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GP Week : Issue 173
one-third distance upped the pace to open a gap that kept growing to the end. “I felt good in the race – I didn’t need to go too hard. I could probably have chased Lorenzo, but there was a good gap behind. It was a big thrill to be on the podium here with Casey winning. The fans gave him a great reception and I'm glad I could be part of it,” he said. The other three battled to the end. Bradl (LCR Honda) was the only rider to choose the hard rear tyre, and mid-race it looked as though it might have been wise as he displaced Bautista (San Carlo Honda) to head the trio. But it didn’t last, and soon they were swapping places once more. Dovi took control at the start of the final lap, and hung on to the end, with Bautista fifth and then Bradl, all within two tenths. A long way back came the downbeat factory Ducatis – all hopes of a revival now sunk. Until half distance Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had been troubled by satellite Ducati rider Karel Abraham, who got between the pair. He finally lost touch, leaving Rossi to lead the American for seventh, with a yawning gap of 37 seconds to the leader. Almost 10 seconds from Abraham Aleix Espargaro finally triumphed in a race-long battle for tenth with Power Electronics team-mate Randy de Puniet’s identical ART by less than a tenth, a valuable step in the Spaniard’s quest to stay ahead of de Puniet as top CRT in the championship. The pair had outpaced Hector Barbera (Pramac Ducati). Petrucci was the last rider still on the same lap, with Pirro and Silva behind, and points for all 15 finishers. Ellison crashed out, Edwards and Rolfo retired. The top four title places are decided: Lorenzo (350), Pedrosa (307), Stoner (238) and Dovizioso (208). The fight at the last race will be for fifth, between Bautista (165), Rossi (157) and Crutchlow (151). 36 GPWEEK.com // 36 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> PHILLIP ISLAND