2011 Assen MotoGP Race Result: First-Lap Incident Allows Dominant Victory

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Assen:

Ben Spies has taken his first ever MotoGP victory with a stunning display in treacherous conditions at Assen. Spies took the lead after Lorenzo ran wide at Turn 1, and after Marco Simoncelli highsided out in front of Lorenzo, taking the Spaniard out of the race, Spies went on to take the win unchallenged. Lorenzo's crash and subsequent fightback limited the damage to Casey Stoner in the championship, but the reigning World Champion ceded another 10 points to the Australian in the title chase.

The race was really decided in the Strubben, the first left-hander of the circuit. After Spies had taken the lead from Lorenzo, Lorenzo was leading the chase round the series of right handers that make up Assen's new north loop. As he lined up for the Strubben hairpin, Simoncelli dived underneath in a brave but clean pass. The cold conditions meant that the left-hand side of his tire was not up to such a tough move, however, and the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider highsided out, taking Lorenzo with him into the gravel. Both men rushed over to their bikes, Lorenzo rejoining very quickly, Simoncelli taking longer to get his lightly damaged Honda RC212V restarted.

With Lorenzo out, and Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso delayed, Spies had a gap, which he pushed mercilessly to exploit. Once the advantage was comfortable, Spies could respond to anything that Stoner could throw at him with ease. Stoner's second place, once he could work his way past his teammate Dovizioso, was also never in doubt, though Dovizioso made the Australian work for it during the first half of the race.

With Lorenzo and Simoncelli out, Valentino Rossi took 4th spot, saving a tough weekend on his first outing on the Ducati GP11.1, finishing 12 seconds ahead of his teammate Nicky Hayden on the orginal version of the Desmosedici. After an astonishing charge back through the field after crashing, Jorge Lorenzo clawed his way back to finish 6th, and salvage 10 championship points. Lorenzo now trails Stoner by 28 points, with Andrea Dovizioso now some 9 points behind him.

No doubt Lorenzo will be furious at losing more points outside of his control, and yet more questions will be asked of Marco Simoncelli. This is the 4th race out of 7 that Simoncelli has crashed out of, and added to his ill-advised pass on Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans, he is fast losing some of his shine.

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 41'44.659
2 27 Casey STONER HONDA 41'52.356 7.697
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 42'12.165 27.506
4 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 42'15.343 30.684
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 42'27.831 43.172
6 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 42'29.195 44.536
7 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 42'52.771 1'08.112
8 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 42'55.412 1'10.753
9 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 43'09.584 1'24.925
10 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 43'10.875 1'26.216
11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 43'23.125 1'38.466
12 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 42'11.017 1
13 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI HONDA 42'58.437 1
14 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 43'07.755 2
Not Classified
14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'52.494 25 laps
17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI
2011
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Total votes: 55

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Comments

I think Spies ran a hell of a race no matter what happened behind him…

…as for what happened behind him, I don't like Lorenzo OR Simoncelli particularly, but this is a pure racing incident with nobody at fault except maybe Bridgestone, so I'm hoping there isn't a lot of drama stemming from it.

Lorenzo rode great afterwards and put on a good show, Sic rode like a kicked puppy. Rossi did better than expected, and DePuniet surprised hopefully nobody with his performance.

Is Abraham ok? He seemed to be holding his arm when he got up.

Total votes: 107

Not sure who helped veto the soft tires but if it was Simoncelli, he's regretting it now.

Good for Spies, yes. Hopefully it gives him the confidence to fight up there regularly now.

Total votes: 111

On BBC they said the lone rider who did veto the soft tires was Simoncelli. Congrats to Ben on the win but unlike the idiots on BBC referring to him as "The man from Memphis" Ben has a sticker on the back of his helmet for a reason, cause he's a Texan! That isn't Tennessee. Also once again Simoncelli has made this championship not as close as it could be. Luckily Lorenzo wasn't hurt.

I'm fine with Simoncelli riding with bad judgement and crashing but he needs to do that some place farther down the order where he can't anyone else out. Maybe he should just start back behind Barbera, Elias, and those guys so he can wreck on his own.

Total votes: 104

Ben was born in TN but calls himself a texan since he grew up in TX. And in all honesty who wants to be from TN. So the BBC is technically right.

Total votes: 103

Particularly the way he responded to Stoner's attack in the middle laps. He matched him and then set the fastest lap. He never let up all to the stripe, with the bike moving all over the place. He was wrasslin' that thing.

Total votes: 93

It may have gotten 4th place but is >1 second per lap off the pace what everyone expected from the GP11.1? At least it was quicker than the GP11

Total votes: 96

Rossi is only 6 cenths faster than Hayden on their respective race fastest lap.

Rossi 1'36.700, Hayden 1'36.764 (fastest lap of the race Spies 1'35.240)

Total votes: 96

It may be a racing incident, but after the glaringly obvious issues all weekend with the lack of heat in the tyres, especially rounding to the left - you would think Simoncelli would taper his style for a bit, and plan to be there at the end. Instead he (yet again) ended up taking someone out due to his own silly mistakes.

Stoner barely holding the gap to Dovi initially was no surprise. He rode a race suited to the conditions and after three or four laps of heat generation, slowly but surely pulled a gap without much trouble.

