Casey Stoner was pleasantly surprised with his impressive race pace in Sunday's United States Grand Prix. The Australian came out on top following a race long battle with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa to take his fifth win of the season.
Stoner dropped behind his Repsol Honda teammate into third at the start but regained the upper hand with a brave move at the Corkscrew on lap 18 before setting off in pursuit of Lorenzo.
The two championship rivals ran nose-to-tail before Stoner stormed around the outside of the Yamaha as the pair rounded turn one on lap 27. With Lorenzo struggling with injuries sustained in practice, Stoner romped clear to take victory by 5.6seconds.
Speaking after qualifying, Stoner believed he would be unable to match the race pace of his Spanish rivals but some set-up changes overnight left him in a very different mood 24 hours later.
“All weekend we didn't really have the pace of Dani and Jorge and weren't comfortable running that pace, but we made some changes overnight and were a little more confident going into the race. The bike didn't feel great with a full tank of fuel so we had to wait and be patient, but as Dani and Jorge started to struggle with rear grip our bike got better and better each lap. It's definitely one of my best races and one to enjoy.”
Yesterday's win increased Stoner's championship lead to 20 points over Lorenzo. Battle between the two will be rejoined at Brno in the Czech Republic three weeks from now.