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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 07: Netherlands

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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June 30, 2012

Stoner Leads Home Pedrosa in Dutch TT

A day after one of the worst crashes of his career, Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode brilliantly to outshine team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) in the Dutch TT on a sunny day in northern Holland, made sunnier by Stoner moving back into a tie for the MotoGP World Championship points lead.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) &
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Stoner had suffered what he referred to as one of his worst ever crashes when he hit a slick spot in Friday morning practice. The fall pitched him hard onto his chronically injured left scaphoid, left arm, and his head, and also his knee, which he said felt like it had a knife in it. But in the final minutes of the rain-interrupted qualifying session, Stoner uncorked the lap of the weekend to take the pole position.

When the race began, under warm, sunny skies, Pedrosa and pole-sitter Stoner cleared off, and by the first corner championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) was out of the race, the victim of an over-exuberant Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V). Bautista had charged into the first turn of the race with too much pace, lost the front end and collected Lorenzo as he slid to his left.

Race Direction cited Bautista for riding in an “irresponsible manner.” His penalty is that he will have to start at the back of the MotoGP grid at next weekend’s German GP at the Sachsenring. The San Carlo Honda Gresini team appealed the penalty, but the FIM Stewards confirmed the decision, which is final.

While much of the rest of the field had to check up, the Honda riders quickly pulled away to decide the race between themselves. Pedrosa was never able to lose the Australian with Stoner a constant threat on his tailpiece.

Stoner made his move for the lead in the sixth gear Hoge Heide slight kink on lap 17 of 26. Within three laps he had put the lead to over 1.5s and from there cruised home to victory.

The margin of victory was 4.965s.

The win was the world champion’s third of the year and the 36th of his career, putting him one behind the legendary “Mike the Bike” Hailwood for fourth all-time in the premier class.

It also moved him into a tie with Lorenzo atop the points standings with 140 after seven of 18 races, though Stoner said Lorenzo’s misfortune was not how he wanted to get back into the championship chase. Pedrosa is third with 121 points.

The Repsol Honda one-two finish also strengthened the lead of the Repsol Honda team in the Team’s championship with 261 points to 188 for Yamaha.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) failed to finish a race for the first time in his rookie MotoGP season. Bradl was in fifth on the second lap when he lost the front end in turn 10 and fell, unhurt. It was doubly heart-breaking since he had earned his best ever grid position on Friday and was looking for a career best MotoGP finish.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) finished a career best ninth and nearly eighth in the fight for supremacy among the CRT set. Pirro engaged with the more experienced Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet for most of the race. When Espargaro retired with a mechanical issue, Pirro moved up a spot with an eye on eighth. But de Puniet was able to break away with five laps to go. Still, Pirro was ecstatic to have finished so high up the order. Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) won his third race of the season with a last lap pass of Andrea Iannone (Speed Master, Speed Up) in the Moto2 race.

Iannone had taken the lead on the fourth of 24 laps and by then the tenor of the championship had changed dramatically. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock, Suter) crashed on the first lap with Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto 2, Suter). Wilairot was able to rejoin the race, only to crash again.

And a lap later Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti, Kalex) crashed out of the lead. That was the opening Marquez needed to maximise his championship position, but first he would have to get by Iannone.

Iannone stretched his lead to over a second on the eighth lap. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) was second in front of the charging Marquez, with early leader Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CPI, Suter) now fourth.

By lap 14 Iannone had a cushion of 3.33 secs., but hehad damaged his tyres with his early pace. The lead dropped by nearly a second in the next two laps and on the 17th Marquez ran the fastest lap of the race.

With four laps to go Marquez was on Iannone and looking for a way past. The pair bumped fairings in the fast Ruskenhoek right kink on the 22nd lap as Marquez was into the lead, but only briefly; Iannone took it back in the next sweeping left.

The next lap was a replay, though without the contact. As it had the lap before, the lap ended with Iannone in front. But not for long.

Marquez went into the lead on the final lap with Iannone unable to match his pace; his tyres would not allow it. Iannone made his bid for glory in the Stekkenwal right, but overshot it and killed his drive. That gave Marquez a touch of breathing room which he expanded to .405s at the end. It was his third win in a row in Assen.

Redding finished third one race after finishing second in his home grand prix at Silverstone, coming out the best of a three-rider scrap with fourth place finisher Tito Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti, Kalex) and Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing, FTR). It was especially gratifying for Redding, the tall Briton who had had machine problems during the weekend, as well as a crash. Redding waited until Rabat gave him an opening, which he seized to score his second podium in as many weeks.

