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Sepang 2008: Full GP review

Sepang 2008: Full GP review takes a detailed look back over the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

As the MotoGP traveling circus reconvened in Sepang for the penultimate race of 2008 there was plenty of interesting build-up on Thursday as John Hopkins took on an OnBoard lap around the Malaysian venue, Valentino Rossi talked about 2009 bike development and Nicky Hayden commented on the Repsol Honda team structure controversy.

However, when the action commenced on Friday with the regular MotoGP FP1 and FP2 outings it was the Texas Tornado Colin Edwards who emerged as the opening day´s top dog, whilst Suzuki wildcard Nobuatsu Aoki caught the eye with a new GSV-R800 exhaust system. Following his successful day Edwards made time to explain the nuances of laying down rubber on track and detailed how track conditions can change over the course of a GP weekend.

When Saturday came it was Anthony West who caused a shock by setting the early pace in FP3, but Dani Pedrosa took control in qualifying in the afternoon with his first pole on Bridgestone tyres. Later in the day Michael Bartholemy explained how the Kawasaki third bike project had reached a dead end, whilst Gerry Biasi, Mike Leitner and Ralf Waldmann led the tributes as the paddock learned of the sad news that Dieter Stappert had passed away in hospital in Germany.

A long day concluded with the renewal of the deal between Dorna and the Sepang International Circuit for MotoGP to be hosted for at least another two years at the South East Asian venue.

Sunday morning saw Lucio Cecchinello and Nobby Ueda reminiscing on LCR Honda´s early days and when the racing commenced Marco Simoncelli soon wrapped up the 250cc title with third place on the podium.

An exciting MotoGP contest in the tropical heat finished with Andrea Dovizioso getting his first premier class rostrum result, Dani Pedrosa coming home in second place and Valentino Rossi notching his ninth win of 2008.

Meanwhile, Pramac Racing announced the signings of Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa to run in MotoGP next season.


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