Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

Casey Stoner (left) and Jorge Lorenzo
Stoner (left) is in the driving seat to take his second world title ahead of Lorenzo

MotoGP may have had three weeks off but normal service was soon resumed for championship leader Casey Stoner with a win in Brno.

It was the wrong result for the championship as a spectacle but a very good win for Stoner and Honda.

It has given him a nice buffer at the top of the standings now.

He rode very well as ever but the win was handed to him when team-mate Dani Pedrosa crashed out. I think Dani would have given him a real run for his money as he was so fast in qualifying.

He was also helped out by a bizarre decision from Jorge Lorenzo to start on the soft tyre. Only he and Alvaro Bautista opted to use the softer tyre and as soon as I saw it - with track temperatures higher than they've been all week - I thought it was an odd choice.

It was a gamble that didn't work.

However, having very nearly crashed early on - it was a great save - he has still come home with 13 points, so it is not all bad.

Stoner now leads by more than a whole race win, which is a big advantage. He can race tactically for the rest of the season and afford to settle for second or third instead of fighting for every win and risking crashing out.

I am very pleased that Marco Simoncelli finally got on the podium. He has been very fast all season without putting a proper result on the table and you saw a very mature ride from him to bring it home in third.

He got into fourth place early on and a few races ago he would have got excited and had a lunge at Lorenzo but instead he took his time and made a clinical pass at the right time.

I've no doubt that now he has had a third place he will soon be fighting for a win. He is that quick.

Ducati look to have made a good stride forward, which is good news for Valentino Rossi and the championship. He was sixth but a lot closer to the leader and he could play his part in the run-in now.

A lot of the teams are staying in Brno for a test of next year's 1000cc bikes on Monday which will be fascinating. I have no idea how much faster the bigger bikes will be but we can expect to see some fireworks.

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Tom Rostance

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