Jorge Lorenzo continued his relentless march towards a maiden MotoGP world title in 2010 after another crushing victory at the Catalunya circuit in Spain today.
The Fiat Yamaha rider was left to stroll to his fifth win of the season when his only serious challenger Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of second place on lap 15.
With Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner locked in their own battle for second after both saw their victory hopes wrecked by mistakes under braking at the first corner, Lorenzo was nearly seven seconds clear in the final stages.
His latest dominant win took his premier class winning tally into double figures and he became the first rider to win three successive races from pole position for Yamaha since Eddie Lawson in 1986.
He now holds a commanding 52-point lead in the championship with Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa fighting back superbly to claim a hard fought second.
The dull and strung out 25-lap race might have been different had Pedrosa not taken full advantage of another typically flying start from the second row of the grid.
He led into the first corner but then ran wide in the braking zone and slipped way down to tenth.
He’d already claimed five places by the end of lap two and he moved into fourth spot by Randy de Puniet on lap six at the first turn.
He took third when Stoner made an identical mistake at the first corner on lap six but Lorenzo was already over two seconds clear and holding off the persistent threat from Dovizioso.
Pedrosa eventually held off Stoner for the second time in eight days to claim second by 0.202s after Stoner had reclaimed fourth from de Puniet on lap nine.
Stoner had to settle for third again with LCR Honda rider de Puniet in a lonely fourth. It was easily the Frenchman’s best result of 2010 so far and cemented his place as the leading non-factory rider in the championship.
Home favourite Alvaro Bautista claimed a brilliant fifth place on a factory Suzuki GSV-R that had struggled woefully in the early part of the season.
The Spaniard just fended off a late attack from American Ben Spies.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider had dropped from fifth on the grid to tenth but took seventh from Marco Melandri on lap 18 and he then grabbed sixth from Italian veteran Loris Capirossi on lap 23.
He ended just 0.142s behind Bautista, who claimed only his second top ten finish for Suzuki.
Marco Simoncelli blew his chance to claim a maiden top six finish when he crashed out on lap 14.
And Dovizioso’s title hopes suffered a hammer blow after his crash while desperately fighting to stay behind Lorenzo.
The 23-year-old factory Yamaha rider had just picked up his pace when the Italian crashed out on lap 15. He remounted to finish 14th but is now a massive 74-points behind Lorenzo.