Jorge Lorenzo won the 2010 MotoGP World Championship with a third place finish at Sepang in Malaysia on Sunday.

The 23-year-old clinched his first premier-class title in his third season and with three races still to go.

Lorenzo has been something of a last man standing, with injuries ending the 2010 title hopes of team-mate Valentino Rossi (a broken leg at round four) and then Dani Pedrosa (a broken collarbone last weekend in Motegi).

But Lorenzo also raced injured, after fracturing his hand in mid-February, and was leading both Rossi and Pedrosa in the championship at the time of their respective accidents.

Lorenzo has won seven of the 15 races, compared with four for Pedrosa and two for Rossi, been on the podium 13 times and is the only rider to finish every single race.

"This is my first title in the premier category and my dream has come true!" said Lorenzo, who is Spain's second ever 500cc/MotoGP champion, after Alex Criville in 1999.

"This is really the maximum a motorcycle rider can achieve in his career so we have to celebrate and enjoy these hours, minutes and seconds like it's the end of the world.

"You imagine this moment in your head your whole life but when it comes you don't know how to act or what to say. I am trying to be relaxed, to speak clearly and not say anything crazy!

"I'm so tired right now; I just need to be alone in a room for a few minutes, just thinking about what I've done!

"Motorcycling is my passion and my job but it's also a game, and this is what I was saying when I held up the sign saying 'game over.' Today it's over for this season because I am the World Champion!

"I don't think about the future now, I just want to celebrate my first MotoGP title and I can't think beyond this night. The future will be tough and exciting, with giants for my rivals, but we don't need to think about that now, we can just enjoy the moment.

"We have come such a long way; some things happen very slowly in your career and some very fast.

"When I started in the World Championship I was almost last in the 125 class but in only eight years I have become MotoGP World Champion. It's incredible how life can change.

"We have fought so hard for this. I've been fortunate because I've had good luck, good bikes and good teams. I've always been surrounded by people who want to best for me and I am very grateful for this.

"The pre-season didn't start so well with my broken finger but in the end it's been a fantastic year.

"If I had to pick the three best races I would say the number one was Jerez, because it was the first time I won there in MotoGP and it's maybe the best place to win a race. Plus I enjoyed my jump in the lake!

"Silverstone was maybe the best race I made, because I was aggressive and fast. Then finally here, not for the riding but for the importance and the World Championship.

"I don't know yet if I will use the number 1 next season. If I can think of a good design then yes, if not I stick with 99!

"World Champion - it sounds unbelievable to hear these words, it is such a pleasure, you feel like you're king of the world. We will enjoy this night to the maximum."

Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg only joined the MotoGP paddock this season, after previously guiding Cal Crutchlow to World Supersport title success in 2009.

"This is a wonderful day for our team and I can't believe what an amazing first year I have had with Jorge in MotoGP!" he admitted. "Jorge has proven over and over that he is a winner and our tactics this season - to always go for the podium - have paid off and here we are, World Champions!"

Lorenzo has re-signed to stay at Yamaha for the next two seasons, wile Rossi - who won his second race of the year on Sunday - will head for Ducati and be replaced by Ben Spies.

The future of Yamaha's Masao Furusawa is less clear.

The 'Executive Officer, Engineering Operations' has been in charge of the factory's MotoGP project since 2003, but will soon reach retirement age and a change of role is expected.

"As a member of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, I am very proud to have had the pleasure of watching Jorge progress from Rookie of the Year in 2008, when he first moved up to MotoGP, to finishing second in the 2009 series to now becoming the 2010 MotoGP World Champion," said Furusawa.

"In Japan last week Jorge signed a new two-year contract that will see him continue to ride for Yamaha in 2011 and 2012, and we hope to see him win the championship again in the two years to come."

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, will be staying to oversee the start of the post-Rossi era. The Englishman

"Firstly let me say it gave me great satisfaction today to see a young athlete achieve his dream! I would like to congratulate Jorge on his excellent season, resulting in him winning his first MotoGP World Champion title," he said.

"Today was a super result for the Fiat Yamaha Team, with Valentino winning the race and Jorge coming home safely in third spot, giving us two important victories at the same moment. The points haul today is also very important for the Team and Manufacturer Championships.

"Now that the first, and most important, title is ours we will try our best to win the next three races and hopefully in the process the Manufacturer and Team titles to complete another 'triple crown' year."