Stoner continues grip on championship with Assen podium Ducati's Casey Stoner finished a competitive runner-up in today's Dutch TT at the Assen circuit after yet another compelling duel with Valentino Rossi, typifying this season's MotoGP ...
Stoner continues grip on championship with Assen podium
Ducati's Casey Stoner finished a competitive runner-up in today's Dutch TT at the Assen circuit after yet another compelling duel with Valentino Rossi, typifying this season's MotoGP championship. Stoner's strong second place adds another 20 points to his championship-leading tally which gives him a 21-point lead at the head of the classification with half of the season now complete.
Suzuki's John Hopkins scored his fourth consecutive top five race finish with a fine fifth place in today's race which sees him bolster his own championship effort, elevating himself to fourth in the overall standings. A further four Bridgestone-shod riders scored top ten results in today's race with Alex Barros leading team-mate Alex Hofmann in seventh and eighth places for the Pramac d'Antin team, Anthony West scoring his first top ten result for Kawasaki in ninth place, ahead of Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri who rounded out the top ten.
Bridgestone's range of medium compound rear tyres performed as expected this afternoon and the tyres were able to demonstrate a solid performance at a difficult track. Marco Melandri gave the new specification 16'' rear tyre a successful race debut which will help Bridgestone further develop its tyres for what promises to be a closely-fought second half to this 2007 season.
Hiroshi Yamada- Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Department
"The competition this weekend has been exceptionally close, between riders, between teams and, of course, between the tyre manufacturers. Second place is a very good overall result. Casey and the Ducati team did a great job to score another podium and to keep their lead at the front of the championship tables, so thanks to them. Suzuki also performed very well; after yesterday's pole position with Chris, it was great to see John score another solid top five result, a job well done. However, the tyre performance today reminds us that we must keep working hard to provide our teams with tyres that are capable of victory at each and every race weekend. We are in the middle of the most intense period of the season, so we will continue to critically analyse our areas of weakness as we aim to further advance our rate of development heading into the second half of this season. In the meantime, thanks to all five our teams for their hard work this weekend."
Junichi Kawajiri - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"Generally, I think that our range of medium compound rear tyres performed well but lacked just a bit of grip in comparison to our rival this weekend. I am nevertheless satisfied that we were still able to help Casey achieve a close second place and John a competitive fifth. We could see in free practice that the performance of our slick tyres was encouraging, especially since it is only our second visit to the revised Assen track. Marco Melandri also gave our new 16'' rear tyre a trouble-free race debut and we have acquired some valuable data for further development. All in all, I think there are some positives to take away from a tightly-contested weekend."
Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - 2nd Place and Championship Leader
"I was able to watch a bit of the race on the big screens around the track and I could see that Valentino was coming through the field quickly. I was just keeping the best pace I could, trying to stay nice and consistent, not making mistakes and I was doing what we did in free practice and I was happy at that. I could see that Valentino was chasing me down, the gap just dropped dramatically and I could see that his pace was faster, so I upped my own pace a bit and we were running in the 1m37s for a while. But once he came past, that was it, I was at my maximum and he had a lot left. I was a bit disappointed because it was windy today and my bike was being blown around a heck of a lot out there. I lost the front a few times from the bike pushing me wide, and if that hadn't happened, I am sure our pace would have been a bit better, but I do not know if we could have matched Valentino. That said, we have to be really happy with this second place and the way our season continues to unfold."
-credit: bridgestone motorsport