Great result by Ben Spies. I am really happy for him, he deserved that win today, and so did Yamaha.

It's going to be another fascinating week of varied opinions thats for sure.

(Special mention expressing my dissapointment for both Karel and Cal. Both of those guys deserved a better result, hopefully in time they will get their chance.)

Total votes: 110

like Puig said, simoncelli needs to be locked away for good!!!!
the dude doesnt think cos if he did he wld know that races arent won in the first lap...especially in the cold assen conditions that mean the tires may just need a few meters on them to get up to temperature and with all the left hand crashes over the weekend.
he seems destined for the gravel this season and maybe a separate lane be made for him to have his party on the sand!
So much for the GP 11.1...finishing 30s behind spies and 23 behind stoner doesnt seem like a "fix in 80sec" on the now "rossi's bike"

Total votes: 124

Simoncelli is impetuous, no doubt, but I wouldn't pay any ettention to Puig. He has always played the self-interest card when it suited him.
As the saying goes, "you can make a fast rider go slower, but you can't make a slow rider go fast". Simoncelli has plenty of speed, and when he tempers his instinct to go hard 100% of the time, I think he will be a force to be reckoned with.
Not that long ago, Rossi took Stoner out with an impetuous move that wasn't worthy of a B-grader, so it's fair to say that even the top class riders make mistakes. I'd suggest that those who are quick to hang Simoncelli are being just as quick to judge as he is to take a gap that is presented. Those who are getting up in arms should perhaps apply the same level of maturity that they expect of Marco himself........

On another note. I abandoned another forum a while back because it was becoming filled with refugees from crash.net. I hope David manages to avoid this forum being polluted with the same group of pin-stickers and haters.....
In that forum I proclaimed last year that Spies was the real-deal. It's taken some time, but I'm so pleased this bloke has posted his maiden win. There will be more, I have no doubt.
And as an Aussie I am so pleased to see Casey riding so maturely. And his comments after the race about Spies reflect something that perhaps the pin-sticking Rossi apologisti should note - the kid speaks his mind without fear or favour - and that includes handing out kudos when they are merited. So nice to see both Ben and Casey engaging in plain-speak in a sport so dominated by media spin.

Total votes: 113

"I hope David manages to avoid this forum being polluted with the same group of pin-stickers and h#ters."
I've read a lot of posts lately where people are either afraid of this forum sliding down or saying it is already happening. Through the years I found David and his moderators to have a pretty strong idea of what is and is not allowed on this forum, and fortunately act upon it. Other MotoGP fora have very different moderation policies (or hardly any at all) so any reference or comparison to these sites is irrelevant.

Total votes: 97

IMO, this is not even close to being a 'racing incident.' I'd honestly consider phrases like 'criminal negligence,' etc. (Maybe a little too dramatic? Maybe not!)

As you, Krop, and others have discussed, the riders have been well well aware of the tire temp issues this weekend; particularly in the left hand corners.

So what happens?
It's race time. It's freaking cold - with a light drizzle.
Tire temps will be critically low for several laps.

They're off!
Lap 1, the first left hand corner looms!
All the riders tip-toe in. No one wants to wipe out.
No, wait! Here comes ..... Super Sasquatch!
"I can win!!"
Mr. IQ-30 dives under Lorenzo and.... promptly high-sides.

This was entirely predictable and entirely preventable.

I must admit that I've never been a fan of Simo. But it must seem self-evident (doesn't it guys?) to many that Marco is not quite up for this 'MotoGP' thing.

Krop, what sort of contractual clauses are likely to be in place? Can Honda bench Simo for X number of races, perhaps on the grounds of 'poor performance?'

Total votes: 121

Maybe they should. I mean Aoyama is ahead of Simoncelli in the standings. Simoncelli has had a couple of poles now but sits 10th in the standings that, should indicate something about his inability to finish a race. What's worse is that he has taken out the top main top championship contenders in races minus Stoner. Only seems fair that he'll go dive bombing into Stoner at Mugello to even out the standings once again.

Total votes: 101

if Rossi goes after Lorenzo and Pedrosa!

So far the top3 riders have all been taken down by another rider losing at least one race, Pedrosa being the most unlucky requiring surgery afterwards.

I guess Simoncelli might have taken out Lorenzo at Assen as a concern for fairness at the top of the championship?

Total votes: 96

i am starting to feel sorry for simoncelli, albeit prematurely. at this blindingly fast and consistent crashing pace, its only a matter of time before he suffers a "collarbone fracture" or a rossi like leg fracture. and tho i imagine pedrosa will have a satisfactory grin under his helmet in that eventuality, i think crazy sic needs some saving...from himself before he does any damage to life and limb!

Total votes: 96

I think that Lorenzo and Puig seem to have short or selective memories.

Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa were crash & burn specialists when they started in the major category, and it took both of them a while to adapt from the all-or-nothing approach so common in the 250 and now Moto-2 class - just watch your typical Moto-2 race to see some fine examples.

Simoncelli has obvious talent and a firm belief in his own ability, but his success in the 250 class is still clouding his perspective.

Once he can accept the need to temper his enthusiasm with some "prudence" and try to learn from others, he'll be a threat to be reckoned with.

