Yamaha 1-2 at 2009 MotoGP Catalunya
Rossi edges out Lorenzo in Catalan thriller.
2009 MotoGP Catalunya
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo dominated a thrilling 2009 Catalan Grand Prix today, both delivering a near flawless performance from start to finish at Montmeló in front of a packed house. It was the reigning World Champion Rossi who emerged the winner, taking his 99th career victory after a stunning last-corner pass on 22-year-old Lorenzo, but the Fiat Yamaha pair were only separated by under one hundredth of a second after 25 laps.
After running at a near identical pace all weekend it always looked like being a head-to-head between them and they set off in grid order with Lorenzo leading from Rossi and Casey Stoner. Rossi made his first move at the end of the straight on lap four and passed Lorenzo into turn one, but all three remained within half a second of each other until four laps later, when the Yamaha duo began to pull away from an ill and fading Stoner, quickly opening out a second’s gap and leaving the rest of the field trailing in their wake. With just a couple of tenths between them there was no margin for error but at the end of the back straight on lap thirteen Lorenzo saw a way through and passed his team-mate to take the lead.
They continued wheel to wheel until Rossi made another move ten laps later, but the race still wasn’t over and there were several more nail biting changes of lead between them before Lorenzo looked to have it sewn-up half way round the final lap. The eight-time champion wasnt done yet, and edged his machine through in an inch-perfect last corner challenge to take his ninth win at this track.
With Stoner finishing third, all three podium finishers now have 106 points apiece after six races, meaning something of a championship restart for them at the Dutch TT in Assen on July 27th 2009, a favourite track for both Rossi and Lorenzo.
1st Valentino Rossi – Yamaha:
“As we say in Italy, “Mamma Mia!” I think I can honestly say that this was one of the best and hardest wins of my career. Maybe Laguna last year was more important but this was a great, great victory because it went to the very last corner and it’s a long time since that has happened. I have dreamed about that move for the last two weeks and today it worked and I am so happy to have this 99th win.
We did a perfect job all weekend and my M1 and Bridgestone tyres were brilliant, but we knew that Lorenzo was in the same situation and for sure he was very strong today. I had to be very brave and take it right to the limit in order to beat him. This victory today is more important than the 25 points and anyway now we all have the same, what a championship this is! As well as thanking my team, I especially want to dedicate this win to my Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess because his mother sadly died yesterday.
I have to say thank you to her and to him because without him, for sure, I would never have arrived at 99 wins. Now I am going to go to sleep for quite a long time because I need to recover from this excitement!
2nd Jorge Lorenzo- Yamaha:
“This was an incredible battle today and a brilliant show for everyone, I am happy to have been a part of it. Of course I am sad to have lost because I put my heart on my bike and in my career I am more used to winning these last-lap fights, but today Valentino was maybe a little bit cleverer or a little bit braver than me at the very end and he was able to beat me.
In fact during that last lap, after I passed him, I expected him to pass me back on the brakes much earlier but he didn’t come, and then I just didn’t close the line enough on the final corner and that was it. I am proud however because I am young and I still have a lot to learn in this class. My team have worked so well all weekend so thanks to them, if we can continue as strongly as this all season then who knows what can happen?”
3rd Casey Stoner – Ducati:
“I haven’t felt in great shape all weekend – I wasn’t ill but I wasn’t quite myself. Then last night I couldn’t sleep, I probably got a couple of hours at the most, and after just a couple of laps this morning I was destroyed. I decided to race myself, basically, and bring home as many points as I could manage but my bike was fantastic and that is why I was able to ride it to a really valuable podium.
The team did a perfect job after the warm-up and if I wasn’t so ill, I think I could have stayed with Valentino and Jorge until the end, although I’m not saying I could have beaten them. I started to suffer from really strong cramps and I could barely ride – I was falling over the front of the bike in the hard-braking areas and I was struggling to keep my concentration. I thought about stopping but decided to just back off for a while and try to hang on for a top ten. The bike was so good that I was able to keep up a decent pace and hold off Dovizioso.
Tonight I’ll try to get plenty of rest and recover my strength for the test tomorrow because this is an important period in the championship and we need to test. After that it’s Assen and I’m already looking forward to it.”
Results 2009 Catalunya MotoGP:
1 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 43’11.897
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 43’11.992 0.095
3 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 43’20.781 8.884
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 43’20.833 8.936
5 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 43’31.728 19.831
6 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 43’34.079 22.182
7 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 43’35.444 23.547
8 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 43’37.162 25.265
9 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Ducati 43’43.694 31.797
10 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 43’45.490 33.593
11 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 43’48.580 36.683
12 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 43’48.771 36.874
13 James TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 43’51.330 39.433
14 Marco MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team Kawasaki 43’56.685 44.788
15 Sete GIBERNAU SPA Grupo Francisco Hernando Ducati 43’58.651 46.754
16 Niccolo CANEPA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 44’07.770 55.873
17 Gabor TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP Honda 44’39.537 1’27.640
MotoGP World Championship Points:
1 Valentino ROSSI 46 Yamaha ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 106
2 Jorge LORENZO 99 Yamaha SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 106
3 Casey STONER 27 Ducati AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 106
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 4 Honda ITA Repsol Honda Team 69
5 Dani PEDROSA 3 Honda SPA Repsol Honda Team 67
6 Colin EDWARDS 5 Yamaha USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 54
7 Marco MELANDRI 33 Kawasaki ITA Hayate Racing Team 50
8 Loris CAPIROSSI 65 Suzuki ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 49
9 Randy DE PUNIET 14 Honda FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 42
10 Chris VERMEULEN 7 Suzuki AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 42
11 James TOSELAND 52 Yamaha GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 29
12 Mika KALLIO 36 Ducati FIN Pramac Racing 26
13 Alex DE ANGELIS 15 Honda RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini 25
14 Toni ELIAS 24 Honda SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini 23
15 Nicky HAYDEN 69 Ducati USA Ducati Marlboro Team 19
16 Niccolo CANEPA 88 Ducati ITA Pramac Racing 10
17 Sete GIBERNAU 59 Ducati SPA Grupo Francisco Hernando 9
18 Yuki TAKAHASHI 72 Honda JPN Scot Racing Team MotoGP 8