Pedrosa Scores First Win at Laguna Seca
The Honda rider got off to a great start from 4th on the grid and immediately put some 2-3 seconds to Rossi in the following laps. The Rossi-Lorenzo-Stoner trio stayed at a distant margin to the race leader for the majority of the race, until the Australian found it hard to maintain the pressure on the two Yamaha riders (soon after Lap 20).
Rossi and Lorenzo – the latter recovering very well after a crash in US GP's warm-up – then began to trail Pedrosa for the lead. The 2.5-second disadvantage to the Spaniard soon turned into a 1.5-second gap with one lap to go. While also pressured by his teammate for the runner-up spot, Rossi pushed hard and got within hundreds of a second from Pedrosa with only a few corners remaining.
Rossi pulled his last rabbit out of the hat in the final corner of the race, as he tried to outbrake his Honda rival going into the main straight. It didn't quite work, however, and Pedrosa managed to take the chequered flag only 0.344 seconds ahead of Rossi, with Lorenzo further in 3rd place (almost 2 seconds down to the leader).
Ducati's Casey Stoner had to settle for 4th place, some 12 seconds behind the leader, while in front of teammate Nicky Hayden. The Kentucky Kid scored his best finish of the season, as he managed to hold off Gresini Honda's Toni Elias for 5th place. Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards, Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen, LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet and Kawasaki's Marco Melandri.
In the overall classification, Rossi now leads from teammate Lorenzo by 9 points, while Stoner sits some 12 points behind, in 3rd place.