THE CHAMPION FIGHTS BACK
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has thrust himself back in the battle for the 2011 title with a storming win in the Italian MotoGP at Mugello.
Starting on Bridgestone's hard front and rear slick tyres from fifth on the grid, the Spaniard rode an immaculate race to lead home Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, who pipped pole-sitter Casey Stoner for second place.
Stoner led for the opening 17 laps but was caught with six laps to go, Lorenzo overtaking the Australian brilliantly on the inside before stretching clear. On the final lap, Dovizioso relegated Stoner to third place.
"It's a really important win, and from now everything is possible," Lorenzo said.
"I have won a lot of races very spectacularly in my career, but this is one of the best."
Although the top six riders used the harder rear slicks, tyre choices were split exactly in half throughout the field with eight riders favouring the harder rear and eight using the softer.
"Jorge's winning race time on this new tarmac and using our asymmetric rear slicks for the first time was 40 seconds faster than the previous race time record, which shows not just good outright pace but also consistency," said Hirohide Hamashima of Bridgestone's Motorsport Tyre Development Division.
"Jorge rode a very good race today and he and the Yamaha team made the very best of our tyres today in what was a very exciting race."
Lorenzo's victory means he cuts Stoner's lead at the top of the standings to 19 points after eight races of the season, while Dovizioso remains third.
|1. ||Casey Stoner (Australia) ||Honda ||152 |
|2. ||Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) ||Yamaha ||133 |
|3. ||Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) ||Honda ||119 |
|4. ||Valentino Rossi (Italy) ||Ducati ||91 |