News Report 26 October 2008

2008 MotoGP Valencia Ricardo Tormo - Valencia

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4005 m
10 / 26 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Rossi rounds out world championship season with 16th podium


Valentino Rossi brought the curtain down on a spectacular season with a third place in Valencia today, his 16th podium from 18 races in a year which saw him win his eighth world title. The 29-year-old Italian has taken nine wins, five seconds and two thirds this year, surpassing the all-time premier class win record and the record for the most points in a season in the process. His outstanding performances this season also helped the Fiat Yamaha Team to secure the Teams’ title and Yamaha the Manufacturers’ title.

Rossi had struggled to find a good set-up for his M1 during yesterday’s qualifying and he started from 10th on the grid. However some last-minute changes paid dividends and he was able to get a good start, climbing to seventh in the first lap and then making a characteristic charge through the field to move into third on lap six. Unfortunately from then on he was unable to make a dent in the gap to second-placed Dani Pedrosa and he had to settle for the final podium position, 12 seconds off winner Casey Stoner.

His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo secured the Rookie of the Year title with eighth place today, rounding off an eventful but impressive season for the 21-year-old. Both riders will be in action tomorrow as work for the 2009 season gets underway immediately with a two-day test at Valencia.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 3rd Time: +12.194
“I don’t think that was so bad today! Unfortunately we had some problems yesterday and that meant we had to start from the fourth row, which left us with a very difficult task. As always though we found a way and my team gave me a good bike, which meant I was able to get a great start and then have some fun passing people. Once I got to third there was no way to catch Dani and so it wasn’t such an exciting race from then on. This has been an amazing season for us and to finish with another podium, the 16th, is great and we cannot complain. I am so happy with what we have done this year, as I said it’s definitely one of my greatest championships and I want to thank everyone once again – Yamaha, my team, the engineers, Bridgestone and everyone who helped us to get this result. Tomorrow we will try the new bike which means we can’t have as big a party as we would like, but it is important to try to find a base for it so I am looking forward to it.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“I think it would have been difficult to have done more than this today, because we were starting from the fourth row and the setting still wasn’t perfect. Anyway it was a great end to the season and we scored another podium, making 16 in total, nine of the them wins. We have the triple crown and this all makes it a fantastic season. Thank you very much to Valentino first of all and then all the engineers in Japan, who have worked so hard, and to all the team members for this huge effort. Luckily we had a big party in Japan because tomorrow we start to think about 2009 and start to test, and it’s going to be important to make the most of it and to give good information to the engineers about the new bike. But we will still have some celebrations tonight so let’s all enjoy ourselves! Thanks again to everybody, it’s been a wonderful season.”

Lorenzo secures Rookie Of The Year at season finale

Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo took a deserved Rookie of the Year title by finishing eighth at Valencia today, his fourth position in the championship the highest finish for a premier-class newcomer since the advent of four-stroke MotoGP. The Spaniard’s first season in MotoGP has seen him win a race and take a further five podiums and four pole positions, helping Yamaha to secure the Team and Manufacturers’ titles to add to his team-mate Valentino Rossi’s World Championship.

After struggling for grip yesterday Lorenzo started from seventh on the grid and things got worse as the race got underway. He was unable to find a rhythm and slipped to11th until mid-race distance. From then on he began to improve and he was able to make up three places, finishing strongly to set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.

The team gets straight back to work tomorrow with the very first test of the 2009 season, during which Lorenzo will have his first chance to try the new prototype 2009 YZR-M1.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 8th Time: +35.661
“I feel a bit disappointed with this result today because I really wanted to finish the season with a podium, but in the end we couldn’t manage it here. We had some problems though so I have to be happy that I was able to finish the race strongly, passing people and doing my best lap of the race on the last lap, especially when you consider that yesterday in qualifying I was the slowest on race tyres! The best thing about today is that I am the leading rookie, so I get a trophy all the same and this makes me very proud of my first season in MotoGP with Yamaha. I want to thank all of my team, engineers and everyone who has helped us. I also have to say a special thank you to Michelin for their work this season because this is our last race with them. I am very proud that I was able to win my first MotoGP race with them. Tomorrow we begin straight away to work on the 2009 bike and I am very excited to try it.”

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
“We expected to finish in a better position for this last race, but unfortunately the problem we had in qualifying persisted, although we were able to improve it somewhat from yesterday. Jorge was able to keep a good pace during the second half of the race and he was able to finish strongly and make his best lap on the very last lap. This has been a fantastic year for us because we were able to make four pole positions, win a race and take five more podiums, helping Yamaha to win the triple crown, and Jorge is the year’s leading rookie. I want to thank Yamaha very much for the huge effort they made in order to give us such a competitive machine, and I also want to thank Michelin for their support – we wish them all the best for the future. Finally thanks to everyone in our team for doing a fantastic job all year and we look forward to coming back even stronger next year.”

