MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 09: Netherlands GP > Race Results
MotoGPNetherlandsJune 30, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
Netherlands Grand Prix at Assen

Hayden Back On Form With Third In Epic Dutch TT

Qualifying >>

A resurgent Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V), the reigning World Champion, was on the podium and in the thick of the action at the Netherlands Grand Prix. And what action there was.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Stoner sped away from the line and established a 1.25 second lead within the first four turns over Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins (both Suzuki) with Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) holding fourth place early on. Nicky was positively raring to get on terms with Stoner and was fifth at the close of the first lap.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was on the pace in sixth and as Nicky stole fifth from Melandri Dani moved up a place too and the Repsol duo set about the Suzuki pairing as Stoner enjoyed the early luxury of a comfortable lead. Rossi lay ninth at the end of lap two of this 26-lap race.

By lap three Nicky had snatched third place and Dani was right up there in fourth. Hayden had a two second gap to close on Hopkins in second and the way he set about his task was ebullient in the extreme. There was a dynamism about his riding that showed precisely why he lifted the World Crown last season.

It looked as if Stoner might stroll to the win in these early laps, but Rossi was on the prowl and by lap six the Italian had relieved Dani of fourth place and was hungry for further scalps. By lap eight he was third and as Stoner left Hopkins in his wake Nicky piled on the power to stay with the front-runners.

As lap ten passed Stoner was 1.1 seconds ahead of Hopkins with Rossi turning in a fastest lap of 1m 37.6s as Stoner could only manage a best of 1m 38s. Rossi then moved up to second as Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) and Vermeulen tangled, the Kawasaki rider hitting the tarmac as Vermeulen visited the gravel trap and then rejoined the fray.

There was no doubting the sheer intensity of this race under a cloudy but sporadically sunlit sky. Rossi was repeatedly a full second quicker than Stoner as he closed on the Australian Ducati man, and Nicky was refusing to lose ground on the leaders as he put pressure on Hopkins for third place.

By lap 16 Rossi was on Stoner’s rear wheel and the lead duo were 2.6 seconds ahead of Hayden who was now third. Nicky shaved this gap down to two seconds with five laps to go, but he was never going to get on terms with the front pair as they fought tooth and nail for superiority.

Rossi dived inside Stoner at the final chicane with three laps to run. The series points leader then recognized that the former World Champion had too much pace to make a challenge for the win worthwhile. Rossi won by 1.909 seconds from Stoner with Nicky 6.077 seconds off Rossi as he crossed the line to signal a welcome return to the podium.

Nicky said: “It’s really nice to get a good result and just have fun – be up there at the front battling with the boys. My pace was pretty good but when Valentino came through he just split and I couldn’t get my pace down to do those few quick laps to stay with him. I thought for a while I might be on for something a bit special and maybe an even better result, but we’ll definitely take this one and try to build on it – a big thanks to my team and all my guys at Repsol Honda who’ve worked really hard for me.”

Dani, who finished fourth, said: “After qualifying in ninth position in the rain yesterday fourth in the race is not too bad, although I have to admit I was actually hoping for better today. My speed was quite good and I was able to improve on my pace from practice, which was encouraging. It’s a shame that in the last six or seven laps I began to struggle with traction again and I just couldn’t keep the gap to Nicky. We’ll have to keep working on this because it’s an issue we’ve had in a few races this year, which means we haven’t always achieved the results that looked possible.”

Marco Melandri was tenth. The Italian said: “I got a good start but the problems we had in practice on dry conditions returned and I couldn’t ride as I wanted. I had so much chattering and it was really hard for me. I gave it my best shot but the end result is disappointing.”

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) finished 11th and said: “It was great to be fighting for a place in the top ten and I had a great battle with Hofmann, West and Melandri. In the beginning it took some time for my rear tyre to come up to temperature but then I was able to race with the others. I had some fun with Marco passing him once, but I just lacked full confidence on the brakes to push any harder, it was difficult to find a gap on the brakes. But I’m happy for the team that we were able to score some points today.”

