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Lorenzo stretches MotoGP lead after Pedrosa crashes out

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his first ever victory in the U.S. Grand Prix in California.
Spain's Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his first ever victory in the U.S. Grand Prix in California.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spain's Jorge Lorenzo wins the U.S. Grand Prix in California
  • Lorenzo stretches lead at top of MotoGP championship to 72 points
  • Dani Pedrosa was leading until he crashed out on lap 11

(CNN) -- Jorge Lorenzo stretched his MotoGP championship lead after Dani Pedrosa's spectacular crash handed him victory at Laguna Seca.

Pedrosa stormed past his fellow Spaniard into turn one at the U.S. Grand Prix in California but faltered on lap 11, allowing Lorenzo to extend his lead at the top to 72 points.

Casey Stoner, from Australia, came in second while World champion Valentino Rossi claimed third place on his second race back after a speedy recovery from a broken leg.

Lorenzo made a slow start as Pedrosa set a fierce early pace, keen to secure back-to-back victories after he edged the Fiat Yahama rider into second place during the previous round in Germany.

Pedrosa charged clear of the pack but Lorenzo ate into his lead before the decisive moment of the race on lap 11, as the race leader crashed on turn five.

Lorenzo took full advantage of Pedrosa's slip, cruising to his sixth win of the 2010 season and his first on the Laguna Seca circuit.

I hit a bump on the way into the corner and I couldn't do anything - I was down.
--Dani Pedrosa
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Stoner came in three seconds behind to record his fourth consecutive podium finish, while Rossi overtook Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso of Repsol Honda, to secure third place.

Lorenzo now has 210 points at the top of the championship. Pedrosa retains second place in the standings on 138 while Dovizioso is third on 115. Stoner is in fourth spot on 103 and nine-time world champion Rossi is fifth on 90.

"I rode very well today, at the limit," Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website.

"Dani was impressive and was pushing so much at the limit as well, and I knew it was possible for him to crash. That happened and then it was quite easy to finish the race.

"We have a big lead in the Championship, it's easier than before this race, but this is not the first time a rider has had such a big gap in the Championship.

Pedrosa was remaining stoical after the crash that lead to his first non-finish of the campaign.

"At the time I that I crashed I was pushing hard to maintain the gap to Lorenzo and my rhythm was good," he said. "Unfortunately though, I hit a bump on the way into the corner and I couldn't do anything - I was down.

"It's extremely disappointing, obviously, but this can happen when you're trying everything to win. You have to push as much as you can and take risks - and I really wanted to win this race."

The next race is in the Czech Republic on August 15.