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Lorenzo scores a hat-trick with emphatic home win

Jorge Lorenzo took an emphatic home win in front of a passionate Catalan crowd at Montmeló this afternoon, his fifth victory of the season and third in a row. This means that Yamaha now has more wins than any other manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era, with 57. Wataru Yoshikawa, standing in for the injured Valentino Rossi, put in a brave performance to finish 15th in extremely hot conditions, taking a championship point in the process.

Starting from pole, also for the third consecutive race, Lorenzo lost ground to Dani Pedrosa into turn one but his fellow Spaniard then ran wide, leaving the Fiat Yamaha man in the lead. The next few laps saw Lorenzo at the head of a tight trio, as Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner pushed hard to stay with him. Early on lap four the Italian Dovizioso briefly got his nose in front but Lorenzo soon got back by him to lead once again the next time around. On lap six the trio became a twosome when Stoner ran off track, but it looked like Lorenzo might have a battle on his hands as Dovizioso showed no signs of letting him get away. With ten laps to go however Dovizioso crashed out, leaving Lorenzo nearly six seconds clear of Pedrosa in second. From then on it was just a case of keeping his head as the tyres started to slide more and more in the extreme heat, but the 23-year-old is a cool customer these days and he eventually flew over the line 4.754 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Stoner third. Lorenzo has taken a hat-trick of wins once before in his career, in his 250cc days, and is the first Yamaha rider to take three wins from three poles since Eddie Lawson in 1986.

Having not raced competitively since 2002, Yamaha test rider Yoshikawa was faced with a near impossible task this weekend in the testing conditions at a track he had never seen before. The 41-year-old fought on to the finish however, gathering important information for the M1's future development in the process, and was rewarded with a championship point for his efforts.

Lorenzo now has an impressive 52-point lead in the standings ahead of Pedrosa, whilst Rossi drops to seventh after missing four races. Following three punishing weeks on the road, the MotoGP paddock now has a ten-day rest before it reconvenes at the Sachsenring in Germany for round eight.

"This is very special. After losing so closely last year I was happy but not completely so and today I can say I am completely happy, winning here at my home race. It was very difficult today because it was so hot and the front tyre was sliding a lot. I thought I was going to have a big battle with Dovizioso because he was pushing very hard but then he crashed and I was alone; it was lucky for me because then I was able to take it more gently to the finish. I think I rode a clever race today. I am so grateful to my team and to everyone at Yamaha and Bridgestone because they are working so hard to make our bike competitive at every track. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that came to watch today, it is a great feeling for me to win here in front of them all." - Jorge Lorenzo

Championship Standings
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 165
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 113
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 91
4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 69
5. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 69
6. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 67
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 61
8. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 59
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 39
10. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 39
11. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 39
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 34
13. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 28
14. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 25
15. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 25
16. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 24
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 18
18. Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) Interwetten Honda MotoGP 4
19. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Fiat Yamaha Team 1

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