Dani Pedrosa won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, holding off a challenge from four-time Moto GP world champion Valentino Rossi.
Honda rider Pedrosa started second on the grid behind Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha, but the Spaniard overtook the rookie immediately.
Pedrosa, who started the season still recovering from a broken wrist, completed 27 laps around the 4,4km Jerez Circuit in 45 minutes, 35,121 seconds. He leads the world championship standings with 41 points.
Rossi, who recorded his 100th podium, finished just under three seconds back in second place to move up to third with 31 points. Rossi hasn’t won in six races, the Italian’s longest since moving up to Moto GP in 2002. He last won at the Portugal Grand Prix in 2007.
Lorenzo finished third in 45:39,460 for his second straight podium.
The 20-year-old Spaniard trails Pedrosa by five points in the championship.
Nicky Hayden of the United States, the 2006 world champion, was fourth on his Honda.
World champion Casey Stoner of Australia ran off the track at one point with five laps to race. The Ducati rider finished 11th but has 30 points in the championship after winning the season-opening Qatar Open GP.
Mika Kallio of Finland won the 250cc category. The KTM rider took the lead after Italy’s Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista of Spain were involved in the same crash around a corner with two laps to go.
Kallio won in 45:27,908 to lead 250cc leader Mattia Pasini of Italy, who was second on his Aprilia in 45:32,185.
In the 125cc category, Simone Corsi of Italy won with his Aprilia in 41:46,100 to take the championship lead with 34 points.
Nicolas Terol of Spain was runner-up on his Aprilia while Britain’s Bradley Smith couldn’t hold the pole and finished third for Aprilia. – Sapa-AP