Motorcycling: Lorenzo benefits from absence of Rossi to extend lead in championship race

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo ran away with the British MotoGP from pole position for Yamaha at Silverstone yesterday to extend his championship lead to 37 points.

The 23-year-old was in a class of his own, winning by a hefty 6.743sec for his third victory in five starts this season.

The absence of his injured world champion team-mate Valentino Rossi was keenly felt, with empty seats in the grandstands and Lorenzo so far ahead of the rest by the mid-point that the television cameras focused largely on the battle for second.

Italian Andrea Dovizioso, last year's race winner at Donington Park, took the runner-up slot for Honda ahead of American Ben Spies, making his first MotoGP podium appearance for the non-works Yamaha Tech3 team.

Lorenzo now has 115 points to Dovizioso's 78. Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, who had been second in the championship but crashed his Honda in qualifying, finished eighth and dropped to third overall with 73 points.

"It's a very important day," said the Majorcan rider, who celebrated his victory by donning a Sergeant Pepper-style coat and posing with three friends in Beatles wigs.

"Today was a race where you could crash or make a mistake or win," he added. "The rear tyre was sliding but I think it was a little worse for the other riders."

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