MotoGP Valencia Race Results & Full Report: Lorenzo Wins at Home, Rossi Kisses Yamaha Goodbye

What Happens When the Results Belie the Race

8:54am EST — Jorge Lorenzo won the final grand prix of the 2010 season in convincing fashion, after dropping down the grid on the start, fighting off soon to be former teammate Valentino Rossi, and hunting down pole sitter and race leader Casey Stoner.  Stoner, Rossi, Ben Spies, and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top five, with the latter two having a spirited battle that included sixth-place finisher Marco Simoncelli (who was positioned on the podium for a portion of the race) over that fourth position.  Nicky Hayden crashed out due to, his admitted rider error, while trying to hunt down his one soon to be former teammate Stoner for the lead.  While Lorenzo was planting the Spanish flag in a Valencian gravel trap, Rossi had parked his Yamaha against the Armco to kiss it goodbye.

Stoner won pole during Saturday’s qualifying, holding off Lorenzo as he had done in most of the practice sessions.  It was a relatively uneventful qualifying, with Stoner keeping the pole through the final five minutes after the two had traded it back and forth.  Simoncelli will start third, in the position he held much of the session, with a surprise final run catapulting Rossi from eleventh to fourth.  Hayden, Spies (with an injured ankle), and Edwards will have an American conference on the grid, starting fifth through seventh.  Pedrosa, still recovering from his collarbone, was fifth fastest for a good portion of qualifying, but will start eighth.  Hayden had a good run during the Sunday morning warm-up, beating both Lorenzo and Stoner to be fastest.  Pedrosa and Edwards completed the morning’s fastest five, with Rossi and Spies eighth and ninth, respectively.

The sun was shining brightly as the riders got away cleanly at Valencia, Stoner leading into the first turn, followed by Lorenzo, and Hayden around many bike for third, Pedrosa rammed his way up to send by the third turn, as Rossi dropped back to ninth.  Hayden and Pedrosa had a skirmish over second, but Hayden was just behind his teammate by the end of the first lap.  They were followed by Pedrosa, Simoncelli, Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Spies, Rossi, Melandri, and Barbera.  Lorenzo and Simoncelli were really fighting over fourth, with Simoncelli keeping the position over the man with the shiny helmet.  In the fighting, they touched and Lorenzo nearly went down in the final turn after attempting a move that was too tight to attempt.  Meanwhile, Hayden and Pedrosa were also fighting, which left Hayden kicking the gravel in anger after crashing out from trying to hard to catch Stoner, according to the rider later.  Just three laps in, Stoner led Pedrosa by .724, with Simoncelli, Rossi, Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Spies, Barbera, and Espargaro as the top ten.  Continue reading

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MotoGP Valencia Quali Results & Full Report: Stoner Wins Pole, Lorenzo Challenges, Rossi Miraculously to Start 4th

What Happens When It’s the Lorenzo/Stoner, Stoner/Lorenzo Show

10:01am EST — Casey Stoner won pole for the 2010 Grand Prix of Valencia, holding off Jorge Lorenzo as he had done in most of the practice sessions.  It was a relatively uneventful qualifying, with Stoner keeping the pole through the final five mintes after the two had traded it back and forth.  Marco Simoncelli will start third, in the position he held much of the session, with a surprise final run catapulting Rossi from eleventh to fourth.  Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies (with an injured ankle), and Colin Edwards will have an American conference on the grid, starting fifth through seventh.  Dani Pedrosa, still recovering from his collarbone, was fifth fastest for a good portion of qualifying, but will start eighth.

Stoner and Lorenzo traded fastest times in the three practice sessions at Valencia, with Stoner’s 1:32.664 the fastest of all on Saturday morning.  Stoner was fastest over Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, and Rossi by over a half second on the new champion on Friday morning.  Friday afternoon, Stoner ceded control to Lorenzo, as the younger rider was fastest early in the session and unable to be caught by the fastest five behind him: Stoner, Edwards, Simoncelli, and Dovizioso.  Saturday morning, Stoner led again, this time by just under three tenths, over a still recovering Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Simoncelli, and Spies, also recovering, from a dislocated ankle suffered at Estoril.  Rossi was ninth and tenth fastest in the final two practices.

de Puniet took an early lead in the forty-five minutes of qualifying, followed by Hayden, Rossi, Melandri, and Checa just five minutes into the session.  Stoner soon took that away from the Frenchman, as did Melandri and Rossi.  By his third lap, Lorenzo was second fastest, following Stoner’s 1:32.666 time.  Then the Australian took a small detour through the gravel.  Ten minutes into qualifying, Stoner, Lorenzo, Hayden, Simoncelli, and Rossi were the fastest five, though Simoncelli and Hayden would quickly switch places.  Pedrosa then displaced Rossi for fifth fastest.  With a half hour still to go, Stoner led Lorenzo, Simoncelli, Hayden, Pedrosa, Rossi, Melandri, de Puniet, Edwards, and Dovizioso as the top ten.  Continue reading