Rossi’s win at Motegi has won him the 2008 MGP title, his 6th in 8 years. This is probably his best having been out of it for the last 2 years. Stoner, being first out of the blocks, tried his best to stay at the front of the pack but Rossi came past 3/4 way through the race and stayed there for the rest. I fitting victory to a brilliant hard-fought year. The most interesting news to come out of Sunday’s race was the statement of a one-tyre make for next season. While the choice has gone out to tender, you’d be hard pressed to bet against Bridgestone, especially now that quite a few Michelin guys have changed to Bridgestone during this season.
This weekend’s race takes place at Philip Island in Australia, a winding and often wind-swept track that always provides great racing. In practice, Hayden has been fastest in the wet with Stoner best in the dry. But don’t forget about Rossi – he’s been very strong in race trim all year long so practice and qualifying performance can take a side seat.
To WSBK, Haga won both rounds at Vallelunga with close finishes in both rounds. The first race saw Biaggi dogging Haga for most of the race but he wasn’t able to get by the Japanese. Corser finished close behind the two dueling masters at the front with Neukirchner a distant 3rd. The second race saw a strong initial challenge by Bayliss and Corser but after TroyB went off in a slow left-hander on the last lap, it was all Haga. Fabrizio, made a strong finish and pipped Corser to the line for 2nd.
Haga has taken provisional pole for Sunday’s race at with Bayliss second. Considering the possibility of getting to second in the championship, one would be hard-pressed to bet against Haga for at least one of the races on Sunday.
In other news, Leon Haslam ( who did so well at Donnington in the wet ) has joined Stiggy’s Honda-based team for 2009.