Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Le Mans:
Jorge Lorenzo took an impressive second victory in a row for the Fiat Yamaha rider, cruising to a comfortable win over his teammate Valentino Rossi. Rossi had an excellent start, getting the holeshot ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, Lorenzo slotting into 3rd, ahead of the Marlboro Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner. Lorenzo was not content to sit behind Pedrosa, though, passing his fellow Spaniard through Garages Verts.
With three of the Fantastic Four ahead of him, Stoner decided he had to join the party, taking over 4th from Hayden at Musee. He then pushed hard to try and catch Pedrosa, and as he started to catch the Repsol Honda, he crashed, apparently saving the front only to lose the rear. For the second time in three races, Casey Stoner crashed out, putting a huge dent in his championship aspirations. The Australian was disconsolate in the pits, and must be wondering what he did to deserve this.
Now that Stoner was out of the race, the three leaders started to get a gap. Lorenzo was hard on Rossi, while Pedrosa hung on the back of the two Fiat Yamahas. Lorenzo was happy to sit where he was for a few laps, before challenging hard at the start of lap 7, passing the Italian through Dunlop, before getting taken straight back at the Chicane, Rossi holding off the charge for now.
But with Rossi still suffering with a lack of strength in his shoulder, and Lorenzo completely unleashed, that situation could not last for long. The Italian's lead lasted four more laps, before Lorenzo finally put a perfect block pass on his teammate through the chicane. Once past, Lorenzo was gone, the race for 1st effectively over. Rossi turned his attention to holding off Pedrosa. That proved a relatively simple task, especially once Pedrosa's tires started to go off. Rossi's 2nd place was never really in danger.
Pedrosa's 3rd spot on the podium was a different matter altogether, however. The Spaniard's lead over Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden started to fall, slowly at first, and more precipitately towards the end of the race. The pair were on Pedrosa with 5 laps to go, and Dovizioso started pushing to find a way past. That path opened up into the chicane on the final lap, Pedrosa's bike looking more and more ragged. Hayden looked like he would get past at Musee, but Pedrosa held him off there, though his fate was effectively sealed. The Spaniard ran wide at Garages Bleus, and Hayden was past, making it three 4th place finishes in a row.
Summary to follow:
|7||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||44'58.402||29.288|
|65||Loris CAPIROSSI||SUZUKI||9'44.122||22 laps|
|11||Ben SPIES||YAMAHA||9'47.284||22 laps|
|27||Casey STONER||DUCATI||3'18.638||26 laps|