A Spanish Clean Sweep Looms: How The Titles Can Be Clinched

Spain has had a remarkable sporting summer: The national soccer team won the 2010 World Cup, cyclist Alberto Contador won this year's Tour de France and Rafa Nadal is ranked #1 in the world as a tennis player, winning Wimbledon and the French Open along the way. Andrea Dovizioso's crash at Aragon ensured that there would be a Spanish MotoGP champion for only the second time in history, and the first since Alex Criville in 1999, and Andrea Iannone's bad weekend at Motegi ensured there would be a Spanish Moto2 champion as well.

At Sepang, Spain can ensure a clean sweep of all three championships, the first time that a single nation has won the three major championships since Italy produced winners in the 125, 250 and 500cc classes back in 1975. Just a handful more points will rule British rider Bradley Smith out of the 125cc title race, ensuring that all three 2010 champions will hail from Spain. Below is a rundown of who needs how many points to clinch the title in each of the three classes at Sepang on Sunday.

Jorge Lorenzo's first MotoGP title has been getting ever closer for quite some time now, and Dani Pedrosa's crash, in which he fractured his collarbone in three places, made Lorenzo's championship all but inevitable. Lorenzo leads Pedrosa 297 to 228 , a difference of 69 points with four races left to go. Lorenzo needs to lead by 76 points coming out of Sepang, leaving Pedrosa a maximum possible score of 75 points were he to win the three remaining races at Phillip Island, Estoril and Valencia. The 7 points Lorenzo needs means the Fiat Yamaha rider must finish 9th or better to clinch the title in Malaysia, and will be riding very much with this in mind. A 10th place finish on Sunday would leave Pedrosa capable of tying Lorenzo on points, and if Pedrosa did win the last three races and Lorenzo scored no more points while the two have an equal score, Pedrosa would be champion, as though both men would have an equal number of wins (7), Pedrosa has one more 2nd place than Lorenzo (5 to Lorenzo's 4).

Toni Elias has an even more comfortable lead than Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP, but unlike Lorenzo, Elias' main rival for the title - Mapfre Aspar's Julian Simon - is both racing and looking very competitive doing so. Elias has an 81 point lead over Simon, with 249 points to Simon's 168. With four races left, Elias can afford to lose 7 points to Julian Simon and still take the title, as in the case of a draw, Elias' superior number of wins will give him the championship. What losing 7 points boils down to is that if Toni Elias finishes 2nd on Sunday, the 2010 Moto2 crown is his, regardless of what Simon does. If others finish ahead of both Elias and Simon, then a 4th-place finish will be sufficient for the Gresini Moriwaki rider to be crowned the inaugural Moto2 champion

The picture is a little more complicated in the 125s, as nobody is yet within striking distance of a title, with it looking like going down all the way to the final race at Valencia. However, with three Spaniards holding a clear lead over the 4th place man in the title race, Britain's Bradley Smith, the nationality of the 2010 champion could be settled at Sepang. Smith currently trails championship leader Nico Terol by 68 points, Smith having 160 to Terol's 228. If Smith loses 7 points to Terol, then the championship will be out of reach of the Briton, and safely in Spanish hands. 

But even if Terol crashes out of the 125cc race, the title could be secured for Spain. Marc Marquez is just 6 points behind Terol, and 62 up on Smith. If Marquez outscores Smith by 13 points, that too would put the title out of reach of the Briton. Even Pol Espargaro can secure a championship for Spain, by beating Smith by 20 points or more at Sepang. With three Spaniards challenging hard for the championship, the chances of the 2010 125cc crown leaving Spain are very slim indeed.

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You mean Pedrosa right???

It's good for Moto GP to have a new champion. When Doohan was dominating like Rossi, it was all too predictable and same-old-same-old.......

Italian rider Dovizisio's crash at Aragon mathematically eliminated him from any title chase. Leaving it to Lorenzo and Pedrosa -- two Spaniards.

This was back in 2006, and we were not able to repeat in 2010.

But we can add Rafa Nadal winning the Open USA :-)