Motorcycling: Rossi does enough to clinch world title

Valentino Rossi clinched the ninth world title of his career, by finishing third in yesterday's FIM MotoGP race in soggy Sepang behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner's second successive race victory was achieved with a yawning gap of 14.66 seconds back to Pedrosa. Yet it was Rossi's achievement which dominated, as he duly defended the crown he won last year.

Torrential rain caused a 35-minute delay and left behind a saturated track, on which Jorge Lorenzo was relegated from second to the back of the grid after a technical problem on the sighting lap.

The Spaniard nonetheless surged past Rossi, who started on pole but quickly dropped back to 10th. Lorenzo was eventually to finish fourth, just behind the Italian.

As the Australian former champion Stoner began to grind out a huge advantage – four seconds in front after only two laps – Nicky Hayden, Lorenzo and Rossi jockeyed for position behind.

Before mid-race, Stoner was 15 seconds ahead of the pack, with Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso engaged in a duel for second until the latter slid off on lap 14, a victim of the greasy Malaysian conditions.

Rossi was therefore up to third and although he could never get to Pedrosa, he had done enough. Having comfortably ensured the title was his again, Rossi engaged in typically eccentric and flamboyant celebrations – involving a chicken, suitably dressed in the Fiat Yamaha rider's blue and yellow colours – and was congratulated by his nearest rival, and team-mate, Lorenzo.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards and James Toseland both struggled, finishing 13th and 15th respectively. Briton Toseland was taking part in his last MotoGP race before returning to World Superbikes next year.

Rossi hailed his own "great achievement" and explained how the weather almost scuppered his race.

"Today it went a bit like how the season has gone – because we were so fast on the dry tyres but right before the start of the race it started to rain," he said. "We had to go out on the track without any wet setting."

In the end, though, it made no difference to the 30-year-old. "It's a great achievement – and for me it's the ninth championship, the seventh in MotoGP," Rossi added.

"I have to thank all the guys from Yamaha, who are great, and all the Fiat Yamaha team, from Jeremy [Burgess, chief mechanic] and all the mechanics to all the guys that work for me, and all my friends – all the people that helped me with this great achievement."

*The British teenager Bradley Smith clinched second place in this year's 125cc world championship by finishing runner-up in Sepang after a protracted duel with title-holder and Bancaja Aspar team-mate Julian Simon, who won his sixth race of the season.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore