Casey Stoner edges closer to MotoGP world title

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner took no-one by surprise and cruised to another simple MotoGP win at Motorland Aragon this afternoon with team-mate Dani Pedrosa six seconds behind and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo taking the final podium spot.

The 2007 world champion took the lead from Ben Spies at the end of lap one after passing Pedrosa for second, got his head down and promptly cleared off leaving the Spaniard to demote the Texan and then do a similar disappearing act.

Spies had ridden around the outside of the Repsol bikes into turn one after they touched off the line but he just didn’t have the pace to live with them and gradually slipped back into the clutches of San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli, who had charged past Lorenzo on lap four.

The Italian got a bit giddy with it, however, running wide into the complex before the back straight and he ended up back behind Lorenzo. The big-barnetted HRC man got his mojo back but could do nothing about the pace of Lorenzo, who went past Spies for third with ten laps to go and pulled away.

Simoncelli leapt past Spies for fourth on the brakes into turn one and almost immediately stuck half a second on the former World Superbike Champion who could only muster fifth from his front-row start. Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista bagged sixth with Nicky Hayden clung into seventh ahead of Hector Barbera.

Marlboro Ducati’s Valentino Rossi started from pitlane after taking a seventh engine and was immediately gifted two places when Karel Abraham crashed and Randy De Puniet ran off while taking evasive action. He then worked his way past Colin Edwards and Hiro Aoyama to start a battle with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow.

Rossi went past the former World Supersport Champion and tried to gap the Monster Yamaha man, bit Crutchlow was having none of it and shadowed The Doctor until his tyres stared to go off. Crutchlow then rode round the outside of Rossi on the exit of the last turn to take back ninth with five to go and managed to stay ahead.

Aoyama was 11th, De Puniet 12th and Edwards was the last finisher in 13th. Andrea Dovizioso lost the front on lap one and crashed out while an errant Loris Capirossi ran into the back of Toni Elias with seven laps to go and they both crashed unhurt.

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