Nevertheless, the true celebration inside the FIAT Yamaha Team garage went on for Italian’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who finished the race in 3rd place, behind Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, to clinch his first ever title in the MotoGP.
The Spaniard only needed a 9th place in Malaysia, yet to started the race perfectly and grabbed the leading spot immediately, while followed by Dovizioso and Ducati’s Casey Stoner. The Australian crashed out at the end of Lap 1 and left those two all alone to battle for 1st place, while Rossi – who dropped to 11th after the start – started to climb position after position until finally getting behind the leading duo by Lap 8.
A lap later, both Rossi and Dovizioso passed Lorenzo and, a few kilometers down the race, the Yamaha ace finally passed his compatriot for the lead. From that point on, Lorenzo settled for his title-clinching 3rd place, while Rossi and Dovizioso exchanged lead a couple of times until the chequered flag.
Eventually, it was Rossi who went on to win the race, less than a quarter of a second ahead of the Honda rider. With this win, the Doctor ended his longest MotoGP victory drought, his previous win in 2010 taking place 6 months ago, in the season opening Qatar GP.
Tech 3 Yamaha’s Ben Spies took another impressive 4th place after overtaking Marco Simoncelli late in the race. The Italian enjoyed a great pace in the first half of the race, yet he had to settle for 8th place, after being also passed by former 250cc rival Alvaro Bautista, Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama
The Top 10 was completed by Marco Melandri and Randy de Puniet.