Dani Pedrosa won the 2010 Mugello, Italian MotoGP

MotoGP: Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

Dani Pedrosa Victory

Dani Pedrosa (#26) on pole, Jorge Lorenzo (#99) and Casey Stoner (#27) were poised to dominate the race.  First time on the Mugello circuit, MotoGP rookie Ben Spies (#11) qualified seventh, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (#4).

Valentino Rossi (#46) was hospitalized following a crash during Free Practice 2 on Saturday.  Today, sitting on the grid waiting for the race start, Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, held a sign reading

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Ben Spies got his 2010 world championship campaign firmly back on track with a battling seventh place finish in the Italian MotoGP race at Mugello.

Spies showed his failure to finish the previous two races had done little to dent his confidence as he made a stunning start from the third row of the grid.

The 25-year-old slotted into a brilliant fourth place before he slipped back to seventh in a hectic opening few laps.

He briefly moved back into the top six with an overtake on Randy de Puniet on lap six but spent the remainder of the 23-lap encounter giving his maximum effort to try and close in on captivating battle for fourth position.

Spies brilliantly hunted down Casey Stoner, de Puniet and Marco Melandri but despite launching a persistent challenge he was never able to get sufficiently close to mount an attack.

The Texan’s morale-boosting result though moved him back into the top ten in the world championship standings on 20-points with four of the 18 rounds completed.

With a flawless race, Pedrosa crossed the finish line first to take the top spot on the podium and the 25 Championship points needed to move into second overall, with 65 points.  He was followed across the finish line by Jorge, in second, scoring 20 points to lock in a strong first place Championship lead at 90 points.  And Dovizioso came in third, scoring 16 points to step up to fourth in the Championship with 58 points, just three points behind Rossi.

In the final lap Melandri and Stoner battled for fourth, and Casey came out on top to score a fourth place finish.  But, with only 24 points so far, Stoner sits in a distant eighth position in the Championship.

The next round of the MotoGP series is the British grand prix from Silverstone on June 20.

1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 170.4 42’28.066
2 20 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 170.2 +4.014
3 16 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 170.0 +6.196
4 13 27 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 168.7 +25.703
5 11 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 168.7 +25.735
6 10 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 168.7 +25.965
7 9 11 Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 168.5 +28.806
8 8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 167.8 +40.172
9 7 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 167.7 +41.394
10 6 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 167.7 +42.107
11 5 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda 167.6 +43.095
12 4 40 Hector BARBERA SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 167.6 +43.363
13 3 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.6 +1’14.393
14 2 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 165.0 +1’24.389
Not Classified
36 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing Team Ducati 166.7 15 Laps
69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 167.4 18 Laps
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