Starting from pole position certainly has its advantages in GP racing, especially if you take to the track with the goal of potentially clinching your first World Championship and playing it safe is the name of the game. Just the opposite would be true when staring from the second row, entering turn one in the middle of the pack and racing like you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Such was the case with two very divergent Yamaha riders.
For Jorge Lorenzo, the goal of winning his first ever premier-class World Championship was on the line at Sepang. The Spaniard and his crew came to the race with a plan to run safe and clinch the title. As Lorenzo put it, "There was a possibility of injuring myself. So we had to make the race, make 20 laps, and finish it." He would admit that the fall from pole position to eventually finishing in third was not his best performance, however nerves and conflict avoidance both played a part in his uninspiring ride. In any case, as the checkers waved, Jorge Lorenzo became the 2010 MotoGP World Champion at the age of 23.
The day started off differently for The Doctor, as he came to Sepang with a completely different aim than teammate Lorenzo. Valentino Rossi was out for nothing short of victory, which would mark his 46th career win. If you must ask why this is so significant to the legendary Italian, well, just start by looking at he front of his motorcycle. As he was entering the first turn in 11th position, Valentino certainly had his work cut out for him! With the precision of a surgeon, The Doctor sliced through the pack with a very inspiring ride that he would later call "one of the best of my career" and landing himself square at the top of the podium. Rossi never ceases to amaze.
So goes the tale of MotoGP Champions past and present. And yes, there were other riders in Malaysia, like Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso, who both finished in the top five. You can make the jump for the complete list of top-ten finishers. Now lets see if anyone other than Casey Stoner shows up in Australia.
[Image: AP Photo/Ching Kien Huo]
|1||25||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||162.2||41'03.448|
|2||20||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||162.1||+0.224|
|3||16||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||161.8||+6.035|
|4||13||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||161.3||+13.676|
|5||11||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||161.1||+15.402|
|6||10||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||160.9||+18.826|
|7||9||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Interwetten Honda MotoGP||Honda||160.8||+20.218|
|8||8||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||160.6||+23.574|
|9||7||33||Marco MELANDRI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||160.6||+23.964|
|10||6||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||160.1||+31.850|