Once again, it was a battle of the Spaniards in MotoGP, as Jorge Lorenzo and pole-sitter Dani Pedrosa battled up front for much of the 22-lap race at the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno.
But it was Lorenzo who went on to win by 5.494 seconds over Pedrosa, making seven victories out of 10 rounds so far this year. Taking the final spot on the podium was Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner, which was his sixth consecutive podium finish this season.
Grabbing fourth for a second time this season was Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies,. Before the race he commented on the team’s qualifying position of second.
Ben Spies says: “We went into qualifying session kind of blind, I didn’t thing we were in contention for the front row. I’m happy with the team; we made changes to the bike and I’m comfortable now.”
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi took fifth, which was the Italian’s third straight top-five result since returning from his Mugello wreck.
Lorenzo, who captured his fourth win at Brno across all classes, now has a 77-point lead over Pedrosa. The 23-year-old has finished in the top-two at every race this season, and just tied a record in the MotoGP history book with Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan for top finishes of the first ten races.
The race started off exciting, but once the front group found their rhythm, things remained the same. Brno began with Pedrosa getting his RC212V to turn one first, but by the time the 17-rider field exited turn one, Lorenzo had his M1 in the lead.
Lorenzo was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies, Pedrosa, Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso. The other Tech 3 Yamaha rider, Colin Edwards, had a great start, getting into sixth. He was followed by fellow American Nicky Hayden on the other factory Ducati GP10, and Rossi.
The order changed quickly on the next lap, as Pedrosa grabbed second from Spies coming out of turn 4. Stoner then made an attempt to take Spies, but couldn’t get through. Bad luck for Loris Capirossi, as the Rizla Suzuki rider went down, creating a DNF.
With 20 to go, Stoner, who was having trouble with rear grip all weekend, fell into fifth behind Dovizioso. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was opening a lead, having 0.286 of a second ahead of Pedrosa.
Another crash occurred with 19 to go, as Dovizioso dropped his bike on the exit of turn 9, his bike falling down ahead of the rest of the field. Rossi displayed why he has so many championship, just missing his fellow Italian. The rest of the field also made it past Dovizioso’s Honda without incident.
This crash placed Stoner in third. Farther back in the field Rossi passed Edwards for seventh. Spies was setting the fastest laps, the rookie MotoGP rider having won race 2 at the track during his championship 2009 World Superbike season.
With 18 laps to go, most of the action up front slowed for the remainder of the race. Lorenzo began posting the fastest lap times, and Spies slowly fell back, allowing Stoner through on Lap 8 for the final podium spot. In the back, Rossi passed Hayden for fifth.
Lorenzo’s lap times kept ascending, and with 10 to go he had over two seconds on Pedrosa.
The order up front remained the same to the checkered flag, with Lorenzo taking the win over Pedrosa by more than five seconds, and Stoner, Spies and Rossi finishing out the top five. Nicky Hayden took sixth, followed by Edwards, Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri, Ducati Aspar rider Hector Barbera and LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, who made a miraculous return to racing after breaking his leg at the German GP in Sachsenring.
Lorenzo celebrated the victory with his usual antics, this time putting some golf balls in Brno’s infield. After the race, Rossi also made his official announcement that he will join the Ducati Team next year; he will be competing with Nicky Hayden.
2010 MotoGP Brno Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha, 43:22.638
2. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda +05.494
3. Casey Stoner, Ducati Team +11.426
4. Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +13.723
5. Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha +17.930
6. Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team +26.815
7. Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +33.396
8. Marco Melandri, Honda Gresini +39.406
9. Hector Barbera, Ducati Aspar +39.639
10. Randy de Puniet, LCR Honda +40.893
11. Marco Simoncelli, Honda Team Gresini +42.032
12. Aleix Espargaro, Ducati Pramac +47.091
13. Alex de Angelis, Honda Interwetten +51.368
14. Alvaro Bautista, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP DNF
15. Mika Kallio, Ducati Pramac DNF
16. Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda DNF
17. Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki DNF
2010 MotoGP Point Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds):
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 235
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 158
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 119
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 115
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 101
6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 99
7. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 90
8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 75
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 61
10. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 57
11. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 54
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 48
13. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 36
14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 32
15. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 31
16. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 25
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 18
18. Alex de Angelis (ITA) Interwetten Honda MotoGP 11
19. Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) Interwetten Honda MotoGP 4
20. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Fiat Yamaha Team 1