World Champion Jorge Lorenzo signed off his victorious season in style today, taking his ninth win in front of his home fans at Valencia. Valentino Rossi finished third on his 117th and final appearance for Yamaha, bringing to a close a wonderful seven-year partnership with his YZR-M1.
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. 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 today brings his season points-tally to 383, a new record for a rider in a premier-class season.
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.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1st Time: 46’44.622
“Coming here to Valencia I really wanted to win one more time in this fantastic season, in front of my home fans. 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!”
2010 Valencia MotoGP Results
1 Lorenzo 46.44.62
2 Stoner 0.04.58
3 Rossi 0.09.00
4 Spies 0.17.64
5 Dovizioso 0.19.16
7 Pedrosa 0.26.80
8 Barbera 0.29.29
9 Bautista 0.29.45
10 Puniet 0.29.86
12 Edwards 0.33.60