Rossi takes Catalunya thriller
Valentino Rossi pips Jorge Lorenzo in Catalan MotoGP.
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2009 14:44 GMT

Yamaha's Rossi leads Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati's  Casey Stoner [AFP]
World champion Valentino Rossi snatched his second victory of 2009 with a thrilling duel with Jorge Lorenzo to win the Catalan MotoGP, squeezing past his Yamaha team mate.

The Spaniard started from pole with Rossi in second and the pair swapped the lead several times at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona before the Italian timed his final charge to perfection.

After six races in the 17-race season, Rossi and Lorenzo are tied on 106 points in the overall standings with Australian Ducati rider Casey Stoner, who came in third.

Steady head

Rossi, 30, a six times MotoGP champion, used all his experience to see off the challenge from the 22-year-old Lorenzo and deny him victory on his home circuit.

It was his 99th career victory in all categories.

"I wasn't expecting him to take me at that point but he was more courageous than me and deserved the win," Lorenzo said in a television interview.

"He's an old dog and I wasn't intelligent enough to anticipate his move but it's fine.

"The important thing is that the spectators were able to enjoy a race that went to the very last corner."

Andrea Iannone earlier grabbed a bizarre win in the 125cc category when leader Julian Simon celebrated victory a lap too early and eventually finished back in fourth.

Spaniard Simon and Italian Iannone battled for top spot throughout until Simon crossed the line in first place with one lap left but thought the race was over after misreading a signal from his team.

Iannone zipped past into the lead and Spaniard Nicolas Terol and compatriot Sergio Gadea also finished ahead of Simon in second and third.

Championship leader Alvaro Bautista of Spain won the 250cc race, his second victory of 2009, ahead of Japan's Hiroshi Aoyama in second and Hector Barbera, another Spaniard, in third.

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