x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

MotoGP: Stoner storms his way to Czech win

Casey Stoner stormed to his sixth victory of the season, battling his teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, to take the win at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno.

Casey Stoner had his Honda well ahead of the pack to win the Czech Grand Prix in Brno.
Casey Stoner had his Honda well ahead of the pack to win the Czech Grand Prix in Brno.

BRNO, Czech Republic // Australia's world championship leader Casey Stoner ran away to his sixth victory of the season in the MotoGP race at the Czech Grand Prix Sunday.

The 25-year-old Stoner, winning here for the first time since 2007, the same year he went on to win his only MotoGP world crown, beat his Honda Repsol teammate, Andrea Dovizioso of Italy, by 6.532 seconds.

"I had a really tough battle with Andrea [Dovizioso] in the early laps, but once I got past him I realised the bike had enough speed," said Stoner. It was his 29th MotoGP grand prix victory.

"After a tough weekend it's really satisfying to win here," he said, after finishing in fine sunny weather that helped dry the circuit after Saturday's rain.

Dovizioso said he was pleased with his result and with a "really competitive team".

"I made a really good start, [and] I tried to cut Casey, but I made a mistake," he said.

Italy's Marco Simoncelli on another Honda came in third for his first ever podium placing at this level.

"We, as a team, were confident of achieving a podium position this season, and I am really happy to have got my first one," Simoncelli said.

Jorge Lorenzo, the defending world champion, lost more points to Stoner in finishing fourth.

With seven races to go in the season, Stoner now has a comfortable overall lead with 218 points, followed by Lorenzo (186) and Dovizioso (163).

Dani Pedrosa, the Spanish pole-sitter, crashed out from first place on lap three, followed by Britain's Cal Crutchlow and the Czech Karel Abraham.

Stoner took the lead and kept building the advantage until a few laps before the finish when he allowed the chasers to narrow the gap.

Lorenzo took the lead briefly in lap one but then he gave in to pressure from Dovizioso and Simoncelli, and he had to fight hard to shake off Yamaha's US rider, Ben Spies, who finished in fifth place.

Valentino Rossi, the Italian Ducati rider, came in sixth, failing to extend his record of five MotoGP victories on Brno's undulating 5.403-kilometre circuit about 180 kilometres south-east of the Czech capital, Prague.