Jorge Lorenzo was putting a brave face on his last-turn defeat at the hands of Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi in his home Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday.

Having missed last year's Catalunya event after a practice accident, Lorenzo made a spectacular 2009 return to Barcelona, sitting no lower than second in the four track sessions prior to the race and qualifying on pole position.

Lorenzo then put his FC Barcelona colours into an early lead, with Rossi following in close pursuit and, after Casey Stoner dropped away from lap 9 of 25 onwards, the race became a pure two-way duel for supremacy.

With neither rider able to inflict a decisive blow, a last lap showdown was inevitable and began with Lorenzo squeezing his way firmly past Rossi on the brakes into Turn One.

Rossi's Turn Four counter-attack proved unsuccessful and Lorenzo crucially held his ground under braking at the end of the back straight, widely seen as the final opportunity for an overtake.

But Rossi surprised Lorenzo by launching up the inside into the fast last turn, then kept his M1 on-line to win by just 0.095sec.

"This was an incredible battle today and a brilliant show for everyone, I am happy to have been a part of it," said Lorenzo.

"Of course I am sad to have lost because I put my heart on my bike and in my career I am more used to winning these last-lap fights, but today Valentino was maybe a little bit cleverer or a little bit braver than me at the very end and he was able to beat me.

"In fact during that last lap, after I passed him, I expected him to pass me back on the brakes much earlier but he didn't come, and then I just didn't close the line enough on the final corner and that was it.

"I am proud however because I am young and I still have a lot to learn in this class. My team have worked so well all weekend so thanks to them, if we can continue as strongly as this all season then who knows what can happen?"

Rossi, Lorenzo and Stoner are now tied at the top of the MotoGP World Championship, and have also taken two wins each from the first six rounds.

"It was a fantastic battle, which I think everyone enjoyed watching and seeing Jorge fight to the end with Valentino was very special for our side of the garage," stated Lorenzo's team, manager Daniele Romagnoli. "20 points means we have the same points as Valentino and Casey and now we can go to the next race in a strong position. Hopefully we can continue in this shape and maybe next time we can reverse the podium position."



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