2012 Assen MotoGP Race Result: Comfortable Victory After Close Duel
Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Assen:
Casey Stoner has taken his third victory of the year, winning the MotoGP race at Assen by a comfortable margin, after dicing with Dani Pedrosa for most of the race. The 25 points the victory earned him counted double, as Jorge Lorenzo was taken out of the race by Alvaro Bautista in a first corner collision.
That crash decided a large part of the race. Pedrosa got the holeshot, as he does so often, trailing Repsol teammate Stoner in his wake. Jorge Lorenzo looked to be sitting comfortably in 3rd on the way in to the corner, but a massive misjudgement by Bautista saw the San Carlo Gresini man lock the front and then fold it on the entry to the first turn. His bike slid straight into the side of Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha, taking the Spaniard out of the race for the second year in succession; in 2011, it was Marco Simoncelli who did the same thing four corners later, at the Strubben hairpin. Cal Crutchlow was a little more fortunate, only being forced off the track and losing a lot of places, rather than being taken down.
With Lorenzo out of the equation, Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies pushed the Repsol Hondas at first, but the Yamaha man did not have the pace to match Pedrosa and Stoner. The two Honda men inched away at the front, to fight over first among themselves. Pedrosa led for the first half of the race, though Stoner shadowed the Spaniard in an occasionally thrilling display of synchronized riding at incredible pace. Stoner waited patiently for an opportunity to pass, rather than pushing to challenge, and finally seized his chance on lap 17. Once he was past, he upped the pace just enough for Pedrosa to lose touch, Stoner going on to win with relative ease. Pedrosa came home in 2nd, unable to match the rhythm of his teammate at the end of the race.
Further back, Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso battled over the final podium spot. Spies looked to have the situation under control, but as the laps ticked off, Dovizioso pushed Spies hard, getting by on the way into Turn 1 on the final lap, and sealing 3rd. Spies finished in 4th, slightly disappointed perhaps, but at last the American had a race in which he made no mistakes and suffered no misfortune.
Cal Crutchlow came home in 5th, fighting his way forward after losing so much ground in the first corner incident. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha had been held up by a gaggle of Ducatis scrapping over 6th place, after Stefan Bradl had crashed out of the race early. Nicky Hayden eventually came out on top, holding of strong challenges from Hector Barbera, while Valentino Rossi had been forced to come into the pits for a new tire, his original hard tire apparently suffering problems shortly after mid-race. Rossi would cross the line in 13th, a lap down on the leaders. Randy de Puniet crossed the line in 8th, profiting from the crashes among the factory prototypes, but also from the crash of his teammate Aleix Espargaro to score useful points in the battle for the best CRT machine.
Stoner's victory and Lorenzo's crash livens up the championship, the two men now tied with 140 points. Stoner's deficit to the Spaniard has been completely wiped out, but Lorenzo still leads because he has more race wins.
|8||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||42'24.296||1'04.441|
|13||46||Valentino ROSSI||DUCATI||41'38.492||1 lap|
|14||77||James ELLISON||ART||41'38.494||1 lap|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ART||22'50.444||12 laps|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||SUTER||12'14.996||19 laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||BQR||8'13.842||21 laps|
|6||Stefan BRADL||HONDA||1'40.961||25 laps|