US MotoGP: Casey Stoner dominates Laguna Seca
Casey Stoner has won the US MotoGP round at Laguna Seca with a totally dominant performance on the Ducati Desmosedici.
Dani Pedrosa led from the start, but within two corners Casey Stoner was in the lead, and kept the advantage to the chequered flag. His closest challenger was Chris Vermeulen for Suzuki, but it proved impossible for him to catch his fellow Australian. Both riders were lapping under the old lap record for almost every lap of the race, and Vermeulen kept second. It was a great result for Vermeulen, who dropped out of the lead in 2006 due to fuel problems.
Marco Melandri took third despite being barely able to walk to his bike for the start of the race, holding off the challenge of Valentino Rossi on the leading Michelin-shod bike. Dani Pedrosa took fifth, with Randy De Puniet in sixth.
Reigning champion Nicky Hayden suffered an abysmal race, after running wide in the first corner, and turning in to clash with John Hopkins. Despite staying on board the factory Honda, Hayden was unable to recover due to a twisted handlebar. Anglo-American Hopkins remounted, but was also unable to recover due to a lengthy pitstop. And to complete the misery for home fans, Colin Edwards dropped down the order with what appeared to be tyre problems, while Miguel DuHamel ended his wildcard ride in the pits. The only bright note was the performance of Roger Lee Hayden on the Kawasaki.
Britain's Chaz Davies was unlucky to make a trip to the pits. Despite also taking a trip across the gravel at the Corkscrew while in 15th place, Davies returned to lap with times which would have put him in the top ten, despite only sitting on the D'Antin Ducati for the first time on Saturday.
Other retirements included Loris Capirossi and Kurtis Roberts.