Jorge Lorenzo beat Dani Pedrosa to victory in the Spanish Grand Prix in a superb final lap battle at Jerez.
Pedrosa had looked set for a straightforward win for most of the race, but was hunted down by Lorenzo, and eventually defeated after a thrilling -- and sometimes physical -- scrap between the two Spaniards.
Lorenzo had fallen from second to fifth at the start, while Pedrosa (Honda) took a clear lead ahead of Valentino Rossi's Yamaha and the Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner. It took Lorenzo several laps to win an early dice with Stoner, after which he closed down and passed Hayden. But then the top three seemed set, with comfortable gaps between Pedrosa, Rossi and Lorenzo, and all three lapping at a similar pace.
In the closing stages, though, Lorenzo raised his game, overtaking Rossi at the end of the back straight with six laps remaining and then setting off in pursuit of Pedrosa. By the penultimate lap they were nose to tail. Lorenzo got down the inside of Pedrosa into the Dry Sack corner, but could not quite complete the move, the pair nearly touching as Pedrosa claimed the line. Lorenzo then tried the outside into the last bend, where Pedrosa robustly held him wide.
It then came down to the end of the back straight again, with Lorenzo taking another look down the inside. Pedrosa braked late to hold him off, but ran slightly too wide -- allowing Lorenzo to sweep through and go on to win, with Rossi chasing Pedrosa home.
The ecstatic Lorenzo then celebrated by stopping on his slowing-down lap and jumping into the circuit's lake! He was eventually fished out and rode back to parc ferme somewhat damp.
Hayden beat Stoner to fourth, while Andrea Dovizioso took a lonely sixth on the second Honda.
Pramac Ducati's Mika Kallio fought through from the back of the grid to seventh, winning a tremendous multi-bike battle in which Gresini Honda duo Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli, and LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet played starring roles.
There were only two retirements: Loris Capirossi crashing his Suzuki early on, and Ben Spies parking his Tech 3 Yamaha with a tire issue.
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 45m17.538s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 0.543s
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 0.890s
4. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 9.015s
5. Casey Stoner Ducati + 10.034s
6. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 23.144s
7. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati + 34.489s
8. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda + 34.687s
9. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 36.160s
10. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 36.791s
11. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda + 37.155s
12. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 38.260s
13. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 38.371s
14. Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda + 1m02.052s
15. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati + 3 laps
Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha 7 laps
Loris Capirossi Suzuki 2 laps