Jorge Lorenzo was confirmed as the 2010 MotoGP World Champion on Sunday at Sepang, as the 23 year-old Fiat Yamaha rider rode to a third place finish in the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. It was a thrilling race which Valentino Rossi won as the Italian took his first victory since the season opener in Qatar, on a day on which his great rival and current team-mate celebrated his first premier class title.
Pole holder Lorenzo got off to a fantastic start and led into turn one as the race got underway, but Rossi’s getaway from the starting grid was not so swift and he had dropped as low as 11th on the opening lap. A candidate for the race victory Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) suffered a huge disappointment when he crashed out on the opening lap, bringing to an end his race.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) stuck with Lorenzo and the pair established a slight gap at the front, but by only the third lap Rossi had recovered to fourth position as he set his sights on the leaders. Soon he was into third and closing in further on Dovizioso.
Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Aleix Espargaro¢ (Pramac Racing) were both unfortunate crashers, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) also experienced difficulties that meant he failed to finish .
Meanwhile Rossi was repeatedly laying down fast laps as he homed in and just past the midway point of the race the Italian took the lead, having first passed Lorenzo and then Dovizioso. The two Italians swapped first position again in what was a thrilling fight to the end.
Rossi was not to be denied his second win of the season however and crossed the line 0.224s ahead of Dovizioso, with Lorenzo in third and cementing the 2010 title with his 13th podium of the season as the celebrations started.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took fourth position with rookie Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) equaling his season’s best result in fifth. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) followed, with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) eighth having battled closely with former 250cc rival Aoyama. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) completed the top ten.
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