2012 Assen MotoGP Race Result: Comfortable Victory After Close Duel

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Assen:

Casey Stoner has taken his third victory of the year, winning the MotoGP race at Assen by a comfortable margin, after dicing with Dani Pedrosa for most of the race. The 25 points the victory earned him counted double, as Jorge Lorenzo was taken out of the race by Alvaro Bautista in a first corner collision.

That crash decided a large part of the race. Pedrosa got the holeshot, as he does so often, trailing Repsol teammate Stoner in his wake. Jorge Lorenzo looked to be sitting comfortably in 3rd on the way in to the corner, but a massive misjudgement by Bautista saw the San Carlo Gresini man lock the front and then fold it on the entry to the first turn. His bike slid straight into the side of Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha, taking the Spaniard out of the race for the second year in succession; in 2011, it was Marco Simoncelli who did the same thing four corners later, at the Strubben hairpin. Cal Crutchlow was a little more fortunate, only being forced off the track and losing a lot of places, rather than being taken down.

With Lorenzo out of the equation, Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies pushed the Repsol Hondas at first, but the Yamaha man did not have the pace to match Pedrosa and Stoner. The two Honda men inched away at the front, to fight over first among themselves. Pedrosa led for the first half of the race, though Stoner shadowed the Spaniard in an occasionally thrilling display of synchronized riding at incredible pace. Stoner waited patiently for an opportunity to pass, rather than pushing to challenge, and finally seized his chance on lap 17. Once he was past, he upped the pace just enough for Pedrosa to lose touch, Stoner going on to win with relative ease. Pedrosa came home in 2nd, unable to match the rhythm of his teammate at the end of the race.

Further back, Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso battled over the final podium spot. Spies looked to have the situation under control, but as the laps ticked off, Dovizioso pushed Spies hard, getting by on the way into Turn 1 on the final lap, and sealing 3rd. Spies finished in 4th, slightly disappointed perhaps, but at last the American had a race in which he made no mistakes and suffered no misfortune.

Cal Crutchlow came home in 5th, fighting his way forward after losing so much ground in the first corner incident. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha had been held up by a gaggle of Ducatis scrapping over 6th place, after Stefan Bradl had crashed out of the race early. Nicky Hayden eventually came out on top, holding of strong challenges from Hector Barbera, while Valentino Rossi had been forced to come into the pits for a new tire, his original hard tire apparently suffering problems shortly after mid-race. Rossi would cross the line in 13th, a lap down on the leaders. Randy de Puniet crossed the line in 8th, profiting from the crashes among the factory prototypes, but also from the crash of his teammate Aleix Espargaro to score useful points in the battle for the best CRT machine.

Stoner's victory and Lorenzo's crash livens up the championship, the two men now tied with 140 points. Stoner's deficit to the Spaniard has been completely wiped out, but Lorenzo still leads because he has more race wins.

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 1 Casey STONER HONDA 41'19.855  
2 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 41'24.820 4.965
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 41'31.849 11.994
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 41'34.630 14.775
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 41'41.929 22.074
6 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 41'51.515 31.660
7 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 42'18.962 59.107
8 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 42'24.296 1'04.441
9 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 42'26.835 1'06.980
10 54 Mattia PASINI ART 42'44.942 1'25.087
11 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 42'51.958 1'32.103
12 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 42'53.652 1'33.797
13 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 41'38.492 1 lap
14 77 James ELLISON ART 41'38.494 1 lap
Not Classified
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 22'50.444 12 laps
  5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 12'14.996 19 laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 8'13.842 21 laps
  6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'40.961 25 laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO      
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA      
Not started
  17 Karel ABRAHAM      

 

2012
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Comments

Robbed, by possibly the most ambitious start I've ever seen attempted, did silverstone go to bautistas head..?? probably.. Gutted for Jorge who was easily running the race pace of the hondas all weekend on the 'harder' tyre.. Casey only mentioned I think in his last interview that all that was needed was for Jorge to dnf,the fact it was a honda wouldn't have helped... Have read it was a new engine that blew also so his title challenge could well be hanging.
I have to say as a marketing exercise Ducati would be better withdrawing from the championship and maybe come back when they know what they are doing..They have nothing to offer. It's so far beyond Rossi just not riding it properly that there is simply no positive angle left for ducati to exploit. They just can't compete at this level with the current design approach..They were much better in the 990s.. After seeing Dani(was never really a full alien) get beat by Casey so easily I can't see Honda having any choice other than a return of the prodigal son, they aren't gonna beat Jorge without him maybe not even with.
Good ride by Casey in the end and disappointed for Cal.

