This weekend the MotoGP paddock heads to the tropics for the penultimate round of the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have won 10 out of 15 races between them this year and there has only been one race when one of the pair has not been on the podium, making it the most successful season in the team’s history.
After spectacularly guiding his Desmosedici GP9 to the top step of the podium in his home Grand Prix on Sunday, Casey Stoner heads to Malaysia this weekend for what promises to be the ultimate test of his physical condition. Whist heavy rain is never far beyond the horizon at Sepang, intense heat and humidity are always guaranteed and it is a test of endurance for the riders out on track and the mechanics in the team garage.
MotoGP heads to South East Asia this weekend for the 16th round of the 2009 FIM World Championship season, as Valentino Rossi sits within touching distance of securing a seventh premier class title at the Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix.
A top-four ride for Rossi in Sepang would be enough for the Italian to be crowned the 2009 World Champion on Sunday.
Casey Stoner Speaks… (1st)
"I’d forgotten how good that winning feeling is and of all my victories this is perhaps the most special. I can honestly say that from a physical perspective I can’t ever remember feeling this strong after a race, which shows that the work we have done and the time we took out has been spot on. I got a good start and was able to put together the lap times to keep us at the front but quite honestly I felt I could have gone even faster if we’d have been able to find a little more rear traction over the course of the weekend.
With just four rounds this season the teams are already planning their strategies for 2010. As is usual the pre-season will start at the Spanish circuit of Cheste after the Comunitat Valenciana GP in November.
The circuit in Valencia will be the setting for the first tests on the riders` new bikes, and for some with their new teams, 10th – 11th November, although the official starting date is not until a few months later, February 2010.
On another problematic weekend for James Toseland at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España the satellite Yamaha rider came away with just three points having qualified 13th and finishing in the same position.
Toseland’s supporters, and indeed his team, were expecting him to kick on in his second MotoGP season, after he learned the majority of the tracks on the calendar last year, so his early 2009 season results have been a major disappointment with just one top ten finish so far.
The fastest rider at all three MotoGP tests this year, Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner looks to be in a strong position to challenge Valentino Rossi for the premier class crown.
Casey Stoner’s goal this year is clear. He aims to reclaim the MotoGP title from Valentino Rossi having seen the Italian run away with the championship in 2008, as the Australian endured an inconsistent campaign and his 2007 title slipped from his grasp.