A twelfth podium of the season for Valentino Rossi – the 163rd of his career across all classes – secured the 2009 MotoGP World Championship for the Italian at Sepang, and he was understandably delighted with the achievement.
In rain-soaked conditions and after falling to tenth place from pole position after a slow start, Rossi climbed the field to secure third behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, and explained the problems that faced him before the start of the race.
“Today’s race 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 so we had to go out on the track without any wet setting,” said Rossi.
“It’s a great achievement, and for me it’s the ninth championship, the seventh in MotoGP. 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.”
Having been pushed throughout the season to retain his crown by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who finished fourth, Rossi paid special tribute to the 22 year-old Spaniard’s efforts.
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“Throughout the season I had great rivals, at the end especially Jorge my team-mate, who stayed very close to me, and we had some great fights. He’s a great rival so congratulations to him,” said Rossi.
“But we are on the top and now we’ll relax and try to take in this achievement. The ninth championship is great – I’m so happy.”
MotoGP Sepang Race Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +14.666
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +19.385
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +25.850
5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) +38.705
6. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) +41.061
7. Toni Elias (Honda) +48.555
8. Marco Melandri (Kawasaki) +55.557
9. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) +1'00.303
10. Mika Kallio (Ducati) +1'00.440
11. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) +1'01.655
12. Alex De Angelis (Honda) +1'01.847
13. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) +1'10.778
14. Gabor Talmacsi (Honda) +1'15.851
15. James Toseland (Yamaha) +1'50.672
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