Total votes: 115

It's doesn't seem to be Simoncelli's crashing that they don't like or are criticizing, have they ever criticized any other riders for crashing? It's the overly aggressive and dangerous nature of his moves that don't just effect him, but effect the other riders too.

Pedrosa taking out Hayden was a singular mistake, I can't remember a single other time he has made a dangerous move on another rider or caused them to crash. I can't remember a single time since Lorenzo has moved to the premier class that he has caused anyone to crash, even when he was causing himself to crash regularly, and I can remember only once that he made either a mistake or an overly aggressive pass that pushed another racer wide.

Simoncelli is insanely aggressive, seems to seriously lack control and now regularly effects other riders through crashes or unsportsmanlike moves. This is the problem. It may be that Simoncelli has indeed been unlucky all these times, I'd argue that this time it's totally possible given the nature of the crash and the tires, but I can also totally understand why they'd be upset with him. They're justified in being upset.

Total votes: 109

Stoner! I'm not counting RDP cos he's managed to crash everything, but Soner spent a whole year filling his garage with gravel from every circuit. What happened to that guy?

Total votes: 98

First off, Stoner and Simoncelli situation are completely different,
Stoner signed a pole on his 2nd race and a podium in his 3rd race and all this happened
- in his rookie season
- on a satellite Honda with 2nd tier Michelin tires

Simoncelli is still making rookie mistakes but he is now in his second season and on an official Honda!

In 2006 Stoner crashed 7 times during a race in the entire season.
In 7 races, Simoncelli managed to crash or take out someone already 5 times!

Finally, after 7 GP Stoner was 6th in the championship with 65 points comparing favorably to a lowly 10th with 39 points for the hairy Italian...

But the main point is: Simoncelli is not (should not be) a rookie anymore.

Total votes: 105

Congrats Ben! He rode amazingly and never let up. Winning by 7seconds at the end of the race is an impressive tally. I am sure this will be amazing for his confidence considering the start to his season. And he was fast all weekend only he and Sic were at similar pace.

I am not sure Simo will ever learn patience which is unfortunate for him and whoever he is around.

Total votes: 105

Ben Spies is a terrific motorcycle racer, his record of AMA and World Champiponship Superbike wins attests to that. In 2009, on tracks he'd never seen, let alone raced on before, he won 14 races, on a motorcycle he had never raced before the season started, and on tyres he'd never used before. In 2010, Crutchlow & Toseland were an ambarrassment. Could not manage their tyres to last a race (well, maybe three times they did). Now Spies is showing the same maturity & intelligence that won him those SWC races, and he will win more races in MotoGP. Great to see. Now, someone tell Crutchlow how to set up a motorcycle, for goodness sake! Same tyres, similar bike, and look what he does! Stupid.

Total votes: 92

Someone better tell Edwards how to set up a bike too, because his tire was shredded just like Crutchlow's.

Calling someone stupid without having all the evidence is only a reflection of the person who is choosing to insult.

Total votes: 105

Why are you ripping Crutchlow? It's obvious he is exceedingly more talented than Toseland and will probably be racing MotoGP for a long time. With a broken colar bone he pushed Valentino Rossi for 4th place and might have taken it had it not been for that tire.

BTW, I'm not even a Cal fan...just giving an honest assesment of his accomplishments thus far.

Total votes: 101

Riding with a plated collarbone a few days after surgery and pushing stoner, dovi and eventually rossi close is a valiant effort; pulling into the pits for a change of a ripped front tire when riding with a plated collarbone shows intelligence...the type lacking in "low IQ Sic". calling crutchlow stupid without understanding the circumstances and particularly when his highly experienced teammate suffered the same problem on the other hand shows your low level of understanding!!!

Total votes: 112

If you saw the race, I'm sure you saw Crutchlow coming back in?
For what I heard from Edwards, they opted for a softer rear because they expected at least a slight drizzle, if not rain. It was a gamble on the conditions that turned out wrong, hardly stupidity.

Total votes: 91

Fantastic ride and win by Ben Spies, but it badly needed it, was great to see him in full flow.

Not sure any of the repsols we're held up enough to stop them winning, usually if someone runs wide in front of you it's a gift.. but they know best.

The duke isn't doing the single quick laps but relatively I am not convinced it is doing any worse than last year if not the contrary..(plenty of aliens missing last year but only one quick honda and not as quick as the yams..for the stats last time Rossi rode at assen he won and the nearest ducati half a minute back of the yam) all is not as it seems..

Unlucky Cal again was having a good race. It really is good to have the english doing so well, both Cal and Bradley Smith have been great this weekend. hip hip..

Total votes: 109

Ducati not doing worse than last year? Will stats convince you? The last time Rossi won at Assen (2009) the first Ducati was 23 seconds back in third. Last year the first Ducati finished third, seven seconds back, with a race time of 41:25.65 (and only one alien missing, not several). This year Rossi finished 4th, 30.684 seconds behind the race leader, with a race time of 45:15.13. If it's good enough to use the Barcelona race time of Rossi as a valid measure of Ducati's progress this year compared to last year, as some posters have done, then it is surely valid to use Assen race times. Sure the GP11.1 is a new bike, but it is supposed to be better than the GP11. And Rossi has now publicly admitted that he doesn't yet know how to ride the Ducati to get the best out of it.

