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Rossi clinches title as Stoner wins

9th world title for greatest ever
Sunday, October 25, 2009

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Valentino Rossi, the greatest bike racer of all-time motors to third place and his record 7th MotoGP crown
MotoGP
Valentino Rossi finished third behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa at a rain-soaked Sepang to take the 2009 MotoGP World Championship title.

Casey Stoner was the race victor at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Sunday, but it was Valentino Rossi whose achievement of third place laid the foundation for the story of the weekend.

Stoner’s second successive win was impressive enough, as was his astounding 14.666s margin of victory, but it was the Italian’s result that secured his ninth world title – a seventh in the premier class – as he defended his 2008 crown, with Dani Pedrosa finishing second with his 78th career podium across all classes.

The race started on a wet track after a 35-minute delay due to rain, and there was drama from the off. A problem during the sighting lap with his machine for Jorge Lorenzo meant that failure to join the starting grid in time resulted in relegation from second to the back.

It made little difference to the Spaniard however as he flew up to overtake Rossi, who dropped to tenth after a sluggish start from pole position. Lorenzo eventually finished in fourth position.

Randy de Puniet had a very early nasty high-side which fortunately resulted in no injury for the Frenchman, as Stoner established a four-second lead at the front over Pedrosa after just two laps.

Nicky Hayden was dogged in his attempt to hold off Lorenzo in fifth place, but the Fiat Yamaha rider managed to pass the Ducati Marlboro man before Rossi passed both to move into fourth spot after eight laps.

Shortly after, Stoner’s lead at the front had grown to a huge 15 seconds, but there was no such deficit between Pedrosa in third and his Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who diced for second spot. Disaster struck for the Italian however, as on lap 14 he succumbed to the wet conditions and slid off, allowing Rossi to move up to third and target Pedrosa.

The Spaniard was out of Rossi’s grasp for the remainder however, but third was one place higher than he required to take the title (had Lorenzo won the race), and a characteristically flamboyant celebration followed involving a chicken dressed in the Italian’s blue and yellow colors.

Elsewhere, Aleix Espargar¢ impressed with an eleventh-placed finish in his third MotoGP race of the campaign for Pramac, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Colin Edwards and James Toseland both struggled, finishing in 13th and 15th respectively.

After Lorenzo took fourth spot he duly handed hearty congratulations to Rossi, with Hayden equaling his second-best result of the season in fifth. Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing), Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) completed the top ten.

“Today’s race went a bit like how the season has gone, because we were so fast on the dry tires, but right before the start of the race it started to rain so we had to go out on the track without any wet setting,” said Rossi.

“It’s a great achievement, and for me it’s the ninth championship, the seventh in MotoGP. I have to thank all the guys from Yamaha, who are great, and all the Fiat Yamaha team, from Jeremy (Burgess, chief mechanic) and all the mechanics to all the guys that work for me, and all my friends. All the people that helped me with this great achievement.”

Having been pushed throughout the season to retain his crown by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who finished fourth, Rossi paid special tribute to the 22 year-old Spaniard’s efforts.

“Throughout the season I had great rivals, at the end especially Jorge my team-mate, who stayed very close to me, and we had some great fights. He’s a great rival so congratulations to him,” said Rossi.

“But we are on the top and now we’ll relax and try to take in this achievement. The ninth championship is great – I’m so happy.”

Results

Pos.

Rider Nation Team Total time
1 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 47'24.834
2 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 14.666
3 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team + 19.385
4 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 25.850
5 N. HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team + 38.705
6 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 41.061
7 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini + 48.555
8 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 55.557
9 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1'00.303
10 M. KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing + 1'00.440
11 A. ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing + 1'01.655
12 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1'01.847
13 C. EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1'10.778
14 G. TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 1'15.851
15 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1'50.672
16 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team 7 Lap
17 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 20 Lap

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