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MotoGP 2007: the key moments so far

MotoGP 2007: the key moments so far

With eleven races of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship already gone, picks out three of the best races so far in what has been a breathtaking first part of the season.

With eleven races of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship already gone, picks out three of the best races so far in what has been a breathtaking first part of the season.

With the MotoGP grid and paddock members now taking a well deserved summer break, Ducati Marlboros Casey Stoner sensationally lies 44 points ahead of Fiat Yamahas Valentino Rossi in the general standings. The Australian knows that when the action recommences with the first of the seven remaining rounds at Brno in the Czech Republic on 19th August there is still plenty of work to do.

Here we take a look back at three of the most outstanding races which have been defining moments for the championships leading pair:

Round one - Commercialbank Grand Prix Of Qatar
Stoner was the worthy victor, taking his first ever win in the MotoGP class on his race debut for Ducati. Stoner started from second on the grid, but set the tone for the race when he pulled a cheeky manoeuvre on Rossi at the end of lap one. A three-rider pack then formed, with Stoner, Rossi and Repsol Hondas Dani Pedrosa breaking away from the rest of the field.

Rossi attempted to take a more permanent lead on lap 18, and it seemed that The Doctor was on course for a third consecutive victory at Losail. However, Stoner showed his ever-growing maturity to bite straight back at his Italian rival and pull away over the final laps using the Desmosedici GP7s monstrous power to great effect, to have a cushion of nearly three seconds as he took the chequered flag.

Round seven - Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya
Stoner took his fourth World Championship victory of the season in an absolute thriller of a race at Catalunya. The Ducati factory rider rode the race of his life to deny Rossi his third consecutive win at the Spanish circuit, but was pushed all the way as he headed a podium separated by under four tenths of a second. The Australian first took the lead on the second lap as he roared down the home straight, but had home rider Pedrosa to contend with in the early going. Stalking Stoner at every turn, Rossi assessed his options in cerebral fashion; letting the 21 year old know that he was there as he slipped through on a number of corners.

Rossi made the lead stick for a while on lap 21, resisting an attempt at a quick comeback on the home straight. Stoner learnt his lesson, and pulled ahead on the next lap before predicting his Italian rivals line. He continued in the lead until the finish line, passing the flag just 0.069 ahead of Rossi, with Pedrosa 0.390s off the race winner.

Round nine - A-Style TT Assen
Starting from the fourth row after a wet qualifying session, Rossi rode the perfect race to take victory number three of the 2007 season; closing the gap in the title chase between himself and Stoner to 21 points. Rossi left it late to make his decisive move on Stoner, who had been the runaway leader after taking the holeshot, finally passing his young rival on the 22nd lap and building up a two second advantage by the time he crossed the finishing line. The three outstanding riders of the past two seasons were all present on the podium, as MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden returned to the rostrum with his best result of the season so far.

MotoGP, 2007

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