Rossi celebrates 2008 win number 9 with a victory at Sepang, the '08 champ not letting off the throttle during the late season races.
Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi picked up win number nine in 2008 with an impressive victory over Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and JiR Honda's Andrea Dovizioso under sweltering-hot conditions at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. Pedrosa actually started out strong and look impressive leading the race early on. But Rossi had little trouble tracking him down and eventually made the pass on the Spaniard at the halfway point and never looked back.
Just missing the podium was Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden. The American finished fourth, 3-tenths off Dovizioso and more than a second ahead of Gresini Honda's Shinya Nakano for a total of four Honda's in the top five. Last year's champion Casey Stoner finished in a lonely sixth position ahead of Loris Capirossi and Colin Edwards. Chris Vermeulen and Randy De Puniet rounded out the top ten.
The win by Rossi was the Italian's 150th career podium finish, matching the total set by Grand Prix legend Giacomo Agostini.
"I am so happy with this win today because all of the toughest championship of my career, including with Yamaha in 2004, have been won with nine victories. Of course that doesn't mean I don't want to win again next week, but for now I like this number! Today was incredibly hard because it was so hot. Once I got behind Dani I tried to pass many times but he was very fast and very consistent and I had a good battle to get by him. Lap-by-lap I understood better where it was possible and eventually I could make my move and go away from him. Everything worked very well today in such conditions, my M1 and my Bridgestone tires and I want to thank everyone for making me so fast all weekend. I love winning here because it's such a great track but today was really a test, especially the last five laps when I really had to make an effort to keep my concentration in such incredible heat."
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 43'6.007
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda + 4.008
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 8.536
4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda + 8.858
5. Shinya Nakano (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 10.583
6. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro + 13.640
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 15.936
8. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha + 18.802
9. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki + 23.174
10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP + 25.516
11. John Hopkins (USA) Kawasaki Racing + 27.609
12. Anthony West (AUS) Kawasaki Racing + 41.399
13. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Alice Team + 45.617
14. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 49.003
15. Toni Elias (SPA) Alice Team + 59.139
16. Marco Melandri (ITA) Ducati Marlboro + 1'03.328
17. Nobuatsu Aoki (JPN) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1'48.363
DNF. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 9 Lap
DNF. James Toseland (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha 19 Lap
MotoGP Championship Points - After 17 of 18 Rounds
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 357
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 255
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 229
4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 182
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) JiR Team Scot MotoGP 161
6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 144
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 134
8. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki 125
9. Shinya Nakano (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini 117
10. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 111