David,

They both are tied in the championships tied @ 140 points.

Apart from that a great quick recap of the race! Thanks.

As for the race it was not a great one. But moto2 and moto3 made up more than some for a rather docile motogp.

Jorge can perhaps gain some comfort from the knowledge that, last year, Stoner managed to win the championship, despite a similar incident.

It was a race of tire attrition and he knew it.

Making the most with the least was again Cal Crutchlow with a gutty performance. Dovi was in top form as well.

With all the rule changes one has to wonder why the spec tire rule was overlooked, not only in manufacturer but in tire size. If this is to be a true prototype race series why have the restrictions. Again- who's putting on Bridgestones tomorrow?

Close duel? Dicing for most of the race?..

The way I saw it Casey followed Dani easily until he made a mistake, passed him, then rode away.

Dull as dishwater after the first corner but the result does boot the championship back into life.

What if Jorge had made it past the first corner? What would have happened in the race?
Thats a question we'll hear a lot of next year. What if Stoner was still around? Would Jorge be doing it so easy?
IMO, Jorge would have been right up there with Stoner and definitely in front of Dani. but Stoner did look better than any time this year riding. He's always been the one to want to run the hard tyre when others were on the softer but maybe this bike demands a new formula and he's having problems adapting.
Stoner mentioned the respect the front runners have for each other... guess it'll be a while now for Bautista to get his invite to the "club".

Many will call this a race incident, but I entirely disagree. There's always a plausible argument for someone who causes a race incident, but Bautista's move was completely indefensible. There was no way he was going to make that corner...closing your eyes and crossing your fingers is not acceptable at this level. Bautista should be penalized heavily for his sheer stupidity today.

holy hell the utter stupidity of bautista (no it was not a small mistake or an unfortunate slippage or something that can happen to anyone) taking out lorenzo like that. of course with no lorenzo in the race, stoner had to win.

great ride by stoner. very much the lorenzo style of riding actually in my opinion. went into the race with soft tyres and finally showed he can also intelligently manage the tyres like lorenzo and that too without complaining and whinning about his bike like he usually does at the post-race interviews (of course maybe he would have whinned had he not won the race). no chatter etc today? good stuff.

pedrosa for the N-th time showed how he is not a winner let alone a championship contender.

and spies is ever closer to removing any doubts in yamaha's mind about replacing him with dovi or cal. still good ride, but not enough that would keep his factory seat intact in the next season.

very good ride by dovi, closer to convincing yamaha to give him the factory seat.

ducati screwed again. and in particular the rossi-ducati partnership. and again, good stuff by hayden.

good stuff by cal too. i loved how, just a day after calling barbera an arse and a complete idiot, on the ESPN interview he openly called bautista a dickhead for going in way too hot into the very first corner and still changing gears when everyone else was on the brakes and thus risking so many people and their careers. absolutely immature of and a heavy misjudgement by bautista. really feel so so sad for lorenzo. even sadder that, as everyone's suspecting, it was the new engine for him that went into smokes. a whole new engine loss is a big loss.

about Casey's whinging.

Casey was in this same situation as Jorge last year. Taken out of the race by a ridiculous pass. 100% the other rider's fault. In Casey's case, the other rider didn't get a punishment at all. But was Casey going around asking for a bigger punishment or slagging him off like Jorge is. No.

And let's talk about Casey's whinging of the Ducati. That was a dream machine that didn't have any problems, right? Did he ever slag it off as much as Rossi did at the start of this year (and again this weekend) despite enjoying sooo much more support? No.

