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GP Week : Issue 30
>>Moto GPMOTEGI “With five laps left I started to feel better and I hadn’t given up, so I started pushing again. Then I made a mistake at the bottom of the hill and the race was over.” He was still less than two seconds adrift at the end. Pedrosa came under severe pressure from Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha), and the pair collided as the younger rider tried to force his way past last time through the hairpin, putting Lorenzo out of touch over the rest of the lap. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) had started well from the front row, but didn’t quite have the pace of the leaders. He dropped almost 25 seconds behind, and in the last laps found himself under attack by a group of four who had been circulating in close company all race. It was led by last year’s winner Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), with Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha), Shinya Nakano (San Carlos Honda), caught at the finish by Andrea Dovizioso (Team Scot Honda). The quintet crossed the line within less than 1.5 seconds. John Hopkins (Kawasaki) snitched 10th from James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) on the last lap; Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) had closed right up on the pair, but, riding with a wrist fracture, lacked the strength to attack. Marco Melandri (Marlboro Ducati) was a couple of seconds back in 13th, after running off in the early stages and fighting back; Sylvain Guintoli (Alice Ducati) and Kawasaki’s Ant West (who also ran off, battling brake problems throughout) took the final points. Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) also had a braking problem and retired after running into the gravel; wild card team-mate Kousuki Akiyoshi crashed out on the first lap. Rossi is now unassailable as champion on 312 points, but second is up for grabs. Stoner has 220 and Pedrosa 209. Lorenzo and Dovizioso (169 and 136 respectively) are out of touch. 37