The Australian tasted success in the Gran Premio A-Style de Aragón on Sunday ahead of Dani Pedrosa, as Nicky Hayden scored his first podium of the campaign after edging a fine battle with Jorge Lorenzo for third.
Casey Stoner took his first victory of the 2010 campaign at Aragón on Sunday, converting his pole position at the Spanish circuit into a well-deserved win. The Ducati Team rider finished 5.148s ahead of Dani Pedrosa, with Nicky Hayden completing the podium for his first top-three result of the year after a magnificent last-lap overtake on Jorge Lorenzo.
Starting from pole Stoner held his position going into the first turn, but usual rapid starter Pedrosa dropped to fifth as the riders bunched up in the tight opening curve. The Repsol Honda rider fought back in the early stages of the race however to climb to second behind Stoner, and the gap between the two fluctuated throughout.
The pair were consistently fast for the duration of the race but Stoner managed to pull away towards the end as he achieved what was eventually a comfortable 25 points, with Pedrosa maintaining his good form in second.
There were battles all the way through the field and none more entertaining than that between Hayden and Championship leader Lorenzo for the final podium spot. A fearless overtake on Lorenzo by Hayden on the final lap delivered the American the honours, and ended the Fiat Yamaha rider’s record of having placed on the rostrum at every race so far this season.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) notched another impressive result with fifth place as he resisted the challenge of Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), who crashed out on the final lap whilst pushing hard in their contest.
Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) rounded off a tough weekend in sixth place, whilst rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) completed the top eight with solid displays. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) took top-ten finishes, whilst Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) escaped injury when he crashed out on lap 16.
Lorenzo’s advantage at the top of the Championship was cut to 56 points and he now stands on 284 points, with Pedrosa on 228 in second. Stoner’s victory lifts him to third on 155, with Rossi staying fourth and Dovizioso dropping to fifth.