Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

 

Casey Stoner finally claimed his first Grand Prix victory at Jerez after fending off a determined Jorge Lorenzo in a gripping Spanish Grand Prix. The World Champion kept his head during a chaotic first few laps and always looked to have control once he hit the front.

Stoner was in the middle of the mayhem early on though after starting on the second row. His teammate Dani Pedrosa took his customary lead into the first corner with Lorenzo giving chase while Cal Crutchlow moved past Nicky Hayden into third after barging the Ducati out of the way at turn six. The move sent both wide, allowing Andrea Dovizioso to sneak through on the other Tech 3 Yamaha.

'Dovi' surged straight past Lorenzo to grab second but the Spaniard became the second rider to elbow his way past another, retaking P2 on lap two. All hell broke loose on the back straight third time around as Lorenzo and Stoner breezed past Pedrosa. The former leader also fell victim to a charging Nicky Hayden who swept around the outside of the Honda.

The top two broke away to fight out their own battle but despite Lorenzo's best attempts, Stoner hung on to end his Jerez jinx. The Australian pulled out almost half a second on the final lap to show his title rival who was boss although he later revealed he was suffering from the same arm pump problem which handicapped him in Qatar.

Nicky Hayden faded badly on the lacklustre Ducati, leaving Dani Pedrosa to fend off Cal Crutchlow for the final podium spot. The pair threatened an assault on the top two briefly but eventually finished two seconds adrift, with Dani denying Cal his first podium by four tenths of a second.

Dovizioso was one place behind his teammate again but a much greater distance behind this time. In fact, Andrea was nearer to the pursuing pack than the men in front but he had enough in hand to beat Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl who claimed sixth and seventh on their satellite Hondas.

Hayden's demise dropped him all the way to eighth but he still ended up ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi who like in Qatar, was never a factor at the sharp end of the field. The six-time Jerez winner had to satisfy himself with ninth but that only came as a result of a tooth-and-nail scrap with Hector Barbera. The Pramac rider rounded out the top ten in front of the disappointing Ben Spies.

Randy de Puniet had looked set to be the first CRT rider to take the chequered flag but his ART machine ground to a halt on the final lap. Instead that honour went to his Aspar teammate Aleix Espargaro ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Mattia Pasini, with Ivan Silva taking the final point for Avintia Blusens.