Jorge Lorenzo increased his championship lead to 72 points over fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, after winning the American MotoGP race at Laguna Seca on Sunday. It was Pedrosa aboard his Repsol Honda RCV who led the first eleven laps of the race, and looked like he might be on his way to his third and second consecutive win of the season. But Lorenzo pushed his Fiat Yamaha M1 hard to stay in touch with Pedrosa—a tactic that paid dividends on lap 12 of 32, when the Honda rider suddenly lost the front of his RCV and crashed out of the race. It may well become a pivotal moment in the 2010 championship, as it gives Lorenzo another 25 points to add to his total and leaves Pedrosa with nothing for the first time this season.
“It was clever to push Dani to the limit but not easy as well because Jorge is the championship leader and he had the most to lose, he really had to ride at the maximum to do this,” said Fiat Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.
“We’re happy Dani isn’t hurt and now we have an amazing 72-point lead as we break for the half-way point of the championship,” Zeelenberg added.
Ducati’s Casey Stoner finished second while Lorenzo’s recovering team-mate, Valentino Rossi, rounded out the podium after overtaking Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso with five laps to go to.
Lorenzo celebrated his victory at Laguna by dressing up in a NASA-type spacesuit (pictured) and performing a mock moon-walk through the corkscrew gravel, where he planted his Lorenzo Land flag.
“I am so happy to win here at Laguna Seca, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Lorenzo, who was injured in his two previous appearances here. “I rode so well today, right on the limit and I had to push very hard to stay in touch with Dani. He is always so strong on race day but I knew if I kept the pressure on him then there was a chance he would make a mistake and I would be able to catch him. I’m sorry he crashed but from then on it was very easy for me because I had a big gap from Casey. I have a big lead in the championship but there is half of the season left and it wouldn’t be the first time a rider has lost the title with such a big lead, so we can’t take anything for granted. I am really looking forward to some time to relax now after two very busy months. Thanks to everyone in my team for doing a brilliant job.”
Round ten of the 2010 championship takes place at Brno on August 15.
2010 US MotoGP – Race results
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Fiat Yamaha Team 43m 54.873s
2. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 43m 58.39s
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 44m 8.293s
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team 44m 9.061s
5. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Marlboro Team 44m 9.474s
6. Ben Spies USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 44m 13.91s
7. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 44m 35.594s
8. Marco Melandri ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 44m 42.092s
9. Mika Kallio FIN Pramac Racing 44m 47.686s
10. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 44m 47.687s
11. Roger Lee Hayden USA LCR Honda MotoGP 45m 8.962s
12. Alex de Angelis RSM Interwetten Honda 45m 9.539s
Aleix Espargaro ESP Pramac Racing
Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini
Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team
Hector Barbera ESP Paginas Amarillas Aspar
Alvaro Bautista ESP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
2010 MOTOGP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
POS RIDER TEAM POINTS
1 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha Team 210
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 138
3 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 115
4 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team 103
5 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team 90
6 Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Team 89
7 Ben Spies Monster Yamaha Tech 3 77
8 Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 69
9 Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda Gresini 53
10 Marco SimoncelliSan Carlo Honda Gresini 49
11 Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 48
12 Hector Barbera Aspar Racing Team 41
13 Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 36
14 Mika Kallio Pramac Racing Team 31
15 Alex Espargaro Pramac Racing Team 28
16 Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 25
17 Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda 18
18 Alex de Angelis Interwetten Honda 8
19 Roger Lee Hayden LCR Honda 5
20 Kousuke Akiyoshi Interwetten Honda 4
21 Wataru YoshikawaFiat Yamaha Team 1