16 May 2011

Stoner wins French Grand Prix

5:38 am on 16 May 2011

The Australian rider Casey Stoner recovered from a shaky start to seize victory in an eventful French Grand Prix where MotoGP championship hopeful Dani Pedrosa crashed out and broke his collarbone again.

Honda's Stoner began in pole position for the third time in four races but Pedrosa zoomed past him almost immediately only to lose the initiative soon afterwards.

Stoner, who moved up to second overall just 12 points behind championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, then effortlessly pulled away from the pack to win by over 14 seconds and take his second victory of the season.

Spain's Pedrosa was involved in an enthralling battle for second with Marco Simoncelli and fell into the gravel after clipping the back wheel of the Italian.

Honda's Pedrosa, who dropped down to third in the overall standings, walked away feeling his shoulder and was diagnosed with a broken collarbone.

The injury-prone rider only had surgery last month on his collarbone before winning the Portuguese Grand Prix in MotoGP's last outing and could now be doubtful for his home race in Barcelona on June the 5th, the fifth round of the 18-race season.

Simoncelli was punished for the incident by stewards and suffered a ride-through penalty for an "illegal manoeuvre", allowing compatriot Andrea Dovizioso to claim second having overtaken Ducati's Valentino Rossi late on.

World champion Lorenzo came home a disappointing fourth as he struggled to get the best out of his Yamaha while Simoncelli finished fifth.