Total votes: 96

It could have been a racing incident, the kind that can happen to anyone maybe once a year.
The problem with Supersick is that it happens much too often with him and that he refuses to acknowledge his own mistakes.
The day before Assen's race, he was still saying something like "I'm not worried about what happened in the previous races, these were merely separate incidents independent from each other".
The man is super fast but not trying to improve in this respect, always stating that he wants to finish the race, then crashing and saying it's bad luck because he did nothing wrong...tiring.

7 Grand Prix into the 2011 season:

2 races without a crash (Qatar and Catalunya)
2 races taking out one of the championship leaders (Le Mans and Assen)
2 races crashing on the wet (Jerez and Silverstone)
2 races crashing on the dry (Estoril and Assen)

Rain or shine, the guy is equally good in any condition.

Qatar he covered the 22 laps of the race
Jerez 11 laps
Estoril not even 1 lap
Le Mans he "unfortunately collects" Dani 5 laps from the end of the 28 laps race (that he finished)
Catalunya he covered the 22 laps of the race
Silverstone 10 laps
Assen he takes out Lorenzo on the 1st lap but goes on to finish the 22 laps race.

On average, Simoncelli covers 16 laps per race or 12 laps without crashing or taking out another rider.

Total votes: 110

-

Total votes: 102

Many consider the Honda as the fastest bike on the grid this year, yet Spies with a brilliant ride was able to control Stoner easily.

The M1 can't be that bad after all.

Total votes: 103

The Yamaha isn't as bad as some people have been making out. Nobody is really going any faster than last year, except Stoner when he's on his "A Game". At some tracks they've been slower than last year, although conditions often haven't been that good so far this year.

If not for the switch from Stoner to Honda, nothing much would have changed this year in terms of pace. The M1 can't be any worse than last year, it's just that Stoner has lifted the bar a little.

Total votes: 106

I'm happy for Spies, it's great to see when someone wins their first Moto GP race. He's in good company too with Bayliss being the only other SBK rider to do it. Even though his shot at the championship is virtually non existent, no question he will be a lot closer by the end of the season.

All the press about Rossi and Ducati centers on how poorly he seems to be doing yet he stands 4th in the championship. Granted some of it is due to unfortunate incidents that happened in front of him but points are points. It will be interesting (and fun to watch) if he and his crew can get the bike to work the way they want!

Total votes: 106

I totally agree with the points is points. Thats how nicky won the title. And it's not his fault that guys fall off in front of him.

Total votes: 104

"He's in good company too with Bayliss being the only other SBK rider to do it."
Nicky's won 3 races so far and he's a former superbike rider.....or did you mean "world" superbike?

Total votes: 97

'SBK' implies world superbike.....check out the logo. Nicky only raced AMA Superbike, unless I'm mistaken (which has been known to happen :)

Total votes: 98

One is led to believe that young Christopher Vermeulen came from the Superbike World Championship and managed to win a MotoGP race, and on of all things, the dreaded sluggardly Suzuki. And that was after Troy Bayliss won the final 990cc MotoGP race, at the end of 2006. So Chris was the last Superbike rider to win a MotoGP race, until young Mr Spies. And let's revisit that Bayliss win. Did he not make it a condition of his riding the MotoGP Ducati again that he'd only do it if he had his Superbike team on hand to set the bike up? And did he not give the fingers to the Ducati MotoGP manager of the day immediately after winning? This may well indicate an unwillingness on the part of the Ducati MotoGP team to listen to rider input. Well, that is until there's 15 million Euros of Phillip Morris money on the line...

Total votes: 111

No I doubt it. I've always preferred Eurosport coverage over BBC cause everyone it seems behind the mic on BBC is a moron. I guess the got lucky even knowing what country Spies is from.

Total votes: 105

I used to prefer Eurosport also but the BBC coverage is 10 times better to be fair. Cox and Parrish are hilarious once you get used to their sense of humour, and both were racers.

Moody is entertaining in small doses but a total fool and Ryder is fine and likable. Neither know anything about racing like the BBC guys do.

Total votes: 101

"Moody is a total fool" .....and what would you call Charlie Cox?! If he should be commentating on something it should be BTCC. The BBC coverage to me sounds like...."I love you Charlie", "No, I love you more Steve." "But, no as much as we both love the GOAT, mate."

Total votes: 100

Its a matter of opinion, and taste I guess. But Moody makes me cringe every time he speaks and he constantly disagrees and bitches with Ryder about nearly everything he says.
Parrish and Cox get on well with each other and have a laugh, and know their stuff. BBC also have interviews with alot of the top riders (including parc ferme and grid interviews) and team managers, and their production values are very high too, so thats why I prefer them. Cox does seem to be a bit of a Goat fan alright but Parrish is impartial to be fair to him

Total votes: 93

Forgive my ignorance...do the tire warmers not generate enough heat to help alleviate the cold tire problems? Could better/hotter tire warmers (or leaving them on closer to race time) help?

Total votes: 87

Tire warmers only warm the surface of the tires, they don't heat the interior of the tires the way that deforming them by riding at speed does. So the tires cool very quickly once the warmers are off.

Total votes: 110

I think the basic problem is that you can't heat them beyond a certain temperature without damaging them.

