Stoner takes home Turkish GP victory

In a another fantastic performance, Australian rider Casey Stoner on his Marlboro Ducati grabbed his second season victory today at the Turkish Grand Prix held at the Istanbul Park circuit for the third round of the of the FIM Road Racing World ...

In a another fantastic performance, Australian rider Casey Stoner on his Marlboro Ducati grabbed his second season victory today at the Turkish Grand Prix held at the Istanbul Park circuit for the third round of the of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).

The podium was completed by Spaniard Toni Elias with Honda Gresini and the Italian Loris Capirossi, Stoner`s teammate for the Ducati squad.

"We had a great race, unfortunately some of the other riders didn't have such a good race. Really, with the way the Ducati and the Bridgestones were today we couldn't do anything wrong", the Aussie said.

Stoner was almost gifted the lead early on, when Capirossi's pressure forced poleman Valentino Rossi to run along the grass at the end of the first lap.

"I got past Colin (Edwards) on the first lap because I wanted to make sure I didn't get held up and bumped back like in Jerez. Then Valentino ran off the track, pretty much gifting me first position", Stoner added.

Elias in second place was unable to trouble the flying Stoner, but had plenty of his own pursuers nipping at his toes. The Spaniard had started fantastically from tenth, and was battling hard with Rossi in fearless fashion leading to a near-miss between the two riders.

The move put Elias in second, where he stayed until the chequered flag, and Rossi right back into the thick of the chasing pack, where he further dropped down before finishing a disappointing tenth.

"It was like a 125 race with some unbelievable passes. I concentrated on getting a perfect start and made as many passes as I could on the opening laps but I got stuck behind Hopkins for too long. Once I got past him my pace was good and I was also able to take Rossi. I couldn't challenge for the lead because Casey was so fast so I decided to focus on maintaining my position", explained the Spaniard.

Capirossi completed the podium, lucky to hold off a flu-ridden Alex Barros on the line. The two veterans exchanged places on consecutive corners, and with a few extra metres on the final straight the Brazilian may have taken Pramac d'Antin's first ever podium.

"The whole weekend has been fantastic for me, I'm back! Twenty days ago I had the best moment of my life when our first kid was born, so now I'm enjoying riding again and I hope my championship starts here because we still have 15 races to go. Everything worked so good, I got a good start and tried to follow Casey but he was so strong and I preferred to go a little slower", Capirossi expressed.

The major talking point of the day took place, as Dani Pedrosa collided with Kawasaki rider Olivier Jacque and turned the Frenchman's Ninja ZX-RR into something of bowling ball, taking out Colin Edwards on the Fiat Yamaha.

Also caught up in the incident were Chris Vermeulen and Sylvain Guintoli; the former picking up his bike after being hit by Pedrosa, the latter having to ride all the way round the debris on the run-off section.

World Champion Nicky Hayden was pipped on the line by John Hopkins after holding firm throughout the race in sixth, ahead of Randy de Puniet, Alex Hofmann and Rossi.

Stoner now leads the championship with 61 points and 10 units of advantage over Rossi, who arrived to Istanbul as leader.

Next round for MotoGP will be on May 6th when the Chinese Grand Prix will take place in Shanghai.

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Alex Barros , John Hopkins , Olivier Jacque , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Toni Elias , Sylvain Guintoli , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa