Once again Laguna Seca has proven itself to be the Great California Crashout. This year only 13 riders were able to finish the race. Casey Stoner showed why he is the 2011 championship with a convincing first place finish, expanding his championship points lead.
To some, Stoner’s win was a surprise. Second place finisher Jorge Lorenzo took an early lead and it looked as if he was going to gain some ground in the championship standings. A Lorenzo win seemed sensible since he had taken three consecutive poles on the track and was the 2010 winner. Dani Pedrosa rounded out the podium. There were many spectators who had considered Pedrosa the favorite before the race began. He was the 2009 winner and was in contention until lap 20 in 2010. In his defense, he did just return from a broken collarbone last week. Here at the Motorcycle Insurance Company, we make no secret of the fact that Ben Spies is one of our favorites (along with Nicky Hayden). Spies had a bad start, but managed to work his way back up through the field a good bit.
The championship standings were shaken up just a tad by the results coming out of Laguna Seca. Stoner remains in first, expanding his lead to 20 over number two Jorge Lorenzo. Andrea Dovizioso is still creeping along in third. The shake up came when Pedrosa managed to pass Rossi to move into fourth despite being injured and not making a few races. With several races left, Pedrosa may make a solid run at third place in the standings.