Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo cruised to the MotoGP win at Mugello this afternoon, crossing the line with five seconds in hand over Dani Pedrosa while a tyre gamble for Casey Stoner failed to pay off and he slumped to an eighth-placed finished after running off track on lap ten when his pads were knocked back in the calipers.
The reigning world champion started the race on Bridgestone’s extra-hard compound tyre after being unable to get the usual hard option to work, taking a flier on the rubber coming to him as the laps clicked down but he went off track at Correntaio, coming back on track in tenth place and had to fight his way past Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista.
Stoner, who is always critical of dangerous passes, will need to take a hard look at himself as the move he put on the San Carlo Honda man was dodgy to say the least as he basically ran into the satellite RC213V after being unable to outbreak the Spaniard at the end of the front straight into San Donato. He finished 30 seconds behind Lorenzo and further drops behind him in the title stakes.
Pedrosa had a lonely race in second place but all the action was going on for the final podium spot. Andrea Dovizioso and rookie Stefan Bradl were neck and neck from half distance with the German sticking it under the Monster Yamaha man on lap nine when Dovizioso ran wide into San Donato.
He was unable to make a break, however, and then was re-passed on the brakes while fifth-placed Nicky Hayden started to hunt them down. Behind the American, Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow were having their own battle and lapping faster than the battle for third.
Crutchlow was unable to find a way past The Doctor as he was visibly down on top end but the gods were smiling on the British rider as just after Hayden put a move on Bradl for fourth, the German went back under the 2006 world champion, pushed him wide and that allowed Rossi to pass his team-mate.
Isle of Man, er, man Crutchlow then capitalised and passed Hayden through the final corner to take sixth behind Rossi, himself registering his best dry-weather result on the Ducati. Hayden will be cursing himself for allowing a rookie to hang him out to dry so late in a race.
Barbera got the better of Bautista for ninth while Ben Spies had another disastrous race after starting brightly. The Texan scythed his way backwards to 12th place, making a big mistake mid-race, and found himself battling with the CRT of Randy De Puniet, only getting the better of the Frenchman on the last lap to take 11th. It was later revealed he has food poisoning again and rode while suffering dizzy spells.
Aleix Espargaro, on the sister bike to De Puniet, just got ahead of James Ellison in the last throes to take second in the CRT class but Ellison bags another two championship points to add to his tally. Colin Edwards spent his race in and out of the pits and eventually retired.