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Rossi clinches Czech MotoGP after Lorenzo falls
BRNO, Czech Republic, Aug 16 (Agencies):
Published on 16 Aug. 2009 11:15 PM IST
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Valentino Rossi dealt a massive psychological blow to Yamaha team-mate and world championship rival Jorge Lorenzo with an emphatic fifth win of the season at Brno. The world champion cruised to victory in the Czech MotoGP after Lorenzo fell from the lead as the two battled at the front on lap 18. As they did at Barcelona and the Sachsenring, the two Yamaha riders were separated by less than a second for the entire race as they battled for supremacy, swapping lap record times as they swiftly dropped early leader Dani Pedrosa in their wake. Once Lorenzo had dispensed with Pedrosa's Honda on lap four, he began to pursue Rossi as the pair disappeared down the road. The blue and white bikes then ran in formation for the next ten laps, before Lorenzo mounted a concerted charge. On lap 16 the Spaniard broke the lap record again - 1m56.670 - and then dived down the inside of Rossi into Turn 3. Rossi capitulated, but begrudgingly and stuck firmly in Lorenzo's tow. Enough indeed to replicate the manouvre on the following lap. And that's when Lorenzo fell. The front-end gave way on the Spaniard's bike and he simply slid off into the gravel, infuriated and defeated. From that point on Rossi was home and dry – with a 50 point lead and six races to go. Behind them Pedrosa ran a lonely race, which became a valuable second place when his bitter rival Lorenzo fell. Gresini Honda's Toni Elias produced his usual Brno performance with a stunning third place after a fairing-to-fairing dice with Donington winner Andrea Dovizioso. The two Honda riders swapped positions as if they were racing 125s, and the result was not settled until the final corner. Loris Capirossi was in close pursuit too on the Suzuki. Nicky Hayden recorded probably his best performance of the season, if not his best result (which was fifth at Laguna Seca), less than 26s behind the winner in sixth place on the Ducati. The American passed his countryman Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) on lap 17 and after that he had a clear run home. Gresini Honda's Alex de Angelis was eighth and James Toseland (Tech 3) ninth having inherited the position on the penultimate lap when Marco Melandri and Mika Kallio made contact on the last corner. Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki) appeared to take a shot up the inside of the Ducati rider, who was on a different, and faster, trajectory. The riders came to blows off the bikes too. Randy de Puniet finished tenth for LCR ahead of Chris Vermeulen on the second Suzuki.

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