Mon, Jul 16, 2012 - Page 20 News List

MOTOGP: Lorenzo eases to Italian MotoGP victory


Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing Team rides yesterday during a practice session for the Italian Grand Prix on the Mugello Circuit near Scarperia, Italy.

Photo: AFP

Spain’s 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo won the Italian MotoGP yesterday to extend his lead in the overall standings.

The 25-year-old Yamaha rider — who ended a two-race winless run, having last won the British MotoGP on June 17 — came home clear of compatriot Dani Pedrosa on a Honda, while Italian Andrea Dovizioso was third on another Yamaha.

It was Lorenzo’s 43rd career success and sees him extend his lead to 19 points over Pedrosa.

Pedrosa’s Honda teammate and defending world champion Casey Stoner saw his chances of bowing out in his final year on the circuit with the title fade further as he trailed in in eighth spot.

Lorenzo had seized the lead on the second corner, coming up the inside of Pedrosa, while Dovizioso stormed from seventh into third.

A lead group of five settled early on with Lorenzo leading Dovizioso with Pedrosa in third and German rookie Stefan Bradl in fourth, with Nicky Hayden in fifth.

Pedrosa was desperately trying to pass Dovizioso to stop Lorenzo opening too much of a gap up front and managed to with 18 laps remaining, but trailed his compatriot by over a second.

Valentino Rossi was charging a bit, having started in a lowly 10th spot and passed 22-year-old Barbera, as did Cal Crutchlow with 17 laps remaining, as they zeroed in on trying to catch Stoner.

Lorenzo’s dominance was in stark contrast to his US teammate Ben Spies, who was retreating down the field and the former world superbike champion was 12th with 16 laps remaining, not doing his chances of retaining his place at the stable much good.

Stoner moved into fifth, past Hayden, with 14 laps to the finish and in pursuit of fourth spot, which was occupied by Dovizioso as he had been overtaken by the impressive Bradl.

Stoner exited the track a lap later and onto the gravel, but was able to regain the race, having fallen five spots into 10th.

Up front, though, Stoner’s teammate Pedrosa had narrowed the gap on Lorenzo, but the latter effortlessly increased it within a lap as he went up a gear and with 10 laps of the race to go was almost two seconds ahead.

As Lorenzo sauntered to victory, Dovizioso reclaimed the final spot on the podium from Bradl, while Rossi seized fifth on the final lap from Hayden.

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