Pedrosa sprays the bubbly - Bridgestone photoEnlarge Photo
It was his third consecutive victory at this track and in this race for Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda team.
Pedrosa got the better start ahead of Stoner and Yamaha Factory Racing's Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo.
The entire grid was tightly bunched in the early laps and Stoner soon passed his teammate, having better pace. Thus began an inter-team fight with Lorenzo having dropped off slightly in third, Spies' error letting him through. Spaniard Pedrosa made his move with 12 laps remaining, passing the Aussie into the first turn.
Stoner crashes out
While Stoner recovered from a slight wobble, the final few laps saw the duo neck and neck. In the final turns Stoner crashed out while chasing Pedrosa's record pace, leaving the Spaniard to finish first in front of Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso's Monster Tech3 Yamaha, as Dovi took his third podium of the year. The margin of victory for Pedrosa was a gaping 14.996 seconds over Lorenzo, with Dovizioso a full 20.669 seconds back.
On an unexpectedly clear day Pedrosa was "very happy with this win. We finally made it happen and it's great, not only for me but also for my team that never gave up, for my family and fans that have been pushing and supporting me all this time when we were taking second and third places, but missing out on the victory. I really wanted to give a victory to my team and it arrived today at a circuit that I always enjoy."
With his second place result and Stoner's DNF, Lorenzo increased his point lead over Pedrosa in second. "Well, things can change completely in one race," he said. "In Holland we had a 25-point advantage then suddenly zero, one engine less and we were very disappointed. Today we had some luck--I would have been happy to finish third because today the bike and the rear tire was not so good. The race was very tough--we struggled all weekend with the changing weather so we must be happy with the end result," Lorenzo stated.
Dovizioso was "really happy to finish on the podium again and it is a great feeling to do it here because this track has never been the best for me. We have to consider ourselves a little bit fortunate to finish third because of Casey's crash, but it proved how crucial it was for me to remain at the front of the battle with Cal and Ben for the whole race."
American Ben Spies finishes fourth
Spies recovered to take fourth place on the second Yamaha Factory Racing motorcycle, with rookie Stefan Bradl fifth for LCR Honda, Valentino Rossi sixth on the factory Ducati, Alvaro Bautista keeping it clean on the San Carlo Honda Gresini, Cal Crutchlow recovering from a run in the gravel while trying to clear his teammate Dovizioso, Hector Barbera ninth on the satellite Pramac Racing Ducati and the factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden rounding out the top 10. Power Electronics Aspar's Randy de Puniet finished 11th, the top CRT motorcycle.
The next contest takes place at Mugello in Italy, before the MotoGP troops have two contests in the United States in August. Lorenzo has 160 points to Pedrosa's 146, with Stoner holding 92. The Monster Tech3 Yamaha duo are next, Dovizioso has 85 points to Crutchlow's 68, while the balance of the top 10 are Rossi, Bautista, Hayden, Bradl and Spies.