Valentino Rossi crowned MotoGP world champion
Stoner's victory, the fourth of the season, marked his return to form and fitness, but the day belonged to the irrepressible Rossi, who had shrugged aside the frustrations of a delayed start after a torrential downpour had soaked the Sepang circuit.
"When the rain came it was scary for everyone because all the work we'd done was then useless and we were riding 'blind' with the settings of the bike," said Rossi, who went into the race needing only a top-four finish to take the title, irrespective of what his Yamaha team-mate and only rival Jorge Lorenzo did.
A first-corner error by Rossi dropped him to eighth and then as he powered back he was out of the seat momentarily after taking fourth place from Lorenzo but then he settled, inheriting third in the closing stages as Andrea Dovizioso fell.
"It's great to be World Champion again, I am very proud to have done it," Rossi enthused .
"This season has been very hard and Lorenzo especially has pushed me to new limits, but I think it's been a great duel for everyone to watch.
"I have won six races and been consistent so for me this is a great emotion, a great achievement," added Rossi, who amused himself by celebrating with a toy chicken and egg as he stopped on his slowdown lap to be greeted by his fans.
My celebration was because in Italy we say an old chicken makes good soup but can no longer lay eggs. I am like the old chicken – 30 years now – but I have made another egg. That's nine," he explained as he savoured his seventh title success in the premier series and his ninth in total.
Oxford rider Bradley Smith finished second to his title-winning team-mate Julian Simon in the 125cc Malaysian Grand Prix to secure runner-up spot in that World Championship while in Portugal, at the Portimao circuit, Yamaha's Ben Spies took the World Superbike crown.
Spies won the first race - in which his title rival Noriyuki Haga crashed - and finished fifth next time out to claim the title by six points from Haga, who finished that race second to his Ducati team-mate Michel Fabrizio.
Coventry rider Cal Crutchlow took the World Supersport title with a fourth place in a race won by Ulsterman Eugene Laverty while Londoner Gino Rea, finishing third, took the European Superstock 600 title.
Friday, December 18, 2009
at 5:04 AM ·
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- The Birth of the Hockey World Cup
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- Valentino Rossi crowned MotoGP world champion
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