By Stephen English
Having qualified fifth, MotoGP champion Casey Stoner was downcast about his prospects of claiming his first Spanish Grand Prix win, the Australian commenting on Saturday that, “The Spanish riders just seem to find something extra here at Jerez.”
With Jorge Lorenzo on pole position and countryman Dani Pedrosa alongside him on the front row, it seemed that Stoner would have a hard day's work to get to the front of the field during the 27 lap race.
A slow start did not help his cause with the Repsol Honda rider Stoner getting boxed in by Ben Spies, but with damp conditions the eventual victor was simply keen to avoid any potential accidents at the opening corner.
Stoner alluded to his clash with Valentino Rossi last year by saying, “I put myself into a nice comfortable position [at the first corner] not to hit a wet patch and not to get t-boned by somebody”
The 26 year old however wasted little time moving to the front of the field and once there his thoughts changed to battling with Lorenzo and Pedrosa.
“I didn't think I could break away from Dani or Jorge,” said Stoner. “But I thought I could go away with them for the chance of a podium.”
In the closing stages of the race however Stoner was struggling with arm pump and poor grip under braking, allowing Lorenzo to close up to his rear wheel.
“The bike wasn't working great at the end of the race under brakes and we were just trying to hold on for the win.”
That's exactly what Stoner succeeded in doing, claiming his first 1000cc victory by 0.947s over Lorenzo, with Pedrosa two-seconds behind in third.