Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo was crowned Moto GP World Champion after finishing third in a thrilling race in Malaysia, claiming the title with three races still to go in the season.
It was team mate Valentino Rossi who provided a lot of the thrills in the race, starting in sixth on the grid he was going backwards at the start of the race, slipping down to eleventh before mounting a comeback to win the race.
Casey Stoner had fallen off the track on the first lap, putting paid to his hopes of a third successive victory of the season, as Lorenzo and Dovizioso broke away from the pack to contest the lead.
Dovizioso appeared to have the measure of Lorenzo and squeezed past the Yamaha on lap nine, with Rossi by that time on a massive charge from way back closing in on the front two riders.
Rossi found a way past both Lorenzo and Dovizioso on the eleventh lap and while Dovizioso regained the lead from Rossi briefly on lap 16, it was Rossi who hung on for his first win since the opening day of the season.
Given Dovizioso’s race pace on the Honda, race fans were left wondering what might have been if Dani Pedrosa had not been injured in Japan and he and Lorenzo had been left to fight it out for the title.
That said, Jorge Lorenzo has hardly put a foot out of place this season and even before the injury to Rossi had built a commanding lead in the championship, his consistency finishing in the first two for the majority of the season makes him a worthy champion and there will surely be more titles to come from the young Spaniard.
Malaysian MotoGP result:
1 V Rossi (Ita) Fiat Yamaha 41:03.448
2 A Dovizioso (Ita) Repsol Honda 41:03.672
3 J Lorenzo (Sp) Fiat Yamaha 41:09.483
4 B Spies (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 41:17.124
5 A Bautista (Spa) Rizla Suzuki 41:18.850
6 N Hayden (USA) Ducati 41:22.274
7 H Aoyama (Jpn) Interwetten Honda 41:23.666
8 M Simoncelli (Ita) Gresini Honda 41:27.022
9 M Melandri (Ita) Gresini Honda 41:27.412
10 R de Puniet (Fr) LCR Honda 41:35.298
11 H Barbera (Sp) Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 41:42.027
12 M Kallio (Fin) Pramac Ducati 41:42.297
Moto2 race result:
1 R Rolfo (Ita) Suter 41:09.412
2 A de Angelis (SM) Motobi 41:09.452
3 A Iannone (Ita) Speed Up 41:15.327
125cc race result:
1 M Marquez (Sp) Derbi 40:29.035
2 P Espargaro (Sp) Derbi 40:31.376
3 N Terol (Sp) Aprilia 40:32.691