Spains Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) won the third round of the MotoGP World Championship at Le Mans in France on Sunday and extended his championship lead over team-mate and current world champion Valentino Rossi to nine points. Hondaâs Andrea Dovizioso was third.
It was Lorenzoâs second win of the new season and it gave Yamaha three wins from the first three races in a season for the first time since 1980.
Rossi led from pole position ahead of the traditionally fast-starting Pedrosa, but Lorenzo was already past Pedrosa from seventh at the start by lap six. He took the lead from Rossi on lap seven only for the Italian to immediately reclaim it. Lorenzo tried again on lap 10 and made the move stick, opening up a gap that extended to 5,6 seconds at the chequered flag. Rossi then fell into the clutches of the Honda pair of Dani Pedroso and Dovizioso, but was able to hold them off to the finish.
In a thrilling battle for the last podium position, Dovizioso hounded his Spanish team-mate and snatched third place on the last lap. Nicky Hayden also managed to get past Pedrosa in the final seconds to finish fourth for the third time in a row. Marco Melandri was sixth.
Lorenzo leads the championship with 70 points with Rossi second on 61, followed by Dovizioso (42), Pedrosa (40) and Hayden (39). Former champion Stoner, after two non-finishes in three races, looks to have dropped out of the title race and is 13th on 11 points.