Starting from pole for the fifth time in a row, Lorenzo lost ground to his rivals at the fearsome downhill turn one and was relegated to third first time around. For the first few laps there was little he could do except hang on behind Pedrosa and Stoner but on the sixth lap Stoner ran wide and Lorenzo stormed through to take second. By now Pedrosa was nearly a second clear but Lorenzo’s pace had begun to improve and he started to push as hard as he could and exert some pressure on his fellow Spaniard. On lap twelve, with the gap now narrowed to half a second, Pedrosa crashed out and left Lorenzo in the lead and from then on it was plain sailing for the 23-year-old as he expertly controlled his advantage over Stoner to bring it home and take his second win on US soil. Today’s victory was his 11th in MotoGP, his 32nd in all classes and his 10th successive podium.
Rossi had suffered all weekend with pain in both his leg and his shoulder and today looked like it was going to be a tough day for the reigning champion, unable as he was to make any further headway after passing Nicky Hayden for fifth position. Once Pedrosa had crashed out however and with Ben Spies exerting pressure on him from behind Rossi’s fighting instinct kicked in as he spied a podium possibility, gradually closing down a two second gap to Dovizioso to come within striking distance with six laps remaining. On the 27th lap he made his move and passed his countryman, managing to hold him off over the last couple of laps to make a popular return to the podium.
With exactly half of the season gone Lorenzo heads the championship with an impressive 72-point lead over Pedrosa, whilst Rossi is 120 points adrift of his team-mate in fifth position. Both riders will enjoy a two and a half week holiday now and the Italian will be more glad than anyone for the time off, during which he will be working on his fitness in an effort to be back to his best next time out in Brno.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 1stTime: 43.54.873
“I am so happy to win here at Laguna Seca, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. I rode so well today, right on the limit and I had to push very hard to stay in touch with Dani. He is always so strong on race day but I knew if I kept the pressure on him then there was a chance he would make a mistake and I would be able to catch him. I’m sorry he crashed but from then on it was very easy for me because I had a big gap from Casey. I really enjoyed riding my M1! I have a big lead in the championship but there is half of the season left and it wouldn’t be the first time a rider has lost the title with such a big lead, so we can’t take anything for granted. I am really looking forward to some time to relax now after two very busy months. Thanks to everyone in my team for doing a brilliant job.”
Ben Spies – Position: 6thTime: +19.037
“I got a really good start and was third but then for the next couple of laps I just couldn’t get my speed up fast enough. The group in front pulled a bit of a gap on me but once I found my rhythm I caught Nicky and Valentino pretty quickly. I passed Nicky and got right on the back of Valentino and it was a good fight with him. I was actually going to attack him on the next lap when I had a problem entering the final corner on lap 25. I ran wide and lost out and although it wasn’t the podium I wanted in front of my home crowd, I’m happy because I had the speed to come through the field and I had the speed to be on the podium. I couldn’t quite finish the job and that was down to me. But I’d rather leave here knowing I could have been on the podium rather than leave here in eighth place and not on the pace. I can’t ask for a lot more because I’m in the top six again, leading non-factory rider in the race again and putting up a strong fight, so I’m not too upset.”
Colin Edwards – Position: 7thTime: +40.721
“I’m really happy with the way I rode all weekend and there was nothing more I could have done. Fighting for seventh is not really where I wa nt to be in my home race, but compared to where I have been recently it is a big improvement and thanks to all my guys at the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for all their effort. I had a good early battle with Melandri and Simoncelli and that was fun and I made a couple of good moves on them because I was quite a bit faster. Once I got by Simoncelli I put my head down to see if I could break them and that’s what I did. But I couldn’t even see the group in front of me and I just slowed my pace up a little bit because it made no sense to crash out of my home race when I was never going to catch them up. I was pretty much stuck in seventh all weekend and I never really had the pace of the leading group. But I’m closer to where I know I should be and the upgrades from Yamaha were a help and I can look forward to a good break confident of a strong second half of the season.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
|Circuit Length: 3610
|2010 MotoGP United States – Laguna Seca 26/07/2010|
|Race 1 – 32 Laps|
|11||Roger Lee Hayden||Honda||USA||1’14.089|
|12||Alex De Angelis||Honda||SMR||1’14.666|
|8.||Randy De Puniet||Honda||FRA||69|