Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for 6th July 2009
Pedrosa wins at Laguna Seca
The 2009 MotoGP season welcomed a new name to the top step of the podium with Dani Pedrosa winning at the famous Laguna Seca track in California.
The Honda rider led from start to finish to make it the first race in the season which hasn't been won by one of the three championship leaders - Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo or Australia's Casey Stoner.
It was Rossi who came closest, but Pedrosa held off the Italian's determined challenge on the last lap to record the seventh win of his career.
"It's been a long tough year for me since last year here when I couldn't race, but finally we have had a good race and a good result," he said.
"I think maybe the only mistake was a too slow last lap as I thought I had more advantage. It's been tough but I am happy to be back and win a race."
Rossi finished just 0.344 seconds behind and increased his lead in the title race to 11 points over Lorenzo, who finished third despite painful shoulder and foot injuries sustained while qualifying on pole position. Stoner finished fourth on his Ducati and is now 16 points behind Rossi.
The majority of the field chose to race on Bridgestone's hard compound slick tyre around the tricky Laguna Seca circuit.
"I am pleased with the durability of our hard compound slicks today as this track is very demanding but they showed good consistency and the top three riders were all able to set a faster race time than last year's winning time," said Tohru Ubukata, Bridgestone Motorsport's Manager of Motorcycle Race Tyre Development.
" This clearly demonstrates the steps forward in overall tyre performance we have made since then, and that the tyre options we brought this weekend work well at this circuit."
Round 10 of the championship is the UK MotoGP at Donnington Park on July 26th.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: