Moto GP

World Champion Lorenzo wins final race of the year


World Champion Jorge Lorenzo signed off his victorious season in style today, taking his ninth win in front of his home fans at Valencia.
A wrong tyre choice cost Casey Stoner in his final ride for Ducati. Credit: Ducati
Casey Stoner departed Ducati with second after leading a good deal with Valentino Rossi third in his 117th and final appearance for Yamaha.

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 while Stoner took the lead with Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli in tow.

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 brings his season points-tally to 383, a new record for a rider in a premier-class season.

"Coming here to Valencia I really wanted to win one more time in this fantastic season, in front of my home fans," Lorenzo said.

"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!"
ValentinoRossi said goodbye to Yamaha with third
After 23 wins, 21 poles, and one World Championship title together, Casey Stoner signed off as a Ducati rider with his 42nd podium. Four wonderful seasons for the Italian factory ended with a weekend to remember, with Stoner taking pole position yesterday and making a perfect start to the race today, leading for the majority of the race and defending first position with tooth and nail before finally conceding to Jorge Lorenzo on the 23rd lap.

"We had a big decision to make in terms of the tyre choice today but we went for the hard compound and maybe in hindsight it cost us," Stoner explained.

"It is difficult to say because maybe the softer option wouldn't have worked as well in the final stages so we could have ended up second either way. At the end of the day Jorge had a better pace than us today and there wasn't much more we could have done. It is nice to bring this era to a close on the podium and I think that is fitting. I have so many great memories of these past few years with Ducati, from my first win at Qatar in 2007 and that race in Barcelona the same year, to the title success at Motegi and my wins at Phillip Island. I also especially remember my return to action in Portugal last year. I have enjoyed every single victory on the Ducati so much and I want to thank them for so many great years together. I leave behind a lot of people that I will miss, like Filippo, Vitto and the others but even though we will be rivals on the track from now on our personal relationship will stay the same. I also want to thank all the Ducati fans for their support over these past four years."
Ben Spies topped off a brilliant Rookie year with fourth.
Valentino 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.

"Honestly I'm happy with this final result with Yamaha, because we had a difficult weekend here," Rossi said, "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 wonderful memories," the Italian concluded.

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

"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," Spies said.

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," the American concluded.

Andrea Dovizioso led home the Honda brigades finishin sixth ahead of Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa happy to make the full 30 laps as the Spaniard still stuggles with fitness due to a broken collor bone.

"This was the one of the hardest races of my life and also one of the ones I can feel most proud of. Honestly I was not sure at all before the start that I could do 30 laps today, but I managed to do it and I'm very happy now, and also exhausted," Pedrosa said.

Alvaro Bautista and Randy De Puniet rounded out the tope ten.

MotoGP testing will now take place on Tuesday with the world awaiting Valentino Rossi's first laps on the Ducati.

Main Photo: Jorge Lorenzo
Credit: Yamaha

2010 MotoGP Spain - Valencia 07/11/2010 - Race 1 - 30 Laps
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

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

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