Rossi Cruises to Spanish GP Win
The Spaniard, starting the race from 2nd place, got off to an early lead and it seemed like the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix all over again for the Andalusian fans at Jerez. Unlike last year, however, Rossi responded quickly enough and started hunting down Pedrosa midway through the race. The inevitable happened 10 laps to the finish line, when Rossi overtook Pedrosa and began improving himself lap after lap all the way to the chequered flag.
Rossi went on to secure a quite comfortable win ahead of his Honda rival, crossing the finish line 2.7 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Third overall – but with no chances whatsoever to challenging for the lead – was Ducati’s Casey Stoner (10 seconds behind), scoring his first career podium at the Spanish track.
Although he started the race from pole position, former championship leader Jorge Lorenzo failed to cross the finish line ahead of his home crowd, as he lost control of his bike with only 3 laps to go. He was then in 4th place but fighting for a podium finish with Stoner.
“To win here at Jerez is fantastic because it is a great place and a great Grand Prix. I am so happy because I am top of the championship but I know I am fighting against some very strong rivals who are very difficult riders to beat,” said an enthused Rossi after the race. The Yamaha rider is not leading the MotoGP standings, 11 points ahead of nearest rival Stoner.
Fourth place overall was clinched by Frenchman Randy de Puniet, after the LCR Honda rider had previously started the race from 5th place. He was followed at the chequered flag by Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri and Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi. Colin Edwards, Andrea Dovizioso (who went to the run-offs in the early stages of the race), Toni Elias and Chris Vermeulen completed the Top 10.
Rossi’s advantage in the overall classification is now 11 points to second placed Stoner, with Lorenzo and Pedrosa square on points in 3d place (24 points down to leader Rossi). The next race in the MotoGP calendar is scheduled 2 weeks from now, at Le Mans (France).