De Angelis finished fifth in his first ride since swapping his Suter chassis for an FTR. The change paid off with the San Marinese scoring his best finish of the season.

Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing, Tech 3) finished a close sixth, also his best finish of the year, while Aegerter dropped to seventh.

Marquez leaves Assen and heads to the Sachsenring with 127 points to 104 for Iannone, who leapfrogged Espargaro and Luthi for second. The two riders who crashed remain tied for third with 96 points.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) won the most thrilling Moto3 race of the season with a crafty move when another rider faltered entering the final chicane on the last lap. A photo finish for second determined Sandro Cortese (KTM) was narrowly ahead of Danny Kent (KTM) and Luis Salom (KTM).

The race began as a ten-rider rolling scrum that eventually winnowed itself down to the final five, then four. Despite starting sixth, his worst of the season, Vinales was in the mix from the start, leading most of the laps, though never secure as challenges were constantly made to his supremacy.

Vinales was in third on the final lap behind the team-mates, Kent and Cortese, and plotting his move. First came the bid for second in the Ruskenhoek fast kink right, where he nearly ran off the track, but he was soon by Kent and chasing Cortese. At this point positions meant very little, with the race certain to be determined in the final chicane.

As they approached the right-hander entering the chicane, the lead quartet was tightly packed with the race now a lottery. Vinales entered the corner in third, but when Salom missed a shift and ran wide left Vinales deftly threaded the needle between the Spaniard and Kent to take the lead and win handily, by .831s. Cortese was second with Kent earning his first podium in third by .001s over Luis Salom.

Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany, FTR-Honda) had been a contender until the final lap when he lost touch with the lead pack to finish a secure fifth. Next was Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0, Suter-Honda), also alone with Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology, Honda) leading home a pack of six riders in seventh.

By winning his fourth race of the year, and third in a row, Vinales opened up a seven point lead on Cortese, 130 to 123, after seven of 17 races.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) &
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)zoom
Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)


Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“To take pole position and now the win is really incredible. A big thanks to my whole team who never gave up. My plan was to get a better start than I actually did, take some advantage and use the energy I had to try and make a gap and try to hold on to the end. We also knew that whichever position we were in, we had to preserve the rear tyre. Choosing the softer tyre, there was a big chance that we would destroy it and have nothing left for the end of the race. When I saw Dani (Pedrosa) was running at a reasonable pace and we were pulling away from the others, I decided to stay there and watch him to save the tyres and my energy as much as I could. With nine, ten laps remaining, I knew we wouldn't suffer a big drop in tyre performance, I still felt good, so I decided to pass him and see if I could pull a gap. It was a tough race, I had a lot of arm pump as I had to compensate for my injuries from the crash yesterday, but my fitness was good and the bike was working well in general. I'm sorry for Jorge (Lorenzo). Nobody wants to take points over a competitor in this manner, but as we can see, one race can change everything.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Looking at the lap times we did during the weekend, I knew I had better rhythm than Casey (Stoner), so I made a good start and tried to pull away from the first laps. Casey stayed behind me all the time and by the second half of the race I believe he took profit of extra energy he saved during the first part of the race to overtake me. Our pace was very good in the race, the bike worked very well but maybe I just chose the wrong strategy this time. At the end of the race, the bike felt heavy with change of direction due to tiredness and it was enough to slow me down from 1'35 to 1'36 for just two laps, and I lost ground, but this is racing. I hope to do a better strategy next week in Germany.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 9th
“It’s a good result, even if I am a little unhappy that lately we are always so close to being the best CRT. The guys are working so hard all the time and the bike improved between yesterday and today. I had the possibility to fight for the top CRT spot and we would have been even more competitive with just a few details adjusted. That’s why I’m convinced that, sooner or later, we will be successful. I thank the team from the bottom of my heart, because whilst I ride the bike, they are making the real difference. I am very happy with them.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“Well, I do not have so much to say. Yesterday we obtained a very good grid position and today I took another good start. In the first laps the feeling with the bike was great and I could easily close the little gap to Spies. I do not remember last time I has such a good feeling in the first laps but I have to be honest. Probably I was much too aggressive in braking into turn 10 and I crashed. It’s my mistake and I am very sorry for the guys; today we could get a very positive result. Now I want to learn from my mistakes making another step forward ahead my home race. The potential is there and we are capable to race with the top riders.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: DNF
“Unfortunately, when I followed Dovizioso’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but lost grip on the front and low-sided. I am very disappointed, even more so because I took out Lorenzo in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that. I hope that nothing similar ever happens again. I also apologise to my team, because they worked so hard this week, only to miss out on what could have been a great result due to this mistake.”


Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter: Race winner
“It was a difficult race, but a nice one. I had some problems at the start, because some issues that weren’t there in practice came up and I was unable to find the right pace. That was perhaps my strength ahead of today. When I saw (Andrea) Iannone getting away I tried to keep calm, because I knew that tyres would be crucial at the end of the race. Maybe I wasted a little too much time trying to get past (Dominique) Aegerter and (Scott) Redding; they were giving their all, but I was able to get past. There were some beautiful final laps in the battle with Iannone, and I would have liked to have had Pol Espargaró there with us in what would have been a very tight fight. In any case, I am happy with how things went and with our work. Now we move on to Germany, which will be an important race.”
Andrea Iannone, Speed Master-Speed Up: 2nd
“This was a very tough race. Since the beginning I tried to push and move away, so that I could get a good margin from the other guys. I knew that Marc Marquez was very fast and in the practice sessions he had already proved that he had a better pace than mine. Once I overtook Aegerter, I managed to get away, even if the gap by the end of the race wasn’t really enough. I had to deal with some risks because my rear tyre was quite worn out and meanwhile Marc reached me. I’m sorry I didn’t win, but it was a good battle with Marc and, after all, I’m happy anyway. We need to try to improve more the set up of the bike, we’ll see how things go at Sachsenring.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex: 3rd
“After a difficult weekend, with bike problems and a crash with Toni Elias, I went into the race with a clear plan. I knew where I had to overtake on the opening lap to make up places, so that's exactly what I did. The battle with Marc Marquez didn't go my way this time; out of the slower turns, like turn five, his weight advantage meant he could accelerate quicker out of the corner, so I just made sure I got in front of him going into the turn. It worked for a while, but he eventually managed to get away from me. Tito Rabat took third place for a few laps, but I could see he was struggling and I knew third place was mine. It's great to be on the podium for the second time in two races and I'd like to say a big thank you to my team, who all kept their faith in me during what was, up until the race anyway, a difficult weekend.”


Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: race winner
“I don’t know why, but early in the race we were running very slow. On one lap you could overtake five riders, and in the next you could lose those positions again. It was a tough situation. Halfway through the race I knew that I had to push to break away from the pack, so I did. Things got tricky on the final laps, because the KTMs were going very fast and I knew that I had to win by any means possible. I am very happy with this victory, because we managed to win despite mechanical inferiority.”
Louis Rossi, Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda: 5th
“The objective for the race was to get a good start and get in touch with the leading group. This worked out very well. Then I tried to stay with the leaders and waited for the second group to drop off. The rhythm was very fast and the second group couldn't follow. At the end my tyre was a little bit used, as the other riders had the same issue. For the future I have to work on my performance with used tyres, as the other riders could push a little bit more. I need to find this little trick to fight for the podium.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia – Suter Honda: 6th
“I am very happy. We did a good job the whole weekend and showed that we could be up there with the lead group. We set off from 16th and that made things difficult. We rode at a good pace, but at one point in the race I was run off track and I lost all chance of keeping with the leaders. I lost touch with them, but I fought the best I could. I want to thank the team and my sponsors. We had the pace to stick with the leaders, and that is what I will take away from this race. My right hand held up well, but the left hurts a lot and that hasn't been helped by having two consecutive race weekends. We have another one next weekend too.”
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 07: Netherlands

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Casey STONER / AUS / Repsol Honda Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
7 Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
9 Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 Mattia PASINI (Speed Master)
11 Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
12 Ivan SILVA (Avintia Blusens)
13 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
14 James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
3 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
4 Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
6 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
7 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
8 Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
9 Toni ELIAS (Mapfre Aspar Team)
10 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
11 Randy KRUMMENACHER (GP Team Switzerland)
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
13 Xavier SIMEON (Tech 3 Racing)
14 Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
15 Mike DI MEGLIO (Master Speed Up)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)
2 Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3 Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
5 Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
6 Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7 Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)
8 Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)
9 Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK Laglisse)
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
11 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
12 Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
13 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14 Toni FINSTERBUSCH (Cresto Guide MZ Racing)
15 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team)

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