Here are some wild-ass numbers. These are almost certainly wrong, but they do demonstrate the problem.

Let's assume that the tires want to be at least 75degrees C. Below that temperature, their grip falls away rapidly.

Assume the tires will loose 50 degrees by the time the riders get away from the dummy grid, do the warm up, wait for the light, and then get going.

If the warmers could heat the tire to 125C, you'd be OK. But what if 125C is too hot for the tire? What if the tire's carcass or compound suffers damage of some sort at 115C?

Also keep in mind that raising the tire warmer temp by 10 degrees will not give you an equal 10 degree boost at the beginning of the the race. The hotter the tire, the faster it will loose heat. You rapidly reach the point of diminishing returns, and will be in a situation where you simply can't get the tires hot enough without damaging them. I suspect that is what is happening.

Total votes: 96

In David's tire article he mentioned how quickly the left-side of the tire is cooling off at Assen due to a severe lack of left hand corners. Basically, even the sighting lap is allowing too much time and cooling off the left side of the tire prior to the start of the race.

I'm quite surprised by the number of people calling for Simo to be removed from the series? Surely you must be joking? Either your statements wreak of fan-boyism or else this is another "omgwtf" knee-jerk reaction to another Simo crash. Yes, he has caused himself to crash, frequently this season. Yes, he has unfortunately caused the crashing of two other riders during these races. However this is nothing new to the sport. The guy also took his second pole position in his 2nd year in the series. Let me re-phrase that. At two separate tracks, Marco Simoncelli has out qualified every other alien on the grid. Clearly it's not a speed issue, and clearly it's not a setup issue. Does he have some issues between the ears that need to be dealt with? Probably, however you're not going to fix those by taking a sabbatical from the series, getting kicked down a class, or getting suspended. What Marco needs is some mentor ship from his friend Rossi on racecraft. I don't think this whole everyone-versus-him attitude that is in the paddock is going to help him or his ego learn from his mistakes.

Total votes: 108

And I don't understand why anybody outside of his team would be interested in helping Marco become fast and consistent, especially Rossi. Different team, different mfgr and although they are both Italian at the end of the day Marco is (usually) just one more person in between Vale and the top of the podium. If Marco had not been crashing out and removing multiple riders who would normally finish ahead of him, Vale would be 8-10th in the championship instead of 4th!

I don't understand why you emphasize Marco's speed. Him out qualifying the aliens (while on the best factory bike in the paddock) is irrelevant to his tendency to crash and take other riders out. Maybe a step back to allow him to think away from the pressure of the paddock would be a help. Maybe not. I agree that it is all in his head (as is true with every other top athlete in every other sport) but odds on finding a good Samaritan in the paddock is low to zero so he needs to buckle down and figure out some way to straighten his act out. And if he doesn't and keeps crashing and hurting others then hand him a suspension and see how that works.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 92

Great ride by the factory YAMAHA boys. Ben Spies and YAMAHA deserved the victory. Another great performance by Lorenzo. Crashing out and finishing 6th. That shows his true class.

Total votes: 110

Remember Stoner and Lorenzo a few years ago? They both crashed regularly. Pedrosa taking out Hayden in 2006? The fast guys all crashed before they developed that last .1% of skill to stay just inside the limit. If Simoncelli weren't so fast, he'd be down in the pack and no one would be making nearly as big a deal of it.

The riders have a right to their impatience because it's their butts on the line; the rest of us should give him some time to develop. IMHO.

Total votes: 104

All the aliens, including Rossi, had crashes in their first year in MotoGP. By the second year they had learnt how to ride without crashing. Simoncelli is in his second year, that's the problem, he should have learnt by now. Simoncelli is not the first non alien to be fast in practice and qualifying, but he has never put it all together in the race when it matters. Something is missing in his mental approach to racing. It's a great pity, because MotoGP needs all the fast competitive riders it can find.
Flawless weekend by Spies, now his challenge is to do it consistently. Intelligent, calculating ride by Stoner, that's how championships are won. Good recovery by Lorenzo, could be important points. Rossi a long way off the pace, but early days yet on the new bike.

Total votes: 109

When you see Simoncelli in interviews etc, he does not seem like an idiot, nor does he come off as especially reckless; in fact, he seems quite likeable. But he sure does ride like a reckless idiot.

There are 'racing incidents', and then there are first lap 'racing incidents' caused by epic stupidity and carelessness. And the latter can perhaps be avoided.

As someone above suggested, a race isn't won on the first lap, so he needs to relax, hang with the frontrunners, and wait until he's settled into a rhythm/his tires are warm before riding aggressively -- I mean, all the other guys have cold tires too. If he's a fan of Rossi -- as he says he is -- then he must've seen Rossi do exactly that many times, and then go on to win, even from way back on the grid.

Can't believe the factory teams aren't taking note of all this. While he's fast enuf to keep a satellite ride, it's not clear he'll ever join a factory team riding like that.

A bummer for Lorezno.

Total votes: 117

Everyone is aware of the issues with the Bridgestones and how they don't warm up properly, but the bigger issue is how close all the bikes are due to electronics and limited fuel capacity.

I'm sure Simoncelli, as a lot of the riders feel, if you don't establish a good position in the first laps, you're screwed for the rest of the race. Much like a MX race, you need to get position fast so you're not eating crap for the rest of the race!

