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MotoGP Estoril: Stoner takes lights-to-flag win; Rossi seventh

Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner once again had to battle terrible chatter from his RC213V for the entire

Estoril MotoGP race this afternoon but he kept 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo behind him to take victory and increase his series lead.

The Aussie passed team-mate Dani Pedrosa on the exit of the first corner when the tiny Spaniard was lifted out of his seat and then promptly cleared off with Lorenzo in tow while Ben Spies nipped under Cal Crutchlow for fourth and Andrea Dovizioso settled in sixth.


Spies didn't remain with the front runners for long, running wide and then never recovering. The Texan slipped back to eighth place on his works Yamaha and had to endure a battle with rookie Stefan Bradl while the satellite YZR-M1s of Crutchlow and Dovizioso scrapped for fourth.

It looked like front-row starter Crutchlow had the measure of his team-mate but, as Pedrosa disappeared up the road, Dovizioso came past the Briton still with 24 laps to go and Crutchlow had no answer. Stoner, meanwhile, had put a 1.5s gap on Lorenzo but his chatter was starting to become a problem and the Spaniard began to reel him in.

At half-distance, Lorenzo was on Stoner's rear wheel while Pedrosa was also cutting the gap but Stoner responded and slowly eeked out the lead again before putting the hammer down with a couple of laps to go, crossing the line with a 1.4s advantage. Pedrosa completed the podium a further two seconds behind while Dovizioso was some 14s behind Stoner.

Alvaro Bautista assumed the sixth place in which he has found himself all weekend, just ahead of nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi while Spies got the better of Bradl for eighth but heads will be scratched again the Yamaha garage tonight.

Hector Barbera headed Nicky Hayden, who once agains started well but faded while Aleix Espargaro won the CRT battle ahead of his bruised team-mate Randy De Puniet. James Ellison retired for the second race in a row.

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