Montmelo: Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo was the runaway winner of the Catalan MotoGP on Sunday, a third consecutive victory extending his world championship lead.
The Yamaha rider finished almost five seconds ahead of compatriot and title rival Dani Pedrosa, who held off the persistent challenge of Australia`s Casey Stoner to finish second.
Lorenzo moved on to 165 points after seven races, 52 ahead of Pedrosa. Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who had been battling for first place before falling, finished 14th and is third with 91 points.
Champion Valentino Rossi, who is recovering from a broken leg, slipped to down seventh with 61 points.
"It was a very difficult race, very hot, and very tiring. The tyres were a real problem," Lorenzo told Spanish state television.
"Andrea (Dovizioso) was pushing hard and I thought it was going to be like that all the way but he fell which made it easier."
Pedrosa had been fastest in the morning warm-up and flew from fourth on the grid to first going into the opening bend, but a problem braking forced him to balloon wide and he dropped way down the order.
He quickly recovered ground and after five laps was back up to third, though some distance behind Honda team mate Dovizioso and Lorenzo, who were tussling for the lead.
Dovizioso was right on Lorenzo`s tail when he slid off into the gravel with 11 laps to go, leaving the focus to fall on Pedrosa and Stoner`s battle for second place.
The Ducati rider pressured Pedrosa over the last 12 laps but was unable to find a way through.
Frenchman Randy de Puniet came in a distant fourth ahead of Spaniard Alvaro Bautista and American Ben Spies.