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Jimmy Anderson concedes he never expected to become England's highest wicket-taker when he first started
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 Comments
Casey Stoner soaked up late-race pressure from home hero Jorge Lorenzo to claim his first ever victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, round two of the new 1000cc era and the first on a European circuit.
After wet practice, dry qualifying and a damp warm-up, the grand prix took place on a patchy track and began with second on the grid Dani Pedrosa pinching the lead from pole sitter Lorenzo into turn one. Meanwhile world champion Stoner, who had slipped to third after arm pump problems in the Losail season opener, retained his fifth on the grid placing. Stoner then fought his way past Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Lorenzo and Pedrosa during the early stages, which saw some hectic out-braking moves, side-by-side racing and contact on more than one occasion. Crutchlow in particular was in battling mood setting some of the fastest lap times.
Valentino Rossi began his 200th premier-class grand prix from a lowly 13th on the grid and see-sawed between tenth and eleventh for the first third of the race. eventually crossing the line a fraction ahead of Hector Barbera the Spaniard in 9th place.
Back up at the front and Lorenzo suddenly found himself closing on the Australian with nine laps to go. The pair were rarely separated by more than half a second for the remainder of the race, but Qatar winner Lorenzo was unable to make the move needed to claim his third Jerez win in a row.
Stoner had only taken one podium from his ten previous Jerez starts, in all classes, and called his 41st GP win "one of his best".
Behind them, Pedrosa spent much of the race defending third from a combative Crutchlow, the pair almost catching the leaders in the latter stages as Pedrosa denied the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider his first podium by just 0.4s.
Crutchlow, also fourth in round one, also set the fastest lap of the race.