|— Yamaha Report
World Champion Jorge Lorenzo signed off his victorious season in style today, taking his ninth win in front of his home fans at Valencia. Valentino Rossi finished third on his 117th and final appearance for Yamaha, bringing to a close a wonderful seven-year partnership with his YZR-M1.
Lorenzo and Rossi both dropped places at the start, the Mallorcan slipping to fifth and the Italian right back to ninth in the race to the first corner. Lorenzo soon began looking for a way past Marco Simoncelli but almost crashed in the process, somehow making a spectacular save but dropping several places to ninth. Rossi meanwhile made it up to fourth by the end of the third lap and was on the hunt for third, trying to get by his determined fellow Italian Simoncelli.
On lap six Rossi moved into third and Lorenzo, who had brilliantly recovered his composure after his near-miss to gain back the places he had lost, followed him through next time around to take fourth, with Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in front of the Yamaha pair. At one third of race distance Rossi and Lorenzo dispatched Pedrosa and then it was Lorenzo’s turn to pass his team-mate, moving into second behind Stoner. Rossi tried his best to go with him but the shoulder that has plagued him all season stopped him riding at the maximum on the twisty track and he dropped off, content to at least finish on the podium for one final time with Yamaha.
Lorenzo was unstoppable by this stage and the cool-headed 23-year-old stormed ahead of Stoner on lap 23 to take a final win on home soil. His win today brings his season points-tally to 383, a new record for a rider in a premier-class season.
Rossi’s final podium for Yamaha secured third place in the standings and the Italian bid an emotional farewell to his beloved M1, stopping on the cool down lap to kiss his bike in an echo of the first of his 46 Yamaha wins, at Welkom back in 2004 when the ‘Yamaha and Rossi’ story first began.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1stTime: 46’44.622
“Coming here to Valencia I really wanted to win one more time in this fantastic season, in front of my home fans. 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!”
Valentino Rossi – Position: 3rdTime: +8.998
“Honestly I’m happy with this final result with Yamaha, because we had a difficult weekend here. I didn’t get a good start but I realised straight away that I was much faster today and that my bike felt good. At one point I thought I might be able to win but in the later part of the race I just didn’t have enough strength to stay with Lorenzo and Stoner, this is a very hard track when you’re not completely fit. I started to make a few mistakes because I didn’t have enough power to stop the bike so after a bit I decided it was better to slow down and keep my third place. Arriving on the podium was my way to say thank you to my bike, to Yamaha and to all the people who have worked with me in these seven seasons. It’s been a great experience and I have enjoyed it so much. 46 is a great number of wins – of course I wanted more but I think I can be happy with what I have done here. We have finished the season strongly with five podiums in a row and after such a difficult season we can feel happy about how we have ended. It’s been a wonderful seven years, great fun with a special atmosphere, many fantastic victories and four world championships. I stopped with my bike after the race today just like I did at Welkom when this story began, it was the right way to say goodbye to ‘her’. Thank you to everyone, we have wonderful memories.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“Number 99 with nine wins in 2010 – it sounds a bit strange but we are so happy with that! I think it was the best race of the season for us. It proved that Jorge is the rightful champion because he beat everybody after slipping to ninth place, like his team-mate Valentino has done in so many races. What can I say except that we have the best rider on the best bike! Well done to Jorge and to all the team for a great job this season.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“I think we had a very good race with Valentino after a difficult weekend. The team worked really hard and we finally found a good setting for the race. Unfortunately Valentino’s physical condition, when all the riders are on the limit, meant he had to pay the price today and couldn’t fight right to the end but we were very competitive and that’s what we wanted for our last race. This is the last race with Yamaha for many of us, including me; my nineteen-year experience with Yamaha finishes here. I just want to thank Yamaha and everybody who worked together with us, they have been years that I will never forget.”
Spies ends 2010 with fantastic fourth in Valencia finale
Ben Spies rounded off a memorable rookie MotoGP season in superb style in Valencia today, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider fighting his way to a fantastic fourth position.