"good stuff by cal too. i loved how, just a day after calling barbera an arse and a complete idiot, on the ESPN interview he openly called bautista a dickhead"

Because that's not whinging, right? And you love that? I'm a fan of Cal's, but I've seen him say some absolutely ridiculous statments about his ability/style and other riders that don't generate any criticism at all. Do you think you would "love" it if Casey made those comments? No. I don't think you would.

You're just another stereotypical hater.

For your information, Casey did say he had arm pump and was still hurting from the FP3 crash. There you go. Hate on!

A thrilling Assen weekend for anyone fortunate enough to have been there and purchased a ticket.
Kudos to Stoner. That was one of his gamest rides ever of many.
Silly season is approaching boiling point with that ride by Dovi. Prototype seats are few and far between.
Gresini need to change their colour scheme. Alvaro is starting to approach a race like Simmo used to.
It was sad to see George taken out like that,but he'll be back with a vengeance, much like Casey after Jerez last year.
Marquez' ride was brilliant. I reckon that Repsol deal is sealed alongside Dani for next year.
Moto 3,no comment other than to say its almost as good as Red Bull rookies.
Yet again,a special mention for Cal Crutchlow.
Ducati ? I hope Cal signs for them. They may aswell offer Redding or Iannone a factory seat while they are about it.

His rear Stones were disintegrating near the middle point of the race. Not talking about premature tire wear here, but complete tire failure. It's being said that bystanders at the race are reporting his tire was missing huge chunks on the right hand side...

Rossi has to pit for a new rear tire?!? What has to be going through the Doctor's mind when he actually makes a desicion to pit in the middle of a race? Literally a safety concern.

Bridgstone needs to get their shit together with regards to quality control...

Before we all go crucifying Bautista, we should wait for an explanation....there could've been a mechanical or brake issue.

From where I was sitting it didn't appear that Bautista's was even slowing down untill the point (or just before it) where he locked the front wheel.

I might be wrong, but his closing speed on Lorenzo suggests that it might be more than just rider error.

In the last part when Dovi was closing in you could easily see his rear end comming around and while Dovi looked buttery smooth, it may be the rider of course but Spies looked struggling, nice ride for all Yamahas though, me thinks Crutchlow had the pace for the podium but was left behind in the first corner incident.

One other thing, I watch the race aborad over spanish-speaking ESPN2 and the folks seem to know stuff we don't, as per them Rossi is out of Ducati for sure, regardless of what they do with the bike. What's the buzz David?

... one of the least impressive reports I've read on an incredible performance by Dovi. A customer Yamaha beats a factory Yamaha to become the first Yamaha home, and yet is mentioned almost in passing. Would it be the same report if Crutchlow had beaten Spies? Poor effort David.

I have to type these reports in the 15 minutes between the race ending and the press conference beginning, so they are of necessity rushed. That means I miss a lot of nuance (and make mistakes like saying Lorenzo and Stoner are tied on 40 points rather than 140). Perhaps it reflects the high expectations I have of Dovizioso's performance that I did not give it the coverage it perhaps deserves.

Arguably, Crutchlow would have beaten Spies and Dovi, based on his race pace, but for events outside his control. In terms of the summary, Dovi's been there and done it anyway, just like we don't get excited about Cal finishing in the top five now. So yes when Cal gets his first podium it will be a big deal but this was more a continuation of Spies under performing (correction- tyre break up like Rossi's). Regardless, if I was David think 'poor performance' would wind me up after 3 days with little sleep and lots of expense.

Mr Hedgehog

Can I respectfully suggest you give Mr Emmett some of your money before you presume to slander him.

I remember not so long ago Stoner stating that other riders would not enjoy the Bridgestones so much if their pace was faster. I've read articles saying that Crutchlow, Spies, Rossi, Edwards and Ellison have all had chattering problems and now that the Summer temps. are up you can add delamination to the mix as well. What is the first thing a control tire needs to provide, a safe, consistent and predicable base for ALL the riders. MotoGP doesn't have that now despite Bridgestones harping on safety. It would suggest that their testing isn't what it should be and that the new tires were rushed to release too quickly. Given that Bridgestone will now take their time at revising the tires what will Honda do to push through modifications to enable Stoner to compete with Lorenzo over the rest of this season? Time is of the essence.