The Mercury

Stoner holds off Lorenzo to win Catalunya Grand Prix

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BARCELONA: Australian Casey Stoner powered his Honda to victory in the Moto GP category of the Catalunya GP, the fifth race of the motorcycli­ng world championsh­ip yesterday.

Stoner finished ahead of Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo and American Ben Spies, both on Yamahas, at the Montmelo circuit to claim his third victory from five starts after winning in Qatar and France.

Lorenzo’s second place kept the Spaniard in the lead of the overall standings with a seven-point cushion on Stoner.

“Jorge got off to a good start and I had to wait until the end of the first lap to overtake him and then he couldn’t stay with me” Stoner said.

Reigning world champion Lorenzo reported: “It was really tough to fight with Casey – I tried to live with him as many laps as possible, but my rear tyre was sliding.”

Honda rider Marco Simoncelli, who had to employ bodyguards after receiving threats from fans angered by his role in a collision which left Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa injured last week in France, started from pole position. However the Italian started badly, with Lorenzo taking the lead from the outset.

In the Moto2 category Germany's Stefan Bradl, riding a Kalex, claimed victory ahead of Spaniards Marc Marquez, of Suter, and Aleix Espargaro, of Pons Kalex.

Spaniard Nicolas Terol, riding an Aprilia, claimed victory in the 125cc category. – Sapa-AFP

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