9 Nov 2015

Lorenzo wins MotoGP title

11:16 am on 9 November 2015

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo won the MotoGP world championship after finishing first in the final race of the season in Valencia and overtaking Valentino Rossi in the points table.

The Italian motorcyclist Jorge Lorenzo.

The Italian motorcyclist Jorge Lorenzo. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Lorenzo topped the standings with 330 points, five more than fellow Yamaha rider Rossi who was fourth in the race after a penalty forced him to start from the back of the grid.

Chasing a 10th world title, the Italian fought his way back up to fourth across the finish line but it was not enough to stop race winner Lorenzo from snatching the championship.

The race had been overshadowed by controversy after Rossi failed to persuade the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn a penalty imposed on him after he allegedly kicked Honda's outgoing champion Marc Marquez off his bike in Malaysia in the previous race.

Rossi went into the Valencia finale seven points ahead of his Spanish rival and Yamaha team mate Lorenzo after a stream of allegations between the rival camps.

Marquez accused Rossi of using his leg to make him crash in Malaysia, an allegation that the Italian denied while suggesting that the young Spaniard was trying to sabotage his championship bid and help Lorenzo.

The prime ministers and media of both countries got involved in the row, while Marquez and his family filed a legal complaint after allegedly being assaulted by Italian journalists.

Lorenzo, who had asked to participate in the CAS hearing but was refused permission, had a textbook race on the final day, leading from the start and withstanding pressure from Marquez and Dani Pedrosa over the final three laps.

The Spanish Honda pair finished second and third respectively. Rossi weaved through the field to get up to fourth place with 18 laps to go but was never able to catch the leading trio.

Lorenzo's title was his fifth world championship and his third in the MotoGP category.

- Reuters

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.