Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo took a well fought victory in the Italian Grand Prix after a race long scrap with Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso. The reigning World Champion had a great start from Row 2 and immediately tucked in behind pole sitter, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. As usual, the Australian rider began to run away from the rest of the pack, but with 9 laps to go, the gap between him and Lorenzo began to rapidly shrink as Dovizioso held onto the rear of the Yamaha. Stoner lost the lead to Lorenzo with 6 laps to go, and lost 2nd place to Dovizioso shortly after. It later transpired that Stoner had lost all rear grip.

Behind the lead trio Yamaha’s Ben Spies had a race long tussle with Marco Simoncelli for 4th. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider had a poor start off the front row and never recovered, getting sucked into the midfield. After swapping positions with Spies for the majority of the race, Simoncelli ran wide at Turn 1 with only a few laps to go and gifted Spies 4th.

The ride of the day came from local lad Valentino Rossi. The Ducati rider started near the back of the grid, but after a blistering start found himself at the back of a bunch of riders consisting of Hector Barbera on the Mapfre Aspar Ducati, Álvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki, Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow on both the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machines. Rossi took his time picking off each rider one at a time until he found himself at the head of the group. Only Barbera could take the challenge to Rossi, but failed to grab the place back and finished in 7th.

Colin Edwards held on to finish in 9th, whereas Crutchlow was forced to retire after only 7 laps. The British rider cited front tyre issues, similar to the ones experienced in Assen last weekend, as the main reason for the retirement. Bautista lost ground on the group due to running wide and nearly crashing. The Spaniard eventually finished way down in 13th, when a certain top 10 finish was on the cards.

The returning Dani Pedrosa grabbed an 8th place finish from a consistent race. Last years winner kept himself to himself to finish ahead of Colin Edwards. Ducati’s Nicky Hayden secured a top ten finish despite running into the gravel on the opening lap and rejoining a the back of the pack.

Hiroshi Aoyama narrowly missed out on a top ten finish. The San Carlo Honda rider made a late charge through the rear of the pack to claim 11th ahead of Karel Abraham on the Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati in 12th. The sole Pramac Ducati of Randy De Puniet finished in a disappointing 14th place. Toni Elias finished right where he started, right at the back of the field. The LCR Honda rider did make a great start, climbing several places in the process before falling behind again.

Lorenzo’s victory has narrowed the gap at the top of the championship, but Casey Stoner still leads by just under a race victory’s points.

Rider Team Points
Casey Stoner Repsol Honda 152
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 133
Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 119
Valentino Rossi Ducati 91
Nicky Hayden Ducati 77
Ben Spies Yamaha 74
Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 69
Hiroshi Aoyama San Carlo Honda Gresini 56
Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 53
Marco Simonchelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 50
Hector Barbera Mapfre Aspar Ducati 44
Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 37
Toni Elias LCR Honda 35
Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 32
Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki 30
Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati 22
Randy De Puniet Pramac Ducati 12
John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki 6
Kousuke Akiyoshi San Carlo Honda Gresini 3