Honda's Dani Pedrosa cruised to victory at the Aragon MotoGP on Sunday
Last Updated: September 30, 2012 3:56pm
Dani Pedrosa gave himself a timely birthday present as he cruised to victory at the Aragon MotoGP on Sunday to boost his world championship hopes.
The Spanish Honda rider, who turned 27 on Saturday, beat championship leader Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha to trim the gap to his Spanish compatriot to 33 points with four races left.
It was Pedrosa's third success in the last four MotoGPs and the latest victory was the perfect response to his disastrous outing at San Marino a fortnight ago where he went out on the first lap.
Lorenzo started on pole and led from Pedrosa in the early stages at a sunny Motorland circuit but was passed by the Honda rider with 17 laps remaining and never looked like regaining the lead.
With a comfortable cushion at the top of the standings, he appeared to ease off in order to secure second spot and remains well placed to secure a second MotoGP title following his debut triumph in 2010.
Yamaha trio Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies fought an entertaining battle for the remaining place on the podium, with Italian Dovizioso eventually clinching third ahead of Briton Crutchlow and American Spies.
Ducati rider Nicky Hayden suffered a spectacular crash early in the race and was taken to the medical centre for checks.
Race organisers said the American had arrived there "conscious and with full mobility".