MotoGP Final Results
After a challenging 2010 season that dished out misfortune for some of the best MotoGP pilots, including nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and the rookie Ben Spies, the grid lined up at Valencia in Spain on Sunday for the final race.
The first two laps at Valencia were the most exciting of the year that included one of the best saves this season. The man who saved his bike, Jorge Lorenzo, would drop from fourth to seventh. But this incident didn’t slow the Fiat Yamaha M1 rider, and the 2010 World Champion immediately went to work.
In true Lorenzo style, the Spaniard came back to take the lead with 8 laps to go, and began a dominating performance at his home track, winning his ninth event of the season. He finished the 2010 MotoGP Championship with 383 points, robbing the record for most points in a season from his biggest rival and current teammate, Rossi.
Joining Lorenzo on the podium were Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and Rossi; Lorenzo would cross the finish line 4.576 seconds ahead of Stoner. Although Rossi beat Pedros, the Spaniard’s seventh-place finish secured second-place in the overall championship, giving Rossi third.
The 30-lap race began with Stoner remaining out front after starting from the pole; this was the Australian’s third pole at Valencia. The most impressive start was from Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa, who is still recovering from a broken collarbone sustained at Motegi.
The Spaniard started from eight on the grid, but was in second by turn two. Pedrosa didn’t remain in second for long. The other Ducati Team GP10 piloted by Nicky Hayden would be a bit quicker, and take second.
As the two Ducatis were up front, Pedrosa had third, with the rookie Marco Simoncelli following on the San Carlo Gresini Honda in fourth and Lorenzo in fifth.
On the next lap Lorenzo and Simoncelli swap the lead twice by turn 7, but during Lorenzo’s next attempt to pass Simoncelli, there was some contact. Lorenzo was bumped off his seat but saved the Yamaha M1, falling back to seventh.
Meanwhile, Rossi took Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies for sixth position, and set his attack on the other Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, who was now in fifth.
On Turn 1 of lap 3, Hayden went down after losing his front end. This immediately gave Spies sixth place in the championship due to both Americans being tied in the spot going into Valencia.
Nicky Hayden says: “The front let go quite early, and I went down. I’d have to say it was rider error. I tired too hard, but there ain’t no saving that. Even though we crashed out, we’re positive and looking forward to the morning (preparing for post-Valencia tests this week).”
With Hayden’s crash, which was the only one at Valencia, Pedrosa slipped into second. Rossi then took Dovi for fourth, and within two laps of falling back to seventh, Lorenzo was up into fifth.
With 25 laps to go, Rossi took Simoncelli for third at turn 1. Lorenzo would pass Simoncelli the same way on the following lap, placing him into fourth.
The front leaders began tightening, and with 21 to go, Rossi took second from Pedrosa, with Lorenzo in tow. The top five was then Stoner, Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Simoncelli.
With 18 laps to go, Lorenzo passed Rossi and set his championship-winning eyes on Stoner. He began putting much pressure on Stoner, but the Australian was incredible on the brakes and the back part of the 14-turn circuit, where he always had the edge.
But Lorenzo would lunge into the lead at Turn 2 with eight laps to go after Stoner experienced some shaking at Turn 1 due to wearing tires. Stoner began a counter attack, but couldn’t keep up with Lorenzo.
Lorenzo began pulling away, and the podium was set for a Lorenzo-Stoner-Rossi finish. But the battle for fourth was far from over, as three riders were vying for the position: Dovizioso, Simoncelli and Spies.
Simoncelli attempted to take Dovi with three to go, but there was contact between the two riders, and the rookie fell back, allowing Spies to pass. Then with three laps to go, Spies also passed Dovi for fourth, making the 4-5-6 spots Spies, Dovi and Simoncelli.
Rounding out the top 10 were Pedrosa, Paginas Amarillas Aspar rider Hector Barbera, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista and LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet. Besides Hayden’s DNF due to the crash, Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi retired with 17 laps remaining; no official reason has been released as of this writing.
As the crowd was cheering for Lorenzo, Rossi placed his bike on the side of the track and gave it a farewell kiss while donning a yellow VR 46 shirt that said “Bye Bye Baby!” Rossi spent seven years with Yamaha, achieving four World Champonships. His antics were just a token of his affection for Yamaha before he begins his season on Ducati.
With 2010 over, riders will now prepare for the traditional post-race Valencia tests on Tuesday and Wednesday. These tests will be the first time when next year’s rider changes will come into affect.
2010 Valencia MotoGP: Final Round Results:
|1.||25||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||154.2||46’44.622|
|2.||20||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Ducati Team||Ducati||154.0||+4.576|
|3.||16||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||153.7||+8.998|
|4.||13||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||153.3||+17.643|
|5.||11||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||153.2||+19.160|
|6.||10||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||153.1||+20.674|
|7.||9||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||152.8||+26.797|
|8.||8||40||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Paginas Amarillas Aspar||Ducati||152.6||+29.288|
|9.||7||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||152.6||+29.451|
|10.||6||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||152.6||+29.860|
|11.||5||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||152.5||+31.761|
|12.||4||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||152.4||+33.604|
|13.||3||33||Marco MELANDRI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||152.2||+36.622|
|14.||2||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Interwetten Honda MotoGP||Honda||152.1||+38.968|
|15.||1||71||Carlos CHECA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||151.2||+56.169|
|65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||150.2||17 Laps|
|69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||149.1||28 Laps|
2010 MotoGP Championship Final Point Standings:
|9.||Randy DE PUNIET||Honda||FRA||116|
|18.||Alex DE ANGELIS||Honda||RSM||11|
|19.||Roger Lee HAYDEN||Honda||USA||5|