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MOTOGP

Lorenzo zips back to winning ways

Spaniard extends riders’ championship lead with resounding Italian GP victory

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Jorge Lorenzo leads the way on his Yamaha at Mugello, with Dani Pedrosa’s Honda in second and Italy's Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) third.

Jorge Lorenzo extended his lead at the head of the riders’ championship on Sunday after claiming a comfortable victory at the Italian Grand Prix. The MotoGP 2010 champion started on the grid behind compatriot Dani Pedrosa but snatched the lead as early as the first turn and never looked back as he inexorably pulled away from the field.

Lorenzo set a new lap record during his consummate victory and once again showed that rival teams will have to pull something special out of their tool boxes to prevent their riders enjoying bi-weekly views of the back of the Spaniard’s Yamaha.

Lorenzo’s fifth win of the season increased his tally to 185 points, extending his lead over Pedrosa to 19 points after nine races. Pedrosa finished second at Mugello in a reverse of last week’s result at the Sachsenring, where the Honda rider was victorious. Andrea Dovizioso was third with reigning champion Casey Stoner back in eighth. The Australian, who is to retire at the end of the current season, is third overall with 148 points with Dovizioso fourth on 108.

Championship leader Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró were both among the points in the Moto2 race

“All weekend I’ve ridden well and clean. It was a tough race — I didn’t think I would be able to get away. Pedrosa was always close but in the end I managed it and I rode much calmer. I’m happy to have the points on the board,” said Lorenzo, who was taken out at the first turn at the Dutch GP by Álvaro Bautista.

“It is true that we could have had more points and a greater advantage and for that reason I didn’t let Holland out of my head. But races come as they come and you have to accept what happens.”

Championship leader Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró were both among the points in the Moto2 race, which was won by Italy’s Andrea Iannone. Espargaró came in second to maintain the pressure on Márquez, who finished runner-up last season to Germany’s Stefan Bradl. Iannone, third overall last season, pulled level with Espargaró on points — 129 — through his home victory at Mugello.

Both riders are 34 points adrift of Márquez, who it has been announced will be joining Pedrosa at Repsol Honda Team in MotoGP in 2013. “To reach MotoGP next season with Repsol Honda is a dream come true,” Marquez said on MotoGP.com. “Now my focus is on Moto2 where my team and I are working very hard and we are excited to achieve our goal, which is to win the world championship in 2012.”

Iannone’s victory prevented a Spanish treble at Mugello as Maverick Viñales stormed home for his fifth win of the season. Romano Fenati came in second with Sandro Cortese third. Cortese tops the drivers’ standing on 164 points, with Viñales nine behind the German and Spaniard Luis Salom third on 104.

“I want to dedicate this win to Joan Xufré, as the anniversary of his death was in Germany [last week] but everything went so badly there I preferred to wait to offer him a victory,” said Viñales after the race.