Chinese GP: Fiat Yamaha race report

Perfect ride in China sees Rossi to top of the podium Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi took an impressive victory in Shanghai today, his second at the circuit having won the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix with Yamaha in 2005. It was Rossi's...

Perfect ride in China sees Rossi to top of the podium

Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi took an impressive victory in Shanghai today, his second at the circuit having won the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix with Yamaha in 2005. It was Rossi's 89th career victory but his first in seven races, since Estoril last year, as well as his first on Bridgestone tyres.

Rossi had looked strong from Friday morning and he was clearly in good shape for the race, but after two days of high temperatures and sunshine, heavy rain throughout the morning threatened to turn the established order on its head. The rain ceased in the late morning however and the track began to dry out with the aid of a warm wind, meaning the race was finally declared dry. Starting from second on the grid behind Colin Edwards, Rossi crossed the line first time in fourth but had made it back to second by the end of the third lap, passing Casey Stoner and pole-sitter Colin Edwards in the process. His next target was Dani Pedrosa and he made his move on the Spaniard at the end of the back straight to take the lead. From then on the Italian led to the chequered flag but it was nail-bitingly close for the majority of the remaining 17 laps, with less than half a second between them and the pair the only two lapping consistently in the 1'59s. On lap 19 Pedrosa began to tail off and Rossi eventually took victory by 3.890 seconds, with Casey Stoner over 15 seconds back in third.

The other side of the garage had an almost equally happy day as Jorge Lorenzo shook off the pain from his fractured ankle to take a brave fourth place, something that was unimaginable after his crash on Friday morning. Rossi is the fourth different rider to win in four races this season and the championship is wide open, with Lorenzo seven points off Pedrosa in second and Rossi just two points behind him in third.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1 Time: 44'08.061

"After seven races it is a great feeling to win again; I am very happy! This is a very important result for us because above all I was able to ride exactly how I wanted from start to finish and this was great fun for me. I had a great battle with Pedrosa and he pushed me hard and to be doing 1'59s until the end was unbelievable! All weekend we were hoping the rain wouldn't come so when we saw it this morning we were quite disappointed, then it started to dry out so we were praying that it would dry completely; we were lucky today! We worked very well with Bridgestone and together with their technicians we made a late tyre change and it was the right choice because my tyre worked very well until the end, as my times showed! It's the first win for us with Bridgestone so this is a great moment also for this reason and I want to say thank you to them. We were fast from Friday morning here and step by step we've found the perfect set-up and today the hard work paid off for everyone. We've had four races and four different winners so this shows how close the championship is, now we need to keep going because our rivals are all very near. Lorenzo did a great race today with his injuries, so this is a good day for everyone in the team. Thank you to my team and everyone at Yamaha, it's great to be here again."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"We needed this! It's a fantastic feeling for everyone to win again and Valentino did a perfect job today. There are many good things about this particular win; it's the first with Bridgestone, the first for a long time and also it's put us right back in touch for the championship after a poor start in Qatar. It's important that we continue like this but everyone has a great motivation and confidence is running high in our garage. Congratulations to Jorge for a great result in his condition, it's just the fourth race but our team is in good shape!"

Jorge Lorenzo, the Fiat Yamaha Team's outstanding rookie, shook off the injuries he suffered in his crash on Friday to take a superb fourth place in China today on his 21st birthday. After fracturing his left ankle and badly bruising parts of his right leg, it was easy to forget that the Spaniard had also undergone surgery on his right arm less than a fortnight ago, leaving him to contest today's race with only one limb in full working order!

With the weather turning bad today it was a nervous morning for the riders but it gradually dried out throughout the middle of the day and the 22-lap race was run in the dry. Lorenzo started from fourth but the early part of the race was a trial of endurance for the Michelin-shod rider as he slipped back through the field to as low as 9th at one stage. He then settled in 8th for seven laps before suddenly finding his rhythm on lap 12 and going on to pass four riders in as many laps.With Casey Stoner some way in front of him, fourth was as far as he could go but it was a brilliant result for the youngest rider on the grid after what has been one of the most difficult weekends of his career.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 4 Time: +0'22.494

"Without a doubt, this result today is like a victory for me. On Friday I couldn't imagine being able to ride, then yesterday it was a little bit better and then finally today I was not able just to ride, but to be competitive and enjoy myself as well! I've ridden with a lot of pain in both legs but the staff of the Clinica Mobile made it possible for me to keep going, so I want to thank them. I lost a lot of places early on but in the second half of the race I found my rhythm and then step by step I started to move forwards; in fact I think I made more overtakes than in any race so far in this category! I stalled the engine on the start line for the warm-up lap, which was a scary moment, but luckily I was able to restart and it wasn't a problem. I want to say congratulations to Valentino for a great victory today as well, I think it's going to be an exciting year. I didn't have any pain in my arms today so hopefully the recent operation has been a success. Now I'm flying back to Barcelona to have treatment on my ankles and I will do everything I can to be back to my physical best in Le Mans. I want to thank Michelin, because my tyres were very good today, as well as Yamaha and all of my guys. I've had a great 21st birthday!"

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"Jorge did an incredible job today, I don't think that anyone expected him to do this well after what happened on Friday and in his current physical condition. We were luckily able to find a good set-up very quickly despite missing out on the first day, and overall I think that we can be very happy with a job well done. We found a good tyre with Michelin and it seems that Jorge was able to find a good rhythm. Thank you to the staff of the Clinica Mobile because they played a huge part in enabling Jorge to ride like this. Congratulations to Valentino for his win, I hope that we can all keep going strongly!"

Masahiko Nakajima - Team Director

"We've waited a long time to get back to winning ways! All of the Yamaha staff are very happy to win again with Valentino and I want to share this moment with Valentino's fans around the world! It's been a tough weekend and it was a big battle with Pedrosa, but it was an exciting and impressive race. I really want to congratulate Valentino and now we want to continue to improve the bike for the championship fight. We've done a great job with Bridgestone this weekend and we really appreciate their work, they helped us to win today!

"For Jorge it was a very tough weekend but he tried his best throughout to ride the bike and the team staff did an excellent job to make a bike which could be ridden by such an injured rider. It was very good team-work and an amazing result today. It was a hard, hard race for him but he showed how strong he is. Michelin provided us with good tyres, both for qualifying and the race, and I am very happy for all of our staff and look forward to the next race."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Davide Brivio , Dani Pedrosa