Jorge leaves jungle to take first place

Jorge Lorenzo of Spain sprays champagne after winning the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, western France, Sunday, May 17, 2009. Lorenzo crossed the finish line ahead of Marco Melandri of Italy in second and Dani Pedrosa of Spain in third place. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Jorge Lorenzo of Spain sprays champagne after winning the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, western France, Sunday, May 17, 2009. Lorenzo crossed the finish line ahead of Marco Melandri of Italy in second and Dani Pedrosa of Spain in third place. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

FRANCE - Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo won the French MotoGP here yesterday just a year after he finished second despite riding with two broken ankles.

FRANCE - Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo won the French MotoGP here yesterday just a year after he finished second despite riding with two broken ankles.

The 22-year-old - a two-time 250cc world champion - enjoyed a trouble free ride on his Yamaha to coast home ahead of Italian Marco Melandri on a Kawasaki while pole sitter Dani Pedrosa of Spain was third on a Honda.

Lorenzo's joy was the reverse of Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi who had a nightmare as he sought his 99th career victory but in the end trailed in without scoring a point.

Lorenzo took the lead off his compatriot Pedrosa after the first lap passing both him and Australia's former world champion Casey Stoner in an audacious manoeuvre.

Stoner was suffering the most of the contenders as he was passed by Rossi with 26 of the 28 laps remaining.

However, disaster struck for Rossi with 23 laps remaining as he came to grief on a corner damaging his bike forcing him to go to the pits for a new one.

His day went from bad to worse as he was then penalised with a ride through penalty for speeding in the pit lane in his evident haste to try and rejoin the fray.

- Safa/AFP

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