Jorge Lorenzo has extended his MotoGP title lead to 77 points, over three race wins, after claiming his seventh victory from ten starts in Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
Starting third on the grid, the Fiat Yamaha rider took the lead from title rival Dani Pedrosa
at turn three of the opening lap, with the Repsol Honda rider also losing second position to Ben Spies.
Pedrosa re-passed the MotoGP rookie into the same corner next time around, and soon rode up to Lorenzo's rear wheel. Pedrosa then shadowed Lorenzo until just before the halfway stage of the 22 laps, when Lorenzo began to break away.
The #99 extended his advantage over Pedrosa during the second half of the race to win by a comfortable 5.494sec. Lorenzo then celebrated on hole seven of the Brno golf course.
Spies lost third place to Ducati's Casey Stoner
on lap nine, while Valentino Rossi
- who will finally announce that he is joining Ducati next season, later today - was strangely off-form throughout the race.
The reigning seven time MotoGP champion dropped from fifth to eighth through the opening turns and simply never made an impression on the race.
Rossi took seventh from Colin Edwards
on lap four, which became sixth place when Andrea Dovizioso
spun off his Repsol Honda - after running off line, while fourth - later in the same lap.
The Doctor's final pass was on Nicky Hayden, riding with a hand injury, for fifth place on lap six and he crossed the line 17sec from victory and 4sec behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Spies, who will replace Rossi at the factory team next season.
Hayden had dropped almost nine seconds back from Rossi by the end of the race, with fellow American Edwards 6sec behind the Ducati rider and the same margin ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri.
The only action at the end of the race was the fight for eighth, with Marco Simoncelli being passed not only by team-mate Melandri, but also Aspar Ducati's Hector Barbera and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet
(riding less than a month after breaking his leg).
Simoncelli also looked set to lose out to Alvaro Bautista, when the injured Suzuki rookie overtook him late in the last lap - only to fall at the final turn.
Team-mate Loris Capirossi
had crashed earlier in the race, while Pramac's Mika Kallio
fell from ninth on lap eight.
A post race test session will be held at Brno on Monday.Czech Grand Prix:
10. de Puniet
13. de Angelis