As well as claiming the coveted Rookie of the Year title and finishing leading non-factory rider in 2010, Spies set another personal milestone this afternoon when he secured a top six place in the overall rankings. Locked on 163-points with Nicky Hayden going into the 30-lap race, Spies’ latest outstanding result earned him the distinction of finishing top American after Hayden’s early mistake ruled him out of contention. On his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, Spies produced a fantastic farewell performance, overhauling Dani Pedrosa, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso with an inspired display of aggressive riding in the final ten laps.
Seventh until lap 20, Spies closed down what was close to a three-second deficit to the Honda trio before he move by Pedrosa on the 21st lap. Showing the overtaking prowess that has been a feature of the 26-year-old’s outstanding season, he then swept by Simoncelli and Dovizioso on lap 27 before reeling off a blistering series of laps to leave the Italian duo trailing in his wake on his way to a 13th top six finish of the year.
It was a frustrating finale for Colin Edwards as he was unable to capitalise on an excellent practice and qualifying performance. Cooler and cloudier conditions this afternoon saw Edwards opt to race with the softer Bridgestone rear tyre. But the 36-year-old was hinder ed by a lack of acceleration grip and he slipped down to 12th.
Today’s race concluded another hugely successful season for Herve Poncharal’s Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad. The French outfit finished the leading non-factory team in the prestigious Team World Championship for the second successive season.
Ben Spies – Position: 4th Time:+ 17.643
“I’m patting myself and my Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew on the back because to get sixth overall in the points is a great achievement for all of us. It was a good race and once I settled I could see the three Hondas coming back to me quite quickly. I kept them about a second in front of me and pounced when I felt confident I could pass them and pull away. They had some acceleration on me off the turns, so I knew when I made the pass it needed to be into a string of corners and not onto a straight. Once I passed Andrea and Marco I put my head down for a couple of laps and got rid of them. To finish fourth after last week’s crash in Estoril is the perfect finish to what has been a great season. I said at the beginning of the season that a top five feels like a win and now this feels more like a normal result. I’ve had a better year than I thought I would have, so thanks to my team and all the people around me who have given me unbelievable support. I’ve learned a lot this season and I’m confident I will be even stronger in 2011.”
Colin Edwards – Position: 12th Time: + 33.604
“I wanted to finish the season on a high to reward my crew for all their hard work, but that was way below what I was expecting and to say I’m disappointed and frustrated is an understatement. Right from the start it just didn’t feel like I had any grip when I accelerated. We’d set the bike up on the hard tyre for most of the weekend but we went for the soft option because the temperature was a little bit lower. But coming out of the corner I didn’t have the grip to stay with anybody and it is a big pity because the changes we’d made to the bike for the hard tyre this weekend had helped me feel much more confident and comfortable. Congratulations to Ben though on getting sixth overall. He’s been awesome and he’s only going to get stronger.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“There is not much else I can say about Ben because once again today he showed what an incredible talent he is. It is not easy to recover the gap like he did today, especially when you’re competing in such a high calibre field. But he was patient and once he caught that group it was a pleasure to watch him in full attack mode and he deserved to be sixth in the Championship. That is an amazing achievement for a rookie and I take great pride in knowing the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team played a big part in his success. I’d like to thank Ben for everything he has done for Tech3, Yamaha and Monster in 2010. I have no doubt he has a very bright future ahead of him and it is a shame our experience together was so short. It was a privilege to have Ben in our team and we will never forget his achievements. I wish him all the best for the future. Today was not what Colin expected and I know he is very disappointed. He had looked very strong all weekend and it was a shame he could not be in the fight for the top six. Finally I’d like to congratulate Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo because in 2010 they have been an unbeatable combination and they proved that again today.”
