Casey Stoner defeats Jorge Lorenzo in Laguna Seca MotoGP race
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, July 29th 2012, 21:48 GMT|
Casey Stoner trimmed a little from Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP points lead by defeating the Yamaha rider in the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Honda pair Stoner and Dani Pedrosa and current championship leader Lorenzo were in a class of their own all race, storming away from the rest of the pack from the outset.
Stoner soon took second from Pedrosa, then piled pressure onto polesitter Lorenzo.
For a short while mid-race, Lorenzo managed to get a little breathing space, but Stoner was soon back on his tail, and with 10 laps to go the Honda swept ahead on the run towards Turn 1.
Thereafter Stoner was able to edge into a slight lead that he retained to the finish, claiming his fourth win of the year.
Pedrosa fell away a little in third, which keeps him second in the championship.
Hobbling on a heel injury after his qualifying accident, Ben Spies could not match the top three but was fending off the Tech 3 Yamahas for fourth until crashing on the way down the Corkscrew when his Yamaha's swingarm broke.
That elevated Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow's battle to a fight for fourth, with Dovizioso just hanging on.
Nicky Hayden beat Stefan Bradl to sixth after a long dice. Hayden's Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi had been running a very lonely eighth until he crashed heavily - without injury - on the way over the Corkscrew crest just two laps from home.
Aleix Espargaro was top CRT finisher in ninth overall. His Aspar team-mate Randy de Puniet fought back well to recover from last to 11th after running wide in an incident with Michele Pirro and returnee Toni Elias at the first corner. Pirro fell and retired, while Elias continued only to crash out of his MotoGP comeback race on lap two.
Attack Performance's wildcard CRT entry was not given clearance to start after failing to lap within the 107 per cent cut-off in either qualifying or the warm-up. The American team and rider Steve Rapp will try again in the next round at Indianapolis in three weeks' time.
Results - 32 laps: Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Casey Stoner Honda 43m45.961s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 3.429s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 7.633s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Tech 3 Yamaha + 18.602s 5. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha + 18.779s 6. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 26.902s 7. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda + 28.393s 8. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda + 50.246s 9. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia + 1m18.993s 10. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati + 1m22.076s 11. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia + 1 lap 12. Yonny Hernandez Avintia FTR-Kawasaki + 1 lap 13. Colin Edwards Forward Suter-BMW + 1 lap 14. Ivan Silva Avintia Inmotec-Kawasaki + 1 lap Retirements: Valentino Rossi Ducati 29 laps Ben Spies Yamaha 21 laps James Ellison Paul Bird Aprilia 19 laps Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Aprilia 18 laps Mattia Pasini Speed Master Aprilia 11 laps Toni Elias Pramac Ducati 1 lap Michele Pirro Gresini FTR-Honda 0 laps