Lorenzo, Again, in England

Henny Ray Abrams | June 17, 2012

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND, JUNE 17 – Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo raced to victory in the British Grand Prix to stretch his championship advantage to a full race. A trio of Hondas followed, Repsol Honda teammates Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, then San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.

The best weather of the weekend greeted the MotoGP riders as they lined up for the 1:00 p.m. local race. The conditions were so good that within a few laps it was clear the pace was hotter than it had been all weekend. And the hottest rider on the track was Yamaha’s Ben Spies.

Jetting away from second on the grid, the tall Texan went into the lead from Stoner, with Bautista third and Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden an early fourth.

Spies stayed in front until running wide in the Brooklands Corner left at the end of the Wellington Straight. on lap five of 20. That was all Stoner needed to take over and try to make a clean break.

Lorenzo had started slowly and was concerned about the early fast pace. The Spaniard stayed fifth for the first five laps, catching the quartet on lap six to take fourth when Hayden ran wide. Hayden would continue to slide down the order, getting passed on the final lap by Cal Crutchlow, who had the most heroic ride of the day. More on that later.

Lorenzo’s progess through the field was similar to Crutchlow’s and the result more satisfying. He took both teammate Spies and Bautista on lap seven, setting out for Stoner who finished the seventh lap with nearly a second in hand. Then Lorenzo starting squeezing the cushion until he was on Stoner on the tenth lap.

On the 11th lap he first passed Stoner in the Club Corner. Stoner fought back in the following Abbey straight, with Lorenzo back to the point in the Loop as the Honda rider struggled with a deteriorating left side of his rear tire.

At the end of Lorenzo’s first flying lap in the lead he had over a second and the lead would grow. Only a mistake on the 16th lap that cost him half a second put a dent in his lead, and frightened him into slowing down. But he quickly recovered and ran to a 3.313 secs. victory.

Stoner and Pedrosa separated from Bautista, who was a solid fourth, his best finish of the season. Pedrosa made a move on Stoner in the final sequence of corners without success. The gap between the teammates was .286 sec.

Spies settled into a lonely fifth, his best of the year but a disappointment after qualifying second and leading the first four laps.

Crutchlow had missed qualifying with a broken ankle and was forced to start from the back of the grid. The Englishman quickly made short work of the CRT bikes, then began a steady march forward. Once in seventh, he was lapping more than a second faster than Hayden who had nothing when Crutchlow made his move on the final lap.

Crutchlow passed Hayden for sixth, with LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, the young German who was running with a damaged hand as the result of a practice crash, alone in eighth.

Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi had another off day, finishing ninth and 36 secs. from the winner. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera was tenth.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards (BMW-Suter), the final American, was just out of the points in 16th.

The point standings ending the day show Lorenzo with 140, 25 more than Stoner’s 115, with Pedrosa third at 101.

British Grand Prix Results:

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

2. Casey Stoner (Honda)

3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)

4. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)

5. Ben Spies (Yamaha)

6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)

7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)

8. Stefan Bradl (Honda)

9. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)

10. Hector Barbera (Ducati)

16. Colin Edwards (BMW-Suter)

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.