Lorenzo On Top at Le Mans


Spanish star Jorge Lorenzo found the perfect remedy for his Jerez frustrations at Le Mans, bouncing straight back from his DNF in Spain with a brilliant win at the Grand Prix de France in highly difficult conditions. To return to the top of the standings, Lorenzo took the lead on the first lap and shot away at the front, building up a big advantage on wet tyres as the track dried quickly, eventually being the last rider to change onto slicks in his first ever ‘flag-to-flag’ contest and riding superbly on both sets of tires to win by a 17 second margin. Another brilliant effort by Marco Melandri saw him cross the line second for his first podium since 2007, having been unsure of his MotoGP future over the winter. Dani Pedrosa hunted down his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap for third place to secure his third consecutive podium result. Australians Casey Stoner and Chris Vermeulen were fifth and sixth respectively, with Stoner drawing level with Rossi in second place in the championship. Loris Capirossi would have ultimately hoped for better than the eighth place. A solid performance for James Toseland saw the Englishman take a step in the right direction in ninth and Toni Elías completed the top ten.

Lorenzo’s advantage at the top of the standings is just one point, ahead of title favourites Rossi and Stoner who sit jointly in second position with 65 points each. Mugello, one of Rossi’s favourite venues and his home circuit, will host the next round, the Gran Premio d’Italia, the fifth date on the 2009 MotoGP World Championship calendar.


Giovanni Balestra


May 18, 2009