Australian Stoner wins Laguna Seca MotoGP

30 Jul 2012 07:16:54

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Casey Stoner, of Australia, claimed his second consecutive Moto GP US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway, finishing ahead of Spaniards Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

Reigning world champion Stoner completed the 32 laps in 43 minutes, 45.961 seconds, finishing three seconds ahead of Lorenzo, who started from the pole.

Stoner, 26, earned his fourth win of the season on the same circuit he was crowned champion in 2007 and 2011.

Stoner was the lone top rider to choose the soft-compound Bridgestone tyre.

"With the soft tyre, we knew that we would have to be a little bit gentle on it," he said. "If we pushed on it very hard the whole way through the race then it wouldn't last."

The podium spots were identical to last year and like 2011 Lorenzo was leading the race before being overtaken by Stoner.

Lorenzo couldn't hold off the Australian eventually surrendering the lead on lap 21.

"Casey was the best, fastest and most consistent," Lorenzo said. "It was not my day, it was the day of Casey. "

Pedrosa placed third -- as in 2011 -- crossing the finish line more than seven seconds behind the winner.

The World Championship ranking positions remain unchanged with Lorenzo in first place with 205 points followed by Pedrosa (182) and Stoner (173).

This was Stoner's fourth win of 2012 to go with victories in the Grand Prix of Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

It was a three-man race as fourth place finisher Italian Andrea Dovizioso finished over 18 second behind Stoner but ahead of teammate Cal Crutchlow. Nicky Hayden, who finished sixth, was nearly 27 seconds behind the winner.

Laguna Seca is known for it tricky sections, including the "corkscrew" and those resulted in several spills on Sunday.

American Ben Spies crashed with eleven laps remaining and Italy's Valentino Rossi did the same with three laps left.

Spies was running fourth when he crashed while coming out of the corkscrew turn on the 22nd lap. He was fortunate to escape serious injury as he surfed on the bike before finally being tossed off into the dirt.

Spies is planning on seeing a doctor about a possible broken heel he suffered in a crash on Saturday.

It was the first time this year Rossi had failed to finish a race. He was not injured.

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