I see this is a racing incident, plain and simple. He wasn't going into that corner all that much faster than anyone else, but his tires let go and down he went.

I'm amazed they didn't black flag him for the tail piece dangling off the back.

Kudos to Spies though. He controlled the race just like he did in his AMA days, which while boring as hell in some ways (you can't have close racing it would seem since the bikes are all dialed in the the same!), sure makes for a tense race as you never know if something is going to go wrong, or on a day like today, if the rain would start coming down.

Gotta love those Yamaha anniversary graphics though!! Stunningly gorgeous!!! They should keep those all the time rather than the boring blue scheme. You could almost see Roberts, Lawson, Rainey, Ago, Reid, Duff, etc. riding along in spirit with Spies today!

Total votes: 99

True if you don't make a good start there is a better than average chance that winning the race will be impossible, but even with a bad start a podium is a definite possibility. If he changed his headspace to try for a podium first and then when he has achieved that start thinking about a win, he might actually turn into a MotoGP class racer. If he keeps going the way he has been, he is a satellite rider at best and a Moto2 rider at worst.

Total votes: 96

And in this particular case, Sic was third in the fourth corner of the race. He had every chance for a great result, even a win.

Total votes: 101

Really happy that Spies has his first MotoGP victory, but that was one dull race. We had about a half lap of interest, then 23+ of replays and slo-motion shots. Thank God for Lorenzo (and Spies lapping backmarkers), otherwise it would have re-defined processional.

Total votes: 98

Again, Simoncelli ruining a race, and what was a clear one two for Yamaha on their aniversary race. And clearly the best for the championship. Congratulations man, with a little luck you will loose your official bike for next year and therefore will let the good riders fight for the championship on their own.

Total votes: 104

Nobody noticed that this was one of the most boring race ever ?

Except maybe Lorenzo from the cave to 6 ... but am I the only one to also notice that nobody even tried to fight against Lorenzo ? In a track like Assen ? Come on ...

Really sad race

Total votes: 106

Boring doesn't even begin to describe it. Complete and utter rubbish.

I considered it an insult to my buttocks to force them to sit through that.

They've ruined MotoGP.

Total votes: 110

well stated, Snorvey!

Total votes: 105

If you emotionally invest in the outcome of the race, eagerly desiring the racers you like to stay upright, it's not boring. If you watch it as a casual fan, or perhaps a reasonable, sane person, then yes, it's boring. If you create the tension, constantly expecting someone to crash, it's extremely exciting.

If this was a WSBK race, it would have been the most boring race in history to me, because I don't care who finishes as long as the battles are good. But this is GP, where men with godlike skill battle against themselves and the elements on the edge of a knife.

Total votes: 92

I feel bad for Simo. His ambition is (slightly) outpacing his talent (as his fellow Honda superstar has so aptly put it previously about someone else). He really should know better as he is a very experienced rider in this series. He will eventually figure it out I'm sure.

What can I say about Ben? He was the BOSS today! Too bad for the disruption on the first lap. I would love to have seen Ben do his magic with all the boys in tow. More to come I'm sure.

Come on Vale! We're rooting for you to get that big red machine rolling!

I can't wait to see Cal healthy and on a good set of tires. Should be fun.

Yes, if it weren't for my man Ben smokin-um today it would have been a little "un-exciting" (I can't bring myself to say boring and motorcycle racing in the same sentence).

Total votes: 91

'I can't bring myself to say boring and motorcycle racing in the same sentence'

Errr....you just did.

Total votes: 101

I think Ben Spies flawless win in Holland will finally unleash his talent for the future and he will be a stronger challenger for podiums and wins.
Simoncelli can`t seem to do anything right in a race lately, but he has the speed
to do really well in races but he has just got to use his brains a bit more.
From the outside i can`t see any performance advantage the Ducati GP11.1
gives over the previous version, though early days with this latest development
i understand the front end `feeling`is still a big issue. Starting to think it wont be till next year that Rossi will have a competitive bike.

Total votes: 99

"Really happy that Spies has his first MotoGP victory, but that was one dull race. We had about a half lap of interest, then 23+ of replays and slo-motion shots. Thank God for Lorenzo (and Spies lapping backmarkers), otherwise it would have re-defined processional"

This race I admit falls into the processional category however I enjoy all races regardless of result or event. This post above is the only one so far, (and I'm not criticising it) but I wonder how many posts would have come out calling this race boring and processional if Stoner had won???... or am I being cynical? That aside I really enjoyed this race. Well done Ben, nice to see you smile. Or as Casey put it in the post race press conference, "This is you with adrenalin"?

Total votes: 101

I fell asleep with about 8 laps to go, and woke up after the press conference. Did I miss anything?

Total votes: 95

Silverstone was called boring and Stoner won that. I think most people - Stoner fans included - found Spies victory to be one of the only exciting things to happen in the race.

