Jorge Lorenzo snatched his first career MotoGP title with his 13th podium of the season, a third-place finish at Sepang.
Lorenzo parlayed a pole position start into the early lead.
Jorge Lorenzo claimed first career MotoGP title as the Fiat Yamaha ace grabbed his 13th podium of the season with a third-place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Lorenzo’s teammate and rival, Valentino Rossi, claimed the GP victory with Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso finishing second.
Starting from pole position, Lorenzo jumped out to the early lead at Sepang, followed by Dovizioso. Rossi, who was sixth on the starting grid, had a poor start and dropped into the double digits in the opening lap. It wasn’t a good Lap 1 for Casey Stoner either, as the Aussie binned his Ducati. Stoner was chasing his third consecutive victory at the Malaysian circuit, but ended the day one of four riders to DNF.
Lorenzo and Dovizioso opened a small gap, but The Doctor knifed his way through the ranks to challenge. Marking the fastest lap of the race on Lap 9, Rossi took over the lead midway through the 20-lap contest. Dovizioso would not roll over, however, and gave his countryman some play at the front and exchanged the lead. But Rossi would not be denied and motored ahead to his first 2010 win since the season opener at Qatar. The victory was a special milestone for Rossi and his relationship with the Japanese marque.
“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,” said Rossi in team PR. “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!”
Dovizioso kept pressing the Yamaha leader, finishing the race only 0.224 back. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was content to bring home the title with a lonely third, six second sadrift of Rossi but more than seven seconds ahead of fourth-place, his future factory Yamaha teammate, Ben Spies.
Said Lorenzo post-race: “This is my first title in the premier category and my dream has come true! This is really the maximum a motorcycle rider can achieve in his career so we have to celebrate and enjoy these hours, minutes and seconds like it’s the end of the world.
Spies took fourth, one of his better finishes of the season, one spot ahead of Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista – the top-five result equalling his best finish of the year. Nicky Hayden, who earned a second-place position on the Sepang starting grid, finished the race in sixth. The Kentucky Kid was followed by a gaggle of Hondas, with Hiroshi Aoyama in seventh and the Gresini Hondas in eighth and ninth, with Randy de Puniet rounding out the top 10.
Satellite Ducati pilots Hector Barbera and Mika Kallio completed the finishers in a respective 11th and 12th. Joining Stoner in the DNF results were Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, Pramac Ducati’s Aliex Espargaro and Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi.
Ben Spies gathered one of his better finishes of the season, a solid fourth (top). Lorenzo celebrates post-race (bottom).
Lorenzo’s victory is an historic one, becoming only the second-ever Spaniard to claim the premier class crown along with Alex Criville, and the first ever to claim titles in both 250GP and the premier class. The newly-crowned Lorenzo and the remainder of the GP paddock will head further south for the upcoming round at Phillip Island.
2010 MotoGP Sepang Results:
1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
4. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
5. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki)
6. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
7. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
8. Marco Simoncelli (Honda)
9. Marco Melandri (Honda)
10. Randy de Puniet (Honda)
11. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
12. Mika Kallio (Ducati)
DNF Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
DNF Aleix Esparago (Ducati)
DNF Loris Capriossi (Suzuki)
DNF Casey Stoner (Ducati)
Toni Elias made history at Sepang, seizing the first-ever Moto2 title. The Spaniard took the championship via a fourth-place result at Sepang. Roberto Rolfo claimed the win at Malaysia, followed by Alex de Angelis and Andrea Iannone.
The close-quarters racing of the support class saw Rolfo and De Angelis battle for the win. Rolfo’s victory marks the first for the Italtrans STR rider since a 250GP victory in 2004. Elias just missed claiming his title in podium fashion, coming out on the short end of a rostrum battle with Iannone.
Elias’ winning campaign came aboard the Gresini Racing machine, which sources a Moriwaki chassis. The Spanish rider won seven of 14 races in the inaugural Moto2 season. The Moto2 title is the first world championship for Elias, who has competed in Grand Prix for an entire decade, including a five-year stint in the premier class. Elias’s curriculum vitae includes a memorable MotoGP victory at Estoril in 2006.
2010 Moto2 Sepang Results:
1. Roberto Rolfo (Suter)
2. Alex de Angelis (Motobi)
3. Andrea Iannone (Speed Up)
4. Toni Elias (Moriwaki)
5. Alex Debon (FTR)
6. Karel Abraham (FTR)
7. Stefan Bradl (Suter)
8. Dominique Aegerter (Suter)
9. Jules Cluzel (Suter)
10. Simone Corsi (Motobi)
11. Hector Faubel (Suter)
12. Alex Baldolini (I.C.P.)
13. Yonny Hernandez (BQR-Moto2)
14. Michael Ranseder (Suter)
15. Claudio Corti (Suter)