Tenacious Stoner holds off Lorenzo
World champion Casey Stoner held off a determined challenge from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo to claim victory in the second race of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on Sunday.
Stoner started from the second row after Saturday's rain-affected qualifying but the Australian Honda rider took advantage of the drier conditions for the race and soon snatched the lead from Spanish team mate Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo, another Spaniard who won the season-opener in Qatar and started from pole position again on Sunday, pursued Stoner doggedly but could not find a way past and his challenge faded on the final lap.
"At the beginning of the race we didn't get such a good start and it was really difficult to stay out of trouble and try to stay with the front," Stoner said in an interview with Spanish television.
"When I started to push I noticed that myself and Jorge were able to take a little bit of an advantage over the others so I continued to go and continued to push," added the 26-year-old.
"It was a very, very difficult race today but to hold on for the entire race in near-enough to dry conditions was really a great day for me."
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Stoner, who moved to within four points of Lorenzo in the championship standings, finished in a time of 45 minutes 33.897 seconds, with 2010 champion Lorenzo 0.947 behind.
Pedrosa was third, just over two seconds adrift of Lorenzo, with Britain's Cal Crutchlow fourth on another Yamaha, just under half a second further back.
Spaniard Pol Espargaro clinched his debut Moto2 victory in front of his home crowd earlier on Sunday in a race cut short by rain, while Italian rookie Romano Fenati showed a glimpse of his potential with a maiden Moto3 win after almost half the field crashed out.
1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team 45'33.897
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing +0.947
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team +2.063
4 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +2.465
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +18.100
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini +21.395
7 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP +28.637
8 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team +28.869
9 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team +34.852
10 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team +35.103
11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing +38.041
12 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar +1'12.728
13 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project +1'18.669
14 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master +1'29.142
15 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens +1'32.478
16 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing +1'40.577
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 1 Lap
Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar 2 Laps
James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport 3 Laps
Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 9 Laps