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Rossi ends losing streak at Sepang, Lorenzo champion
10 October 2010
Valentino Rossi ended his longest losing streak in the premier-class in style with an 11th-to-1st charge in Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP, handing him his 46th victory for Yamaha.
Meanwhile, a safe third place for Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was more than enough to win the world championship (see separate story).
Lorenzo led from pole at Sepang until being passed by Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso on lap 9 of 20.
Rossi, who had qualified sixth, got a nightmare start and was only eleventh after the first few turns - but had sliced through the field to third, less than one second from Lorenzo, by the time Dovi took the lead.
The Italian superstar then took second place from Lorenzo on the brakes into turn nine, a move he repeated on Dovizioso on the following lap.
Dovizioso stuck with Rossi, and briefly retook the lead on lap 16. But Rossi - who broke his leg at round four and has been without a win since round one - wasn't to be denied and held on for victory in round 15 by just 0.224sec from the RCV rider.
Lorenzo - who only needed ninth place - maintained a healthy pace, before backing off in the closing stages to ensure his first premier-class title.
Dani Pedrosa, the only rider that could still beat Lorenzo to the championship, was not present this weekend after fracturing his collarbone at Motegi.
Another 2010 race winner failing to score points on Sunday was Casey Stoner. The Ducati rider, winner of the last two races, fell from third place at the hairpin at the end of the first lap.
Ben Spies took fourth place for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, while fellow rookie Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) won a thrilling four-way fight for fifth against Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda) and Marco Simoncelli (Gresini Honda).
Bautista was the only GSV-R rider to finish with inured team-mate Loris Capirossi stopping out on track with technical problems. Colin Edwards and Aleix Espargaro joined Capirossi and Stoner in failing to reach the flag.
Pedrosa hopes to return to action next weekend in Australia.
Malaysian Grand Prix:
10. de Puniet
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