Rossi Wins as Lorenzo Crashes at Brno

The title fight in the MotoGP championship this year is as good as over, since Valentino Rossi's win at the Cardion AB Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday, coroborated with Jorge Lorenzo's crash only 5 laps to the finish line handed the Italian a 50-point lead in the overall classification with only one third of a season to go.

From the early beginning, with Casey Stoner out of the equation, the two Yamaha riders built a comfortable lead up front, tackling the last part of the race more than 10 seconds ahead of nearest rival Dani Pedrosa. However, the pressure got to the young Mallorca based rider in the closing stages of the race and he slid out, less than 5 laps to the chequered flag.

Rossi therefore cruised to one of his easiest wins this season, followed by Honda's Pedrosa in second place. Repsol Honda could have had two riders on the overall podium at Brno, but Gresini Honda's Toni Elias had other plans for the afternoon. The Spaniard edged the Donington Park winner Andrea Dovizioso in the dying meters of the race, scoring his own first podium finish of the season.

Fifth overall was Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi, who finished just ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden. The Top 10 was completed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, Gresini Honda's Alex de Angelis, Monster Tech 3's James Toseland - still looking for the big break in the championship - and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet.

Mika Kallio ended his first works ride with Ducati out in the gravel, as he braked late in the penultimate lap and collided with Hayate Racing's Marco Melandri.

"I knew that today would be tough because Jorge had gone with a fantastic pace in the practices. So I tried to make the perfect race, great start, stay at the front and push like a devil! I was making it hard work for him and then when he overtook me with six laps to go I was ready for battle and to put on a good show," said Rossi after the race.

"On turn three he lost the front and it is very bad for Jorge, it is a pity, but it is good for us as we now have a 50-point lead. There is still a long way to the end of the season but we have a good advantage, so we have to keep pushing and stay focused," added the Italian rider.

On the other hand, Lorenzo expressed his disappointment over his crash on Sunday, while also apologizing to his team for his unfortunate maneuver.

"Unfortunately for me Valentino was just as strong as he'd been all weekend and I had to push very, very hard to stay with him. Towards the end I began to close the gap and after I passed him I was doing everything to stay in front, but then I made a mistake and crashed. There's nothing more I can say except that I'm so sorry to the team and to Yamaha and I will do everything I can to make it up in America," said the Spaniard.
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