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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Thursday, 7 October 2010 14:54 UK

Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
Date: 9-10 October
Saturday 9 October: Qualifying, 0550-0900, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 10 October: 125cc & Moto2, 0350-0605, BBC Red Button/online, MotoGP, 0845-1000, BBC Two/online, MotoGP repeat, 1045-1200, BBC Red Button/online

Dani Pedrosa
Pedrosa's crash in Japan all but sealed Lorenzo's world title win

By Steve Parrish
BBC MotoGP commentator

Dani Pedrosa's broken collarbone has sucked all the fun out of the race for the championship.

The Honda star only had an outside chance of snatching the world title from fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo but it was still a huge disappointment for everyone, including the champion-elect, when he crashed out in Japan only five minutes in the first session.

It is virtually certain Lorenzo will win the world title now following the demise of Pedrosa but the Yamaha rider's success has lost some of its sparkle because of the way his rivals have fallen away.

The other big talking point at last weekend's race at Motegi was the superb battle between Lorenzo and team-mate Valentino Rossi.

You do not often see bikes clashing like that - there was quite a bit of contact and they were nearly off the track at one point - but that is what bike racing is supposed to be about. Let's hope the excitement continues.

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo

Stoner wins as Rossi and Lorenzo do battle

We have been waiting to see such a scrap all year. The red mist descended and their intense contest could have ended in tears.

Next season should witness an even fiercer contest between the two of them. Rossi will be riding for Ducati then - and it will be easier for both men to be tougher on each other when they are on opposing teams.

Lorenzo was not impressed with Rossi's riding in Japan and made his feelings known to team management afterwards. But I was surprised he even took the fight to his team-mate.

He did not need a podium place to boost his title chances and he could have settled for fourth place rather than taken on Rossi.

As for the Italian, he clearly wants to stamp his authority on his young rival before he leaves Yamaha, maybe to gain a psychological advantage ahead of next season.

While Rossi and Lorenzo were doing battle, Casey Stoner, the man Rossi will be replacing at Ducati, racked up another win.

I do not think the Australian's bike has changed that much this season, so his newfound success must be down to the fact that he is happier and more confident.

Stoner was my tip for the title this season and would have been challenging Lorenzo had he not fallen off in the opening race in Qatar.

The 2007 champion lost his way for a while but is coming back stronger and I fancy him to make it three straight wins this weekend with victory in Malaysia.

Lorenzo will be Mr Sensible and just do what he needs to do to get the title wrapped up.

Once he has done that, the 23-year-old Spaniard can really go for the wins - and then there could be more fireworks!

My Sepang race prediction:

1) Casey Stoner 2) Valentino Rossi 3) Jorge Lorenzo

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Julian Shea.

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see also
Injured Pedrosa to miss Malaysia
07 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Stoner seals Japanese MotoGP win
03 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Stoner holds off Pedrosa for win
19 Sep 10 |  MotoGP
Pedrosa wins on tragic MotoGP day
05 Sep 10 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo claims Czech Grand Prix
15 Aug 10 |  MotoGP
Pedrosa edges Lorenzo in Germany
18 Jul 10 |  MotoGP
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP standings
31 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Contact the motorbikes TV team
06 Mar 07 |  MotoGP

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