MotoGP Malaysia: Two Races Left, Only One Really Matters

What Happens When Bad Luck is the Only Thing to Worry About

12:51pm EST — While the mathematics that would be required to determine just how Jorge Lorenzo could win the 2009 MotoGP championship are too many to discuss, the likelihood of him doing so is difficult to imagine.  Even if Lorenzo wins, his teammate need only finish the race fourth or higher to clinch the championship with one race to go, or two if this weekend is counted.  Still, this weekend’s race in Malaysia is important, if only because Valentino Rossi has proved this season he is not immortal.  Whilst taking his 100th GP victory and dominating in races such as Misano this season, Rossi also crashed out memorably and occasionally struggled to find pace with Lorenzo working hard on the other side of the wall.

Of those racing this weekend in Malaysia, Rossi has been the dominant winner (five times in the past eight years) at the Sepang Circuit in the premier class, with only Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi also having won once each.  Capirossi will not have the bike to challenge the front-runners this weekend.  With Stoner fit, having returned at the top of his form and prepared to make his doubters look foolish, Rossi may not win this weekend, but he does not have to do so.  Even Lorenzo has publicly given up on the title, “We don’t think about the championship now; my target is to confirm the second place in the championship and, in just my second season in MotoGP, I think that this is a great achievement and I will be happy if I can do it.”  Expect next season to be an interesting one, with a bit more maturity from Lorenzo, and a redoubled effort from the current (and possibly future) champion.  The only questions left are where Stoner and Dani Pedrosa fit into the picture.


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