Results and summary of the MotoGP race in Barcelona:
After dominating for almost all of the weekend, Casey Stoner has taken another convincing victory at Barcelona, to close the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in the championship race.
The only part of the weekend in which Stoner did not dominate was qualifying, Marco Simoncelli grabbing a sensational pole on Saturday afternoon, much to the distaste of the local Spanish fans. But Simoncelli's pole did him little good, the San Carlo Gresini rider getting his factory Honda off the line slowly, and soon swamped by the first two rows of the grid.
First into turn 1 was Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard getting a rocket start, blasting past Casey Stoner and into the lead. Lorenzo's lead would last all of one lap, though, Stoner using the superior acceleration of the Honda out of the final corner and fired past into the lead. Lorenzo pushed the Australian for the first 5 laps, but then Stoner started to pull a gap.
Stoner appeared to have the win in the bag from then on, but shortly after the halfway mark, darkening skies threatened to shake the race up. Bikes shod with rain tires were warmed in pit lane, and Stoner eased up his pace enough to allow Lorenzo to start catching him. But once it was clear that the rain was going to hold off, Stoner picked up the pace again and was gone. Stoner cruised home unthreatened to take the win, leaving Lorenzo to settle for 2nd.
Ben Spies had followed his teammate off the line, but could never quite keep Lorenzo in sight, riding a sound race to score his first podium of the year after a couple of hard races. Andrea Dovizioso held off a charging Valentino Rossi relatively comfortably to finish in 4th, leaving Rossi to take 5th, ahead of Marco Simoncelli. Simoncelli had closed on Rossi for a while, but faded in the latter stages, incapable of closing. Cal Crutchlow rode another creditable race to finish in 7th, with only factory bikes ahead of him and the factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden behind him in 8th.
Stoner's win now gives him 26 premier class victories, taking him ahead of the legendary Kevin Schwantz. More importantly for Stoner, it also closes the gap to Lorenzo to just 7 points, tightening the title race up as we enter the busiest part of the season.
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||5'23.714||22 laps|
|7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||HONDA||5'24.395||22 laps|