Stoner dominates Dutch TT to take Bridgestone's maiden Assen win Continuing where he left off in Donington last weekend, Ducati Corse rider Casey Stoner took a dominant win in this afternoon's Dutch TT to secure his, Ducati's and Bridgestone's...
Stoner dominates Dutch TT to take Bridgestone's maiden Assen win
Continuing where he left off in Donington last weekend, Ducati Corse rider Casey Stoner took a dominant win in this afternoon's Dutch TT to secure his, Ducati's and Bridgestone's maiden win at the Assen circuit. It is Stoner's third win of the season, and second consecutively, cementing his third place in the world championship with a reduced gap of 29 points to new championship leader, Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who finished second today. Yamaha rider Colin Edwards completed the podium.
Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and San Carlo Honda Gresini's Shinya Nakano added more points to their championship tallies with seventh and eighth-place finishes, while Alice Team's Sylvain Guintoli took his first top ten race result of the season in tenth position.
Valentino Rossi recovered strongly from a first lap crash, pulling back a thirty-second deficit from the rest of the field to claim eleventh position at the chequered flag. He set the third fastest lap of the race and earned five important points to be just four points adrift of Pedrosa in the classification at the season's halfway mark.
Four of Bridgestone's riders were unable to boost their championship positions today. Kawasaki's John Hopkins and Suzuki's Loris Capirossi did not start the race due to injuries sustained in free practice, while Honda Gresini man Alex de Angelis and Kawasaki's Anthony West both crashed out.
Casey Stoner set the fastest lap of the race, 1m36.738s, four-tenths under the existing lap record set by Nicky Hayden in 2006 and, such was his dominance today, he set a total of 13 laps under that record during the 26-lap race. Bridgestone has now seen a rider win on its tyres at each circuit on the calendar except Estoril and Sachsenring, which will host the next round of the championship. And there is also the new Indianapolis circuit where Bridgestone will test for the first time next week ahead of September's debut event at the Speedway.
Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport
"Casey has been in tremendous form this weekend, and was unstoppable today. I would like to thank him and Ducati for helping us take the first ever Assen win on Bridgestone tyres. His performance was incredible, and he thoroughly deserves his 25 points, which have helped him close the gap further in the championship. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather, but several of our teams, including Honda Gresini, Suzuki and Alice, have been able to take top ten results to help their championship positions. Valentino, too, rode a strong race to regain the ground he lost on the first lap to take valuable points. At the halfway point in the season, the championship is getting very exciting."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"Casey's result today is great for us because it is the first time we have taken MotoGP victory in Assen. Generally, I am pleased with the grip level and consistency from our tyres this weekend. We have had another weekend interrupted by rain, but several of our riders were able to demonstrate a good pace today. Casey had a really strong race and set some impressive lap times. Valentino also showed a fighting spirit to battle back to eleventh with some competitive times. We were missing some riders today with John and Loris both injured, and we wish them a quick recovery. We will be testing in Indianapolis next week to begin tyre evaluation at this new circuit, and we will also be working hard to bring competitive tyres to Sachsenring, another tough venue for us."
Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - Race Winner
"We have had a good pace all weekend, but it is a bit nerve-wracking when coming to race day, when you know the only thing that can go wrong is you. I really didn't want to make any mistakes today, especially with how uncertain the weather was looking. Apart from a few spots, the rain stayed away today, so I was happy about that. I have really got to take my hat off to the team, they have been doing such a good job these last few races to get us back on the pace and competitive again. Bridgestone has also worked well this weekend with the race tyres and also with the improvements they have made with the qualifying rubber."
Weather: Dry - Air 21C, Track 28C (Bridgestone measurement)