Stoner Wins At Assen As Lorenzo’s Luck Runs Out

Casey Stoner moved level with Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the MotoGP championship standings after winning the Dutch TT as Lorenzo failed to finish. The Australian comfortably beat his teammate Dani Pedrosa as Repsol Honda claimed their first 1-2 of the season but their life was made easier by a dramatic first corner.

Pedrosa made his usual rocket start from the middle of the front row to lead Stoner through turn one with Lorenzo under pressure from Cal Crutchlow for third. Further back, Alvaro Bautista was keen to make up ground on the inside from eighth on the grid but the Spaniard left his braking far too late and slammed into the side of the factory Yamaha, taking them both out. Crutchlow was lucky to avoid the incident but his act of avoidance allowed half the field to go past him. The other satellite Honda rider didn't get very far either as Stefan Bradl binned it on lap two.

Stoner never allowed Pedrosa to get out of arm's length and with ten laps to go, the world champion sprang into action. After getting a better run through the Mandeveen corner, Stoner scythed up the inside of Pedrosa through turn 14 to grab a lead that would only get bigger for the remainder of the race.

While two Hondas disputed the victory, the fight for the other place on the podium came down between two Yamahas. Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso led the only remaining factory rider Ben Spies only for the American to sneak ahead at half distance but as the laps ticked off, the Italian came on strong and eased through at the start of the final lap.

Cal Crutchlow produced another terrific recovery ride to claim fifth after making his way past a swarm of Ducatis, Nicky Hayden the first of them in sixth with Hector Barbera seventh. Valentino Rossi was also in the mix before hitting tyre trouble on lap 16, forcing him to pit. The Doctor did return to the track after a change of rubber but he could only salvage thirteenth after beating James Ellison on the line.

Randy de Puniet was the leader in the CRT class after his Aspar teammate Aleix Espargaro crashed out with Michele Pirro and Mattia Pasini next up, completing the overall top ten. Danilo Petrucci and Ivan Silva were the last unlapped runners ahead of Rossi and Ellison.