Casey Stoner reduced Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP points lead to just seven by dominating the Catalunya Grand Prix.
Although local hero Lorenzo managed to burst into the lead from third on the grid at the start, by the end of lap one Stoner's Honda was already lining up to pass the Yamaha, which it did with ease into Turn 1. After that Stoner had little trouble controlling the race, showing the pace that had seen him top all three practice sessions as he sat on a lead cushion of two to three seconds for the duration.
The only threat to Stoner's third win of the year came from the weather, which kept threatening to turn wet. But drizzle aside, the rain largely held off – perhaps to the disappointment of spectators hoping for more incident in what became a processional race.
Ben Spies got up to third at the start and stayed there to take his first podium as a factory Yamaha MotoGP rider. Behind him, Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Ducati) had yet another side by side battle early on before settling into formation and chasing the American to the flag.
Polesitter Marco Simoncelli's Gresini Honda tumbled to seventh on the first lap, and only managed to regain one place. He caught the Dovizioso/Rossi battle for a while before drifting away again.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow claimed his best MotoGP result yet in seventh, despite dropping to 10th at the start. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) moved the other way, fighting for fifth initially before his pace faded and he slipped to eighth.
The best battle of the race was for ninth, which was disputed between most of the rest of the depleted field. Loris Capirossi emerged in front for Pramac Ducati, just ahead of Karel Abraham's Cardion Ducati.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Gresini Honda) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Ducati) were the only retirements, tangling at Turn 1 in an early incident for which Aoyama accepted responsibility.
Results - 25 laps:
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 43m19.779s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 2.403s
3. Ben Spies Yamaha + 4.291s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 5.255s
5. Valentino Rossi Ducati + 7.371s
6. Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda + 11.831s
7. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha + 26.483s
8. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 33.243s
9. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati + 43.092s
10. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati + 43.113s
11. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 44.224s
12. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 45.239s
13. Toni Elias LCR Honda + 58.268s
Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati 3 laps
Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda 3 laps