STONER WINS AT ASSEN
After a tight battle with his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, Australia’s Casey Stoner claimed his third victory of the season at the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen.
The incident-packed race included an early crash involving Alvaro Bautista and Jorge Lorenzo – making it the second year in a row the Yamaha driver has been taken out by another rider at the Dutch circuit and denying him the chance of a fourth successive victory.
Bautista was subsequently penalised for riding in an irresponsible manner.
After tracking Pedrosa to conserve energy, Stoner made his race-winning move on lap 17. He continued to push hard to the finish, beating his teammate by almost five seconds and putting him level with Lorenzo in the championship standings.
“My plan was to get a better start than I did and use my energy to build a gap at the beginning of the race. When I saw Dani doing a reasonable pace I decided to stay behind him and when there weren’t many laps left the tyre still felt good so I decided to pass him,” Stoner said.
“It was still difficult today but in general the bike was working well and my fitness was good, and in the end it worked out perfectly for us.”
Race conditions saw track temperatures reach 40°C – more than double the temperatures experienced at last year’s event. As a result, tyre selection trended towards the harder compounds available, with all riders selecting the harder front slick option and just 13 of the 20 riders opting for the harder rear slick.
“Congratulations to Casey and Repsol Honda for a great win in what must have been a tough race,” said Hiroshi Yamada, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department.
“We now look forward to the next Grand Prix in Germany as a huge crowd is always present at Sachsenring and with a German rider back in MotoGP I expect the atmosphere will be amazing!”