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Lorenzo storms to wet Le Mans win

Jorge Lorenzo wins the French MotoGP at a soaking Le Mans, Valentino Rossi passes Casey Stoner for second place on the final lap.
Jorge Lorenzo has won a soaking wet French MotoGP at Le Mans, round four of the 2012 season.

The Yamaha star led almost from start to finish, in a race that saw Valentino Rossi claim his best result as a Ducati rider after passing reigning champion Casey Stoner for second position on the very final lap.

Lorenzo was bravest on the opening lap, charging from fourth to first in the slippery conditions, overtaking Repsol Honda riders Stoner and Dani Pedrosa on the brakes.

The 2010 world champion then quickly built a buffer over his rivals, although Stoner threatened resistance around the middle stages, when he trimmed Lorenzo's lead to back under three seconds.

But the Yamaha rider responded and rode to a dominant 9.9sec victory at the conclusion of the 28 laps.

Lorenzo, who trailed reigning double world champion Stoner by just a single point heading into the race, is now back on top of the standings by eight points after his second win of the season.

While Lorenzo rode a solitary race, Rossi - whose only previous Ducati podium came at the same (dry) event last year - was involved in wheel-to-wheel battles throughout.

Moving from seventh to fourth on the opening lap, Rossi overtook the fading Pedrosa for third place on lap three. The seven time MotoGP champion was then caught by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.

The trio squabbled over the final podium place from laps 4 to 18, when Crutchlow lost the front of his M1 at the first chicane. The Englishman remounted - as did Dovizioso, who suffered the same fate with four laps to go. The pair finished seventh and eighth.

Rossi, who had caught Stoner in the early laps but failed to make a move, had broken free of Dovizioso and reeled in the reigning world champion over the final ten laps.

The Doctor then got within striking distance of his long-time rival when Stoner was held up by Yonny Hernandez with four laps remaining. Perhaps remembering last year's Jerez collision, Rossi was careful to pick his moment - an his first two passing attempts gave Stoner enough room to cut straight back inside.

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OilSpud69 - Unregistered

May 20, 2012 2:03 PM

Rossi running at the sharp edge makes MotoGP more exciting, period. It's not bias, just fact. He might not be everyone's cup of tea, but, boy, he sure brings it to the table in spades. That was a proper demonstration in race craft, if ever the doubters needed one. It's just what MotoGP needs, less moaning and more wheel to wheel action.

rainy days - Unregistered

May 20, 2012 2:02 PM

what a brilliant last 3 laps between Stoner and Rossi,, edge of your seat racing in the wet. the battle the world has been waiting for, Master class by Jlo unlucky for the tech 3 boys.

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