The Fiat Yamaha pairing of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi couldn’t have dreamed of a better end to the US Moto GP held at Laguna Seca this weekend. Spaniard Lorenzo started the race on pole position for the fifth race in a row, and despite falling two places at the start, held on to second place man Casey Stoner until Lap 6 where Stoner ran wide gifting him second place. Lorenzo then unleashed a relentless pace to pressure lead man, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, forcing the Honda rider into a mistake and in to the gravel. Lorenzo would go on to secure his sixth victory of the season.
“I am so happy to win here at Laguna Seca” said Lorenzo after the race “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!”
Winning at Laguna Seca has allowed Lorenzo to stretch his already large Championship lead to a massive 72 points. However, he will not let himself become complacent. “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.”
Fellow Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi’s race wasn’t as easy. “The start of the race was very hard for me because I had a lot of pain and I was far from the podium.” You have to bear in mind that Rossi is riding only seven weeks after breaking his leg, and was originally scheduled to be back a Brno in two weeks. After passing Ducati’s Nicky Hayden for fifth, it looked as though Valentino couldn’t improve on his position. However, his patience paid off.
“Then I saw Pedrosa on the gravel and I just had to try to catch Dovizioso! After Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies found some pace, Rossi’s natural instinct kicked in and he found the pace 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.”