Jorge Lorenzo earned his third win of the season more than seven seconds ahead of his riivals in Italy.
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo returned to the top of the podium on Sunday by winning the final Italian race of the 2011 MotoGP Championship. The Spaniard posted his third win of the season at Misano, leaving him still 35 points behind Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner in the fight for the title. Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa captured the runner-up spot for the second round in a row more than seven seconds behind the defending champ. Stoner rounded out the podium with his 12th top-three finish of the season, the Aussie losing nine points on his rival as the series braces for the home stretch.
“Today has been an incredible day for us,” said Lorenzo. “I have delivered a good race; it was a very tough and long one. Most importantly we have won again and also reduced a little bit our gap to Casey.”
Stoner was quick off the line from pole position and looked ready to take the lead into the first corner when Lorenzo snatched it away. Pedrosa, who’s been fairly consistent with holeshots this season, remained in third behind his teammate while San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli was slow on the start and dropped down to seventh. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden crashed out of the race on the third lap – his second consecutive DNF. Pramac Racing’s Loris Capirossi also struggled in Round 13 with tire problems, forcing the Italian to pit early. The third Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, was firmly holding his ground in fourth until Lap 8 when Simoncelli began to fight his way toward the front of
Dani Pedrosa (#26) and Casey Stoner (#27) had a fight for second at Misano with the Spaniard edging past his teammate on Lap 22.
the pack. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi overcame a fourth-row start and was trailing Dovi in sixth during the opening laps. For the second week in a row American Ben Spies suffered a bad start and was outside the top-five by the second lap as Lorenzo continued to lead the race up front.
By Lap 9 Super Sic had passed Dovizioso for fourth, and a few laps later Spies got past Rossi for sixth.
The top of the order remained unchanged for much of the race until the final laps when Pedrosa approached Stoner’s rear wheel. The Spaniard snatched second from the Aussie on Lap 22 as Stoner started to fade.
“From the first lap I realized I couldn’t keep up with Jorge [Lorenzo] and Casey [Stoner], at the beginning the bike was closing the front and then it was sliding the rear,” said Pedrosa. “The second part of the race was good, Jorge had a perfect race today, but I was able improve my times lap by lap and catch Casey.”
Simoncelli and Dovizioso also were caught in a duel in the final three laps. On Lap 26 the two Italians began to trade places with Dovi getting around his fellow countryman for fourth. However, Simoncelli executed a terrific pass on the final lap to reclaim the spot from him while Spies finished ahead of Rossi.
“It was such a close and hard fight at the end,” said Simoncelli. “Unfortunately I made a mistake and chose the wrong engine map at the start which made me lose touch with the front three, otherwise maybe I could have run with them.”
Lorenzo never wavered and took the checkers after leading nearly the entire race. Stoner had to settle for third behind Pedrosa as Simoncelli missed the podium by just over five seconds.
“At the beginning of the race I was cautious as there were a few spots of rain,” Stoner said. “Once this cleared up I was pretty comfortable behind Jorge, I didn’t feel the need to push and then the tiredness suddenly hit me. It was hard to find the braking points and change direction on the bike, there was nothing wrong with the tires, nothing wrong with the bike, the team did a great job and gave me a fantastic package. I’m just worn out.”
Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera achieved his sixth top-10 finish of the season in ninth, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow rounding out the top-10 finishers.
Misano MotoGP Results 2011:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
Super Sic (#58) managed to squeeze ahead of Dovizioso on the final lap to earn fourth at the Misano circuit.
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Casey Stoner (Honda)
4. Marco Simoncelli (Honda)
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda)
6. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
7. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
8. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki)
9. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
10. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
11. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
12. Karel Abraham (Ducati)
13. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
14. Randy de Puniet (Ducati)
15. Toni Elias (Honda)
DNF Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
DNF Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
2011 MotoGP Championship Points:
1. Casey Stoner, 259
2. Jorge Lorenzo, 224
3. Andrea Dovizioso, 185
4. Dani Pedrosa, 150
5. Ben Spies, 135
6. Valentino Rossi, 133
7. Nicky Hayden, 105
8. Marco Simoncelli, 93
9. Colin Edwards, 87
10. Hiroshi Aoyama, 82