Jubilant Edwards claims fantastic fifth overall in Valencia
09.11.2009: Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards produced a stunning final race in Valencia today to clinch a dramatic fifth place in the final 2009 MotoGP world championship standings.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards produced a stunning final race in Valencia today to clinch a dramatic fifth place in the final 2009 MotoGP world championship standings.
Starting from fifth on the grid in front of 94,177 vocal Spanish fans, all eyes were on the Texan and his fight for fifth in the points-standings with Andrea Dovizioso.
In sunny but blustery conditions, the Texas Tornado held fifth place until lap seven when he passed Toni Elias to move into fourth. At the time, Dovizioso was back in 11th.
Edwards maintained an impressive pace to sit comfortably in fourth position and remain on course for fifth overall. But Dovizoso then produced a dazzling charge through the field to move into seventh position on lap 16.
That meant fifth place would go to Dovizioso with no further position changes. But there was one final dramatic twist in arguably Edwards' best ever MotoGP campaign, thanks to new Monster Yamaha Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies.
The Texan's brilliant Yamaha debut ended with him passing Dovizioso on lap 25, a move that secured Edwards his hard earned but thoroughly deserved fifth place in the final points tally.
British rider James Toseland produced a gallant ride in his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team that saw him in contention for a top ten finish throughout the 30-lap encounter.
A stunning start and skilled overtaking on the first lap saw him climb into 11th position and he was lock ed in a thrilling dice with Spies, Dovizioso, Mika Kallio, Alex de Angelis and Marco Melandri in the first half of the race.
But a small rear tyre issue prevented Toseland from maintaining his fast and consistent pace and he slipped back to finish 12th.
Colin Edwards - Position: 4thTime: +32.515 "Things really fell my way today but over the course of the season I feel like I really deserve fifth place in the championship. At best I was thinking I could finish fifth in the race but then I saw Casey wasn't on the grid and immediately I thought 'well, there's some more points up for grabs.' I got a great start and the bike was working awesome but those three out front were untouchable.
I don't know how they do it, what they've got or what they eat for breakfast, but I couldn't run their pace. In the middle of the race I couldn't carry the corner speed I wanted to so I tried to smooth myself out and just rode out of my skin. I was doing the best I could but wasn't sure where Dovizioso was.
It turns out Ben got by him and that point proved crucial. I gave him a big bug after the race and anything he wants me to buy him, he can have it. I'm glad he adapted so quickly to the Yamaha because him riding so well is what got me that fifth overall and I'm really looking forward to working with him. To finish fifth in the championship is a great feeling when you look at the talent in front of me. I was consistent all season and feel like I rode some of my best races to get this final position.
I'm happy for myself and for my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. We are a really close unit and they always give me 100 per cent, so hopefully they can take a lot of satisfaction out of this result as well. I wish James all the best for the future too and am convinced he can carry on Yamaha's success in World Superbikes."
James Toseland - Position: 12thTime: +50.226 "I really enjoyed my last race. I wanted to give my team everything I had and I'm proud to say I did that. I had a good first few laps and took a few risks with not a lot of temperature in the tyres and got myself into a good position. But unfortunately on about lap 15 the rear tyre turned on the rim and I wasn't able to keep the pace and stay in the bunch that were battling for seventh place.
I'd like to congratulate Colin for fifth in the championship because he has done a brilliant job. I'd like to thank everybody working with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team for all the effort and support they have given me. I've had an absolutely fantastic time with them and I'll take a lot of interest in how they perform in the future. I've made a lot of friends in MotoGP and at Tech 3 and the team will always hold a special place in my heart. Now I've got to look to the futu re and I do so relishing a new challenge with Yamaha." Herve Poncharal - Team Manager "I can't congratulate Colin enough for the amazing job he has done this season. To finish behind those four guys is an incredible feat and one that gives the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team a lot of pride to have been involved in helping achieving fifth position in the championship for him. He has been consistent all year long and hardly ever outside the top six, and I would say this has been his best ever season.
I'm so happy he is still with us next year because he brings so much to the team. Not just in terms of his results but his personality has been a great asset to the team, Yamaha and MotoGP. The sport needs more people like Colin and I can't wait for next season when we have the full Texan team. I am really excited about the prospect of working with Ben. What he did this weekend w as amazing.
