Lorenzo storms to lonely win at Silverstone
MotoGP, Silverstone. By Zoe Burn and Mic Archbold.
JORGE Lorenzo has won the Air Aisa British MotoGP at Silverstone.
The Fiat Yamaha star dominated the 20-lap race around the Northants circuit, leading from the first lap all the way to the flag.
Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso took a hard-fought second place, while rookie Ben Spies took a stunning third on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
At the new-look venue's first GP race, Lorenzo never came under any pressure, as he crossed the line 6.743s ahead of Dovizioso.
A race which many feared would be second-rate given the absence of Valentino Rossi, it turned out to be perhaps the most exciting of the year.
Although Lorenzo took off at the front, an almost race-long battle involving Dovizioso, Randy De Puniet, Nicky Hayden, and later Ben Spies, Casey Stoner and a troubled Dani Pedrosa raged on throughout.
At the green light it was Lorenzo who got the best start, along with the Repsol Honda of Pedrosa, the pair swapping places a couple of times into the opening few corners. Ultimately it was a mistake from Pedrosa which let Lorenzo through, the move which eventually won him the race.
Meanwhile, Casey Stoner suffered a dismal start, dropping right to the very back of the pack as the field headed into Copse corner for the first time, but it was even worse for San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri, who crashed out towards the end of the opening lap while attempting to pass Spies.
As Lorenzo headed off into the distance, the big battle became that for second place, with Dovizioso and De Puniet fighting it out for 17 laps, with Hayden's Ducati hot on their heels.
Despite his best efforts, De Puniet's LCR Honda just couldn't hold off Hayden, who shot past him bringing Spies passed with him.
Pedrosa, who moved steadily backwards from the first lap was by now struggling down in eighth place, having lost out to both Stoner and the Honda of Marco Simoncelli.
But Stoner had finally found himself a strong pace, and had charged through the field from the very back to find himself now closing in on the back of Spies who was clinging onto fourth behind Hayden.
The last lap turned into a scrap between the Americans, as Spies pushed Hayden. The Texan tried everything he could to get past the bright red Ducati, and just when it seemed that Nicky had done enough, he ran wide.
It was all Spies needed to sneak the distinctive yellow and black Yamaha past, and he quickly stuck the hammer down and kept enough of a gap behind him to take the third spot.
It marks Spies' first podium in MotoGP, an impressive feat for the reigning World Superbike Champion in just the sixth round of the year.
Lorenzo now leads the championship on 115 points. Dovizioso climbs to second with 78, while Pedrosa is now third with 73.
*Images by Fotofuel