Total votes: 102

Anyone remember this kid on a 250? A Fast and a Furious competitor but lacking the smooth, flawless pace of a certain Spanish kid a couple a year before. Lorenzo's ride back through the field was truly impressive yesterday. He passed other riders as if they were novices. He scythed past the Suzuki mid-corner, making Bautista look worse than ordinary. And he was catching the great-under-achiever hand over fist but ran out of laps. Tremendous ride from Jorge. Reminds me of his last year on a 250 at Phillip Island. In a CLASS field, he ran away and was more than 20 seconds ahead with a lap to go, then eased off to finish 19.6 seconds ahead. Second was... Bautista, then it was Andrea Dovizioso, with Hiroshi Aoyama fourth, Thomas Luthi fifth, Julian Simon sixth and... Marco Simoncelli seventh, 33 seconds behind. That my friends is the true order of things. Perhaps Simoncelli will learn the third F. He has the first two, Fast & Furious... now he needs to learn: F inish...

Total votes: 98

".. but ran out of laps..."

Hayden wouldn't have known Lorenzo was back there until lap 23, before that all he would have seen on his pit board was that he was pulling away from Edwards while running leisurely 1:38s. The last three laps Hayden picked up the pace and ran 1:37s, enough to get the job done.

Lorenzo was the fastest guy on the track at that point but P5 wasn't going to happen. He should just consider himself lucky to get P6... not every rider who gets Simoncellied escapes so lightly.

Hayden might not be one of the fast guys but he's still scoring points on a POS bike that other riders seem to be having trouble finishing races on.

Total votes: 99

A couple of years before it was Lorenzo way back and Dani Pedrosa winning consistently against a certain Casey Stoner...

Total votes: 98

This old bogey has been around for decades. But while everyone is bagging Simoncelli, how about equal criticism for Randy de Puniet, and Karel Abrahams ? Both crashed out within a few corners, on cold tyres. And all those who claimed Traction Control took away the rider's input, what say you now?

Total votes: 90

If, as has been suggested by other posters here, Valentino Rossi is acting as a mentor for Marco Simoncelli, one must ask the question, what is he mentoring him in? Or is Vale using a tiny portion of his tobacco money to pay-off Simo to make himself (Vale) look better? Taking out Pedrosa has promoted Rossi to fourth in the championship; taking out Lorenzo meant Rossi finished fourth, not sixth, at Assen. So perhaps the man you call 'Super Sic' is really a Kamikaze for Valentino.

Total votes: 102

it is a well known fact that Vale and Simo are friends. I think you took my words out of context. Although inadvertently Simo's crashes have helped Rossi in the standings, I really do hope this is a joke rather than an actual hypothesis of absurd paranoia.

Total votes: 100

By joves gearsau, you jolly well may be on to something! Winston Churchill once said (the wind-bag was always talking) that "nothing happens in politics by accident." So, there is some "polemic" after Lorenzo's early season criticism of Simoncelli, and what do we get? Two Spaniards accidentally taken out in 'racing incidents.' As a road rider, that's a bit like the perennial brain-dead car driver's "oh, sorry, I didn't see you." There is no question that Simoncelli has made more impact on the shape of this year's championship than any other rider. However, he will have to be very cunning to make taking Stoner & Dovizioso out look like 'racing incidents.' And 'cunning' doesn't seem to be a word Simoncelli knows the meaning of... Unlike Valentino.

Total votes: 93

Only fitting that Ben had such an emphatic victory for Yamaha on their 50th.
This championship is far from over in terms of Ben's final placing. He said his objective was to win a race this year. 7 in and he's got 1.
Casey,Dovi and Rossi,cool as cucumbers. Nick can thank his lucky stars he finished ahead of George. That was a world champions comeback and riveting to watch.
Some may see it as boring or processional. Not I. Reason being, I make a point of watching all the races. 125 and Moto 2 were brilliant with Maverick, Marc, Bradly providing the sparks up front.
If the fireworks were up front in 125 and Moto 2, GP yet again provided cliffhanging suspense throughout even though Ben had the race firmly 'under clutch' up front.
A great day of racing all round.
Yet again Simmo blows it in his over enthusiasm. Racing incident it was,but why oh why. Casey needs to tell him that his ambition outweighs his tallent perhaps.
Its not as though he is up against the fickle sweet spot of the Ducati that Casey battled against year in and year out. He better get his head around this right smartly.
Hiro now leads him by a country mile. Give the Gresini factory bike to Hiro for the next 6 races and send Simmo back sattelite bike for a while.
At least that should ensure that he stops messing up the season for the front runners and the viewers.
Roll on Mugello. GP 11.1 only 30 seconds back from Ben's Yamaha in conditions I expected would allow the Ducati to run a little closer.
Here's to a dry weekend in Mugello and a fit Dani Pedrosa return.

Total votes: 92

"Some may see it as boring or processional. Not I. Reason being, I make a point of watching all the races."

And ?

I make a point of looking at my 1 and a half daughter tried to imitate my worst faces ... lot lot funnier than motogp race

I mean, grats to Ben Spies but ... damn we need fight, we need fight between Lorenzo and Stoner (never NEVER came out), we need Simoncelli on his wheels, we need Rossi on a good ( - for him) bike ... we need races

Total votes: 85

Didn't Chris Vermeulen win one in the wet?

Chris hasn't won a WSBK championship, but he is, along with Bayliss and now Spies, one of the few WSBK riders to have taken a win in MotoGP.

I'm glad Spies finally got a win.

