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Lorenzo storms to victory in rain-soaked Le Mans MotoGP

Win sees Spaniard take top spot in championship battle

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Jorge Lorenzo during Sunday's MotoGP in Le Mans. EFE

Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo took the lead in the MotoGP championship on Sunday thanks to a commanding win in the wet at Le Mans, France.

Lorenzo was in a class of his own during the race, positioning his Yamaha in the lead at the start and carving out a nearly two-second advantage after a highly aggressive first lap. There he stayed until he took the checkered flag, keeping a calm head in the conditions and never once being troubled by his competitors.

Meanwhile, further down the field, soon-to-retire Casey Stoner (Honda) enjoyed a tire-to-tire battle with Valentino Rossi (Ducati), the Italian eventually overtaking the Australian on the final lap of the race after an epic duel that saw him finish second, and left Stoner in third.

Spain’s Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who had started from pole, fell back during the early stages of the race, but was gifted fourth place thanks to the falls of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, both riding for the Tech 3 Yamaha team.

The result leaves Lorenzo on 90 points in the riders championship, eight points ahead of Stoner, who is in second place. Pedrosa is third, with 65 points. Ahead of Sunday’s race, Stoner was top of the table, with a one-point advantage over Lorenzo.

Meanwhile, the rain caused chaos in the Moto3 category, with the race decided more by who was able to keep from falling than by who was the fastest man on the track. Of the 32 riders who started the race, just 15 finished.

France’s Louis Rossi took the checkered flag, followed by Spaniards Alberto Moncayo in second and Alex Rins in third — the pair finishing nearly 30 seconds behind the leader.

In Moto2, Spain’s Marc Márquez lost his championship lead after crashing out 10 laps into the race while running fifth. Switzerland’s Thomas Lüthi managed best the terrible weather conditions, finishing in first place.