Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) stole an impressive fifth win of the season from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) at Laguna Seca.
Lorenzo made a strong start and led for the majority of the race, whilst Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa clung on to second until eventually conceding to team mate Stoner, being passed through the corkscrew on lap fourteen. Stoner then closed the gap on Lorenzo before getting the drive out of turn eleven to pass on the outside, taking the lead with 6 laps remaining.
Stoner continued his advance to build a 5.634 second gap, whilst Lorenzo, suffering from injuries sustained in a massive high-side in qualifying, was unable to match the Australian's unrelenting pace and had to settle for second.
Dani Pedrosa rode consistently to maintain third, but was unable to keep pace with Stoner and Lorenzo. American Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) put in a strong performance at the Californian circuit, battling with Valentino Rossi early on in the race for sixth before pushing through on the inside on the third lap.
Three laps later Marco Simoncelli crashed out of fifth place, losing the front end in turn eight whilst dropping down from the corkscrew, leaving room for Spies to fill the void and begin closing the gap on Dovizioso, who maintained fourth place throughout the race until Spies was finally able to pass the Italian on the inside with two laps remaining.
Rossi battled with his revised GP11.1 Ducati to take sixth place, fighting to maintain his advantage over team mate Nicky Hayden in seventh on the GP11 machine. Veteran Texan Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) finished in eighth, whilst team mate Cal Crutchlow crashed in the third lap on his first race at the circuit.
Ben Bostrom, making his MotoGP debut at 37 for LCR Honda, retired after running off the track into the gravel trap, whilst Alvaro Bautista had been showing promise moving up from twelfth to eighth place before crashing out of the race with nine laps remaining.
1. Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team, 43'52.145
2. Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, +5.634
3. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, +9.467
4. Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing, +20.562
5. Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team, +20.885
6. Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team, +30.351
7. Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team, +31.031
8. Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, +45.502
9. Hector Barbera, Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP, +51.549
10. Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini, +1.08.850
11. Karol Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing, +1.09.132
12. Loris Capirossi, Pramac Racing Team, + 1 lap
13. Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP, + 1 lap