said: “I’m bitterly disappointed with this weekend. Going into that race we were confident of a good result. We knew we would be at the front challenging for the win and watching the race confirmed that. I know I had the pace to be up there. On the first lap I was calm, I made up some positions in the first two corners and when I got behind Dovizioso and Lorenzo I was happy to stay there and let the tires get up to temperature. Unfortunately I crashed because they weren’t warm enough but I don’t think I could have been more careful over those opening laps. I’m so disappointed that such a small thing can ruin an entire weekend.”

Stoner lost third-place in the overall rankings to race winner Valentino Rossi with his fourth crash of the season.

Andrea Dovizioso - Sepang
Dovizioso nabbed another podium spot again at Sepang but couldn’t regain the lead to capture victory.

Andrea Dovizioso’s quest for a first dry MotoGP victory continues after he was narrowly defeated by a startling performance from fellow Italian Valentino Rossi in Sepang.

For the second time in a week, the Repsol Honda rider mounted a strong victory challenge, only to fall short in the decisive final moments.

The Italian lost to a vintage Rossi display by only 0.224s and the former world 125GP champion said: “I’m very happy with this second place and it was a great race. We have been fighting for the victory at the last two races at two very different tracks, and also in different conditions, so this is really positive. I tried to stay close to Valentino on the last lap but in the final braking area I wasn’t close enough to take him in the middle of the corner, even though he was too late on the brakes and went wide. Last year we were 40 seconds behind the winner in the race here, so to be just 0.2s behind means we’ve moved forward a lot. Also, in the middle of the season, we weren’t on the podium for a long time, so to be back in the top three is very important for us. We have to be happy because this was almost a win, and the riders in front of me are changing at each race, which means we have better consistency.”

Toni Elias said a massive weight had been lifted off his shoulders after he clinched a historic first Moto2 world title in Sepang yesterday. The Spaniard finished fourth and with closest challenger Julian Simon limping home in a dismal 21st after an eighth lap crash, Elias wrote his name in the history books as the first rider to win the new 600cc four-stroke class.

Toni Elias - 2010 Moto2 Champion
Toni Elias wrote his name in the history books as the first Moto2 champion and the only rider to score points in every Moto2 race so far this season.

The Gresini Moriwaki rider, who has won seven races and is the only rider in Moto2 to score points in all 14 races, said: “When I crossed the line the first thing I did was cry a lot, but then after that it seemed like my emotions were blocked, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t feel anything; I don’t know why. Finally we reached our target. To win this championship we had to lose two – a 125 (in 2001) and a 250 (in 2003). All that experience made me stronger and gave me what I needed to win this championship. It has been many years of fighting and then this year a lot of work with my team and with Moriwaki. My dream has come true, now we will continue fighting for another championship, maybe here or maybe in MotoGP. I have learned many things in Moto2, so whatever I do next I will be stronger. I feel like a weight has come off my shoulders.”

Elias said his Moto2 experience had not been as easy as he’d anticipated despite his domination of the class. He wrapped up the title with three races remaining and holds a 94-point lead in the series.

He added: “When I came to Moto2 I thought it would be an easy class, but that all changed at the first corner of the first race in Qatar, when I quickly understood it would be very difficult. It has been closer than we expected. The most important race for me was Germany, where we made a big change to the chassis set-up. In one go we made two big steps forward, and from then on I knew we could be competitive and consistent. But we also won the championship with some difficult races, like Silverstone where I qualified 18th but still managed to finish in the top ten.”

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