Lorenzo seals MotoGP world title in Valencia epic

Speedcafe.com

Monday 9th November, 2015 - 1:17am

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Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his third MotoGP world championship by hanging on to record victory in a tense final round at Valencia.

Lorenzo held his nerve under immense pressure to take the win and the crown as title rival Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on the championship despite an admirable ride from the back of the grid to fourth.

The factory Yamaha rider was never allowed to relax with the Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa hunting the Spaniard, before settling for second and third at the flag.

Lorenzo’s victory saw him overturn Rossi’s seven point championship lead to become only the third rider to turn around a points deficit to win the championship in a title decider.

Hampered by the grid penalty for the Sepang clash with Marquez, Rossi fell just five points shy of securing a stunning 10th world championship.

“There was a lot of pressure and the rear tyre was destroyed,” said Lorenzo, the 2010, 2012 and 2015 MotoGP world champion.

“To be honest I didn’t see any (lap) boards to see how many laps were left.

“I tried to focus myself, keep my concentration and pray to finish the race.

“I’m very proud, this is a world title for Spain.”

Lorenzo put himself in the box seat to lift the championship after a perfect start from pole position as the Hondas of Marquez and Pedrosa slotted in behind.

All eyes were on the progress of Rossi from the back of the grid as the Italian scythed his way through the field in the opening laps.

By lap 12 the 36-year-old had surged into fourth spot after a series of pressure overtakes.

While Rossi was fighting through the field, the top three had broken away at the front which ultimately ended the Yamaha rider’s world title hopes.

A late charge from Marquez and Pedrosa did put the title back in the balance but Lorenzo did just enough to fend off the pair to take the win and the championship.

Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro emerged as the best of the rest in fifth ahead of team-mate Bradley Smith and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro was eighth while Cal Crutchlow finished ninth after a mechanical issue saw him start from the back of the grid.

Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci rounded out the top 10.

Meanwhile, Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden bowed out of his final MotoGP race in 17th position.

Australia’s Jack Miller ended his maiden premier class season in 21st ahead of fellow countryman Anthony West in 22nd, while Broc Parkes retired with nine laps remaining.

Result: MotoGP Grand Prix of Valencia 

Positi Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 30
2 Marc Márquez Honda 30 +0.263s
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda 30 +0.654s
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 30 +19.789s
5 Pol Espargaró Tech 3 Yamaha 30 +26.004s
6 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 30 +28.835s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 30 +28.886s
8 Aleix Espargaró Suzuki 30 +34.222s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 30 +35.924s
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 30 +39.579s
11 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 30 +39.746s
12 Michele Pirro Ducati 30 +47.053s
13 Yonny Hernández Pramac Ducati 30 +54.081s
14 Álvaro Bautista Gresini Aprilia 30 +56.646s
15 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 30 +57.278s
16 Héctor Barberá Avintia Ducati 30 +57.363s
17 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 30 +58.742s
18 Stefan Bradl Gresini Aprilia 30 +59.086s
19 Loris Baz Forward Yamaha 30 +1:04.339s
20 Toni Elías Forward Yamaha 30 +1:04.413s
21 Jack Miller LCR Honda 30 +1:05.212s
22 Anthony West AB Honda 30 +1:27.281s
DNF Mike Di Meglio Avintia Ducati 24 Retirement
DNF Eugene Laverty Honda 23 Retirement
DNF Broc Parkes ART/Aprilia 21 Retirement
DNF Andrea Iannone Ducati 2 Retirement

Championship Standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Jorge Lorenzo 330
2 Valentino Rossi 325
3 Marc Márquez 242
4 Daniel Pedrosa 206
5 Andrea Iannone 188
6 Bradley Smith 181
7 Andrea Dovizioso 162
8 Cal Crutchlow 125
9 Pol Espargaró 114
10 Danilo Petrucci 113
11 Aleix Espargaró 105
12 Maverick Viñales 97
13 Scott Redding 84
14 Yonny Hernández 56
15 Héctor Barberá 33
16 Álvaro Bautista 31
17 Loris Baz 28
18 Stefan Bradl 17
19 Jack Miller 17
20 Nicky Hayden 16
21 Michele Pirro 12
22 Eugene Laverty 9
23 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 8
24 Mike Di Meglio 8
25 Hiroshi Aoyama 5
26 Takumi Takahashi 4
27 Toni Elías 2
28 Alex de Angelis 2