MotoGP Assen Race Results & Full Report: Lorenzo Wins Again as Pedrosa Tries to Threaten


What Happens When Spies is Doing Very Well for a Rookie

10:12am EST — Jorge Lorenzo had to fight off a hard-starting Dani Pedrosa in the early part of the TT Assen Grand Prix for his win, but once he broke clear, it was another race of smooth sailing for the young Fiat Yamaha rider.  Casey Stoner looked to get around Pedrosa, but could only finish on the podium.  Some of the best fighting of the day was between Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso, and Randy de Puniet over fourth, finishing as listed.  Nicky Hayden finally didn’t finish a race this season fourth; he finished seventh instead.  Colin Edwards, Marco Simoncelli, and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top ten for the abbreviated starting grid, with Valentino Rossi out and his test rider replacement not due until Barcelona and Marco Melandri sitting out the race due to a dislocated left shoulder suffered during Friday morning practice.

Lorenzo was quickest in the morning warm-up, leading Stoner, Pedrosa, Spies, and Dovizioso in the top five there, as he led in Saturday’s qualifying.  Surprisingly quick again in quali was Rady de Puniet, who showed speed that was attributed to a track day at Silverstone a couple of weeks before the race, but might be explained by improvement on the bike was well, as he will start second on Saturday in Assen.  Casey Stoner made a late fast lap to start third, as Ben Spies yet again dropped Nicky Hayden down a spot at the end.  The Americans will start fourth and fifth, respectively with Andrea Dovizioso in seventh.  Dani Pedrosa had a strangely poor qualifying.  He will start eight, with Marco Simoncelli, COlin Edwards, and Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top ten.

Lorenzo got a great start in the glittering sunshine, as did Pedrosa while de Puniet wheelied to loose position.  It was Lorenzo, then Spies, Pedrosa, Stoner, and Dovizioso as the top five only halfway through the first lap as Lorenzo tried to break away as he did last week as Silverstone.  Hayden had dropped to ninth from fifth on his start through the first lap as Lorenzo already had a 1+ secondnn lead over Spies.  Pedrosa attempted to hold off Stoner as he looked to pass the Spaniard.  Meanwhile, Pedrosa was looking at Spies, but the three kept their positions for a bit.  On L2, Pedrosa made it under Spies as Stoner kept looking and passed the American for third just after the third lap began.  His momentum looked to be going backward as Dovizioso also took Spies.  At the front, Lorenzo looked to have had a proper gap, until Pedrosa set off after him.  By L4, there was only .448 between the two Spaniards.  Meanwhile Hayden had dropped to eighth, with the top ten Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Spies, Dovizioso, de Puniet, Simoncelli, Hayden, Edwards, and Espargaro.

Hayden got back around Simoncelli as Pedrosa continued closing on Lorenzo.  Stoner was also gaining a bit on Pedrosa on L5.  Pedrosa kept reeling in Lorenzo, with Stoner just behind.  Of the three, only Stoner seemed to be waiving his leg about while going into the appropriate corners, but Lorenzo tended to give it a bit of a wiggle from time to time as well.  The race turned a bit processional as the top three settled in for the middle section of the race.  The top ten had remained the same by L10, with Dovizioso three and a half seconds behind the podium fight.  Lorenzo, on some corners, looked to be taking a slightly different line than the two riders behind him, who were sharing a line, as the leader looked to be using a bit more of the kerbs than his followers.  L11 had Stoner very close behind Pedrosa with Lorenzo a clear gap ahead.  Though very close, Stoner did not seem close enough to make a pass.  Both were on the medium compound front and rear while Lorenzo had medium on the front tire and hard on the rear.

As Pedrosa and Stoner fought each other, Lorenzo managed to sneak away in the lead.  Further back, Spies was working on reeling in Dovizioso after the Italian had gotten away early on.  de Puniet could be seen closing up those two as they fought each other.  Spies got around Dovi with a very close inside pass, as de Puniet also picked off the Italian into the chicane.  Spies managed a small gap from the two as Dovi took a very hard look on the Frenchman, who lost a great starting position with his wheelie off the line.  Further back, in the fight for eleventh, Capirossi led Barbera and Kallio while they traded twelfth back and forth between them.  Meanwhile, Kallio’s teammate Espargaro was trading ninth with Simoncelli as the fight died at the front.  With five laps left, Lorenzo still led Pedrosa, Stoner, Spies, de Puniet, Dovizioso, Hayden, Edwards, Simoncelli, and Espargaro as the top ten.  Spies, de Puniet, and Dovizioso were covered by less than a half second.  In an already abbreviated field, somehow no one had retired or crashed out.  With three laps left, the most exciting battle on the track was between de Puniet and Dovizioso.  Spies was safely away, so long as the two fought each other and did not chase him.

Dovi managed to clear de Puniet, who fought back up the inside, then Dovizioso got fifth across the line, but lost it into the turn to de Puniet, and then the Italian claimed the position back.  de Puniet attempted another pass through the chicane, but could not hold the position, running wide and allowing Dovizioso back through as Lorenzo again won with a nearly three second lead over Pedrosa, then Stoner.  A robot dance and conquering flag in Assen as Lorenzo Land, and it was off to the top step of the podium for Jorge again.

Final Positions for TT Assen Grand Prix:
1. Lorenzo
2. Pedrosa +2.935
3. Stoner +7.022
4. Spies +13.265
5. Dovizioso +15.323
6. de Puniet +15.772
7. Hayden +25.867
8. Edwards +28.991
9. Simoncelli +35.658
10. Espargaro +35.837
11. Kallio +56.769
12. Barbera +56.890
13. Capirossi +1:00.615
14. Bautista +1:08.074
15. Akiyoshi +1 Lap

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