With another dominant victory — his third in a row —
Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on his Fiat Yamaha has extended his lead in
the Moto GP World Championship to 52 points over hated rival and
fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda. Casey Stoner
continued his recent form with another podium spot, taking his
Marlboro Ducati to third on the day at the Catalunya circuit near
Barcelona in Spain.
Pedrosa led briefly from the start, Lorenzo took over
when Pedrosa overshot the first corner (his bike had a nasty wobble
just before the turn, knocking back the brake pads … "I had a bit
of a front end shake on the way to the first corner but I didn’t
think anything of it until I hit the brakes and … for a moment
there was nothing! I pumped a few times and it came back, but by then
it was too late and I had to run wide").
Pedrosa’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was the only
other rider to challenge Lorenzo, hounding the Yamaha rider closely
until finally he lost the front end and crashed unhurt at two-thirds
By that time Pedrosa, riding an inspired race, had moved
back up and taken over second after his team-mate’s misfortune; he then
had to deal with Ducati’s Casey Stoner on his tail. Stoner later
ran wide at the same corner Pedrosa had — "Unfortunately … I
made a mistake, without which I think I could have stayed with them
for the whole race; I just ran wide under braking and lost a lot of
Randy de Puniet on the LCR satellite Honda had another
excellent race, qualifying on the front row and finishing fourth on a bike run by probably the most underfunded team
in the paddock.
Shockingly, fifth and seventh went to the Rizla
Suzuki team, with newcomer to the class Alvaro Bautista just holding
off Tech 3 Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who was in turn closely followed by
Bautista’s team-mate Loris Capirossi. The Suzukis, a bit of an
embarrassment so far this season, looked the best they have in two
years, and Capirossi hinted that the team had "found something in
the front end" that made a huge difference.
Needless to say, Spies’ performance did nothing to
damage his growing reputation in the Moto GP paddock. Should the
rumours about Valentino Rossi moving to Ducati in 2011 prove correct,
Spies would be the likely candidate to take over his spot on the
factory Yamaha team.
After three consecutive and frantic weekends, there’s
a short break before the next Moto GP race on July 18 at the
Sachsenring in Germany.
Championship Point Standings (after 7 of 18 races)
Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Fiat Yamaha, 165 points; 2. Dani Pedrosa,
Spain, Repsol Honda, 113; 3. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Repsol Honda,
91; 4. TIE, Nicky Hayden, U.S.A. Marlboro Ducati / Randy de Puniet,
France, LCR Honda, 69;
Casey Stoner, Australia, Marlboro Ducati, 67; 7. Valentino Rossi,
Italy, Fiat Yamaha, 61; 8. Ben Spies, U.S.A., Tech 3 Yamaha, 59; 9.
TIE, Marco Melandri, Italy, Gresini San Carlo Honda, / Marco
Simoncelli, Italy, Gresini San Carlo Honda / Colin Edwards, U.S.A.,
Tech 3 Yamaha, 39.