MotoGP Sepang Results & Full Race Report: Rossi Charges Through for Victory, Lorenzo Wins Championship in 3rd

What Happens When It’s Time to hand Over the Crown, but Not the Win

4:48am EST — Valentino Rossi gave a masterclass on winning from well behind for the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, going from eleventh on the first lap to the win, but it was third-place finisher Jorge Lorenzo who would get all the glory for winning his first MotoGP world championship.  Andrea Dovizioso finished second after a spirited battle with both Fiat Yamaha teammates while Ben Spies and Alvaro Bautista completed the top five.  Near pole-winner Nicky Hayden dropped back, but finished sixth.

Lorenzo fought off a late charge from Hayden to secure pole in Saturday qualifying for the race likely to win him the 2010 MotoGP World Championship.  The American had pole in the final minute, but lost it by a tenth to the Spaniard.  Dovizioso, Spies, and Stoner rounded out the top five starters for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Rossi just edged out in sixth at the end by Stoner. Dani Pedrosa neither qualified nor raced after his Japanese accident left him revocering in Spain from surgery to a broken collarbone.

It was a scorching hot, humid, and overcast late afternoon as the race got underway with Lorenzo leading Dovizioso, Hayden, Spies, Somoncelli, Edwards, Capirossi, Melandri, Rossi, and Bautista as the top ten at the end of the first lap.  Dovizioso was not allowing Lorenzo to get too far away, though the Spaniard needed only to finish ninth to clinch the championship.  Rossi got a bad start and worse first lap, dropping briefly to eleventh before moving back up to ninth.  Stoner, who was well out-qualified by teammate Hayden fell off on the first lap.  Hayden himself had fallen behind the charging Lorenzo and Dovizioso, nearly a second and a half behind by the end of the second lap, though he had a gap of three tenths to Simondelli, gaining time as he fought with Spies for fourth.  The next lap, though, was all about Rossi, who charged up to fourth, passing Spies and Hayden after Simoncelli picked them off.  Lorenzo still had only about a tenth on Dovizioso, but the rest of the race involved some serious fighting, with Rossi next overtaking Simoncelli for the final podium position.  He was two seconds behind Lorenzo and Dovizioso after the pass, though.  Continue reading