Lorenzo Finishes 2nd Overall In MotoGP 2009

0918_R17_Lorenzo_podium

The drama started before the race had even commenced, as pole position holder Casey Stoner’s high-side crash on the warm-up lap meant he was unable to take his place on the grid. Jorge Lorenzo, who did well to hold onto his bike when a moment on the opening lap almost threw him off, was third, having already sealed second spot in the Championship by virtue of Stoner’s non-start. The Australian ended the season in fourth place overall, with Colin Edwards’ fourth place in the race allowing him to snatch fifth in the 2009 standings from Andrea Dovizioso. The top five on the day was completed by Nicky Hayden, Wildcard rider Ben Spies rode to an impressive seventh-placed finish.

Nicky Hayden, 5th
“I thought it might be possible to do a little better than that today but I didn’t get the best start. The clutch was slipping a little bit down the first couple of straightaways and I lost some positions. After that I managed to pull myself up again and from there it was a case of doing my best to try and bridge the gap to Colin (Edwards). The bike was working quite well but every time I closed a tenth or two he had an answer and pulled it back out. Towards the end I had some issues in a couple of left-handers and my pace dropped too much. Anyway, I had an enjoyable race, going back and forth with a few guys at the beginning especially. It’s not a spectacular result but we’ve end the season with two top fives and we know we have a direction to work in over the winter. It hasn’t been a great season for me in terms of results but the improvements we have made since the start are huge and I’m excited about the future. We’re thirteenth overall, which looks awful on paper, but we are only eleven points off seventh and I had three first-lap incidents that weren’t my fault – just one of those could have made the difference. Next season starts tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back to work! There will be some changes in the team and a few guys leaving who I will miss. I want to thank them because even though it’s on old saying it really is true that Ducati is like a family. All I can say is good luck to them and I’m looking forward to welcoming the new guys in."

Ben Spies, 7th
“It was pretty good. I actually got a better start than I expected but in the first few laps I got shuffled around and bullied a little bit. I guessed that would be the case as I haven’t figured out how to get comfortable quickly on the tyres. Eventually I slowly picked off some people with some smart passes, as I didn’t want to mess up anyone else’s championship position and I wanted to be clean, but still ride as hard as I could.”

He continued, “I saw Dovizioso and then I was thinking about him and Colin (Edwards) and their battle and I managed to get past him. Then I kept my head down and tried to keep the laps fast and I recorded my best time on the last lap, so it was good. I didn’t do anything stupid and stack it up, it was a good weekend and we got a top ten.”

“This result is like winning a World Superbike race for me in terms of the amount of satisfaction it has given me. These are the fastest guys in the world,”

Casey Stoner DNF
“Obviously this is a frustrating and disappointing way to finish the season. There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout the year and we have ended on a low, but with another lesson learnt for next season,” said Stoner.

“We have had this strategy for two years, but the only risk is that the tyres are colder than they should be for the “warm-up lap”. We obviously need to change this for the future and make sure there is enough temperature in the tyre. We had not had a problem until today so I guess it is better it happened here than in the first race of next season in Qatar! The important thing is that after back-to-back wins in Australia and Malaysia we have shown our pace here at Valencia and we know we have everything in place to be competitive next season if we do the job right over the winter. Now I am looking forward to working on the bike over the next three days and then spending a couple of months building up my physical fitness, which I haven’t been able to dedicate myself 100% to for such a long time.”

Final 2009 World Championship Standing:

V.Rossi ITA

J.Lorenzo SPA Oakley

D.Pedrosa SPA

C.Stoner AUS Oakley

C.Edwards USA