Valencia MotoGP: Valentino Rossi breaks points record with third

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Valentino Rossi wrote another chapter in the history books today with his third place in Valencia taking his points haul to a record tally of 373-points.

In a terribly dull final race of 2008, Rossi forced his way through from a dismal 10th on the grid to climb into the top three on lap six.

He’d passed Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, Andrea Dovizioso, Loris Capirossi and Jorge Lorenzo on his way through, but he could do nothing about closing down second placed Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi, who held the previous points record of 367 with Casey Stoner, had to settle for a distant third in his 150th GP appearance, though his haul of 16 podiums in 18 races equalled the rostrum record too.

His third also moved Yamaha onto 402 points in the constructors’ championship table, breaking the previous record of 395 set by Honda back in 2003.

The Italian said: “It was a difficult weekend because we had different conditions all weekend and I arrived at a good wet setting on Saturday morning, so I was quite confident for the rain conditions.

"But on Saturday afternoon it was dry and we messed up qualifying completely with some mistakes in the setting. I had to start from the fourth row and I know from there it is very difficult to fight for the victory and my best target is the podium.

"I made a great start and I overtook a few people early on and I was quite fast at the beginning. I arrived in third place behind Dani and not so far behind him. But unfortunately the setting was still not at the maximum and I had some problem to ride and control the bike.

"Once I got to third there was no way to catch Dani and so it wasn’t such an exciting race from then on.

"We always struggle in this track with the M1, so we have to work to do. I wasn’t fast enough to keep the pace, but to close this fantastic season with a podium for us is a gift for everybody that has worked with me doing a great job. Sixteen podiums in one season with the record number of points are not so bad.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt