Stoner soars to victory at Assen
Casey Stoner capped off an impressive weekend for the Repsol Honda team to take his third win of the season ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa at today’s Dutch TT at Assen.
Stoner made the race-winning move on lap seventeen and continued to push hard to take the checkered flag 4.965 seconds ahead of Pedrosa and the reigning champion now sits level with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the championship standings as the luckless Spaniard recorded a DNF after an incident on the first lap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso notched up his second podium of the year with a hard-fought third place, while Randy de Puniet finished in an impressive eighth place to claim CRT honours and close the gap to his Power Electronics Aspar teammate Aleix Espargaro in the standings to just one point.
Track temperatures hit the 40°C mark for today’s race which was more than 20°C warmer than last year’s Dutch TT. Tyre selection for the race was fairly similar to that for qualifying, with all riders selecting the harder front slick option for its greater cornering stability while rear tyre choice was more varied with thirteen of the twenty riders selecting the softer rear slick.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today’s race was held under sunny skies and the fans that came to the circuit witnessed a fantastic race with many interesting battles throughout the field. Congratulations to Casey and Repsol Honda for a great win in what must have been a tough race. It was unfortunate that Jorge had some bad luck and couldn’t challenge for the win and I am sorry that some riders experienced tyre problems during the race. We are now investigating the issue and will report back to teams with our findings at the next race.
“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!”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Today’s Dutch TT saw warm track temperatures and the race was run at a good pace with all riders selecting the harder front slick, while all but seven riders selected the softer slick option for the rear.
“Unfortunately a few riders experienced a problem with their rear tyre today and we sincerely apologize to those riders affected. We have commenced a full investigation into the matter and I will personally take the affected tyres back to Bridgestone’s Technical Centre in Japan tomorrow where they will undergo detailed analysis to determine the cause of this issue.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“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. 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.”