Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo proved unstoppable in Valencia Sunday as he ended the season with his ninth win and a record-breaking MotoGP points haul of 383, overcoming intense pressure from Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner and teammate Valentino Rossi as he fought back from eighth place.
While every MotoGP rider apart from Rizla Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista opted for the harder front tire, rear slick choices were more mixed and the battle between Lorenzo and Stoner provided a direct performance comparison of the two available options.
Lorenzo, who had already proved the MotoGP race-distance durability of the softer rear slick earlier in the weekend, was remarkably consistent on the softer rear against Stoner who rode equally consistently on the harder option rear Bridgestone.
From his third lap to his 29th, the penultimate of the MotoGP Valencia race, every one of Lorenzo’s lap times was within 0.6seconds, while Stoner’s second lap of the race was as fast as his 26th, to the hundredth of a second.
Both also set their personal best lap time on the 19th lap of the MotoGP race, indicating a balance of very good warm-up performance from both tire compounds alongside excellent race-distance durability, even from the softer slick which incorporates Bridgestone’s new extra soft compound rubber.
Behind the leading trio, an equally intense battle for fourth raged between Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Ben Spies (softer rear slick), Repsol Honda ruder Andrea Dovizioso, San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Marco Simoncelli (both harder rears) and the other Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa (softer rear) until he dropped back in the latter stages.
Switching positions in a tooth-and-nail scrap for much of the Valencia MotoGP race, it was ultimately Spies on the Yamaha M1 Machine who emerged on top to secure sixth position in the World Championship in his rookie year.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “We saw a very exciting race today with close battles until the end throughout the field. Congratulations to Jorge and Fiat Yamaha for their victory and also their points record this season which finishes what has been a remarkable year for the World Champions.”
“It’s been a fantastic end to what has been a great and memorable season. Yamaha says goodbye to Valentino and Ducati say goodbye to Casey so it is an emotional weekend for the MotoGP family, but we are proud to continue working closely with every team and rider into next season at the start of a new and exciting era for MotoGP.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dorna and the FIM and the teams and riders for their continued support in our great second season as Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP.”
Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “I am very pleased with tire consistency today as Jorge and Casey in particular were able to lap for almost the entire race at the same pace, within just 0.6seconds which is very impressive. Consequently, total race time this year is three seconds faster than in 2009.”
“We also saw a good mix of rear tire choices and both clearly worked well, allowing the top three, and the four riders fighting for fourth, to battle hard throughout the 30 laps. At the end of this season I want to say thank you to all the MotoGP teams and riders for supporting us this year and I look forward to continuing these close relationships next year.”
“On Tuesday at the test here in Valencia we will already start working with all the new riders and team line-ups and we will start our new generation of fundamental tire development.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team – Race Winner) says: “(Sunday) was one of the most beautiful races for me. From the start we had good pace and I made a good start, but then trying to pass Casey maybe I was too conservative. The fight with Marco was so difficult and I lost a lot of positions when I almost crashed, but little by little I made positions up. With Casey we made a wonderful fight, and winning in front of home fans at this special track is most special to me, and I am very excited to win.”