— Ducati Report
After 23 wins, 21 poles, and one World Championship title together, Casey Stoner signed off as a Ducati rider today at Valencia with his 42nd podium. Four wonderful seasons for the Italian factory ended with a weekend to remember, with Stoner taking pole position yesterday and making a perfect start to the race today, leading for the majority of the race and defending first position with tooth and nail before finally conceding to Jorge Lorenzo on the 23rd lap.
Nicky Hayden also got a terrific start from the second row of the grid and the American was third into the first turn, passing Dani Pedrosa for second to give chase to his team-mate at the front. However, on the third lap he lost control of his GP10 as he entered turn one and his race ended with a high-speed crash.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 2nd
“We had a big decision to make in terms of the tyre choice today but we went for the hard compound and maybe in hindsight it cost us. It is difficult to say because maybe the softer option wouldn’t have worked as well in the final stages so we could have ended up second either way. At the end of the day Jorge had a better pace than us today and there wasn’t much more we could have done. It is nice to bring this era to a close on the podium and I think that is fitting. I have so many great memories of these past few years with Ducati, from my first win at Qatar in 2007 and that race in Barcelona the same year, to the title success at Motegi and my wins at Phillip Island. I also especially remember my return to action in Portugal last year. I have enjoyed every single victory on the Ducati so much and I want to thank them for so many great years together. I leave behind a lot of people that I will miss, like Filippo, Vitto and the others but even though we will be rivals on the track from now on our personal relationship will stay the same. I also want to thank all the Ducati fans for their support over these past four years.”
NICKY HAYDEN – (Ducati Marlboro Team) DNF
“I am bitterly disappointed with the result today. After the warm-up this morning when I set the fastest time I really felt confident we could get a good result today and I pushed hard from the start. The bike felt good and I was able to make up a few positions into the first turn, then pass Dani for second place. To crash just a couple of laps later is frustrating because I had the pace to be fighting for the podium out there. It is definitely not the way I wanted to end the season and my guys deserved more after another great job this weekend. We had our problems with the bike on Friday but we pulled something out of the bag and I had a competitive bike here. Overall over the past few races we have ended the season quite strongly and I am looking forward to taking that into winter testing and hopefully coming out with an even more competitive package next year.”
FILIPPO PREZIOSI – General Director Ducati Corse
“Right now I feel a mixture of sadness and pride because I feel we weren’t able to give Casey the opportunity to win this race. Every time we have been able to do that he has won or been on the podium. With 23 victories he has won more than any other rider in the 800cc era, as well as 42 podiums, 21 pole positions and of course the title in 2007. It is difficult to find any other words for him than ‘thank you’. I am sorry for Nicky because he had an excellent warm-up, he made a determined start and he was really on the pace when he crashed but these things happen when you give 110%.”
— HRC Report
World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) completed his title-winning season in the best way possible today, winning the Valencia Grand Prix in dominant style. Honda’s top MotoGP riders had a tougher day at the 2010 finale, Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V), Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) finishing fifth, sixth and seventh.
During the later stages of the race the Dovizioso/Simoncelli was the main attraction as the pair continued from where they left off at Estoril last Sunday, swapping positions time and again as they fought for superiority around this tight, sinuous track that makes overtaking so difficult. Finally Dovizioso prevailed, just as he had done at Estoril, though once again rookie Simoncelli impressed with his determination. Simoncelli finished the race ruing his decision to run the harder compound Bridgestone rear; he believes he could have been faster with the softer option.
Also in the mix with Dovizioso and Simoncelli was Ben Spies (Yamaha), who got the better of both the Italians to secure fourth place during the final four laps. Dovizioso did everything he could to come back at the American but didn’t quite have enough grip left to mount a counter attack.
Pedrosa, still suffering from the broken left collarbone he sustained at last month’s Japanese GP, was the surprise of the opening laps, rocketing through from the third row of the grid into second place. The Spaniard pressured leader Casey Stoner (Ducati) during the first third of the 30 lap race, in the process setting the fastest lap, but then his shoulder injury began to take its toll. Unable to use full force when braking into turns, Pedrosa slipped down the order as several riders managed to pass him on the brakes. The former 125 and 250 World Champion rated today’s race as one of the toughest of his life. The heroic effort was worthwhile, it secured him second place in the World Championship.
Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) spent much of the race among a group of five or six riders contesting eighth place. Hector Barbera (Ducati) won that particular battle, the Spaniard followed across the line by Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) and de Puniet. The French Honda rider had hopes of a better result but believes that he and his crew had been too conservative in their work on tyre life and traction control settings, so he didn’t have the corner speed to break out of the group.
Today’s race ended de Puniet’s five-year relationship with the LCR squad – three seasons in MotoGP and two in 250 GPs. Valencia also marked the end of Melandri’s Grand Prix career. The Italian was 15-years-old when he started full-time GPs in 1998. Next year he will switch to the World Superbike Championship.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP RC212V) had a difficult ride to 14th place. During the early stages of the race the Japanese struggled to find the feeling he needed to push to his limits, and although he rode a good pace during the mid-stages, his lap times tailed off again in the later stages.
Czech Moto2 rider Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing, FTR) won a thrilling first Grand Prix victory today, coming out on top of a frantic last-lap skirmish that involved the four leading riders. The final race of the inaugural Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship was ultra-close throughout with the top six covered by just one second at half distance and the first four finishers separated by just seven tenths at the flag.
Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) led from the start, building a 1.5 second lead, until hard-charging Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter) came through to challenge for the lead in the closing stages. Local hero Simon had fought back from ninth on the first lap. The Italian and the Spaniard traded passes on numerous occasions, with Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) and Abraham right behind them, looking for an opening.
On the final lap Elias tried to go under Simon, ran in too hot and tagged the rear of Iannone’s bike. Elias ran off the track and crashed while Iannone was forced wide, allowing Abraham to take the lead for the first time. Abraham’s first success at GP level brings his career in the intermediate class to a perfect end – on Tuesday he will commence winter testing for his first MotoGP season in 2011.
Despite that last-lap collision, Iannone managed to hang onto second place, with Simon crossing the line in third spot. Less than six tenths of a second covered the three podium finishers. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2, Moriwaki) finished fourth, less than two tenths behind Simon. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team,
Suter) was fifth, a further three seconds back.
Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing, Suter) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP, Suter) had also been in the leading pack earlier in the race, but both crashed out, without injury. Elias remounted to finish 30th
Abraham is the ninth different winner in this year’s inaugural 17 round Moto2 World Championship.
Marcel Schrötter (Interwetten Honda 125 Team) finished the final 125 race of the season in 12th place. Not only was Valencia the last race of the year, it was also the last race of all for Schrötter’s crew chief Sepp Schlögl. The multi-world-title-winning German, who has been actively involved in racing for 40 years, was given Schrötter’s bike as his retirement present.
The 125 World Championship was the only title to be decided today, and the last crown of the year went to Spanish teenager Marc Marquez (Derbi) who finished the race in fourth. Today’s race winner was Briton Bradley Smith (Aprilia).
HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 5th “We have done a good job here at Valencia and we can be happy that we were the first Honda rider home today. Our pace wasn’t enough to compete for the win so we can’t be totally satisfied of course, but overall we’ve had a positive end to the season. I was missing some speed in the middle of the corners today which is an area to work on in future, as is improving the stability under braking. I’m disappointed I couldn’t re-pass Spies, but my tyres were very worn by the end and I couldn’t fight in the last laps because the grip was dropping off quite a lot and it was difficult to maintain the pace from the first part of the race. Anyway it was a good battle with Simoncelli again and I hope there will be more like this next year – it shows that pocket bikes was a good training ground! Overall we have to be satisfied with the job done by Honda, the team and myself throughout the year and I’d like to thank all those involved. The package has improved a lot and, whereas last year we were struggling, this year I’ve been consistently faster. We still have some fine tuning to do for next year – and that can start here in the test on Tuesday.”