By passing Dovizioso as well he did a great favour to Colin and a great job for our team. I also want pass on my heartfelt thanks to James for all his hard work since he joined us at the end of 2007. We've had some up and downs but he brought a lot to the team. He is a true gentleman and he has been one of the hardest working and highly motivated riders ever to be at Tech 3. He has plenty to proud of in MotoGP. He is staying in the Yamaha family and I would like to wish him all the best in 2010. I'm sure he will keep Yamaha on top in World Superbikes."
Spies takes well earned seventh in Valencia GP
Ben Spies made a good job of silencing any critics he may have today as he set about putting his mark on the GP field ahead of his racing year in 2010. Starting from ninth on the grid he had a good start to hold his position until Marco Melandri passed him towards the end of the first lap. As he got used to his race tires and settled into his pace he dropped further until lap eight where he held 12th behind Andrea Dovizioso. As lap 11 got under way the American wildcard tucked in and got down to business, taking Melandri for 11th and beginning to chase down Mika Kallio. He caught him on lap 17 to take 10th then swiftly dispatched De Angelis on the next lap for ninth.
By lap 19 Spies was turning in a 1'34.1 second lap, quick enough to be running with Colin Edwards in fourth. The speed enabled him to catch Randy De Puniet by lap 21 for eighth and close in on Dovizioso in seventh. With six laps to go, he capitalized on a mistake as the Repsol Honda rider ran wide, passing on the inside to take seventh and hold it to the line, claiming his first top ten MotoGP race finish for Yamaha.
Ben Spies Sterilgarda Yamaha Team - Position: 7thTime: +37.706 "It was a good day. We got a good start which something I didn't think was going to happen. For the first six or seven laps I wasn't really on it, I wasn't used to the way the tires come in so I was halfway taking it easy and halfway getting pushed around because I didn't want to do anything silly. Once we got into a rhythm I got to follow some people and it was ok, then I slowly started to pass some people and got my eyes set on the guys in front.
Once I got passed Dovizioso I could see Nicky Hayden and Tony Elias up ahead. I knew I wasn't going to catch them but I tried to keep my pace going and was able to keep it steady. It's been a dream first weekend for us, to get seventh on a track I don't particularly favour is pretty cool, the feeling is the same as winning a superbike race. I'm happy we've kept the bike off the ground and made solid progress all weekend which was our number one goal.
I just want to thank Yamaha for giving me this opportunity, and all the sponsors that helped put this together for the weekend, especially Sterilgarda, BM Group, Fimer, Parts Europe and everybody else who made it possible to get this thing going, I think we did a good job for them." Massimo Meregalli, Sterilgarda Yamaha Team Manager "Another impressive weekend from Ben. He improved steadily in all the sessions, we knew this morning that he would finish the race higher than he started. I think soon he'll pick up full confidence in the bike and tires and in time will reach his full potential on the track. I'm pretty sure that next week he'll improve some more and get closer to the pace. I know he's a very clever rider and he's going to achieve his goals in MotoGP.
I too want to thank all the sponsors who made it possible for us to come and race here this weekend, Sterilgarda, BM Group, Fimer, Parts Europe and everyone else have been brilliant."
Circuit Length: 4005 Weather: Windy Lap Record: 1'33.043 (Marco Melandri, 01/01/2005) Fastest Lap Ever: 1'31.002 (Valentino Rossi, 29/10/2006) Last Years Winner: Casey Stoner 2009 MotoGP Spain - Valencia 08/11/2009 Race 1
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 46'47.553 2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0'02.630 3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0'02.913 4 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0'32.515 5 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0'34.585 6 Toni Elias Honda ESP 0'34.888 7 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0'37.706 8 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0'38.364 9 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 0'42.491 10 Alex De Angelis Honda SMR 0'43.689 11 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 0'46.018 12 James Toseland Yamaha GBR 0'50.226 13 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 0'57.168 14 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1'06.877 15 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 1'11.701
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Round 12: Indianapolis GP – Qualifying, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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