Rossi put the pressure on Stoner and took his first ever win at Laguna Seca
Rossi takes incredible win at Laguna Seca MotoGP
20 July 2008 23:07
Valentino Rossi has taken victory at Laguna Seca in one of the most fantastic MotoGP races for years.
Casey Stoner dominated practice all weekend but come the race it was Rossi that pulled it out of the bag to put incredible pressure on the Ducati rider.
The opening four laps were absolutely amazing with the two riders swapping places constantly - at one point it was every corner. Rossi even went for the pass at the corkscrew but ran on to the dirt and nearly lost it.
After five laps the two settled down with Rossi in the lead and Stoner looked like he was sizing up the Italian, but every time he tried he couldn't make it work, finally running wide with 19 laps to go.
But it was all over with 9 laps to go as Stoner outbraked himself going in to the final turn, ran wide and dropped the bike in the gravel at almost walking pace.
Incredibly the leading two's gap was so big that Stoner managed to get back on and rejoin the race still in second place, but all his chances of a win had gone.
Rossi kept up his pace though and came across the line in a stand up wheelie celebrating profusely.
Chris Vermeulen worked his way through the pack after another poor qualifying to get a massive lead over fourth place man Andrea Dovizioso and secure third place on the podium.
James Toseland managed to get up to fourth in the opening lap but soon dropped to 7th place which he held for most of the race but lost out to Toni Elias and Ben Spies in the closing stages of the race to finish in ninth.
Jorge Lornezo didn't make it past the first lap. Trying hard to take fourth place he pushed too much and highsided out in spectacular style crashing hard on to the tarmac.
Top ten finishers:
Full results here