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Stoner victorious at Assen, Lorenzo wipe-out
30 June 2012
Casey Stoner ended a three-race losing streak, and moved joint top of the MotoGP standings, with victory in a dramatic Dutch MotoGP at Assen on Saturday.
The race began with a bang when Alvaro Bautista wiped out title leader Jorge Lorenzo into turn one.
The Gresini Honda rider launched a hugely ambitious inside lunge from eighth on the grid - only to lose the front of his RCV and slam into the side of the unsuspecting Lorenzo.
A huge cloud of smoke was emitted from Lorenzo's Yamaha after it came to rest in the gravel, raising engine-change concerns.
The incident is under investigation.
Lorenzo had held his third place on the grid, behind Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, and the Repsol riders were in a class of their own thereafter.
Pole sitter Stoner - riding sore after suffering one of the biggest accidents in his career, a highside caused by a sudden rain shower, in Friday practice - shadowed Pedrosa until calmly passing the Spaniard with ten laps to go.
The Australian then rode to his third win of the year by 4.965sec and is now tied on points with Lorenzo at the head of the standings.
The fight for the final podium place went down to the last lap, with Andrea Dovizioso passing last year's winner Ben Spies to claim his second podium of the year for Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
Team-mate Cal Crutchlow was forced to take avoiding action in the Bautista, Lorenzo turn one clash - he later called Bautista a "dickhead" for the move - then fought his way from twelfth to fifth.
Nicky Hayden the lead Ducati in sixth, with Hector Barbera seventh for Pramac. Aspar Aprilia's Randy de Puniet claimed a new CRT high with eighth place, albeit on a day when only 14 of the 20 riders finished.
Gresini's Michel Pirro, who had trouble starting his CRT bike on the grid, came close to defeating de Puniet in what was also his best ride of the year, with Mattia Pasini completing the top ten for Speed Master.
Danilo Petrucci (Ioda) and Ivan Silva (Avintia) were eleventh and twelfth, with Valentino Rossi making a pit stop for a new rear tyre on his way to 13th. The Italian had been fifth early on, but dropped back to eighth by the time of his pit stop on lap 17 of 26.
PBM's James Ellison was 14th and last of the finishers.
Among those on the DNF list was Honda LCR rookie Stefan Bradl, who began the race from a career best fourth but fell on lap 2.
Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham, who missed the British MotoGP weekend due to left hand injuries sustained in testing at Aragon, didn't start the race after struggling with his hand throughout practice, qualifying and warm-up.
Assen is the only survivor from the inaugural 1949 World Championship calendar. The Dutch TT is traditionally held on the last Saturday in June, Sunday racing having originally been frowned upon for religious reasons.
Round eight of the MotoGP World Championship takes place next weekend at the Sachsenring in Germany.
1. Casey Stoner
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Ben Spies
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Nicky Hayden
7. Hector Barbera
8. Randy De Puniet
9. Michele Pirro
10. Mattia Pasini
11. Danilo Petrucci
12. Ivan Silva
13. Valentino Rossi
14. James Ellison
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