Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo increased his championship lead with his third win in five races, today's win coming in one of his four home grand prixs at the Catalunya Circuit north of Barcelona.
Lorenzo passed early leader Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) on the seventh of 25 laps, then lost it on lap 12 when he ran too deeply into turn one. For the next eight laps Lorenzo plotted his move, making his pass on lap 20. Within a few corners he was pulling away and Pedrosa had no answer. Lorenzo would speed to victory by 5.003 secs. Pedrosa was second and Andrea Dovizioso third, his first podium for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.
Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner saw his podium streak end at 19. Stoner dropped back at the start and spent most of the race holding back Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow. The pair closed on Dovi in the final laps, but never found a way past. The gap from Stoner to Dovi was .183 secs., with Crutchlow dropping three seconds back at the end.
Lorenzo now has a 20 point lead on Stoner, 115 to 95, with Pedrosa third at 85.
The riders behind the lead five were mostly lonely. San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista was alone in sixth, as was Ducati Marlboro's Valentino Rossi in seventh, LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl in eighth, and Ducati Marlboro's Nicky Hayden in ninth.
Tenth placed Ben Spies (Yamaha) had an eventful race. Spies bolted out of the gate from the second row to slot in behind early leader Pedrosa, chasing him for the first two laps. The Texan made his bid for glory in turn four on the third lap, passing Pedrosa on the inside. But he was carrying too much speed and ran to the edge of the track and off, crashing in the dirt. He remounted to finish tenth.
Fellow Texan Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing BMW-Suter) ran as high as 16th, spent most of the race in 17th before pitting with one lap to go. Edwards was returning to the track after breaking his collarbone during qualifying for the Estoril Grand Prix four weeks earlier.
Catalunya MotoGP Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha)
4. Casey Stoner (Honda)
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
8. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
10. Ben Spies (Yamaha)