Casey Stoner moved to within seven points of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship lead with his third victory of the season, in Catalunya on Sunday.

The Repsol Honda rider's second victory in succession looked a foregone conclusion as he pulled steadily away from points leader Jorge Lorenzo, although light rain around the midway stage of the 25 laps kept the Australian on his toes.

Stoner took the chequered flag 2.4sec in front of Yamaha rider Lorenzo, whose team-mate Ben Spies was third.

"We got a reasonably good start but not as good as Jorge. I wanted to try to pass him early on but had to wait until the end of the first lap," said Stoner.
"From this point I just tried to put in the consistent laps as we did in the practice sessions to see if he could stay with me, fortunately I was able to open up an advantage without pushing too hard or feeling too much pressure.

"I was really happy, the bike was feeling fantastic and then it started to rain. There was enough rain there to make you think that it will affect the bike, and in the last corner there was enough rain to make the track slippery.

"As I was always the first to arrive to the wet area of the track, I watched what the others were doing and if they had started to catch me then I would push and if I start to pull an advantage then I would back off a little.

"I'm just happy I kept the bike upright at this stage and I want to thank all my team at Repsol Honda for all the hard work this weekend.

"We now head to Silverstone next week where we'll also be looking to fight for victory, I just hope Dani can make a return there also and I wish him a fast recovery."
Estoril winner Pedrosa missed his home race due to a broken collarbone and is uncertain for Silverstone.

Third Repsol rider Andrea Dovizioso finished less than a second behind Spies, having held off countryman Valentino Rossi for the third race in a row.

"I didn't have a perfect start and this complicated the race. In the first laps with a full tank, I didn't have good stability in the front," said Dovi.

"With the hard tyres the traction was not so good compared to Lorenzo, Spies and Rossi who were riding with soft tyres. Even if we improved compared to Le Mans in terms of lap times, I'm not happy finishing 4th position, five seconds behind the winner.

"Today we were fast and I think that with a good start we could have at least fought for the podium. I'm sorry for my team as they worked hard during the whole weekend. Now I look forward to next weekend's race in Silverstone, a circuit that I like and where I hope to get a good result".