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) came home in 12th place. The Japanese rider said: “We had a difficult start to the race as I couldn’t get a good rhythm, maybe because I chose a harder tyre than usual. But this meant that towards the end of the race I had a good pace I could catch the group in front of me. The result is still a little disappointing, as I could see the group ahead, and we’re still missing some corner speed and confidence in the front-end, but it has been the same the whole weekend. It was good to see Honda improve at the front and this must be good news for us in the long run and in the second half of the World Championship.”

Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) was 15th and said: “We’d made a lot of changes for the race that we hadn't tested, and I wasn’t happy with the bike until about lap 19. I figured I'd stay out and see what came to us. Luckily a crash handed us a point today when two riders came down. It’s not like we’re in the World Championship hunt, but it’s better to get points for the team than not, and we've got to keep chipping away at it. The problem is only four hours to test at the race, and it keeps raining. I'm looking forward to Laguna, because at least I know the track there.”

Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) did not ride after breaking a leg in a practice crash.

Casey Stoner now has 185 points to Rossi’s 164 after nine rounds of this 18-race series. Dani Pedrosa is third overall ahead of John Hopkins with Chris Vermeulen fifth and Marco Melandri sixth.

Jorge Lorenzo strolled to an easy win in the 250cc category after overhauling the lap one leader Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW). Alex de Angelis finished second and Alvaro Bautista was third (all Aprilia). Dovi, however, managed to stay in touch with series points leader Lorenzo with a typically dogged fourth place finish.

Dovizioso now trails Lorenzo by 23 points having recorded two wins to the Spanish man’s six victories. But Dovi is nothing if not consistent and his endeavours against the rapid Aprilia riders are surely to bear fruit as the second half of the season unfolds.

Dovi said: “From day one here I have problems with a lack of rear end grip. In the race it was possible to stay with Lorenzo for five – six laps but only by taking many risks. But when Lorenzo goes away I know I cannot finish second because the other two fast Aprilia’s will go past me – and that’s what happened. But we go to Sachsenring now and that will suit our engine better than at this track.”

His team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda RS250RW) was tenth and said: “The important thing here was to finish the race with some points. This morning in warm-up we have found a setting that was appropriate for this track. Now we go to Brno for two days of testing before we go to the Sachsenring.”


Mattia Pasini won the 125cc race clear ahead of a fierce fight for second place that eventually went to Hector Faubel from Gabor Talmacsi (all Aprilia). Pasini led from the lights and managed his lead in the fashion of a man who has been so long denied the spoils his pace deserves.

Pasini enjoyed a six second lead over Faubel at the flag and there was more than a little contention over the podium places between Faubel and Talmacsi before the duo broached the line. Faubel now leads the World Championship points table from Talmacsi by eight points at the mid-point of the season.

Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) did not ride today having broken bones in his hand and foot in a crash during qualifying yesterday. His team-mate Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 13th while Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda RS125R) failed to finish.

Rabat said: “It’s been a hard weekend for us we had a few problems on Thursday and Friday. I got a good start from 13th on the grid made up a couple of places. I was in a group fighting for 11th place but I couldn’t get away, I just didn’t have the acceleration. Finishing 13th is not the result I wanted.”

Faubel now leads the World Championship by 138 points to Talmacsi’s 131. Bradley Smith lies ninth on 63 points.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)


MotoGP.
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda:3rd.
"It's really nice to get a good result and just have fun - be up there at the front battling with the boys. On the warm-up lap I was thinking this is by far the best my bike has felt all year in any conditions and, even though I'd qualified in 13th, on the line I just remember thinking, "fight like a dog today boy!" Then I just put it in gear and got a really good start. In fact I got such a good start that when I got to the haipin I almost relaxed and took a breath and Edwards came back past me. I needed that start – the only choice I had was to look for a hole and do something. My pace was pretty good but when Valentino came through he just split and I couldn't get my pace down to do those few quick laps to stay with him. I thought for a while I might be on for something a bit special and maybe an even better result, but we'll definitely take this one and try to build on it. A big thanks to my team and all my guys at Repsol Honda who've worked really hard for me. It would have been really easy to start giving up on me and pointing the finger but they stayed and worked really hard at the tests – especially the two days after Barcelona - so thanks to them. We've just found a little bit of an improvement with the machine - just those three or four tenths that make the difference between being at the back and the front. It's not like we found two seconds a lap, but just enough so that I can push and have fun. There's still some work to do and a lot of racing to go but we'll just try and enjoy this one."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th.
"After qualifying in ninth position in the rain yesterday fourth in the race is not too bad, although I have to admit I was actually hoping for better today. I got a good start and was able to get behind Nicky and in the first few laps I was very comfortable. When Nicky made a few overtakes I was able to follow him through and we worked our way up the order. My speed was quite good and I was able to improve on my pace from practice which was encouraging. It's a shame that in the last six or seven laps I began to struggle with traction again and I just couldn't keep the gap to Nicky. We'll have to keep working on this because it's an issue we've had in a few races this year which means we haven't always achieved the results that looked possible. The bike is getting better but we still have some problems in the latter stages of the races so we'll have to continue to make a big effort for the next races."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 10th.
"I got a good start but the problems we had in practice on dry conditions returned and I couldn't ride as I wanted. I had so much chattering and it was really hard for me. I gave it my best shot but the end result is disappointing."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 11th. "It was great to be fighting for a place in the top ten and I had a great battle with Hofmann, West and Melandri. In the beginning it took some time for my rear tyre to come up to temperature but then I was able to race with the others. I had some fun with Marco passing him once, but I just lacked full confidence on the brakes to push any harder, it was difficult to find a gap on the brakes. But I'm happy for the team that we were able to score some points today."

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 12th.

“We had a difficult start to the race as I couldn’t get a good rhythm, maybe because I chose a harder tyre than usual. But this meant that towards the end of the race I had a good pace I could catch the group in front of me. The result is still a little disappointing, as I could see the group ahead, and we’re still missing some corner speed and confidence in the front-end, but it has been the same the whole weekend. It was good to see Honda improve at the front and this must be good news for us in the long run and in the second half of the championship.”

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 15th.
“It was a frustrating race from the get-go. We’ve been frustrated all weekend. The bike seemed to work fairly well on the banked corners, but on the long double-apex flat corners that close in on themselves, it was miserable. That’s where we really struggled. There are four corners on this racetrack where we’d lose a second in each of them, it seemed like, because we couldn’t drive off, and it’s no secret we’re down on acceleration anyway, so it compounds the problem. In my worst corner, I got pushed wide and I think three people passed me, and then they were gone. That killed us. We’d made a lot of changes for the race that we hadn’t tested, and I wasn’t happy with the bike until about lap 19. I figured I’d stay out and see what came to us. Luckily a crash handed us a point today when two riders came down. It’s not like we’re in the championship hunt, but it’s better to get points for the team than not, and we’ve got to keep chipping away at it. The problem is only four hours to test at the race, and it keeps raining. I’m looking forward to Laguna, because at least I know the track there.”

Kenny Roberts Snr – Team Principal.
”We tried a completely different setting for the race, taking a chance, because we haven’t really performed good all weekend. Amazingly enough it did the same stuff. He went as fast at the end of the race, with good times, but when it’s new and when the tyres are new we can’t get it to turn. We made a drastic change, and it didn’t make any difference – so we have a problem somewhere that we are having difficulties isolating. We’re working hard on the new chassis. I don’t know if it will be there for Laguna, but that’s our target.”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: dns – crash in practice and broke his left femur.


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 4th.
“From day one here I have problems with a lack of rear end grip. In the race it was possible to stay with Lorenzo for five – six laps but only by taking many risks. But when Lorenzo goes away I know I cannot finish second because the other two Aprilia’s will go past me, and that’s what happened. But we go to Sachsenring now and that will suit our engine better than at this track.”

Yuki Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: 10th.
“I am not completely satisfied with 10th place but it’s important to finish in the points after the problems we had on Thursday and Friday. This morning in the warm up we tried a different machine set up and it turned out to be appropriate for the track. Now we go to Brno for two days of testing before we go to the Sachsenring.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 13th.

“I had a normal start but I wasn’t able to get a good pace at the beginning of the race. During the first two or three laps I was rather slow and started to improve bit by bit. There was something wrong with the engine, because it was much slower than usual. Moreover, there was a lot of wind out there and I think that it also had an influence on its performance. Halfway the race I saw that the temperature was not normal, but much higher than it should so I had to slow down. I’m not happy with this result, but we're going to test next week in Brno and I hope to be able to improve the setting of my bike for Germany there.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 14th.
"I had a terrible start, but I remained focussed on maintaining a good pace to regain positions as soon as possible. In the last third of the race, I was closing on the top 15 and I could claim 14th and score a couple of points, I'm quite happy with this result despite the circumstances. The bike felt good and I was able to push hard in the early stages of the race."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 21st.
"After eight laps I knew I had made the wrong tyre choice at the rear, the bike was sliding around a lot. I learnt a big lesson, I should have raced with a harder compound like the other Honda riders, but I was told after the warm-up the softer tyre would be OK."

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: dnf – technical problem.
“It’s a shame. The truth is that I had the pace to stay in the group I was, fighting for the fifth or the tenth position. It was a good race, but it finished in an instant. It was a mechanical failure and these things happen. Some times it can be a crash I cause and some other time it’s the bike that fails. Such are races and the most important thing now is to cheer up. The team supports me and that makes me feel very proud. We’ll give it all in Germany to be in the front.”


125cc.
Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 13th.
“It’s been a hard weekend for us we had a few problems on Thursday and Friday. I got a good start from 13th on the grid made up a couple of places. I was in a group fighting for 11th place but I couldn’t get away, I just didn’t have the acceleration. Finishing 13th is not the result that I wanted in the race, I enjoyed it and that’s important. There’s nothing more I could do, but I want to thank my team because they helped me a lot.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 16th.
“I had a good start but got stuck in the traffic in the slow part of the racetrack. It’s a pity because I was unable to stay with a good pack of riders because of that. The bike was working well and I was able to measure all the work achieved with the team. I was confident and could feel the front perfectly, which allowed me to perform well entering the corners. I wasn’t 100% confident with the rear but was nevertheless able to slide the bike and stay on the safe side. Indeed my lap time on lap three was faster than in practice. Throughout the race I fought with a pack of five or six riders. I took the lead on several occasions and was in front in the last lap but Lorenzo Zanetti pushed me on the inside and the only solution was to go wide and let him through. It’s the second time this season that I'm so close to scoring points and it’s really frustrating! Next week-end we are going to Albi for a French championship event and we still have a lot of work before the next Grand Prix, on July 14 and 15 in Germany.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 26th.
“I didn’t get my usual good start and was in 22nd place at the end of the first lap. I was trying too hard and could not get into a good rhythm, making small mistakes and riding inconsistently. One lap at 1m 49.1s then 1m 48.0s. Every time the team showed me the pit board I thought, ‘this is not my day.’ In every practice and qualifying session I felt very relaxed but today I felt the pressure of this being my home race – I just didn’t expect that. I blame myself because the bike was working really well today.”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: dnf - crash.
“The lap before I crashed I touched another rider going into the left hand corner behind the paddock when I tried to pass him. I crashed at the same corner a lap later in a strange way. Going into the corner I braked a little earlier than necessary to avoid making the same mistake again but the rear end stepped out then slid away and high sided me from the bike.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: dnf – crash.

“I was catching Joey (Litjens) in the group ahead of me when I crashed. I closed on Bonsey at a left hand corner but he braked earlier than I expected and I hit his back wheel and crashed. Pity because the bike was very good today and I was faster in the race than qualifying.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: dns – crash.
Bradley Smith did not race due to injuries to his left hand and left foot sustained in Thursday’s practice session.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
Netherlands Grand Prix at Assen


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
6 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
7 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
8 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antin)
9 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
10 Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
11 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
12 Shinya NAKANO (Konica Minolta Honda)
13 Makoto TAMADA (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
14 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
15 Kurtis ROBERTS (Team Roberts)



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
5 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
6 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
7 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
8 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
9 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
10 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Team Scot)
11 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
12 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
13 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
14 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT-SAG)
15 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
 
125cc
1 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
2 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
3 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
4 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
6 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
7 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
8 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
9 Michael RANSEDER (Ajo Motorsport)
10 Stefan BRADL (Blusens Aprilia)
11 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Campetella Aprilia)
12 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)
13 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
14 Raffaele DE ROSA (Multimedia Racing)
15 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Team Sicilia)
 

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