Casey Stoner is now the 4/9 favourite with bet365 to win the Moto GP World Championship 2011 after closing the gap at the top of the standings with victory in the Catalunya Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Australian had got the better of pole-sitter Marco Simoncelli at the start but still found himself in second place after a flying getaway from championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (5/2 with bet365 to be there at the end of the season).
However, the Spaniard’s advantage was a brief one and Stoner, who had been dominant in practice, eased to a convincing win after taking control going into turn one on the second lap.
“We made a good start, we tried to get past as soon as we could,” Stoner told the BBC.
“We managed to pull an advantage and the bike started to work really well.
“Jorge got off to a good start and I had to wait until the end of the first lap to overtake him and then he couldn’t stay with me, fortunately.”
Stoner’s victory was his third in the last five races and he has now closed to within seven points of Lorenzo, who had to settle for the runners-up spot in front of his home fans.
American Ben Spies took his first podium finish of the year with third place, while Andrea Dovizioso came home fourth ahead of Valentino Rossi and Simoncelli.