Total votes: 84

Perhaps Super Sic should consider a career in Motocross, where the first turn is always sheer chaos.

Total votes: 100

In the post race press conference, Stoner was asked about the characteristic of the cold tires. He said crashing on these is totally different than a usual cold tire crash, where people push too hard too fast, what he says is that you get no feedback from the tire, that it'll feel totally fine, then suddenly it's gone. He said this is a new thing with the Bstones, it happened last year, but has gotten much worse this year. Dovi, who was right behind the incident, said that it looked like the tire went away before the throttle was opened, and that's what Marco says too, that he wasn't pushing hard and hadn't opened the throttle. It has been stated by numerous riders that if you don't push on the tires, they will not get hot properly, and that if you go slow, it can actually be more dangerous.

So, I think it's entirely possible that in his effort to go slower and be more careful, he caused the crash, not because he was trying to be an aggressive idiot.

Total votes: 106

I don't see how being "slower and be more careful' involves dropping it up the inside of someone when the tyres are still cold - particularly the left side .

Total votes: 93

Either way it's about time something was done about the tyre situ. According to the BS marketing manager the entire years tyres are stocked in a warehouse even before the season has started..
For me it seems ridiculous when Yam, honda and Ducati are spending 20 million each on performance that a huge chunk of it gets wasted through non specific(to the rider/motorcycle) tyres.. Having to spend all that money just to fit into the narrow operating temp of relatively inexpensive tyres seems completely crazy to me. F1 spotted this and changed and every F1 race this year has been miles more entertaining which is back to front..Wake up..

Total votes: 104

The F1 situation is totally different, because they have pitstops, which means a driver can run a super soft tire for a few laps and change to harder one. Overtaking in F1 has a lot to do with different tire strategies chosen by different drivers. Also, the change was forced on F1 when Bridgestone chose to drop out as a supplier. But still, the F1 experience is that Bridgestone is a very conservative company when selecting tire compounds, and that surely does not help the racing. Pirelli has been willing to take some flack in order to develop softer, less durable tires that fade significantly and enhance the racing. Now we have the situation in MotoGP where the top guys can run a consistent pace for the entire race. This was not the case back in the Michelin days, when lap times used to fade significantly toward the end of the race. Riders like Doohan and Rossi, working with with crew chief Burgess, were masters of setting up their bikes to be strong at the end of a race. So Doohan and Rossi could be a few places back in the field, but come though in the end to win. This rarely happens anymore.

Total votes: 84

Compare it to all his other passes and it's considerably safer and slower. It looked like Lorenzo was taking a much wider line through that corner, Simoncelli saw an opening that he didn't have to push on the brakes or accelerate hard to get and took it.

You think it's not possible to pass someone on the inside in a slow and safe manner when they leave the door wide open?

Obviously something went wrong, but unless you can see his telemetry data, you can't say he wasn't going slower and safer than he usually does or would. The only thing you can do is take his word, or choose to judge him without the necessary evidence. Since Dovi corroborates his claim, that he didn't appear to be opening the gas, I'm inclined to take give him the benefit of the doubt.

Total votes: 100

Simoncelli has picked an unlucky year to be displaying his pace. What was this the third weather affected race? Maybe not 'wet', but still conditions out of the ordinary with exceptionally cool conditions and damp patches. As you say Sircisto he was probably not on the throttle at the time. Nonetheless I feel he is somewhat 'hamfisted' with his throttle application which he can normally over come with his physicality and ability to dominate a machine, but such application really gets shown up when conditions are treacherous. Ordinarily his crashes are front enders with too much brake applied - again he is not the subtlest of riders on this front either.

Simoncelli has a world championship under his belt so he knows how to finish and knows how to win. But as many have said there are few excuses in his second year (other than my opening paragraph!), and he really needs to sort out some solid point / podium finishes to justify his HRC status and try to repair his reputation.

Total votes: 90

Racing incident implies that it was unavoidable and unexpected, and for Jorge it certainly was, but I don't buy Simoncelli's innocence, 15 other bikes got around fine, Lin Jarvis pinged it just right, when he used the word prudent.

What to do now? I fear for Simoncelli's own safety, he really needs to be made to control the red mist before he hurts himself. Maybe the best way to get him to hear what he is being told is to give him a holiday.

One hell of a tough call to miss your home GP, but needs must.

Total votes: 97

In the 125 and 250 (now Moto-2) classes, riders learn that the only way to ride is 101% - and hope you get lucky.

Then they reach Moto-GP and get told not to ride that way any more.

Some adapt quicker than others, but they eventually all do... after a few crashes.

Simoncelli will learn, and then will be a serious threat... but let's hope he can get to that point sooner rather than later.

Total votes: 93

99% at least gives you a margin of sorts, and gives us the majority of the field at the finish of a race.

Total votes: 83

He is exciting and I like it. At the start of that race I was just just thinking anything could happen here - it was fantastic. If Sic wasnt there I could have almost predicted the race without watching. For me it seems the bikes are harder than ever to ride and he is putting 100% into trying to be at the front which is what he is paid to do. Good on him. I hate seeing riders get hurt under any circumstance and it sux when your guy gets taken out by someone else but RDP is still in Moto GP and he has taken everyone out so I guess Sic can sleep well...

Total votes: 101