Lorenzo wins French MotoGP
Spaniard takes advantage of changing conditions while champ Rossi finishes 16th.
Last Modified: 17 May 2009 14:54 GMT

King Jorge: Lorenzo takes his second 2009 win [EPA]
Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo benefited from changing track conditions to win the French MotoGP Grand Prix and take the lead in the overall standings – as world champ Valentino Rossi finished a lowly 16th.

The 22-year-old Yamaha ace finished 17.710 seconds clear of Italy's Marco Melandri on his Kawasaki.

Spain's Dani Pedrosa was third, 19.893 seconds behind Lorenzo after starting from pole position on his Honda.

His second win in four races this season put Lorenzo on top of the championship standings with 66 points, one point ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Rossi and Australia's Casey Stoner, who finished fifth on his Ducati.

'Like a dream'

"It is like a dream. I did not expect this victory. I am fighting for the championship and it is a perfect weekend," Lorenzo, who also won last month's Japanese Grand Prix, told Eurosport.

Italy's Rossi finished 16th, two laps behind Lorenzo after a nightmare Sunday afternoon at Le Mans.

Last year's winner slid off the track into the gravel early in the race and
had to change his bike three times.

All riders were forced to switch their bikes during the 28-lap race as the track, which was wet at the start, dried out under the sun.

Lorenzo, who started in second position, slipped past Pedrosa before the end of the first lap and quickly pulled away.

The Spaniard was then one of the last riders to swap to a bike with slick tyres.

"I stopped too early. I was not very fast during my first laps with the dry tyres," Pedrosa told Eurosport.

In the 250cc category, Italy's Marco Simoncelli won for Gilera ahead of Spaniard Hector Faubel on a Honda and fellow Italian Gilera rider Roberto Locatelli.

Spain's Julian Simon took the lead of the 125cc category standings with his win at Le Mans.

He finished ahead of fellow Aprilia riders Jonas Folger from Germany and Sergio Gadea from Spain.

The riders next compete in Italy on May 31.

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