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Stoner takes victory and championship lead in Turkish thriller

Stoner takes victory and championship lead in Turkish thriller

Casey Stoner took his second victory of the 2007 season at the Grand Prix of Turkey in a classic race, which was more than a match for last year's exciting duel.

Casey Stoner took his second victory of the 2007 season at the Grand Prix of Turkey in a classic race, which was more than a match for last year's exciting duel. The Australian now leads the championship on 61 points, with a ten point advantage over Valentino Rossi, after triumphing by over six seconds from Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi in Istanbul.

The Ducati rider was virtually gifted the lead early on, when the pressure from him and his team-mate Capirossi forced poleman Rossi to run along the grass at the end of the first lap.

Seconds later, the major talking point of the day occurred, 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.

Toni 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 dropped down further before finishing a disappointing tenth.

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.

Marco Melandri threatened a repeat of 2006 as he looked to make it a hat trick of victories in Turkey, but couldn't make his challenge stick with the top four breaking away. 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.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY, RAC

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