Casey Stoner completely dominated the Grand Prix of Aragon to take a major step towards regaining the MotoGP World Championship. The only moment of concern for the Australian was first lap tussle with Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa but once he'd seen them off, there was no stopping him.
Unsurprisingly, Pedrosa was the quickest off the line and looked to have secured the lead on the inside of his teammate but neither of the Repsol Hondas had bargained for Spies who stormed around the outside of both RC212Vs. Just behind, Karel Abraham suffered a nasty accident at turn two while Andrea Dovizioso also crashed further around lap one.
Stoner quickly recovered and calmly took second from Pedrosa at turn 12 before utilising the power of the Honda to blast past Spies on the back straight. The American looked to reclaim some ground on the brakes but only succeeded in running wide, letting Pedrosa through into second. That would be the last anyone saw of the Hondas as they scampered off into the distance.
With no chance of racing the bikes in front, the Yamahas came under pressure from behind and Marco Simoncelli demoted Jorge Lorenzo to fifth on lap four before setting off in pursuit of Spies.
By lap nine, he was right on his tail and repeated Stoner's move to breeze past the Yamaha on the back straight but the Gresini rider would only hold third for a lap and a half, sliding off the track at turn 12 and falling back down to fifth.
With some breathing space behind, Lorenzo suddenly came to life and closed in on his teammate, knowing he had to limit the damage to his championship bid. The two YZR-M1s were running nose to tail by lap 14 and Lorenzo coolly took third. Spies also came under pressure from the recovering Simoncelli late on and lost his grip on fourth three laps later.
With the top five places settled, the riders behind did plenty to maintain the excitement. Nicky Hayden had his hands full as Alvaro Bautista and Hector Barbera piled on the pressure. Bautista eventually claimed sixth in front of his home crowd while Barbera barged his way through into seventh four laps from home.
Cal Crutchlow finished a superb ninth after a race-long battle with Valentino Rossi, who fought his way into the top ten after starting from the pitlane. Rossi did make it past Crutchlow at one stage but the Briton retook the former World Champion on lap 19.
Hiroshi Aoyama finished right behind them in 11th while Randy de Puniet and Colin Edwards were the two remaining finishers. Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi failed to make the chequered flag after the Italian crashed into the back of the LCR Honda, suffering a dislocated shoulder in the process.
Gran Premio de AragÃ³n: Race Result (23 Laps):
|1||Casey Stoner||AUS||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||42:17.427||25|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+8.162||20|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||SPA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+14.209||16|
|4||Marco Simoncelli||ITA||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+20.646||13|
|5||Ben Spies||USA||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||+27.739||11|
|6||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Suzuki||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+30.373||10|
|7||Nicky Hayden||USA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+34.288||9|
|8||Hector Barbera||SPA||Ducati||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||+37.305||8|
|9||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+39.652||7|
|10||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Ducati||Ducati Team||+39.832||6|
|11||Hiroshi Aoyama||JAP||Honda||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+39.997||5|
|12||Randy de Puniet||FRA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+54.717||4|
|13||Colin Edwards||USA||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+58.430||3|
|Toni Elias||SPA||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||+8 Laps|
|Loris Capirossi||ITA||Ducati||Pramac Racing Team||+8 Laps|
|Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+23 Laps|
|Karel Abraham||CZE||Ducati||Cardion AB Motoracing||+23 Laps|