Pedrosa In A Romp

Paul Carruthers | June 6, 2010

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa won his first MotoGP of the season today at the majestic Mugello circuit in Italy and he did so in dominating fashion.Pedrosa sped off the start from his pole position and never looked back, the diminutive Spaniard riding off in the distance to lead by as much as eight seconds before slowing in the final laps to win by four seconds. It was Pedrosa’s first win since the season-ender at Valencia last year and Honda’s first victory of the season.”It’s an unbelievable feeling to win again and I’m so happy for myself and the Repsol Honda Team,” Pedrosa said in a team release. “We’ve been working really hard and we had some problems through the winter and in the first races, so I’m really delighted with this victory, especially after leading at Jerez for so long but not quite making it. It looks like we are back near where we need to be and the team deserves the victory. I had a great feeling on the bike today, especially at the beginning section of the race and I could open up a gap. To be honest I didn’t see who was behind me, I just looked for the gap on my pit board and tried to ride consistently. It’s important that we are competitive now because we have one weekend off and then three races in a row. The next race is at Silverstone which is a legendary track so I hope that we can match this kind of performance there – and also that this part of England has better weather! I’d like to thank the team again for this result. And I also want to thank the fans here for pushing for Valentino [Rossi] because he’s having a hard time and everyone in the paddock wishes him well.”Second place went to championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard challenged at times by Italian favorite Andrea Dovizioso but prevailing at the finish. It was Lorenzo’s fourth straight podium as he remains the only rider to have stood on the podium in all four races thus far this season. Dovizioso held on for third – his third third-place finish of the season.”Unfortunately my pace today wasn’t as good as yesterday and I could only finish second; something happened and I couldn’t ride in the same way but in the circumstances I am happy with my result,” Lorenzo said in a team release. “Anyway Dani [Pedrosa] had a perfect race today; he had an amazing pace and I don’t know if I could have beaten him even if I had been as fast as yesterday! To take 90 points from 100 is great and I am leading the championship, so I cannot ask for more. I need to make some improvements to my riding style and Yamaha needs to try to improve the power of the bike a bit so we have some things to work on, but I am confident about the next weeks. It was very strange today without Valentino, I am so glad the fans honored him so well. I wanted to win to dedicate the victory to him but that wasn’t possible so all I can do is say ‘get well soon!'”Some 19 seconds behind Dovizioso came the only real race on the track with Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner passing both LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet and San Carlo Honda’s Marco Melandri on the final lap to finish fourth. Stoner finished fourth, his best of the year, with Melandri also having his best run of the year in fifth. De Puniet ended up sixth with those three riders covered by just .262 of a second at the finish line.Texan Ben Spies had the trio in sight and ended up three seconds behind as he matched his best MotoGP finish in seventh place. Spies started strongly and was fourth at one point on the opening lap before being passed by both Stoner and countryman Nicky Hayden early on.Hayden’s day would unravel in the gravel on the sixth lap when he lost the front and crashed the Ducati for his first non-finish of the season. Hayden walked away from the incident uninjured.Aleix Espargaro had his best MotoGP finish in eighth, just over a second clear of San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli – the Italian recovering from an off-track excursion on the opening lap.Loris Capirossi rode the Rizla Suzuki to 10th in his home Grand Prix.American Colin Edwards had a miserable day in Italy, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider ending up 13th.Lorenzo continues to lead the championship as it marches on without favorite son Valentino Rossi, the seven-time premiere class World Champion suffering a broken lower right leg in a crash on Saturday morning. Lorenzo now has 90 points to Pedrosa’s 65. Rossi holds on to third with 61 points.

Italian Grand Prix

1.                  Dani Pedrosa (Honda)

2.                  Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

3.                  Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)

4.                  Casey Stoner (Ducati)

5.                  Marco Melandri (Honda)

6.                  Randy de Puniet (Honda)

7.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha)

8.                  Aleix Espargaro (Ducati)

9.                  Marco Simoncelli (Honda)

10.                  Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)13. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.