Result and summary of the final MotoGP round of 2009 at Valencia:
Results and summary of the last ever 250cc race, in which the World Champion is crowned:
Results and summary of the 125cc race at Valencia:
Alex Debon went out for a test lap, but was in too much pain. So the final 250 race ever will start with a different polesitter. Debon qualified on pole, but because he won't be starting, Marco Simoncelli will be starting from pole, alongside Hector Barbera, Ratthapark Wilairot and Hiroshi Aoyama, who moves up onto the front row.
Sadly, our regular photographer Scott Jones couldn't make it to Valencia. Fortunately, we ran into Israeli TV commentator Tammy Gorali, who also happens to be a pretty mean snapper herself. She was kind enough to allow us to use some of the shots she took today during qualifying.
Results of qualifying for the 250 class at Valencia:
Results of qualifying practice for the MotoGP class:
Results of Qualifying Practice for the 125cc class:
Mike di Meglio topped the timesheets in the second session of free practice for the 250cc class, relegating the Valencian riders into a battle for 2nd. Alex Debon was the fastest of the local boys, edging out Hector Barbera by just fifteen hundredths of a second. Championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama finished the session in 4th, in good shape for this afternoon's qualifying. Marco Simoncelli, the only man capable of denying Aoyama the final 250 crown, had a more difficult time, ending the session in 8th.
Casey Stoner continues his domination of proceedings at Valencia, the fastest rider once again in the morning session of MotoGP practice. The Australian topped the timesheets just about all session, with only Jorge Lorenzo to get close. Lorenzo looked to have a firm grip on 2nd, but was bumped down to 3rd by Dani Pedrosa, who put in a blistering lap in the dying minutes of practice. Pedrosa leapfrogged over both Fiat Yamahas, leaving Valentino Rossi down in 4th behind his team mate.
Ben Spies continued his steady improvement, finishing the session in 12th, 1.377 behind Stoner's fastest time. More importantly, the Texan improved his time from yesterday by nearly nine tenths of a second.
Sergio Gadea was the fastest 125 rider in this morning's session of free practice, beating out his team mate and 2009 World Champion Julian Simon, and by quite a margin. Nico Terol was the 3rd fastest man, while Pol Espargaro made it an all-Spanish top 4 just a fraction off Terol's time. British rider Bradley Smith had another middling start, ending the session in 9th, while Scott Redding ended up 12th. De Graaf's Danny Webb finished practice with the 18th quickest time.
You would think that the secrets of how to make a MotoGP bike go faster would be kept under lock and key at all times. Not so if you're Yamaha: On Friday night, Yamaha's technical leaders Masao Furusawa and Masahiko Nakajima gave their annual presentation on what they did to the YZR-M1 to ensure that they won the championship again in 2009.
The first thing they did was identify the changes to the 2009 regulations that would be key to the development direction. They highlighted three rule changes they needed to deal with to maximize the performance of the bike:
- The tire restrictions, with just 20 slicks in two compounds and 8 wets available at each race;
- The reduction in practice, with the Friday morning session scrapped;
- The engine limits, with just 5 engines available for the final 7 races of the season.
They then pinpointed three goals that would allow Yamaha to adapt to these rule changes, and get the best out of the 2009 bike. An improvement in the chassis, to allow them to get the maximum performance out of the tires; increased reliability, while sacrificing as little performance as possible; and a refinement in the engine management system, to allow them to control what they called the vehicle dynamics.