Jorge Lorenzo took a commanding victory in the United States Grand Prix after Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead at one-third distance at Laguna Seca. The Yamaha rider's sixth win of the season helped him to increase his MotoGP championship lead to 72 points over his fellow Spaniard Pedrosa.
Pedrosa, who started fourth, seized the lead into the Andretti hairpin on the first lap after making another of his now customary rocket starts, and held an early advantage of over a second over Casey Stoner and Lorenzo. However, he lost the front end of his Honda entering the uphill Turn Five on the 11th lap and slid off into the gravel trap, his machine somersaulting several times before hitting the tire barrier.
That left Lorenzo, who had passed Stoner's Ducati on lap five, with a lead of almost three seconds. He was able to control his pace for the rest of the race and took the checkered flag a similar margin ahead of the Australian, who scored his best result of 2010.
Yamaha's Valentino Rossi took the final podium spot on what was his second race back after injury. The seven-times world champion passed Andrea Dovizioso's Honda at the final corner with seven laps left and, after running side-by-side with his rival along the start/finish straight, swept around him before the Andretti Hairpin.
Nicky Hayden, who had been involved in a four-way fight with Rossi, Dovizioso and Ben Spies for the first half of the race, finished fifth. Spies (Tech 3 Yamaha) had held the spot, but outbraked himself at the last corner with eight laps left and fell to sixth.
Gresini Honda teammates Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri battled with Colin Edwards' Tech 3 Yamaha for the first half of the race in the lower reaches of the top 10. However, Simoncelli crashed out at the same place at Pedrosa, handing seventh to Edwards and eighth to Melandri.
Loris Capirossi's Suzuki and Mika Kallio's Pramac Ducati completed the top 10, but only after the Finn's team-mate Aleix Espargaro had crashed out of ninth – again at Pedrosa's corner – with a handful of laps to go.
Roger Lee Hayden's 12th place for LCR Honda meant that brothers scored points in the same premier class grand prix for the first time since Carlos and David Checa at the 2005 Dutch TT.
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 43m54.873s
2. Casey Stoner Ducati + 3.517s
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 13.420s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 14.188s
5. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 14.601s
6. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha + 19.037s
7. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 40.721s
8. Marco Melandri Gresini Honda + 47.219s
9. Loris Capirossi Suzuki + 52.812s
10. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati + 52.814s
11. Roger Lee Hayden LCR Honda + 1m14.089s
12. Alex de Angelis Interwetten Honda + 1m14.666s
Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati 28 laps
Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 18 laps
Dani Pedrosa Honda 11 laps
Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati 3 laps
Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 3 laps