Casey Stoner was ecstatic after moving level with Jorge Lorenzo in the championship standings with victory in the Netherlands. The Australian had a difficult build-up to the race with a heavy crash in practice and his race was interrupted by arm pump, but a move on teammate Dani Pedrosa on lap 17 secured the win.
Stoner admitted he would rather have caught Lorenzo, who was taken out by Alvaro Bautista, in different circumstances but welcomed the boost to his hopes of retiring as world champion.
“To take pole position and now the win is really incredible, a big thanks to my whole team who never gave up. My plan was to get a better start than I actually did, take some advantage and use the energy I had to try and make a gap and try to hold on to the end. We also knew that whichever position we were in, we had to preserve the rear tyre. Choosing the softer tyre, there was a big chance that we would destroy it and have nothing left for the end of the race. When I saw Dani was running at a reasonable pace and we were pulling away from the others, I decided to stay there and watch him to save the tyres and my energy as much as I could. With a few laps remaining, I knew we wouldn’t suffer a big drop in tyre performance, I still felt good so I decided to pass him and see if I could pull a gap. It was a tough race, I had a lot of arm pump as I had to compensate for my injuries from the crash yesterday, but my fitness was good and the bike was working well in general. I’m sorry for Jorge, nobody wants to take points over a competitor in this manner, but as we can see, one race can change everything”.
Pedrosa led from the start before Stoner scythed past him at turn fourteen ten laps from home. The Spaniard feels his teammate conserved his tyres better than he had, explaining his stronger pace in the latter stages.
“Looking at the lap times we did during the weekend, I knew I had better rhythm than Casey, so I made a good start and tried to pull away from the first laps. Casey stayed behind me all the time and by the second half of the race, I believe he took profit of extra energy he saved during the first part of the race to overtake me. Our pace was very good in the race, the bike worked very well but maybe I just chose the wrong strategy this time. At the end of the race, the bike felt heavy with change of direction due to tiredness and it was enough to slow me down from 1’35 to 1’36 for just two laps, and I lost ground, but this is racing. I hope to do a better strategy next week in Germany”.