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Flawless Lorenzo romps to victory as Rossi makes triumphant return to podium

Jorge Lorenzo took a brilliant sixth victory of the season at Laguna Seca today, romping home to win by over three seconds from Casey Stoner. His team-mate Valentino Rossi made a triumphant return to the podium just seven weeks after breaking his right leg, overhauling Andrea Dovizioso during a thrilling last ten laps to finish third.

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.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Position: 3rdTime: +13.420
“The start of the race was very hard for me because I had a lot of pain and I was far from the podium. But then I saw Pedrosa on the gravel and I just had to try to catch Dovizioso! I just pushed as hard as I could for a few laps and that brought me closer to him and then I couldn’t give up, somehow I caught him and it was a great feeling to pass him to take third. It’s a great result after my injury and it felt so good to be back on the podium in front of the fans. There are so many people I have to thank who have helped me to get back to this position. I am very happy that we have some time off now because I have a lot of work to do on my body to try to be back to my best for Brno, which I love.

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“This was a fantastic ride from Jorge. It was clever to push Dani to the limit but not easy as well because Jorge is the championship leader and he had the most to lose, he really had to ride at the maximum to do this. We’re happy Dani isn’t hurt and now we have an amazing 72-point lead as we break for the half-way point of the championship. Six victories and three seconds is brilliant, thanks to Jorge for doing such a great job but also to all of the team, everyone deserves their holidays!

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“This was a great race and the result is so much more than we expected today. These were supposed to be the two ‘rehabilitation’ races for Valentino after his big injury while he just got used to being back on the bike, but he’s come fourth and then third which has amazed us all. This track was very demanding on his body and he had a hard time all weekend but he was still able to battle for the podium. It was brilliant and we’re so happy now. Everyone is looking forward to a break but also to coming back strongly in the second half of the season.”

Super sixth for Spies, seventh for Edwards at Laguna Seca

Ben Spies had a big home crowd on the edge of their seats at the spectacular Laguna Seca track today after the Texan produced a brilliant podium challenge in the American MotoGP race. The 26-year-old made a fantastic start from the second row and instantly gained three places by the first corner. Spies lost a few places as the frantic pace increased in the early laps, but gradually building his confidence with his rear Bridgestone tyre, he started a rousing fightback in front of a passionate home crowd of 51,436 fans in California. Spies was over half-a-second adrift of an intense battle involving compatriot Nicky Hayden and fellow Yamaha YZR-M1 rider Valentino Rossi shortly before the halfway stage.

Reeling off a series of impressive fast laps, Spies was able to hunt down Hayden and expertly pass the 2006 world champion on lap 21. Next in Spies’ sights was reigning world champion Rossi, who was himself honing in on Italian Andrea Dovizioso in an exciting battle for the podium. But just as Spies was preparing to make a decisive move on Rossi, he made a small mistake in the braking zone for the final corner on lap 25. Spies lost over three seconds and despite a heroic effort in the closing stages he was unable to regain the fifth place lost to Hayden. Spies though was still satisfied with his performance, his pace as the race reached its climax undoubtedly good enough to have put him in podium contention.

Colin Edwards produced his best result of the season in front of his home crowd to score a thoroughly deserved seventh position. The 36-year-old showed all of his experience to patiently stalk Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri in the opening laps as the trio became embroiled in a thrilling fight for seventh. Edwards passed Melandri on lap 10 exiting the spectacular Corkscrew section and he grabbed seventh from Simoncelli on lap 15. Edwards’ superior pace saw him immediately pull away from the Italian duo to secure a seventh that puts him on the fringes of the top ten in the overall standings.

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
“We can’t deny that we leave for the well earned summer break with a small amount of disappointment because Ben was looking really strong and I think he had a great chance of claiming the home podium he desperately wanted. He got a great start and it took him a few laps to find his best rhythm like a few times this season. But then he was able to set some really fast lap times and he was able to pass Nicky and close right on Valentino. We were hoping for a podium at that stage though we know it would not have been easy because Valentino was riding at an incredible level. Ben was right behind him and looking strong for the last few laps and the home fans were super excited by his attacking riding. Unfortunately Ben ran wide in a couple of places and lost crucial time and that was something out of his control. He is a little disappointed and I understand that because he couldn’t fight right to the end. But we’re happy with his performance because his spe ed was undoubtedly good enough for the podium. I’m really happy with Colin’s performance and I think it was easily his best weekend of the whole season. He was pushing at his maximum every lap of every session and he was strong in the race, passing Melandri and Simoncelli, who don’t just lie down and make it easy. A sixth and seventh is a decent result for us and helped us consolidate our fourth position in the Team World Championship, so we can return refreshed and ready for a strong second half of the season in Brno

Circuit Length: 3610
Temp: 23
Weather: Dry

Lap Record: 1’23.915 (Colin Edwards, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1’20.700 (Casey Stoner, 20/07/2008)
Last Years Winner: Daniel Pedrosa

2010 MotoGP United States – Laguna Seca 26/07/2010

Race 1 – 32 Laps

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 43’54.873
2 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 0’03.517
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’13.420
4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’14.188
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’14.601
6 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’19.037
7 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’40.721
8 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0’47.219
9 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 0’52.813
10 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 0’52.814
11 Roger Lee Hayden Honda USA 1’14.089
12 Alex De Angelis Honda SMR 1’14.666

Best Lap

Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1’21.376


Rider Standings 25/07/2010
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 210
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 138
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 115
4. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 103
5. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 90
6. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 89
7. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 77
8. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 69
9. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 53
10. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 49
11. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 48
12. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 41
13. Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 36
14. Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 31
15. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 28
21. Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha JPN 1


Manufacturer Standings 25/07/2010
Pos. Manufacturer Points
1. Yamaha 215
2. Honda 175
3. Ducati 133
4. Suzuki 48


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