Three races into the 2010 MotoGP World Championship season and Fiat Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have already broken clear at the head of the standings.

Lorenzo has finished 2-1-1 to hold a nine point advantage over reigning champion Rossi (1-3-2 results), with the Italian sitting a substantial 19 points clear of third-placed Andrea Dovizioso.

But what of the other two 'aliens', Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner?

Pedrosa sits one place behind Repsol Honda team-mate Dovizioso in fourth, 30 points from Lorenzo as he seeks to solve stability complaints, while Stoner - although often a least as fast as the Yamaha riders - has suffered a nightmare start, falling twice from his Ducati and claiming a fifth at Jerez.

Those two non-scores have left the 2007 world champion just 13th in the standings, a huge 59 points from Lorenzo - well over two race wins.

Rossi, competing in his eleventh premier-class season, admitted he was surprised that the 2010 title race had, at least at present, become a two-rider contest.

"Nine points is better as an advantage than as a disadvantage, but I'm not a lot behind and the championship is so long," began the nine time world title winner.

"What I didn't expect is to be fighting just with Jorge. After the winter I expected Stoner and maybe also Dani - but especially Stoner - to be more close. Now it is like another Yamaha fight."

Reflecting on the need for consistency, Rossi revealed that the present machinery doesn't allow the rider to find an extra something during the race.

"For sure in some races, in some days, you don't have enough speed to try to win," said the Italian, after finishing runner-up to Lorenzo at Le Mans on Sunday.

"Sincerely, in the past, with the different bikes and different tyres, it was possible to try to 'invent' something during the race.

"But now, if you don't have the pace, if you try you just crash. So this second place and these 20 points are not so bad."

Lorenzo also underlined just how important it is to finish all of the races - a lesson the Spaniard learnt from 2009, when he sustained four non-scores compared with two for Rossi.

"I think for this championship it's important not to crash and to finish all the races," said Lorenzo.

"Casey is so fast, is so aggressive, but he's crashed two times in three races and for sure he will need to win a lot of races to recover the points.

"I think Valentino and myself have, at this moment, a [consistency] that the other riders don't have."


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