The second round of the 2012 MotoGP season took place at Jerez on Sunday, when Casey Stoner put his Qatar troubles behind him by holding off Jorge Lorenzo to claim his first victory of the new 1000cc era.
The reigning double world champion had to soak up constant pressure from the Yamaha rider during the closing stages, while Stoner's Repsol Honda's team-mate Dani Pedrosa just got the better of Cal Crutchlow to join them on the podium.
Crutchlow set the fastest lap of the race in his efforts to claim a debut grand prix rostrum, but could be proud of finishing as the top satellite rider for the second race in a row. The Englishman was just 2.465s from victory.
Like Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso also played a leading role in the action-packed early laps - which saw him as high as second - before finishing in fifth.
Satellite Honda riders Alvaro Bautista and rookie Stefan Bradl moved in the other direction, rising from eighth and ninth on lap one to claim sixth and seventh at the flag. Americans Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden were the riders they overtook.
Starting from the front row, Hayden more than held his own in the lead group during the early stages, but his dry pace fears proved accurate and he crossed the line in eighth place. However he remained the top Ducati rider, by one place and six-seconds from team-mate Valentino Rossi.
Randy de Puniet out-qualified three manufacturer bikes for tenth on the grid, and formed part of a group battling for ninth during the middle stages of the race. A safe twelfth looked then assured until he parked his Aprilia on the penultimate lap.
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