Lorenzo takes victory as rivals crash out and extends championship lead
Jorge Lorenzo took a brilliant sixth victory of the season at Laguna Seca today, romping home to win by over three seconds from Casey Stoner. His team-mate Valentino Rossi made a triumphant return to the podium just seven weeks after breaking his right leg, overhauling Andrea Dovizioso during a thrilling last ten laps to finish third.
Starting from pole for the fifth time in a row, Lorenzo lost ground to his rivals at the fearsome downhill turn one and was relegated to third first time around. For the first few laps there was little he could do except hang on behind Pedrosa and Stoner but on the sixth lap Stoner ran wide and Lorenzo stormed through to take second. By now Pedrosa was nearly a second clear but Lorenzo’s pace had begun to improve and he started to push as hard as he could and exert some pressure on his fellow Spaniard. On lap twelve, with the gap now narrowed to half a second, Pedrosa crashed out and left Lorenzo in the lead and from then on it was plain sailing for the 23-year-old as he expertly controlled his advantage over Stoner to bring it home and take his second win on US soil. Today’s victory was his 11th in MotoGP, his 32nd in all classes and his 10th successive podium.
With exactly half of the season gone Lorenzo heads the championship with an impressive 72-point lead over Pedrosa, whilst Rossi is 120 points adrift of his team-mate in fifth position. Both riders will enjoy a two and a half week holiday now and the Italian will be more glad than anyone for the time off, during which he will be working on his fitness in an effort to be back to his best next time out in Brno.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1st Time: 43.54.873
“I am so happy to win here at Laguna Seca, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. I rode so well today, right on the limit and I had to push very hard to stay in touch with Dani. He is always so strong on race day but I knew if I kept the pressure on him then there was a chance he would make a mistake and I would be able to catch him. I’m sorry he crashed but from then on it was very easy for me because I had a big gap from Casey. I really enjoyed riding my M1! I have a big lead in the championship but there is half of the season left and it wouldn’t be the first time a rider has lost the title with such a big lead, so we can’t take anything for granted. I am really looking forward to some time to relax now after two very busy months. Thanks to everyone in my team for doing a brilliant job.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“This was a fantastic ride from Jorge. It was clever to push Dani to the limit but not easy as well because Jorge is the championship leader and he had the most to lose, he really had to ride at the maximum to do this. We’re happy Dani isn’t hurt and now we have an amazing 72-point lead as we break for the half-way point of the championship. Six victories and three seconds is brilliant, thanks to Jorge for doing such a great job but also to all of the team, everyone deserves their holidays!
Source: Yamaha Racing