Former world champion takes first race of MotoGP season in Qatar ahead of reigning champ Lorenzo.
|The win puts Lorenzo at the top of the MotoGP standings ahead of Casey Stoner [GALLO/GETTY]|
World champion Jorge Lorenzo won the Spanish Grand Prix, the second leg of the MotoGP world championship on Sunday in Jerez.
Lorenzo, riding for Yamaha, leapfrogged Casey Stoner to the top of the MotoGP standings when he saw off compatriot Dani Pedrosa and American Nicky Hayden.
Casey Stoner and Marco Simoncelli both crashed in the wet conditions on a slippery Jerez circuit in rainy Andalusia.
Lorenzo, second behind Stoner at the season opener in Qatar last month, was 19.339 seconds faster than Pedrosa, who recovered after falling to ninth early on.
Ducati rider Hayden finished third, 29.085 seconds off the pace, at the 2.7-mile Jerez Circuit.
“It was a hard race but I am happy with the win,” Lorenzo said.
|Spanish MotoGP placings|
|1 J Lorenzo (ESP) Yamaha
2 D Pedrosa (ESP) Honda
3 N Hayden (USA) Ducati
4 H Aoyama (JAP) Honda
5 V Rossi (ITA) Ducati
6 H Barbera (ESP) Ducati
7 K Abraham (CZE) Ducati
8 C Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
9 T Elias (ESP) Honda
10 J Hopkins (USA) Suzuki
11 L Capirossi (ITA) Ducati
12 A Dovizioso (ITA) Honda
. C Edwards (USA) Yamaha
. B Spies (USA) Yamaha
. R de Puniet (FRA) Ducati
“We had some luck, without the fall of Stoner we would not have won.”
Pole-sitter Stoner won the season-opening Qatar GP last month and led with 20 laps to go but could not continue after Valentino Rossi attempted to pass, leaving both out of the race.
Seven-time world champion Rossi of Italy had stormed from 12th on the grid to third when he attempted to overtake Stoner with 20 laps remaining.
As he edged past on the inside his bike slipped from under him and the two machines collided and slid off the track.
Ducati rider Rossi was able to continue and finished in fifth, while an angry-looking Stoner’s race was over.
Marco Simoncelli of Honda crashed when leading with 16 laps remaining and Lorenzo’s American team mate Ben Spies was ahead of Pedrosa in second when he slid off into the gravel with three laps left.