Jorge Lorenzo pulled off a dream home win with just half a lap to go in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

The Fiat Yamaha rider, who crashed out of last year's race, looked in real trouble as he dropped from second to fifth in the early stages, as he struggled to find a rhythm with a full fuel tank.

It took until lap ten of 27 for Lorenzo to negotiate the Ducatis of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden, but once clear he initially failed to make an impression on either Valentino Rossi or Dani Pedrosa.

With a third of the race to go however the Spaniard picked up pace, suddenly the fastest man on track as he stormed up on his team-mate. On lap 22 he despatched the Italian but with only six laps left and a two second gap a victory still looked unlikely.

The tenacious youngster was not giving up however in pursuit of a sixth premier-class win and he rapidly gained on countryman Pedrosa to bring himself within striking distance on his penultimate lap.

After a few close moments, including contact at the final turn of the penultimate lap, Lorenzo needed to make a last lap pass to take victory. T's just what he did, passing Pedrosa on the brakes at the end of the back straight, then crossing the line 0.543sec ahead for a fairytale victory.

"It has always been one of my dreams to win a MotoGP race in Spain and this was like a movie, everything that could possibly happen did!" said Lorenzo. "It was a very hard race because I made such a bad start and then found it very difficult in the first laps - I gave myself a tough job to do. After that I started to feel better and rode like a demon to get to the front.

"Once I passed Valentino I knew that I couldn't take it easy, I had to try everything to win and it was all I could think about. I had a great fight with Dani and in one moment we nearly crashed so I had to try again, on the very last lap! I know it's better to win races calmly, from the front, but lately that hasn't been the way for us and I have had to fight on every lap.

"This has been an amazing day, I can't believe I've achieved this dream of mine, in front of all the Spanish fans at this magical place," he concluded.

Lorenzo, who turns 23 on Tuesday, celebrated in humorous style by leaping into the lake in the middle of the circuit, much to the rapture of the home fans who were already celebrating Spanish wins in the 125cc and Moto2 classes earlier in the day.

The win marked new team manager Wilco Zeelenberg's first in MotoGP and he was particularly intrigued by how Lorenzo had set his fastest race lap on lap 24 of 27 - all other riders had set their best by lap 7!

"It's fantastic to win this race in this way. The race itself was amazing, especially the last ten laps; a fight on the edge," he declared. "Jorge was so fast at the end of the race, really amazing. We have wondered why he seems to get much stronger at the end of races; I think it's a combination of his riding style and confidence, because from a technical point of view there doesn't seem to be anything wrong.

"Apart from a less than perfect start, he controlled the bike very well during and kept a very good pace. He was able to keep the pace at the beginning and never gave up; he just got better.

"The target for the season remains the same, to keep aiming for the podium every weekend. We all know there are a lot of great riders out there and they all want to win, so it won't be easy. We have always been confident about our potential and now we are even more so. Well done to Jorge and all the team."


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