Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Casey Stoner dominates at US MotoGP

AFP , LAGUNA SECA, CALIFORNIA

Ducati rider Casey Stoner, center, starts in the pole position at the US MotoGP at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on Sunday. Stoner won the race.

PHOTO: EPA

Australia's Casey Stoner won the US MotoGP in dominant style on Sunday to extend his lead in the World Championship.

Stoner, riding a Ducati, won the 115.52km race in 44 minutes, 20.325 seconds, finishing 9.865 seconds in front of compatriot Chris Vermeulen on a Suzuki.

Marco Melandri, on a Honda, was third, 25.641 seconds behind the winner, shrugging off the effects of a frightening crash in Saturday's qualifying.

"I felt really comfortable sitting on the grid," said Stoner, who became the first rider this year to win from pole position. "I felt good about the tires and bike. I just had to go and do the job."

All but seven of Stoner's laps were inside the lap record set by Pedrosa last year on a 990cc Honda despite the fact that engine size was reduced to 800cc this year in an attempt to slow the bikes down.

US rider Nicky Hayden's bid for a third straight victory in front of home fans at the Laguna Seca raceway ended in a dramatic incident at the first corner.

The Honda rider collided with compatriot John Hopkins on a Suzuki and while Hopkins eventually finished 15th, Hayden, after rejoining at the back of the pack, retired with 10 laps remaining.

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi finished fourth, five seconds behind Melandri and 30 seconds behind Stoner, who now tops the standings at 221 points to Rossi's 177.

"We've been quick most of the weekend, obviously not as quick as Stoner," Vermeulen said. "I went 100 percent for several laps. I thought I was gaining on Casey.

This story has been viewed 2021 times.
TOP top