SECOND STRAIGHT WIN FOR STONER, ANOTHER TOUGH ONE FOR MELANDRI Casey Stoner took his second consecutive victory and his third of the season at Assen, to complete a clean sweep after taking pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race....
SECOND STRAIGHT WIN FOR STONER, ANOTHER TOUGH ONE FOR MELANDRI
Casey Stoner took his second consecutive victory and his third of the season at Assen, to complete a clean sweep after taking pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race. The Australian dominated the race from start to finish, closing the gap to new series leader Dani Pedrosa to 29 points and bringing himself to within 25 of Valentino Rossi in second place.
On a day of typically changeable weather in Holland, Stoner started out well with the fastest time in a wet warm-up before carrying his dominance into the race. After briefly conceding the lead to Dani Pedrosa on the first lap he quickly reasserted himself and opened out an advantage that eventually stretched to 11.310 seconds over the Spaniard.
Marco Melandri, who was himself impressive during the warm-up when he set the seventh fastest time, was unable to reproduce that form in the dry and eventually crossed the line in thirteenth place.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st
"We knew we had the pace to win today but sometimes coming into race day that can make you even more nervous because you know the only thing that can go wrong is yourself! I was also worried about the weather and after watching the 125 race I thought it would be typical to start raining whilst I was in the lead. Thankfully that wasn't the case and I was able to get out front, put my head down and concentrate on doing the times we've been doing all weekend in dry conditions. I'm sorry Valentino crashed because this isn't necessarily the way I wanted to recover points on him, but at the end of the day we've had our fair share of bad luck this year too and racing is an unpredictable game. Now it seems fortune is favouring us but more than that I've really got to take my hat off to Ducati and to my team. They've been doing such a good job over the past few races to get us back on the pace again and make us consistently competitive, so I want to say 'thank you' to all of them."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th
"It would have been good for me to have a wet race today. This morning things were going better and I was quite satisfied with the bike. Compared to yesterday the situation was much better, even though the front end still wasn't perfect. Unfortunately though you can't do anything about the weather, the race was run in the dry and the problems we've been having with the bike returned. I can't get it into the corner, I can't make it turn and I'm losing so much grip, especially with a full fuel tank. It was a very difficult race."
LIVIO SUPPO (Ducati MotoGP Project Leader)
"I think that today Casey has once again shown not only that he has extraordinary talent but also great mental strength. Apart from Qatar it has been a tough start to the season for us but he has never lost his belief and that shows great character. We also need to thank Filippo, Vitto and all the guys at home once more because they have never stopped working to give Casey the technical support he needed to recreate that level of confidence and become unbeatable again, as he has been in the last two races. Huge thanks also go to our sponsors and technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell, who have always given us extraordinary support. Marco had shown promising signs in warm-up, which I think was his best ever wet session with us, but unfortunately he couldn't repeat it in the dry during the race. Now he has two races on tracks he likes so we hope that this can help him discover a good feeling with his bike."