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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Stoner wins epic Catalunya battle
Stoner holds off Rossi in Barcelona.
Stoner edged a thrilling battle with Rossi
Championship leader Casey Stoner edged out Valentino Rossi to win a thrilling Catalunya MotoGP in Barcelona.

Rossi started from pole but Stoner led from the end of the first lap, ahead of Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, until lap 17.

The lead changed hands three times in that one lap to set up a fascinating finale as neither rider managed to establish and hold a clear advantage.

Rossi did everything he could on the final lap but the Australian held on to secure a memorable victory.

It was a battling performance by Stoner, who held his nerve and refused to be out-muscled by the former MotoGP world champion, despite the bikes going so close together they nearly touched.

"You just give it right back to Valentino the way he gives it to you," said Stoner afterwards.

606: DEBATE

"I was just going to be happy with a podium today - the Italian Grand Prix didn't go according to plan, we ironed out some of the bugs this weekend and it seemed to work out all right."

Stoner's fourth victory in seven races this season stretched his world championship lead over Rossi to 14 points - Stoner has 140, with Rossi on 126 - but the Italian remained in good spirits.

"The race was fantastic from the bike, at the end I had some chances but I was too much at the limit to try and overtake," he said.

"We have to find something better but we have 14 points, the championship is long and the battle will be long."


Catalunya Grand Prix result:
1 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati, 43:16.907
2 V Rossi (It) Yamaha, 43:16.976
3 D Pedrosa (Sp) Honda, 43:17.297
4 J Hopkins (US) Suzuki, 43:24.721
5 R de Puniet (Fr) Kawasaki, 43.34.760
6 L Capirossi (It) Ducati, 43:36.316
7 C Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki, 43:36.402
8 A Barros (Brz) Ducati, 43:41.769
9 M Melandri (It) Honda, 43:41.870
10 C Edwards (US), Yamaha, 43:52.255

250cc result:
1 J Lorenzo (Sp), Aprilia, 40:51.620
2 A de Angelis (SM), Aprilia, 40:54.814
3 A Dovizioso (It), Honda, 41:02.216

125cc result:
1 T Koyama (Jpn), KTM, 41:06.339
2 G Talmacsi (Hun), Aprilia, 41:06.388
3 R Krummenacher (Swi), KTM, 41:06.470



SEE ALSO
Rossi to start on Barcelona pole
09 Jun 07 |  Motorbikes
Win British MotoGP tickets
07 Jun 07 |  Motorsport
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
07 Jun 07 |  Motorbikes
Rossi claims sixth Italian GP win
03 Jun 07 |  Motorbikes
MotoGP coverage on the BBC
15 May 07 |  Motorbikes


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