Casey Stoner has won his first MotoGP of the year winning the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in a race he has called one of the greatest of his career.
The victory is the Australian’s first win at the Jerez circuit and 34th of his career and he is just four points behind Jorge Lorenzo in the championship chase.
Stoner beat home championship leader Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha, with Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa in third just ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
Stoner was forced to work for his victory at both ends of the race. Starting fifth, the two-time world champion was involved in a fantastic battle with a large group of riders off the start. He passed Pedrosa on the third lap and cleared out.
However, his lead disappeared with nine laps to run as Lorenzo applied plenty of pressure. Three laps from the end the Spaniard looked set for a pass on the final corner, but Stoner held him out and then put a small gap on the Yamaha rider through to the finish.
“Hats off to the team as they turned it around for me today and it was probably one of the greatest races of my career,” said Stoner.
“We were definitely struggling with the set-up and had to find something for the race today.
“The warm-up was wet and we decided to skip that and gamble on the changes we made would be good in what we hoped would be dry conditions for the race.
“We lost a little bit of grip in the rear, but we got a lot better feeling in the front. For me that is what this track is mainly about, getting that front through the turns and it was a really fantastic race for us.”
RESULTS : Spanish Grand Prix – Jerez
|1||Casey Stoner||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|2||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|3||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|4||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|5||Andrea Dovizioso||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|6||Alvaro Bautista||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda|
|7||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda|
|8||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|9||Valentino Rossi||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|10||Hector Barbera||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati|
|11||Ben Spies||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|12||Aleix Espargaro||Power Electronics Aspar||ART|
|13||Danilo Petrucci||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda|
|14||Mattia Pasini||Speed Master||ART|
|15||Ivan Silva||Avintia Blusens||BQR|
|16||Colin Edwards||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter|
|17||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati|
|DNF||Randy de Puniet||Power Electronics Aspar||ART|
|DNF||James Ellison||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART|
|DNF||Michele Pirro||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR|
|DNF||Yonny Hernandez||Avintia Blusens||BQR|
|15||Randy de Puniet||-42|