Rossi takes ninth win of season, Pedrosa second in Sepang Bridgestone-shod Valentino Rossi has claimed victory in this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix to take the ninth win of his championship-winning season. The Yamaha rider...
Rossi takes ninth win of season, Pedrosa second in Sepang
Bridgestone-shod Valentino Rossi has claimed victory in this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix to take the ninth win of his championship-winning season. The Yamaha rider took the lead from Honda's Dani Pedrosa at the halfway point of the race and continued to build an unassailable lead up to the chequered flag. The win represents the 14th win on Bridgestone tyres in the 17 races held so far this year with just the Valencia GP remaining next week.
Pole sitter Pedrosa led into the first corner and fended off Rossi for 11 laps before settling into a comfortable second place where he ultimately finished the 21-lap race. Second marks a one place improvement over Pedrosa's previous best on Bridgestone tyres, a third place in Japan three weeks ago, in only his fourth race running with Bridgestone. Fellow Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the podium in third place just over four seconds behind Pedrosa.
Honda Gresini's Shinya Nakano repeated his strong fifth-placed finish from Australia a fortnight ago with another spirited ride in Sepang. Starting from 15th on the grid, the Japanese rider was up to sixth place on the first lap and eventually made his way up to fifth spot, right on the back of the podium battle. Ducati's Casey Stoner was sixth and cemented second place in the championship. Suzuki duo Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen both scored top ten results in seventh and ninth places respectively, keeping them both solidly in the top ten of the world championship.
Tyre longevity is always crucial in Sepang's extreme heat with ambient temperatures nudging 40 degrees Celsius and track temperatures well over 50 today, so it was a tough race for all riders and consistency over the grueling race distance proved a key factor. Rossi set fifteen of his 21 race laps under the 2m03s mark with his best lap, 2m02.249s the fastest of the race, albeit just over a tenth-of-a-second off the existing race lap record, set in last year's race by Casey Stoner.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"Well done to Valentino for another great win today and also to Dani for taking his best result so far on Bridgestone tyres. I am pleased with the overall result today with another 1-2 and our third win in Malaysia in the last four years. Shinya also had another great ride today repeating his fifth place from Australia, while Casey finished just a bit further back in sixth. Although sixth is not where he would want to finish the race, we are nevertheless happy to see him secure his second place in the championship. This race is always very tough on riders and teams considering the intense heat, so we are thankful to everyone for their support this weekend. We have had to mount a lot of different tyres this weekend due to the changeable weather conditions and our fitting crew did a great job in these difficult circumstances."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Race Tyre Development
"The performance of our tyres has been quite good in this afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix, especially in the heat that we have experienced. Generally, the range of tyres that was used was reasonably consistent over the race distance, which is a particularly important factor at this race. Valentino and Dani set some very impressive lap times in the first half of the race and it was this period that helped them break away from the rest of the group. However, there was some slight drop off in performance towards the end of the race, but that seemed to be the case for everybody. I think we can be reasonably satisfied with today's results after another demanding Malaysian weekend."
Valentino Rossi - Yamaha - Race Winner and 2008 World Champion
"I'm pleased with this victory because we worked strongly on our M1 during the winter here in Sepang. We knew we had a great potential because I like the track and the bike is suitable for these types of corner. It was a very tough race because the temperature was incredible. So it was a long, long race already after five or six laps. I had a good start at the beginning and was involved in a hard battle with Dani, but after half of the race I got in front. I knew I had a good pace and I made ten laps in front alone. This track is enjoyable but difficult, so I'm happy to take my ninth victory of the season. We now head to Valencia where we aim for another good result."
Weather: Dry - Air 36C, Track 55C (Bridgestone measurement)