Jorge Lorenzo signed off a hugely successful 2010 campaign with a ninth win of the year on Sunday, taking victory at Valencia in front of a delighted home crowd. The MotoGP World Champion, who before this weekend had never won at the circuit in any of the three classes in which he had competed there, eventually crossed the finish line 4.576s clear of Casey Stoner, who was followed onto the podium by Valentino Rossi.
Despite the margin of victory it was far from a straightforward win for the 23 year-old Spaniard, who did magnificently to avoid crashing when he touched bikes with Marco Simoncelli early on. Motivated even further by the moment Lorenzo determinedly pushed on and rode brilliantly to end his season in the perfect manner.
In second place and ending his four-year partnership with Ducati Stoner had led the race for much of the contest, but with eight of the 30 laps remaining he was unable to prevent Lorenzo taking over. The Australian, who had displayed blistering pace in practice and qualifying to take pole, selected the harder rear compound tire for the race whilst his fellow podium finishers both went with the medium option.
A further four seconds back Rossi, who was also ending a chapter in his illustrious career with his final race for Fiat Yamaha after seven success-laden years, placed third having engaged in a great scrap with Lorenzo in the earlier stages of the race. The Italian also secured third in the final Championship standings ahead of Stoner.
The fight for fourth was another great encounter in which Ben Spies came out on top as he rode his final race with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 before moving up the factory team. The American had been locked in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and San Carlo Honda Gresini rookie Simoncelli to the end with the Italian pair completing the top six.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) – who sealed runner-up spot in the Championship with seventh – Hector Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) ended their 2010 seasons with top-ten finishes, with Aleix Espargaro¢ (Pramac Racing), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP) and Carlos Checa (Pramac Racing) completing the 15 finishers.
There was disappointment for Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) who crashed out at the start having risen to second position, whilst Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) retired from the race with 17 laps remaining.
Lorenzo’s final points tally of 383 is also a new record for the most points scored in a single season in the MotoGP class. His win was also the first at Valencia for Yamaha in the 800cc era.
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