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MotoGP Spain 3: Stoner wins - Lorenzo worries


by Marc Cantin ,

Ducati’s Casey Stoner dominated all week-end long at the new Aragon MotoGP race, taking his first win of the season, as Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo is beginning to worry about his (slowly) shrinking lead in the 2010 title chase with five rounds to go..

Despite a small crash during the Sunday morning warm-up, the Australian got the better of everyone by the end of lap one and stayed out front all the way to the flag. Spanish hero Dani Pedrosa (Honda) tried all he knew to catch Stoner after a massive moment at Turn 1 on the first lap, dropping to fifth and boring his way back to second within by the end of lap four.

Photo: MotoGP

Pedrosa got within 0.6 seconds of Stoner mid-way though the race, but the charge took the best from his tyres and he had to give up the chase in the closing stages - eventually finishing five seconds adrift. Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden took third just ahead of a hard working Lorenzo, followed by American MotoGP rookie Ben Spies (Yamaha). Pedrosa's Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of sixth position on the last lap, handing an injured (Shoulder) Valentino Rossi a nice surprise at the finish. In fact, Rossi may abandon the season and undergo surgery, to optimise his preparation for his debut season on Ducati in 2011.

Lorenzo’s lead in the rider Championship dropped seven points to 56, with five rounds to go, meaning that Lorenzo can afford to drop 10 points per round and still be World Champion. He just had a bad day and still did OK, and I still expect one or two good reaces from him over the last rounds, as Pedrosa will certainly feel the pressure from Honda, his Spanish sponsors and the whole country on his shoulders. I still call Lorenzo for the title.

MotoGP Aragon Race - Results

Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 42m16.530s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 5.148s
3. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 9.496s
4. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 9.580s
5. Ben Spies Yamaha + 13.771s
6. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 27.330s
7. Marco Simoncelli Honda + 28.511s
8. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 35.254s
9. Marco Melandri Honda + 35.393s
10. Aleix Espargaro Ducati + 35.467s
11. Etc…

MotoGP Standings – After 13 of 18 rounds

Pos. Rider Team Points
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 284
2 Dani Pedrosa Honda 228
3 Casey Stoner Ducati 155
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 140
5 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 139
6 Ben Spies Monster Yamaha   131