It was Pedrosa who got the holeshot, but it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who led the opening laps after overtaking the Spaniard early on. Yamaha’s Lorenzo, the only prototype rider to opt for the soft option rear tire, had a less than ideal start, but was soon up into third, forcing his way past Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso. It was heartbreak early on for the Speed Master Team, as Mattia Pasini dropped his bike on the opening lap, escaping unscathed.
Pedrosa and Spies were providing an entertaining battle at the front in the early stages, as Lorenzo was unable to close the pair down. Meanwhile, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, riding with a pain killing injection due to his fractured right ankle with torn ligaments, forced his way past San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista with a strong move. With 24 laps remaining Pedrosa made a move stick down the home straight to take the lead. A lap later, Stoner was a man on a mission as he also took LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl to go fifth.
It was misery for Ben Spies with 22 laps left as the American’s engine blew down the straight, causing the oil flags to come out, with the Yamaha rider immediately pulling off the racing line. This affected the following group, as Stoner dropped back behind Dovizioso and Bradl. San Carlo’s Michele Pirro and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were also robbed of any good luck as then had to retire with technical issues. Three laps later, Tech 3’s British rider Cal Crutchlow lost the front end of his bike in turn 4, unfortunately putting an end to his charge. In the meantime, Stoner had fought his way back past his group into third, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet had to pull in with a mechanical issue.
With 12 laps to go Pedrosa, who was on record breaking pace, had a big wobble, yet managed to stop himself running onto the grass. This did not stop the Spaniard however, and he soon rediscovered his rhythm. Five laps on, Dovizioso was all over the back of Stoner, who was fighting fearlessly with his injury, and took him for third.
In the end it was Pedrosa whose dominant performance resulted in his second win of the season ahead of Lorenzo and Dovizioso, taking his fifth podium this year. Lorenzo retains his championship lead, though it has been cut to 18 points by his Spanish rival. It was however Casey Stoner that arguably put in the best ride of the day, having gritted his teeth to finish a tremendous fourth despite injury. Bautista came in fifth, ahead of Bradl, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham. Top CRT wet to Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez in ninth, ahead of De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaró.
American Nicky Hayden was forced to miss the race due to a concussion sustained during a crash in qualifying in which he suffered a hard blow to the head and two small fractures to the second and third metacarpals of his right hand.
The MotoGP series heads back to Europe this week to Brno, Czech Republic for round twelve of the MotoGP championship.