Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo signed off a hugely successful 2010 campaign with his ninth win of the year on Sunday, taking victory at Valencia ahead of Australia's Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.
Jorge Lorenzo signed off a hugely successful 2010 campaign with his 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, 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 collided 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.
“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.”
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.
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 – Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) ended their 2010 seasons with top 10 finishes.
Aleix Espargaró (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) compled 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.
Karel Abraham’s first-ever world championship grand prix win came in the Moto2 race as the Czech rider took victory in a thrilling encounter before making the move up to the premier class next year.
Following Abraham onto the podium were Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) and Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), with the Spaniard clinching runner-up spot in the Championship by just two points ahead of the Italian.
It was a fantastic race from start to finish and Iannone shot into the lead early on, with a number of riders battling for positions at the front of the race. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) – who became the youngest ever rider to make 50 GP starts – and World Champion Toni Elías (Gresini Racing Moto2) were amongst those as they traded moves.
Both Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) were involved too, and as they went head to head when fighting for second position the Turk was forced to run on at turn one and went down. He rejoined the race but then had to retire, and shortly after Bradl himself crashed out at turn 12 when pushing to keep pace with the leaders.
All the while Simón had slowly crept up the order having dropped as low as ninth on the opening lap, and he slotted into second as he hunted Iannone down. The duo became involved in a great battle in the latter half of the race, into which Abraham and Elías were drawn as they both rode hard.
After many moves and exchanges of positions it came down to the final lap and the tension peaked when Elías clipped Iannone’s rear wheel and crashed out. Abraham capitalised and slipped through into first position amid the drama, holding it to cross the finish line 0.522s ahead of Iannone with Simón just six-hundredths behind in a breathless finale.
Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Racing) was less than two-tenths back with Redding capping off his season with a top-five finish. The top ten was completed by Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2), Sergio Gadea (Tenerife 40 Pons), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) and Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up). Elías returned to the track to finish the race 30th.
Fourth position for Marc Márquez was more than enough for the 17 year-old to be confirmed as the deserved 2010 125cc World Champion after a mature ride from the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider. Victory was taken by Bradley Smith as he won his first race of the season in the final round, cruising across the finish line 2.786s clear in his last 125cc ride before graduating to the Moto2 class next season.
Smith took the lead from the start, with Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar) – Márquez’s only title rival in the final round – and Márquez following behind. A poor start from Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) was recovered well by the Spaniard as he slowly climbed back up the order having dropped as low as 11th on the opening lap, and as the race progressed Márquez allowed him through and into third, thus avoiding any potential mishaps.
With two laps to go Espargaró went through on Terol and the duo swapped positions once again, all the while Smith led comfortably at the front.
The Brit took the chequered flag almost three seconds clear for his first win of 2010, thus breaking what had stretched to a 26-race winning streak in the category for Spanish riders. Espargaró signed off from the class with second position – his 12th podium of the year – with Terol crossing the line in third.
Márquez, at just over five seconds back, took fourth position to end the year on 310 points having won ten races, taken 12 podiums and 12 poles in the process.
Completing the top ten were Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) – in his 100th GP – Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing) and Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing).