The predicted rain stayed away for the MotoGP grid as Yamaha’s Ben Spies took the holeshot ahead of Repsol Honda Team’s Stoner and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s pole-sitter Álvaro Bautista. Spies made a tremendous start leading the early stages from Stoner, Bautista and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden. Lorenzo lost a place in the first bends, and was soon leading a separated group for fifth place.
With 17 laps remaining Lorenzo started to find his rhythm as he looked to close the gap to the front four, followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. A lap later Hayden tried to dart past Bautista into third, but ran too wide, allowing the Spaniard back in. Soon after Stoner made his move past Spies, as the Texan made a mistake, also going too hot into a turn.
More overtaking was to follow, as Lorenzo took advantage of a gap left by Hayden to hunt down Bautista. Just seconds after, Hayden left yet another gap for Dovizioso to push the American even further back. With Stoner having pulled out a small gap at the front, Lorenzo did not want his rival to get way and forced his way past Bautista, relegating the San Carlo rider into fourth.
The tussle was not to stop, as Lorenzo stormed past his teammate into second, with Spies being overtaken by Bautista as well a corner later. In the same bend Pedrosa snuck past Dovizioso, who kept on the Spaniard’s rear wheel to retake him just a few corners later. The Italian continued his charge as he fought past early leader Spies, with Pedrosa following suit, relegating the Texan into sixth.
With 11 laps left Lorenzo was closing in on the rear wheel of Stoner, starting a thrilling battle for top spot. On the same lap Dovizioso crashed out of his positions, while his teammate Cal Crutchlow fought past LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl into seventh.
Heading into lap nine, Lorenzo took Stoner on the final turn, yet the Australian fought straight back in the next turn, as the pair kept the crowd on their toes with some thrilling moves. As one Repsol Honda was overtaken, the other in the form of Pedrosa went up into third.
A lap further on, the duo of Pedrosa and Bautista started to slowly close the gap on Stoner, who looked to be slowing. With six laps left it turned into a three-way battle for second place, as Lorenzo was opening a gap at the front. On the same lap, Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, who was the only rider to pick the hard rear tyre, took Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá for ninth. Speed Masters Mattia Pasini retired from the race with a mechanical issue.
Lorenzo suffered a slight scare with four laps left as he was almost thrown from his bike, but he managed to save it and retain the lead, albeit with a reduced gap to the pursuing Stoner. In the latter stages there were thrilling battles further back as Crutchlow battled past Hayden into sixth, and Power Electronics Aspar pair Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet were fairing to fairing until the finish line.
In the end it was Lorenzo who held his nerve to cross the finish line first to take the top step of the podium and extend his championship lead, ahead of Stoner and Pedrosa who complete the rostrum. Fourth went to Álvaro Bautista, ahead of Ben Spies, and Cal Crutchlow, who put in a brave ride with his injury. The top ten were completed Hayden, Bradl, Rossi and Barberá. Top CRT spot once again went to Espargaró ahead of his teammate in 11th, while Dovizioso remounted after his crash to finish 19th.