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MotoGP Jerez: Stoner wins Spanish thriller; Rossi ninth

Reigning MotoGP World Champion took victory in a thrilling (yes, really) Jerez Grand Prix in Spain this afternoon, just pulling a gap on second-placed man Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap with only 2.4s splitting the winner to Cal Crutchlow in fourth place.

Stoner led for a majority of the 27-lapper but Lorenzo closed him right down in the last ten laps and, when the Aussie had a big moment through turn ten, he was able to close right in. The Repsol man just found something on the final circuit, however, pulled a small-enough gap to take the win even though his arm-pump had become an issue.

Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow put in the ride of the day, harrying multiple world champion Dani Pedrosa for the entire race and only finishing fraction of a second behind the works Honda man for fourth on a track he 'really, really doesn't like'.


The opening lap saw Moto2-style style action with Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies bashing fairings for position while Stoner got boxed into seventh and surrounded by satellite bikes.

He made his way through in double quick time, passing Pedrosa for the lead and taking Lorenzo with him while Hayden slid into third place as Crutchlow and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso sat on Pedrosa's rear wheel.

Stoner began to stretch out the pack and Crutchlow settled in behind Pedrosa's Repsol Honda. He was faster in a couple of places but HRC-power coupled with the Spaniard's feather weight meant he just couldn't get close enough under brakes to make a pass stick.

As the laps clicked down, the pair started to catch Lorenzo and Stoner, and had it been three laps longer, we could have seen a completely different result as the leaders' tyres were shot and you could physcially see Lorenzo's front Bridgestone shedding rubber.

Dovizioso couldn't match the pace of Crutchlow and slipped back to a lonely fifth place while Alvaro Bautista rolled across the line in sixth place. Rookie Stefan Bradl bagged seventh as Hayden slipped back to eighth on the works Ducati.

Valentino Rossi ended in ninth place and the best part of 35s behind the leader. He did, however, get the better of Hector Barbera while Ben Spies had another disaster, finishing in 11th place and 38s in arrears.

Britain's James Ellison pulled out of a point-scoring position with two laps to go and will be heartbroken as Randy De Puniet ran out of petrol on the final lap which would have put the Kendal man second in the CRT race behind Aleix Espargaro.

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