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V): 6th “I was hoping for a better result than this to be honest but I am still satisfied because I gave it my best shot. I struggled a little bit to set the same lap times as yesterday and stay with the front guys. I was losing the rear in a few places and maybe with the conditions today we should have gone with the soft tyre. Even though it had less grip yesterday I felt more confident with the hard so we stuck with it because I thought it would help me stay consistent to the end of the race, but it was sliding around a lot. In any case I kept going and I am happy with my performance.”
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 7th
“This was the one of the hardest races of my life and also one of the ones I can feel most proud of. Honestly I was not sure at all before the start that I could do 30 laps today, but I managed to do it and I’m very happy now, and also exhausted. I made a good start and to stay with Stoner in the early laps was amazing for me. I fought as hard as possible to maintain the pace for as long as I could and it was during this period that I set the fastest lap of the race. But of course my strength was ebbing away little by little and I was caught by the group behind me. From then on I just concentrated on staying on the bike and finishing the race – I was counting down the laps. To finish second in the championship was not our goal at the beginning of the season of course, but only we know how hard it has been to keep second place after the crash in Japan . We will take our time to recover after this race and we can also have a useful test on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for next year.”
Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V): 10th “Well… to start from the fourth row of the grid was a bit difficult for me but I immediately set my pace trying to catch the guys up there. In the last two days we worked mainly on traction control and our overall package was quite good. Maybe we have been too cautious working on engine mapping and rear tyre life so when I was stuck in the second group I had not enough speed in the corners and I was not able to overtake my competitors. Honestly I aimed to finish in the top six but this is racing and I am satisfied about my final position in the standing considering the bad accident I suffered in the middle of the season. I want to thank Lucio and the team for the five years together. We shared good and bad moments and this period was an important part of my career.”
Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V): 13th “I don’t want to talk about the race. I would rather look to the future because I think we have seen today that the right choice right now for me is to end this story and start a new one. Having said that it has been a big part of my life and I am the person I am today partly because of MotoGP. I want to thank all the people who have stayed close to me and also those who have been against me because they have helped me to grow. Thanks to all the sponsors who have accompanied me over these years and to everybody who has worked with me, also my family and my fans, who I will see again next year in another championship.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP RC212V): 14th “I want to thank my team and sponsors and all the people who helped me this year. It was a tough year and not easy. Also the last race was tough and difficult. In the end I could finish the race, but I am not satisfied with the way I did it. I almost always finished the races in the points and I had some good experience this year, my first in the MotoGP class, and I want to thank all the staff who were involved in it.”
— Suzuki Report
Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista produced the ride of his rookie season at Valencia today to bring his Suzuki GSV-R home in the top-10 after starting from last on the grid.
Bautista and his Crew Chief Tom O’Kane made some big changes to his machine for the morning’s warm-up session and the Spanish rider soon reaped the benefits. As the first few laps unfolded there was no evidence of what was to come as he only made up a couple of places – one of which was due to another rider crashing. By lap 19 Bautista had caught a group of four riders, all of whom were battling for eighth place and the impressive Spaniard quickly passed each one of them in the next few laps to move to the front of the pack. Bautista was then constantly challenged for his position as the riders swapped places in the closing stages, but unfortunately he just couldn’t hold off Hector Barbera in the final lap. He still managed to bring his bike home in a commendable ninth place, to the applause of the whole team.
Loris Capirossi had another torrid afternoon, as the Italian retired from the race with a mysterious problem at the end of the 13th lap. Up until that point Capirossi had battled hard to make a couple of passes and move up to 14th place, with the riders in front still well in touch. Sadly he had to come back to the pits to signal the end of the race for him, in what was his last appearance for the team. Capirossi was visibly saddened by the way the race ended, but paid tribute to all at Suzuki for three good years together.
Today’s race was held in dry but cloudy conditions with track temperatures getting up to 27°C. A crowd of 80,774 spectators were treated to a thrilling race all the way through the field, with home favourite and new World Champion Jorge Lorenzo yet again showing his dominance with another victory, his ninth of the season.
