Jorge Lorenzo has pulled a 20-point lead at the head of the MotoGP standings after a hard-earned victory over countryman Dani Pedrosa in their home Catalunya round.

The second of the four Spanish events, Lorenzo had been beaten by world champion Casey Stoner at Jerez, but the Australian was surprising off-pace on race day at Catalunya.

Barring an ill-fated pass for the lead by Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies on lap 3, victory was a straight fight between two Spaniards.

Honda rider Pedrosa held the early advantage, until he was levered from the lead by Lorenzo into turn one on lap 7 of 25.

But Pedrosa clung with Lorenzo and slipstreamed back ahead on lap 12, then gained valuable breathing room when Lorenzo lost one-second after running wide.

It was a pivotal moment and the Factory Yamaha star dug deep to reel Pedrosa back in, and made the race-winning pass when Pedrosa bike wheelied onto the back straight with just over five laps to go.

Eventually winning by five-seconds, with the Yamaha president watching on, Lorenzo's third victory from five starts means his title lead has grown from eight to 20 points over Stoner, who finished fourth.

"I'm really happy with this victory as it was a very tough weekend," said Lorenzo. "We performed a lot better than yesterday as in qualifying it was very hot.

"The grip on the track after the rain this morning was also not so great. At the beginning of the race when I was following Ben and Dani it was very easy to make a mistake under braking and touch them so I waited for my opportunity.

"When Ben made a mistake I moved up. I followed Dani and watched him, he slowed his pace and eventually made a mistake so I was able to pass him then give it full throttle.

"Thank you so much to Yamaha and my team for working hard to make a great bike for today's victory," concluded the 2010 champion.

Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg was full of praise for Lorenzo, who has now scored 115 points out of a potential 125 so far this year.

"This is our third victory and a very important win for Jorge at his home track. It's also a very important moment of the season to have three victories and two second place finishes under the belt," he said.

"It looks like we have a very strong package for the rest of the season and we will test new items tomorrow to make it even stronger. Jorge rode brilliantly and his team also worked extremely hard over the weekend to deliver the win."

"A fabulous race from Jorge, he ran the best race possible. He could control Dani until he decided to pass and go," declared team director Massimo Meregalli.

Lorenzo has now already equalled his 2011 race win tally.

As well as Monday's Catalunya post-race test a further day of testing will be held at Aragon on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow we will test some new things; some of them are very interesting to make us even more competitive," said Meregalli.

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