The first Italian MotoGP since 2000 to take place without Valentino Rossi
has been won by Dani Pedrosa, who dominated the 23-lap race for his and Honda's first victory of the 2010 season.
Reigning seven time MotoGP champion Rossi missed his home race after fracturing his lower right leg in a Saturday morning highside and could be sidelined for months.
Just before the start, Lorenzo held up a message for Fiat Yamaha team-mate Rossi saying "Everyone can feel pain, but not everyone can be a legend”, while the whole of the Ducati grandstand displayed the word “Vale” with red and white cards.
Rossi himself then gave a message via telephone from hospital, which was broadcast over the circuit PA system to the fans. Rossi, who was watching on TV (see separate story), said he missed everyone and would be back soon.
In Rossi's absence, Pedrosa converted pole into the race lead and simply rode into the distance, helped by nearest rivals Lorenzo and Dovizioso exchanging second place in the early stages.
Pedrosa's lead over the Lorenzo/Dovizioso battle reached eight seconds, before the Spaniard put his factory RCV into cruise control to claim his ninth MotoGP victory by 4.014sec.
Lorenzo shook off Dovizioso in the closing stages to be the only rider to finish all four races this season on the podium, and the #99 now holds a 25 point lead over new nearest rival Pedrosa, with Rossi slipping to third.
Dovizioso at least had the honour of being top Italian and standing on his home podium, after his third third-place of the year.
On the podium, an unhappy Lorenzo - he later said he wanted to win to dedicate it to Rossi and couldn't understand his lack of pace - wore a “VR 46” t-shirt.