Jorge Lorenzo emerged as the sole survivor of a three-way victory battle in Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Slotting into an early third behind pole sitter Dani Pedrosa and championship leader Valentino Rossi, after living up to his nickname with an outside pass on Colin Edwards through turn one, the trio quickly broke away from the rest of the field.

But Pedrosa lost the front of his Repsol Honda into the final turn on lap 4 of 28, setting up another Yamaha vs. Yamaha battle between Lorenzo and team-mate Rossi.

Having fallen from the lead at the last two rounds, and been beaten by Rossi in two other victory showdowns this season, Lorenzo seemed the most likely to falter.

But the young Spaniard confidently overtook Rossi through turn one on lap 9 and was pushing ahead when Rossi's M1 collapsed onto its side just one lap later.

That left Lorenzo unchallenged for his third victory of the season and first since round four at Le Mans, having lost points to Rossi at the six rounds prior to Indy.

"If you want to win, you have to always be at the limit, and in the last two races I was at the limit to try to win and I crashed, so I was a bit disappointed," confessed Lorenzo.

"But today the situation changed completely and my closest rivals have crashed instead. Of course I'm sorry for them but these are the highs and lows of racing and it's an amazing result for me.

"At the beginning I struggled to keep with Pedrosa and Vale. But after five laps I felt comfortable. I felt that I had to pass Vale to try to open it up, because Vale was not so fast in that moment. Last time in Brno he was much faster.

"Today I felt great on the bike. I think if Valentino hadn't crashed, I could have ridden maybe in the 1min 39.9 or 39.8," added Lorenzo, who set the fastest lap of the race with a 1min 40.152sec.

"When Vale crashed I didn't realise for a while, because I misread my pit-board and thought it said +0 [seconds] not +6! When I realised I just focussed on trying to finish."

Lorenzo added that the mistakes made by Pedrosa and Rossi on Sunday, and by himself at previous rounds, are a sign of how hard they are pushing each other.

"It is like when Kevin [Schwantz] and Wayne [Rainey] and Eddie [Lawson] were fighting always at the limit and sometimes they crash. Now I think we are coming to these times. I'm happy to be part of this," he said.

Never threatened after Rossi's exit, Lorenzo simply had to keep his concentration for the remainder of the race - and plan his huge victory wheelie.

"With six laps to go I was thinking 'maybe I will try a wheelie on the straight'. Then I thought, 'OK, I'm going to do 100 metres or 200 metres', but in the end I did almost one kilometre! It was nice, being on the wheelie like that and seeing the team celebrating," explained Lorenzo, who won by 9.4sec from Alex de Angelis.

Among those impressed by the wheelie was third place finisher Nicky Hayden.

"He's brave," smiled Nicky. "After seeing Bautista [loop out at Brno], I'm scared to even ride a wheelie for a few races. [Laughter] No disrespect to Bautista, because I did it at home with nobody watching. But on the cool-down laps, I bring up the front end and bring it back down. It will probably be next year before I'm ready to ride any wheelies!"

After his wheelie, Lorenzo climbed up the spectator fencing "to celebrate with the fans like Spiderman" and was then given a mock shield to match his special Captain America helmet design - something he plans to improve for next season.

"It's not perfect because, you know, the wings are like the Honda wings!" said the newly re-signed Yamaha rider. "But for sure I will try to make it better for next year."

On a more serious note, Lorenzo has now halved Rossi's title advantage to 25 points with five rounds remaining, starting next weekend on Rossi's home ground in Misano.

"It's always is tough to beat Valentino, and in his home it will be difficult, but I like Misano and will try to be on the top, or in the top three for sure," said Jorge. "Before this race I said that the championship was almost impossible, now I say it's difficult but not impossible. It's possible. It will be hard but we won't give up!"



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