Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Barcelona:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken his third win in a row at Barcelona, winning the Grand Prix de Catalunya with comparative ease.
Lorenzo's path was cleared by mistakes early in the race by the men who were chasing him. Dani Pedrosa got the holeshot, his perfect coordination of clutch and throttle launching his Repsol Honda into Turn 1 in the lead, but the Spaniard found he had no front brake on the entry to the turn, and had to pump hard to get pressure back in the lever causing Pedrosa to run wide on the exit, and forcing himself to cut across the inside of turn 2 to rejoin back in 9th.
Pedrosa's mistake gifted Lorenzo the lead, but it would not be easy in the early laps. Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner was the first of the chasers, but Andrea Dovizioso was close behind, with Randy de Puniet in tow. Pedrosa soon made up for his error, slashing his way through the field to get up to 5th within a lap and a half.
Like his teammate, Dovizioso was also on a charge. The Italian stuffed his Repsol Honda inside Casey Stoner to take over 2nd at Turn 5, and was right on Lorenzo's tail. Lorenzo upped the pace to handle the pressure, while Stoner matched the speed of the two in the front. With the front three pressing on, Randy de Puniet was starting to lose touch, the LCR Honda rider dropping off the back of the group.
Passing Stoner was not enough for Dovizioso, though, and a lap later, the Repsol Honda man was past Lorenzo heading into Turn 1. Lorenzo was not about to take it lying down, and retook the position a lap and a half later.
With Lorenzo and Dovizioso dicing, Stoner thought he would make his presence felt. The Marlboro Ducati rider drafted the Yamaha and the Honda down the front straight, but miscalculated the effect of the slipstream from the two bikes, and ended up overshooting Turn 1. Stoner rejoined the race, but a couple of seconds down and behind Randy de Puniet and Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa worked his way past De Puniet on lap 7, but it was too late to catch Lorenzo and Dovizioso, and the two leaders were left to duke it out for the win. Lorenzo came under fierce and determined attack from the Italian, Dovizioso pushing Lorenzo whenever he could. Just as the Fiat Yamaha rider was wondering for how long he could hold off the Repsol Honda, Dovizioso faltered. The Italian, who had been compensating for a minor rear brake problem by pushing the front, pushed a little too hard into La Caixa, and crashed out.
With the chasing group too far behind, Lorenzo could relax a little, and the Mallorcan cruised to a comfortable victory, his third in a row, and his fifth in seven races. Lorenzo now has a 52 point lead in the championship, and is getting closer and closer to clinching his first world title.
Behind Lorenzo, Casey Stoner had recovered from his mistake. He caught and passed Randy de Puniet, and then caught Dani Pedrosa. But catching Pedrosa was one thing, passing the Spaniard was quite another. Try as Stoner might - and he tried everywhere - he could not get close enough to Pedrosa to launch an attack, beaten by the acceleration of the Honda out of the corners by too much to make up on the brakes. Pedrosa held off Stoner for the latter half of the race to finish 2nd ahead of the Australian, and keep his championship hopes alive, however slim they may be.
Randy de Puniet rode a solid if solitary race to come home 4th, but the action was further behind. At one point, the Rizla Suzukis were 5th and 6th, but Loris Capirossi faded in the latter stages to drop back to 7th. His teammate Alvaro Bautista held on to 5th, his best result in MotoGP and a boost for the Suzuki team, who have had an awful season so far.
Bautista had to work for 5th, though. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Ben Spies had his usual race, getting a slow start and dropping back down to 10th, before fighting his way forward as his tires began to wear, catching Bautista at the start of the final lap, but never close enough to take the position. Loris Capirossi held on to 7th, while Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden had been caught up with San Carlo Gresini's Marco Melandri for much of the race, and ended in 8th. Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10 on the Paginas Amarillas Ducati.
|4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||43'40.862||18.057|
|58||Marco SIMONCELLI||HONDA||22'40.799||12 laps|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||DUCATI||8'49.351||20 laps|