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GP Week : Issue 95
Jorge Lorenzo took all the lucky sevens at Brno. In an uneventful (ie: dull) MotoGP race he chalked up victory number seven of the year to extend his points lead over second-placed Dani Pedrosa to 77. His margin was not quite seven seconds ... but it might as well have been. Pedrosa's Repsol Honda was on pole, and as usual he leapt of the line to lead into the first corner. But before the lap was done Lorenzo was ahead, and that was that. Pedrosa, over-cautious under braking on a cold tyre, was actually pushed to third by fellow front-row starter Ben Spies (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha), but on lap two he was in front of the rookie again, and by the fifth the Spanish duo were a second clear and stretching. Dani stayed close to the Fiat Yamaha for the first eight laps. The pace was not fast -- Lorenzo blamed a steady wind and a rain- washed surface. But Pedrosa was suffering wheel-spin problems, and was unable to attack. Lorenzo had crashed heavily in qualifying while trying for pole, escaping unhurt. But, he explained, his error made him angry, "and when I am angry I am faster. It can be dangerous with more risk, but today it was okay. "I pushed, and when I saw the gap to Dani grow a bit, I pushed harder. I thought he would attack because the lap times were quite slow .. but in reality I was close to the limit." In this way, the gap steadily stretched, while a crowd officially numbered at 148,120 waited for some excitement. Not much was forthcoming. There was a change of position on lap nine, when Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati) found his way past Spies for third. He shook the American off three laps later, but was by now five seconds behind Pedrosa. He'd been troubled in practice trying to find a balance for the bike, and though by the end he thought he had done so, his plan to verify the progress and even improve were scotched when race- morning warm-up was wet: "I kept pushing the front ... but when I saw Dovizioso going down I realised everybody was having problems," he said. That earlier frisson could have been a lot more dramatic, but thankfully wasn't. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) had got ahead of Stoner on lap three and was looking at catching Spies when he crashed on the exit of one of the downhill corners. He landed in the middle of the track, and 30