Fiat Yamaha Heads Down Under

Henny Ray Abrams | October 12, 2010

Fiat Yamaha teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi arrive in Australia as winners.Lorenzo clinched the 2010 MotoGP World Championship last Sunday in the race in which Valentino Rossi won for the first time since the Qatar season-opener back in April.

Lorenzo won the title by finishing third in the race, which Rossi narrowly won over Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso in typically tropical Malaysian conditions. Now, with three races remaining, all bets are off and Lorenzo, who only had to finish ninth or better to take the crown, can go back on the attack of not only his teammate, whose tactics in Japan he took exception to, but Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner, the winner of the last three races at Phillip Island.For all his success, Lorenzo has never been on the podium at Phillip Island. Last year he crashed in turn one. Rossi, on the other hand, won every year from 2001 through 2005. Marco Melandri won in 2006 and since then it’s been the Australian Stoner.”I am one of the happiest people in the world,we got it,” Lorenzo said. “I am very proud of my team, partners and sponsors, but it is not really ‘game over’ because we have to continue, we still have three more races. We have to focus in the same way as we have until now, fighting for the podium and without the pressure of the championship we hope to get some good results.”I like Philip Island; it’s one of my favorite tracks and maybe the fastest on the calendar. It’s always amazing to ride there, so close to the sea, but the weather is very different to Malaysia, always very cold.”Rossi’s win in Sepang was the 46th of his Yamaha career and one of the most memorable. The nine-time world champion put himself in a hole by dropping back to 11th at the start, then disproved the notion that there’s no passing in MotoGP by slicing through the field and holding off a determined Dovizioso by .224 secs.For Rossi, “Sunday was a truly fantastic day; to win again was wonderful, my 46th for Yamaha and I think one of the best victories of my career, I am so happy. Now I really want to try to finish the season strongly and I’m excited about getting to Phillip Island, which is one of the most fantastic places in the world to ride a motorcycle. I haven’t won there for a few years and I would really like to change that. It’s always special to go there because many of my team are Australian,” including crew chief Jeremy Burgess, “and the fans are great. I can’t wait!”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.