Lorenzo extends championship lead with awesome Assen win
Jorge Lorenzo Jorge Lorenzo put in another textbook performance at Assen today, leaving his rivals trailing as he led from the front to win the 80th Dutch TT and take his fourth victory of the season. In doing so he becomes only the seventh rider in history to have won in three or more classes at the historic racetrack, with 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP wins to his name. Meanwhile Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies ensured that there were still two Yamahas in the top four, despite the absence of Valentino Rossi, with another brilliant performance to back up his maiden podium last week.
Mallorcan Lorenzo had looked the man to beat all weekend after topping both practice and qualifying and he got a great start from pole position and quickly pulled out a second's gap, but by lap five Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner were looming large behind him and for a few laps it looked as if a tense three-way battle was in the offing. However Lorenzo's choice of the harder Bridgestone tyre soon began to pay off and, with a lighter fuel load by mid-race distance, he was able to step things up a notch and gave himself an unassailable lead, crossing the line 2.935 seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Stoner third and Spies fourth.
The Fiat Yamaha man's second win on the bounce sees him extend his championship lead to an impressive 47 points from Pedrosa, while Rossi remains fourth in the standings. The next round comes in just a week's time at Barcelona in Spain, when Wataru Yoshikawa will join the Fiat Yamaha Team to fill in until Rossi is back on board his M1.
Jorge Lorenzo - 1st, Time: 41'18.629
"This race was a bit more difficult than Silverstone because Dani was so fast with the softer tyre early on in the race and I had to really keep my concentration to stay in front of him at that point. I was confident that my harder Bridgestone tyre would help me later on and this was the case, so we made the right choice. It wasn't easy though and at the end I was sliding quite a lot, in fact I made a mistake at the chicane and nearly crashed so I was quite glad to finish! I am really happy that I have won here in all three classes because it's such a historic place and the football I had in Parc Ferme was to celebrate this 'hat-trick.' Thanks to all my Yamaha guys and also to Bridgestone for this win, we have a big lead in the championship so we can afford to stay calm and relaxed. Now we go to my home in Barcelona and I am excited about another chance to race in front of the Spanish fans."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager Jorge Lorenzo
"We knew before the start that Pedrosa and Stoner had chosen the softer tyre so we expected them to be fast at the beginning and in fact we were quite pleasantly surprised that Jorge was able to make a gap so early on. Then they came back to him but he is mentally very strong at the moment and he just kept his head and did very well to stay in front, because they were pushing him hard for a while. Once the laps went on and our fuel load was reduced, Jorge was able to use the harder tyre to his advantage and he succeeded brilliantly, we had no doubts about him. Well done to him and to all the team for this second win in a row on this special TT Anniversary"