MotoGP 2009: Best rider

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Valentino Rossi might have won the least number of races ever in a season in which he won a world title, and uncharacteristically the Italian legend crashed in three races to prove he is human after all.

But the Italian at times dazzled with some phenomenal performances to cement his status as one of the greatest riders in history. 

There’s no doubt that he was pushed harder than ever before, with the biggest shove coming from Lorenzo on the other side of the Fiat Yamaha wall. And while he didn’t win one of the final four races, he still comfortably won a ninth career world title by 45-points and claimed more podiums and front row starts than any other rider.

He also notched his 100th career win in Assen, but his standout display was unquestionably Catalunya where he inflicted a devastating defeat at the last corner on Lorenzo. It is still worth noting though that Rossi has won one less race than Stoner in the 800cc era. The Aussie leads 20-19 going into 2010.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt