MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 09: Netherlands GP > Race Results
MotoGPNetherlandsJune 28, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
Netherlands Grand Prix at Assen

Pedrosa Takes Championship Lead With Podium

Qualifying >>

In a race packed with drama at both start and finish Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) took control of the World Championship with a sound ride to second behind runaway winner Casey Stoner (Ducati). Colin Edwards (Yamaha) finished third when Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) ran into machine trouble on the final lap. Edwards snatched the rostrum spot on the line as Hayden coasted forlornly across.



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Uncertain weather was a factor in both the 125cc and 250cc Grands Prix held prior to this 26-lap race around the sinuous 4.555km Circuit van Drenthe, but the track remained dry despite brooding skies throughout this eventful MotoGP race.

Dani launched his RCV off the line clinically quickly and headed the pack into turn one with Stoner inches behind him and Nicky fending off Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) in fourth, the Japanese having burst through the field from ninth on the grid.

As the riders filed into the slow left-hand Horseshoe turn Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who had not enjoyed the best of starts, lost control of his machine and collected the blameless Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) in the crash. Rossi restarted, De Puniet could not.

Another lap one victim, this time of his own invention, was Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V). With two Honda men down and out, there was encouragement at the front of the race with Dani, Nicky, Nakano and Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) in the top five.

None would be able to make any impression on Stoner however. The Aussie World Champion relieved Dani of the lead at the end of lap one and was never again troubled as he powered to a decisive win, his third of this 2008 campaign.

Nicky harried Dani for second early in this race, but in only his second outing on the pneumatic-valve-engined RC212V he had to consolidate third place as the contest wore on. It looked as if the Kentucky Kid would achieve his first podium of the season, but he would be denied – freewheeling to the flag as Edwards sped past. But the signs for the new machine are encouraging, despite today’s disappointment.

Nakano rode his strongest race so far this season but faded in the second half to come home eighth. It was an encouraging performance from this intense campaigner. Dovi road another strong race to finish fifth and confirm his status as the most successful of the Honda satellite riders so far.

There were just 13 riders on track in the final laps, laps where Rossi overhauled Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) to take 11th place and garner a valuable five points after all looked lost on lap one. Of concern to all World Championship hopefuls will be the margin of Stoner’s victory – 11.3 seconds – a little too convincing for comfort.

The implications for the World Championship are substantial: Dani now heads the standings after another podium, his eighth in nine races, with 171 points, Rossi sits second on 167 and Stoner now looks a serious title threat with 142 points and the momentum of a winner of consecutive races.

250cc Grand Prix
Alvaro Bautista won this race from Thomas Luthi (both Aprilia) with Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) third. With changeable weather a threat this was declared a ‘wet’ race and even though raindrops fell after half-race distance the full 24-laps were completed.

Simoncelli looked as if he had the first turn under control until Luthi rocketed underneath him to snatch the lead and upset Simoncelli’s composure to the extent that that Italian dropped back to mid-pack. But he recovered well and gradually made his way back into contention.

Bautista fought his way through from mid-field too getting on terms with runaway leader Luthi and then relieving the Swiss man of the lead on lap 19. Bautista was too fast for Luthi once he got ahead and the Spaniard took the flag for his first win of the season.

The World Championship points table now shows Mika Kallio (KTM), who finished seventh today, leading with 140 points from Simoncelli with 139. Alex Debon (Aprilia), who was fourth today, on 114 and Bautista now fourth with 102.

125cc Grand Prix
Weather played a part in producing a thrilling restarted five lap race won by reigning World Champion Gabor Talmacsi with Joan Olive second and Simone Corsi third (all Aprilia). Bradley Smith (Aprilia), however, was comfortably leading the original 22-lap race when rain fell and the race was stopped with 13 laps to go.

Smith crashed, as did three other riders, before the red flags brought a halt to proceedings. The British rider was 3.6 seconds ahead of the field when the conditions changed. In the restarted race he ran with the lead group, but could only manage fifth in a fierce and congested struggle for podium places – the first eight riders covered by less than one second.

Mike Di Meglio (Derbi), who finished seventh today, leads the World Championship with 141 points with Corsi second on 125.



Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda)


Shinya Nakano


MotoGP:
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
“I’m happy with this result because it was a difficult race and I’m happy to be in the World Championship lead once again, the 20 points we got here are very important. We’ve struggled a little bit during practice here, but my team have worked really hard, so a big thanks to all of them. Yesterday I was able to qualify on a MotoGP front row for the first time at Assen. Today I did my best in the race but unfortunately we couldn’t go with Casey because he was so fast. Now we need to keep working hard because we must try to close the gap over the next few races. Sachsenring is next. We had a great win there last year and we will try to the same again this year.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“Man, we had a pretty good race. Unfortunately this game can be cruel sometimes. To be so close to a really good result is tough, but we still finished, we made it across the line and still got some good points out of the deal, but it would’ve been nice to stand on the podium. The team certainly deserved it, they’ve worked really hard this weekend. On the sighting lap I knew something was wrong. It’s been a little bit frustrating because she hasn’t run right off the bottom since I got here, especially out of slow corners. They’ve been changing stuff and they thought they had it fixed but something was wrong. I had a dash light come on at the start of the race, though it went off after the start. She finally quit right before the finish line. It’s how it goes, I guess me and Colin are even now, he gave me one here a couple of years ago and I gave him a podium today. There at the end I was trying to make a push on Dani, I wanted to keep the pressure on him, he was coming back to me a bit. I was pushing, then on the last lap I thought ‘oh no, we’re in trouble’. Nonetheless the bike is working good, now they’ve got a week and a half to hopefully sort it out in Japan and we can keep moving on.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 5th.
“I’m very happy with this fifth place, I believe this is the maximum that we could achieve today. I started well and in the early stages of race I was faster than some of the other riders, managing to stay in front, even though we started from the fourth row of the grid where usually it’s hard to recover and get with the leaders. When Valentino fell, this opened a gap for me and I benefited from it and stayed in fifth position. After a few laps Vermeulen was behind me, so when he came past I wanted to see where he was faster and whether he could drag us further on. He wasn’t faster than me, so I overtook him, as I knew Colin was coming. Colin passed Chris and I was unable to stop him passing me. He then had a pace I could not match. Yesterday I thought we would be able to have a better rhythm, but our result today could not have been better. We struggle to fight for the podium positions and it seems that fourth or f ifth is ‘our’ position in the race. We are working well and happy with the results, even if we want better!”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 8th.
“I’ve finished ninth for the last three races and our objective today was to improve on that! Eighth place isn’t a fantastic result but the most positive thing about this race was the start. I got away really well and managed to get straight into a good pace. Unfortunately after a few laps my rhythm dropped off and I lost positions, from fourth back to seventh. I would have liked to finish higher but I’m still happy because eighth isn’t bad and I think we’ve taken a step forward today.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: dnf- crash.
“We deserve a lot better than this. Since the beginning of this weekend my pace was consistently fast and I could stay with the top five riders today. I made a very good start and was in the fifth position when Rossi crashed and I was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. We both went in the gravel but he rejoined the race. Probably he arrived too fast and lost the rear hitting my bike. I’m very disappointed because we could have fought for a good result here.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: dnf – crash.
“I started quite well but Valentino and De Puniet crashed in front of me coming onto the back straight and I had to slam the brakes on, allowing a couple of riders past. In the next corner I’d barely opened the throttle when the bike lost grip and threw me into the air. It was probably the tyre that wasn’t up to temperature and I just lost control, the rear came around and I crashed. Luckily I’m not hurt and I’m looking forward to the next race.”


250cc:
Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 8th.
“I made a good race, with a good start as always and I was sixth at the end of the first lap. I tried to stay with the leaders, but I could not keep their pace. This was due to us changing the suspension after yesterday’s practice sessions, but we didn’t have the conditions to verify these changes in the warm-up. Also, with a full tank of fuel, the bike didn’t have the nimbleness through the corners that I would have liked. From mid-race I managed to lap quicker, on the pace of the leaders, but no matter how hard I pushed I was not able to gain any positions before the end of the race. I want to thank the Team, which has worked well throughout the weekend and has prepared my Honda very well; Assen is a difficult circuit for the suspension on a 250cc bike, but they did a good job.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 12th.
“I got a good start but I made a mistake at the first corner and was not good at the second one and a few riders passed me costing me positions. After that I settled down and caught a few riders. When the light rain came my lap times dropped off and I stayed in the same group of riders to the finish. I have to thank my team for this weekend my bike was very good and I am happy with the result. One thin for sure, I know I have to be more aggressive in the qualifying sessions get a better grid position for the race.”


125cc:
Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 24th.
“I had a good start in both legs. What’s more, compared to the previous Grand Prix events I was able to stay and fight with an experienced group of riders. I really feel much better, it’s a soothing feeling - not only for me but for the whole team as well. I made some good improvements this weekend, with braking one of them. It’s nothing enormous, but a series of small points where we’ve been improving, and the outcome is positive. It was a disappointment when Alexis Masbou passed me in the last corner, but it shows he has several years’ Grand Prix experience.”

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


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
6 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
7 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
9 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
10 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
11 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
12 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
13 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
250cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
2 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
3 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
4 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
5 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
7 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
8 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
9 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
10 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
11 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
12 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
13 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
14 Alex BALDOLINI (Matteoni Racing)
15 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
 
125cc
1 Gabor TALMACSI / HUN / Bancaja Aspar Team)
2 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
3 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
4 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
5 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
6 Esteve RABAT (Repsol KTM 125cc)
7 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
8 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
9 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
10 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
11 Stefano BIANCO (S3+ WTR San Marino Team)
12 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
13 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
14 Michael RANSEDER (I.C. Team)
15 Hugo VAN DEN BERG (Degraaf Grand Prix)
 

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