Starting from pole position was San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista in what would become one of his most impressive MotoGP race finishes to date. However it was Factory Yamaha’s Ben Spies who took the holeshot, leading the race for the opening laps, ahead of defending World Champion Casey Stoner, with Bautista chasing in third, followed closely by Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Jorge Lorenzo trailed in 5th place, but started to make a move with 17 laps remaining.
As Bautista and Hayden continued the battle for third, Lorenzo began to close the gap and make quick work of the pair, in an effort to chase down Casey Stoner who had overtaken Ben Spies for the lead. With Stoner out front, Lorenzo was eager not to let the Honda rider get away, and eventually passed both Alvaro Bautista and his Yamaha teammate, Ben Spies, to move into second position.
With 11 laps remaining, Lorenzo was closing the gap on Stoner and appeared in the hunt for the victory. Meanwhile, British native Cal Crutchlow was the man on the move as he was suffering from a cracked and dislocated left ankle which saw him miss Saturday’s qualifying and start from the back of the grid. With 10 laps remaining, Crutchlow had slowly worked his way up to an impressive 7th place position behind LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl.
Lorenzo eventually overtook Casey Stoner with nine laps remaining, while Stoner started to fade and a battle ensued for second position between Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista.
In the end it was Jorge Lorenzo who crossed the line in first place, followed by Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Alvaro Bautista and Ben Spies. Cal Crutchlow made an impressive pass on the last lap to gain 6th place over Germany’s Stefan Bradl. Valentino Rossi crossed the line in 9th place while Hector Barbara rounded out the top ten.
According to Lorenzo, ““Today was a very difficult race, the front guys were very strong and very fast so it was very hard for me to catch them and stay with them. Little by little the rear tire drops a bit more, I had good confidence and I was faster than them and I started to catch them. When I caught up I didn’t want to crash so I waited for my moment and was patient. When I caught Casey we had a wonderful fight, luckily for us I had a better pace and I passed him. Four laps from the end I made a big mistake and almost crashed! I’m very happy with the result, and for the team who gave me a good bike again.”
Lorenzo now leads the MotoGP championship with 140 points, 25 points ahead of defending World Champion Casey Stoner.
Round seven of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen, Netherlands June 28-30, 2012.