Yamaha continues push

Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo took advantage of Stoner's setup woes to take the win for Yamaha.

Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo took advantage of Stoner's setup woes to take the win for Yamaha.

For the second race in a row, Yamaha surprised Honda at the Moto GP race in Mugello, Italy.

It could have gone differently, though – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner dominated practice and qualifying, but couldn’t follow up with a race win. Afterwards, he blamed the tires, saying that perhaps they’d guessed wrong on pressures with the changing conditions (rain came and went all weekend, disrupting many practice and qualifying sessions).

Stoner lost the lead in the race but maintains a 19-point lead in the standings.

Stoner took off from the start but was reeled in by defending Moto GP champ Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard taking his Yamaha to the win over Stoner’s Repsol team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who got past Stoner on the last lap. Lorenzo passed Stoner at about 2/3 distance, his win closing down the points gap to Stoner to 19. Dovi’s finish kept him third in the championship chase, ahead of Valentino Rossi, who had another rough weekend with the Ducati, finishing sixth after a horrible qualifying and a mad gamble on new settings for race day.

Ben Spies had to let his teammake take the win for Yamaha, but still managed a fourth-place finish.

“Now we have a competitive bike and I hope to keep this pace,” Lorenzo said, over the moon with the win. “Now I am more motivated and confident for the future, after this great result.”

Lorenzo’s Yamaha factory team-mate Ben Spies, winner of last weekend’s race at Assen in the Netherlands, had a great scrap with Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli for fourth, pipping him for the position on the last corner of the last lap. “I would have liked to have been on the podium but you can’t do it every time. Marco and I had fun, we had a couple of good passes back and forth and he was clean so I was happy!”

Rossi's sixth-place finish leaves him at fourth place in the championship standings.

Many of the walking wounded were back, particularly Dani Pedrosa, who’s missed two races with a broken collarbone. He finished eighth, and was happy with the result. He finished ahead of Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden, who would probably have had his Ducati pushing for a podium but for running off on one lap and returning at the end of the field. Finishing 10th was actually fairly impressive given that situation.

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“I was up to fifth in the first couple of corners, and the bike felt good … but I didn’t get it stopped in time going into Turn 1 on lap 2. I thought I had it saved, but the front pushed on the dirty part of the track and I had to go into the gravel,” Hayden said. “I was dead last … It’s a shame. It’s easy to say now, but I think without that mistake, I could have done a really good race for the team and myself.”

World Championship Point Standings (after eight of 18 races):
1. Casey Stoner, Australia, Repsol Honda, 152 points
2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Yamaha Factory Racing, 133
3. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Repsol Honda, 119
4. Valentino Rossi, Italy, Marlboro Ducati, 91
5. Nicky Hayden, U.S.A., Marlboro Ducati, 77
6. Ben Spies, U.S.A., Yamaha Factory Racing, 74
7. Dani Pedrosa, Spain, Repsol Honda, 69
8. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan, Gresini San Carlo Honda, 56
9. Colin Edwards, U.S.A., Tech 3 Monster Yamaha, 53
10. Marco Simoncelli, Gresini San Carlo Honda, 50.

Next race, July 17, Sachsenring, Germany.

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