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Malaysian MotoGP - Sepang

St Landrew

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Last two races of the season coming up. There's this one and Valencia in Spain. It's another of those moments for people who like to watch their sport in the small hours:



Sunday 19 October

125cc & 250cc races

0350-0605, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website

Race live

0645-0800, BBC ONE and BBC Sport website

Race repeat

1145-1300, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website

0140-0240, BBC TWO


Thank you Auntie.


Rossi may have won his championship, but the racing will be fast and furious, with no quarter given, as always. I've found that many MotoGP riders just don't know the meaning of 90%, and it makes for great viewing.

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This race didn't hit the highlights for the dip-in viewer, but there was still plenty of interest all down the line for people who know the riders, and the championship. In qualifying, Dani Pedrosa was on pole, followed by Rossi and Lorenzo. Stoner was off the pace, but everyone had had a bit of an odd qualifying session due to fast changing weather. Hence James Toseland was 12th on the grid, despite being a lot faster than quite a few, even his teammate, Colin Edwards. On to the race itself.


Weighing no more than a flea, Pedrosa predictably got his Honda off the line, as also predictably, Rossi was once again swallowed up by fellow racers. It wasn't for long though, as he quickly worked his magical way through the people who'd had the temerity to overtake him at the start. Meanwhile, JT, who'd been rather p!ssed off with being 12th in qualifying, made up several places before the front end washed out. That ended his race. From that point the race split into two. Pedrosa and Rossi dashed off into the distance, while a glut of riders, inlcluding Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Hayden, Stoner, Nakano, competed for 3rd place. People were climbing all over each other, while the programme director concentrated on the Pedrosa/Rossi battle. It was perhaps understandable, as Rossi was following Pedrosa like a shadow, although he was having to hang his leg out as a wind brake occasionally to help stop his bike. Inevitably, the magnets finally drew Pedrosa in, as Rossi took a tight left-hander way out on the outside, but cleverly used the speed to power down the straight to pass Pedrosa and keep him behind under braking. He then proceeded to pull away, with his Yamaha uncharacteristically twitching as he gave it the maximum amount of beans. The race then switched mainly to the 3rd place battle, and Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were having a hell of a battle. Lorenzo binned it with another front end dive. A shame as he was still in the hunt for 3rd. At this point, this is where a little championship knowledge helps. AD rides on a privateer 2007 Honda, and NH is on the 2008 factory machine. Rookie AD has been extremely quick all season, and 2006 World Champion NH has said that Honda barely recognise him when he walks in the garage. Nevertheless, when NH has gone well, he's justified more attention than he gets, and has beaten his teammate Pedrosa quite a few times this year. NH is off to factory Ducati next year, and should do well riding a bike which suits his style. AD replaces NH at factory Honda next year. Bet he often does better than Pedrosa too. So, back to the race for 3rd place with Hayden trying to save a bit of face. The pair had swapped places a couple of times, and finally Hayden decided enough was enough. He lined Dovizioso up and out braked him at the end of the straight, only to run wide, in which Dovizioso dived up the inside. But Hayden had the better line for the next tight left hander, and got his bike in front. Off he disappeared... no..! Within 3 corners, Dovizioso got him back, and there it stayed. Despite Hayden squirming his Honda all over the place in pursuit, Dovizioso kept a defensive line, and got his podium finish. Hayden may have been disappointed, but the 2007 Honda was a fast bike, and the privateer Honda does run the same 2008 pneumatic valve engine as the factory machine. Which explains how Nakano eventually got past Stoner, who clearly had a bit of a tyre problem in the latter stages again. His saving grace was that he cemented his 2nd place in the championship over Pedrosa. So, just 5 days to Valencia practice and they do all again for the last time this season, and the occasion for people without rides for next season to really impress.



Malaysian MotoGP result:

1 V Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 43:06.007

2 D Pedrosa (Spn) Honda 43:10.015

3 A Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 43:14.543

4 N Hayden (US) Honda 43:14.865

5 S Nakano (Jpn) Honda 43:16.590

6 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 43:19.647

7 L Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 43:21.943

8 C Edwards (US) Yamaha 43:24.809

9 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 43:29.181

10 R de Puniet (Fra) Honda 43:31.523


World championship standings:

1 V Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 357 points world champion

2 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 255

3 D Pedrosa (Spn) Honda 229

4 J Lorenzo (Spn) Yamaha 182

5 A Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 161

6 N Hayden (US) Honda 144

7 C Edwards (US) Yamaha 134

8 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki 125

9 S Nakano (Jpn) Honda 117

10 L Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki 111


Thanks to Auntie Beeb.

Edited by St Landrew
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Special mentions must go to young Brit Bradley Smith, coming second in the 125cc race. Perhaps a World Champ of the future. He still racing with a lot of riders older and more experienced than himself, except for his fellow Brit racers.


And finally, Rossi's little dog Guido died last week. They showed a little cartoon pic of the dog with angel wings sprouting from it. He's getting another tomorrow, and naming it... Guido..!



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