"Of course I'm sad because I've won a lot of times here and I wanted to win again, but I don't think I could have done anymore today. We know that we can beat Stoner, but today he rode like a god and he's a fantastic rival, so congratulations to him.”
5. 2009 Catalan Grand Prix - Circuit de Catalunya (800cc):
Valentino Rossi wins by 0.095sec over Jorge Lorenzo.
Valentino Rossi inflicted a huge psychological blow on team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo with a daring last turn victory pass at Catalunya in 2009.
Rossi and Lorenzo had won two of the previous five rounds, but Rossi was trailing both Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in the world championship. The pair had also beaten Rossi at the previous Italian GP, marking Valentino's first home defeat in seven years.
Against that backdrop, Rossi was determined to strike back and deny Lorenzo in particular the huge boost of a home victory in Catalunya.
The Fiat Yamaha stars dominated the race from the first turn to the last, swapping positions four times before the last lap began - and then another four times before they reached the finish!
“I think I can honestly say that this was one of the best and hardest wins of my career,” smiled Rossi. “The two greatest battles in recent years have been with Casey at Laguna and Jorge here. At Laguna unfortunately Casey didn't make it to the end so I could relax, but here it was to the last breath.”
MotoGP had not seen a last lap victory pass since the 2006 Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, when Elias had overtaken Rossi.
“This was a great, great victory because it went to the very last corner and it's a long time since that has happened,” confirmed Valentino. “I have dreamed about that move for the last two weeks and today it worked.”
Lorenzo did his best to shrug off the defeat.
“Of course I am sad because I put my heart on my bike and in my career I am more used to winning these last-lap fights, but today Valentino was maybe a little bit cleverer or a little bit braver than me at the very end,” he said. “I just didn't close the line enough on the final corner and that was it.”
=6. 2005 Valencia Grand Prix - Cheste (990cc):
Marco Melandri wins by 0.097sec over Nicky Hayden.
Marco Melandri was the surprise of the 2005 season and Italian followed up his debut MotoGP win in Turkey with a close victory over fellow Honda rider Nicky Hayden in the following Valencia finale.
Melandri and Hayden were left to dispute victory after the Italian's Gresini Honda team-mate, and pole sitter, Sete Gibernau suffered an engine failure early in the race.