Fantastic finale for Tech 3 Yamaha in Valencia

claimed a superb fourth place in the Team World Championship standings in today’s Valencia MotoGP race. The 15-point haul collected by Edwards and Toseland in today’s 30-lap battle saw the Tech 3 squad seize fourth position by a single point from Suzuki’s official factory team, ending the 18-round campaign as the highest placed independent team.

American Edwards played a starring role in the success, his superb start from the second row of the grid giving him the perfect platform to mount a bid for his first top six finish since he took third in Assen back in June. Edwards quickly claimed third from Nicky Hayden on the first lap to settle in behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. But with minimal dry set-up time after another weather-hit weekend, Edwards quickly encountered some rear grip issues to find himself back in sixth on lap six. He quickly adapted to the decreasing grip and crucially began to pull away from Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi, maintaining a constant pace to the end.

Toseland also played a critical role in today’s fantastic finale as he closed his rookie campaign with a hard fought 11th position. The British rider shadowed fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo for the opening fifteen laps in a close dice for 11th place, twice passing the Spaniard momentarily. Toseland also ran into grip issues in the closing stages, but he rode a brilliant final three laps to fend off Sylvain Guintoli, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen.
Colin Edwards - Position: 6th Time: +32.209
“It has been a while since I finished in the top six and for this result to help the team finish fourth in the Team World Championship makes it extra rewarding. I’m pleased for Herve Poncharal and the team because they deserve it. We had a couple of races where we gave a lot of points away, but for an independent team we have done a fantastic job together and it was a year to remember. I got a great start and rode around the outside of Nicky at the first corner to slot in behind Casey and Dani. I actually felt pretty comfortable at that point. Nicky passed me though down the front straight and I started to spin the rear tyre a bit just as the other guys started to get into the groove. The next thing I know, everybody was disappearing up the road and there was nothing I could do. With so little dry track time we gambled with the setting and I ran a softer tyre and at the end I was having a few problems. My bike felt great but I just didn’t have a lot of grip and this isn’t the best track for Yamaha. We don’t have the initial raw grunt that you need on a tight and twisty track like this with a lot of low speed acceleration points. I’d like to thank all my guys for their hard work throughout the season and to Yamaha for their continued support. Finally I’d like to say a big thanks to Michelin. I had the greatest moments of my career with them and I’ve enjoyed our time together. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break now before coming back in Jerez next month to begin working as hard as ever for 2009."
James Toseland - Position: 11th Time: +52.107
“It was a hard race to finish a pretty hard season and while it wasn’t how I wanted to finish on a personal note, it was great that I contributed to the team getting fourth by a point. I’m glad I managed to hang on at the end there because I was coming under a lot of pressure. In the first half of the race I was probably a bit quicker than Jorge but I just couldn’t make a pass on him stick. I got him a couple of times but I made mistakes and let him back through. One time I put my hand in the air to apologise for a close move going into the first corner, and as I put my hand back for the second corner I missed my braking marker. So I’m annoyed with myself about that. I was in a real fight at the end and I was just struggling for a bit of grip. We tried quite a big change on the set-up and it worked well for the first half of the race, but towards the end I had to ride a bit defensive and make sure I didn’t lose too many places. The team deserve to be fourth in the championship this year and I was determined to help them achieve it. Tech 3 and Yamaha have given me unbelievable support in my rookie year and I was pleased to battle right to the last lap to get that result for them. I have learned a lot in 2008, and I’m looking forward to working hard in the winter and making a big impression next season.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“It was a fantastic way for us to end the season and I really want to thank Colin and James for their effort. It was a tough weekend with the weather conditions but it was very important to end on a positive note and we were reasonably confident when both of them qualified on the second row. Colin made a great start and he did a good race, keeping a really good rhythm. In the first half of the race, James looked even a little bit quicker than Jorge but he couldn’t quite pass him. He pushed really hard throughout even though he didn’t have 100 per cent confidence, but it was a strong result and by hanging on at the end under a lot of pressure he helped us get fourth in the Team Championship and we beat two full factory teams. That was our target before this weekend and we achieved it. I’d like to congratulate Yamaha again for an incredible season. They gave us a great bike in 2008 and I’d also like to say a big thanks to Michelin for their support. Thanks to them and Yamaha we had one pole position and two podium finishes. We will miss Michelin but we now must look forward to a new era. Everyone at Tech 3 is now looking forward to a quick break and we will be back raring to start our 2009 preparations in Jerez at the end of November."