Flawless Lorenzo Romps to Victory as Rossi Makes Triumphant Return to Podium
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
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.