Valentino Rossi triumphed in incredibly demanding conditions at Sepang on Sunday for the Malaysian Grand Prix, proving too strong for his MotoGP rivals as he recovered from 11th position during the opening lap to take his second win of the season.
The rain stayed away and the temperature and humidity posed a physical and mental challenge for the riders and a stern test for tires over 20 laps.
Andrea Dovizioso was always applying pressure for the lead, passing Rossi on a number of occasions, but ultimately the Italian had to settle for a well-deserved second place and his second successive podium.
Taking the third step of the podium and being crowned the 2010 World Champion was Jorge Lorenzo, who led the early stages of the race before being passed by Rossi and Dovizioso.
Tire choices were the most mixed of the season with riders using every available combination of fronts and rears.
Rossi and Lorenzo used the softer front and the harder rear slicks and Dovizioso favoured the harder option both front and rear.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “What a fantastic race in what were incredibly tough conditions for the riders and for our tires. Valentino rode extremely well to take the victory, as did Andrea to push him throughout, but of course I must congratulate Jorge for winning his first MotoGP premier class crown, and the Fiat Yamaha Team for again lifting the title.”
“It is a special day because Jorge sealed this title at our 150th race. With seven wins and 13 podiums Jorge has been very strong and consistent all year and so is very deserving of this.”
Masao Azuma (Chief Field Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “Race conditions today were tough as the temperature was high, but we can see from the riders’ race tire choice that all our slick tire specs performed well here. We saw that Valentino and Jorge could make the softer front tire work well over race distance, whilst the performance of the harder choice that Andrea used was very similar.”
“Álvaro was the highest placed rider to use the softer rear, finishing fifth overall with reasonable consistency until the end so I am happy with all our specs.”
Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team – Race Winner) says: “To get back to win and at this circuit is very important and it makes me so so happy. It is special for different reasons because it comes after a difficult period and is the 46th victory with Yamaha, so a way to say thank you to Yamaha for this season.”
“I knew from warm-up that I could do it but I started in the worst way as I missed the start and everybody overtake me, but I understood from the first two laps we had the pace to try and win. I’m very fast at Sepang so I just tried to ride like I know and stay in front. Like in Motegi Dovi never gave up, but this win makes me very happy and is very important.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team – 2010 World Champion) says: “This is the maximum I can get and is a dream come true. It’s difficult to have words at this moment but today is the happiest day of my life! I started very well today but it was difficult to be very concentrated and when Dovi and Vale passed me and when the tyres started sliding more I thought today we have to finish and just get the best we could, but I am so happy and want to thank many many people. I have had a good bike, a good team and people who wanted the best for me.”