Rizla Suzuki will now stay at Valencia for a two-day test programme on Tuesday and Wednesday. This will be the only post-season test, with the winter ban due to start on the first of December and continue until the start of February next year.
Álvaro Bautista: “After having such a difficult weekend with all the problems on Friday and Saturday, today has been a big step for us. This morning in warm-up we went back to a setting that I used in the last races and it quickly felt a little bit better, it wasn’t a big difference but I thought it would be good for the race. I wanted to give my maximum in the race and give the team the best result possible today. I had a normal start and made up one position straight away, but then I was behind Loris and I lost some time because he brakes so late and is difficult to pass. When I got past him I pushed to my limit and I got in to a good rhythm – the best I’ve had all weekend. I caught the group fighting for eighth and I finished ninth at the end, but it was a great battle with the others because I managed to overtake them all and it was good fun. Before the race started if someone said I could finish ninth I would have signed for that, but after the battle with Hector I am disappointed because I think I could have been eighth! It is a good result for the whole team after a hard weekend, but it is not the result I expected before I came to Valencia because I came with the mental attitude to finish in the top-five. Now that we have finished the season we know we have many things that we need to improve on the bike and I also need to improve my riding style, so we have a very hard winter ahead of us – I hope to get to the first race next season with the bike better than it was this year. I will also have more experience so I expect to improve on my results next season.
“I would like to the thank Suzuki, all the team, Rizla and all the other sponsors, because if they didn’t help us it would be impossible for us to be racing, so thank-you to all of them. Next year we will certainly be trying even harder and I really believe we can be competitive!”
Loris Capirossi: “I really want to say thank-you to everybody because I have had three really good years here at Suzuki, the relationship is great and I am so sorry to be leaving – I really love everybody! The luck this year didn’t really help me, we had many small problems and that showed in today’s race. I have improved a lot in myself in my time at Suzuki and although our roads are now changing direction, I will for sure have a place in my heart for Suzuki and all the people there – thank-you for everything!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It seems that Loris has had a black cloud following him around all season and it came back again this afternoon. On behalf of Suzuki we thank him for maintaining an ultra positive attitude and complete professionalism. We’ll certainly miss him!
“For me Álvaro’s ninth place was the ride of his season, from 17th – and last – on the grid, then to climb through the field and consistently set lap-times – that if he’d started in the top eight – would have seen him battling for fifth was just superb. Qualifying has been our Achilles heel all year, but we really didn’t have the performance in the bike on Friday and Saturday to challenge the other guys, so for Álvaro to take a leap-of-faith today and make such massive improvements was impressive and more importantly very encouraging for 2011. We are now looking forward to the test this week with a lot more optimism, but before that he certainly deserves a beer tonight for his efforts today and I’d like to thank him and all his guys for bringing a breath of fresh air to the team this year!”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (both asymmetric)
Jorge Lorenzo proved unstoppable in Valencia today as he ended the season with his ninth win and a record-breaking points haul of 383, overcoming intense pressure from Casey Stoner and teammate Valentino Rossi as he fought back from eighth place. Whilst every rider apart from Alvaro Bautista opted for the harder front tyre, 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 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 race, every one of Lorenzo’s laptimes was within 0.6seconds, whilst Stoner’s 2nd lap of the race was as fast as his 26th, to the hundredth of a second. Both also set their personal best laptime on the 19th lap of the race, indicating a balance of very good warm-up performance from both tyre 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 Ben Spies (softer rear slick), Andrea Dovizioso, Marco Simoncelli (both harder rears) and Dani Pedrosa (softer rear) until he dropped back in the latter stages. Switching positions in a tooth-and-nail scrap for much of the race, it was ultimately Spies on the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine who emerged on top to secure sixth position in the World Championship in his rookie year.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“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 Tyre Development Department
“I am very pleased with tyre 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 tyre 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 tyre development.”
Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha Team – Race Winner
“Today 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.”