BRNO, Czech Republic — Jorge Lorenzo won the Czech Grand Prix on Sunday for his fifth triumph of the season to tighten the MotoGP championship fight with his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.
The Spaniard with the Movistar Yamaha team covered 22 laps of the 5.403-kilometer (3.358-mile) Brno circuit in 42 minutes, 53.042 seconds for his 38th overall MotoGP victory.
Lorenzo and Rossi lead the overall standings with 211 points and seven races to go. Defending champion Marc Marquez is 52 points back.
With a perfect start from pole, Lorenzo took the lead — followed by Marquez — and gradually sped away, steadily stretching his advantage throughout the race.
""Luckily, I had a little bit more pace than Marc and I could win this very important victory ... because now I'm leading the championship with Valentino," said Lorenzo, the 2010 and 2012 MotoGP champion. "For Marc, it's now more difficult to recover."
Marquez, who won the last two championships, finished second, 4.462 seconds behind.
"I just tried to keep the distance from Valentino," the Spaniard said. "Today, I did the maximum. I'm happy for the result."
Starting third on the grid, Rossi dropped to fifth after the start before quickly rallying to third. He crossed the line 10.397 back. Andrea Iannone on a Ducati was fourth followed by Dani Pedrosa, the Honda Repsol teammate of Marquez.
It was the 11th podium in as many races this season for Rossi, the former nine-time champion in all categories.
"Unfortunately, my start was bad and I lost some time in the first laps," Rossi said. "I tried to push but I was not fast and strong enough."
The next race is the British Grand Prix on Aug. 30.
In the Moto2 category, Johann Zarco of France won his fourth race of the season to cement his overall lead in the standings.
Pole sitter Niccolo Antonelli of Italy dominated the Moto3 class for his maiden victory.
That race had to be interrupted after two crashes in the opening lap that involved eight riders. It was restarted and cut from 19 to 12 laps.
Organizers of the Czech Grand Prix, a traditional stop on the MotoGP circuit, had recent financial challenges but a deal was announced Sunday to keep the race in Brno for at least another five years. That followed a meeting of representatives of Dorna Sports SL — the MotoGP rights holder — and Czech Education Minister Katerina Valachova.