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Pedrosa back on top with Aragon win
30 September 2012
Dani Pedrosa kept his MotoGP title hopes alive with a dominant victory over world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo in Sunday's Aragon Grand Prix.
The race looked to be shaping up to be a repeat of the Brno battle - decided in Pedrosa's favour at the final turn - as the pair broke quickly away from the rest of the field.
But victory was effectively decided when Pedrosa passed Lorenzo on lap 7 of 23, with Lorenzo then losing touch after a near highside on the exit of turn one. Pedrosa won by 6.4s.
Pedrosa's fourth victory of the season has trimmed Lorenzo's title lead - which had mushroomed after Pedrosa's Misano disaster - to 33 points, with four rounds and 100 points remaining.
While the two Spaniards maintained position for much of the race, the fight for third entertained the fans right to the end.
Initially a four-way contest, rookie Stefan Bradl made an early exit when he lost the front of his LCR Honda. That left an all-Yamaha contest between Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.
Spies had dropped away as the last lap began, but with Tech 3 riders Dovizioso and Crutchlow still fighting furiously.
Crutchlow's final challenge was a block pass on Dovizioso on the entry to the back straight, but Dovizioso squared-off the turn and rode by the Englishman on the exit to claim his sixth rostrum of the year.
Alvaro Bautista was unable to repeat his Misano podium heroics for Gresini Honda, but made solid progress to rise from twelfth on the grid to sixth, some 14s behind Spies.
Jonathan Rea's second MotoGP appearance, in place of Casey Stoner at Repsol Honda, saw the WSBK star start and finish in seventh place - one position higher than he had managed at Misano.
Factory Ducati team-mates Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi both suffered off-track incidents.
Rossi brushed the side of Rea under-braking at the end of the back straight on the opening lap, sending the Italian down an escape road and leaving him in last place.
The seven time MotoGP champion then worked his way back up the order to eighth at the flag, despite a further off track excursion.
Hayden paid a higher price.
The American suffered a nasty accident when he ran off track at the final turn on lap two, possibly after saving a low-side, then couldn't stop and slammed into a tyre barrier - launching the American over the top and onto the road on the other side.
Hayden, who suffered a concussion and fractured hand at Indianapolis, was taken to the Medical Centre for checks where he has later declared 'ok'.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB), Aleix Espargaro (Aspar CRT), Randy de Puniet (Aspar CRT), Hector Barbera (Pramac), Yonny Hernandez (Avintia CRT), James Ellison (PBM CRT) and Michele Pirro (Gresini CRT) completed the scorers.
MotoGP now heads for flyaway events - in Japan, Malaysia and Australia - before returning to Spain for the Valencia season finale.
Stoner hopes to return for the Motegi round, on October 12-14.
Aragon Grand Prix:
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Ben Spies
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Jonathan Rea
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Karel Abraham
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Randy De Puniet
12. Hector Barbera
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. James Ellison
15. Michele Pirro
16. Mattia Pasini
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Colin Edwards
19. Stefan Bradl
20. David Salom
21. Nicky Hayden
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