Reuters: Spain’s Dani Pedrosa surged past Jorge Lorenzo in the final turn at the Czech MotoGP on Sunday, winning a dramatic finish in Brno to narrow his compatriot’s lead in the riders’ championship.
Pedrosa, fresh off victory last weekend at Indianapolis, overtook Lorenzo midway through the race but needed to pass the championship leader at the end after losing his lead in the middle of the last lap.
The Honda rider finished in a time of 42:51.570, just 0.178 seconds ahead of Lorenzo on his Yamaha.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow finished third to claim his first podium spot of the season, easily ahead of Yamaha teammate Andrea Dovizioso of Italy in fourth place.
The Spanish rivals led the pack from the start of the race, and Pedrosa said he knew he still had enough to get past Lorenzo even after trailing before the final two turns.
“We were head to head into the (final) corner, but I was able to get my line and win this race,” Pedrosa said.
“It was amazing, and I am just so happy to win the race.”
It was the third victory of the season for Pedrosa, who has never finished better than second overall since moving to MotoGP in 2006. He is now on 232 points, 13 points behind Lorenzo in the standings with six races remaining.
Honda rider Casey Stoner, the 2011 champion who was ruled out this weekend because he needs surgery on his damaged left ankle, is third overall and 59 points behind.
Lorenzo had started from pole after setting a lap record on the 5.4 km Brno track in qualifying on Saturday.
The 2010 champion and last year’s runner-up controlled the first half of the race, which was run on a slightly wet track after heavy overnight rain. But Lorenzo took a wider line than he wanted to in the second-to-last turn.
“My line was so wide, so I released a little space for him to overtake me,” he said. “I wanted to pass him in the last corner, which was impossible. He was in a faster line.”
Italy’s Valentino Rossi, a nine-times world champion across the classes but enduring a second tough season for Ducati, had held the previous lap record in Brno.
He finished seventh on Sunday behind Honda riders Stefan Bradl of Germany and Alvaro Bautista of Spain.
Ducati rider Karel Abraham had his best result on his home track, finishing ninth. Lorenzo’s teammate, the American Ben Spies, crashed out with 14 laps remaining, while Spain’s Ivan Silva also failed to finish.
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden missed Sunday’s race after suffering a hand injury last weekend.
In the other classes on Sunday, Spain’s Marc Marquez won Moto2 and Germany’s Jonas Folger took first in Moto3.