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Stoner 'sorry' for Lorenzo

"I'm sorry for Jorge, nobody wants to take points over a competitor in this manner" – Casey Stoner.
Casey Stoner turned one of his toughest weekends as a factory Honda rider into race victory and the joint MotoGP Championship lead at Assen on Saturday.

The reigning champion - beaten by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo at the three previous rounds - had again struggled with chatter in practice and suffered one of the most painful accidents of his career when he was caught out by a rain shower on Friday morning.

A surprise pole position followed, after further rain spots in qualifying, but Stoner openly admitted he had race pace concerns.

Lorenzo meanwhile had been consistently fast throughout the weekend and looked tough to beat - until he was taken out by fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista at turn one of the race.

Stoner and team-mate Dani Pedrosa got through the corner just before the incident, with Pedrosa leading until lap 17 of 26, when Stoner calmly moved ahead and rode to a five-second victory.

In doing so, Stoner bridged Lorenzo's 25-point lead in a single move.

"To take pole position and now the win is really incredible, a big thanks to my whole team who never gave up,” said Stoner.

“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 which ever 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 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 a few 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.

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Baz overtaking Lorenzo, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
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Pedrosa, Qatar MotoGP race 2017

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June 30, 2012 4:36 PM

In all fairness to Casey,he admitted that it was not the way he wanted to get those points back.Noone likes to see a fellow rider crash out like that and i am glad Jorge and Alvaro were ok. But 25 points are 25 points! As the old golfing saying goes,they dont draw pictures on the score card. He now has equal points with Jorge and has to take advantage of that fact.This has made a big difference to the championship.Casey will be sleeping easier tonight.Jorge will have steam coming out of his ears.

Podster - Unregistered

June 30, 2012 4:53 PM

Shows how much respect they have for each other, Lorenzo will come out swinging in the next round while Casey knows his strength is in this half of the season. Honda now have an opportunity to take it to the wire if they focus on getting the bike sorted. The only winners here are us, the arm chair races We have the start of the season all over again, you gotta be happy with that

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