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Spies takes first victory at Assen

Ben Spies takes his first ever MotoGP victory, at Assen.
Ben Spies has taken his first ever MotoGP victory with a dominant performance in Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen.

The Texan became the first former World Superbike rider to win a MotoGP race since Troy Bayliss in 2006, by converting his first front-row start of the year into the lead at turn one, then bolting away from the field.

Spies' cause was helped when pole sitter Marco Simoncelli's nightmare run of race-day incidents continued as he highsided after just a few corners - while passing Jorge Lorenzo for second place at the hairpin - taking a furious Lorenzo down with him.

That incident put clear air between Spies and world championship leader Casey Stoner, one of many riders to struggle with a lack of heat in the rear tyre this weekend.

While the Repsol Honda rider was still building up grip in the cool (but dry) conditions, Spies was flat out - and held a 3.5sec lead after just three laps.

Stoner later began matching Spies, but by then the Factory Yamaha rider - in his second season of grand prix - could afford to measure his advantage over the Australian.

Former WSBK champion Spies, who had only taken one podium from the first six rounds of the year, guided his special red-and-white M1 to victory by 7.697sec over Stoner at the end of the 26 laps.

Stoner's Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso quickly dropped away from Stoner, but his third place was never under serious threat.

Valentino Rossi's first race on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11.1 - which combines this year's 800cc engine with next year's (1000cc) chassis and a new seamless transmission gearbox - saw the Italian megastar rise from eleventh on the grid to fifth at the end of lap one.

The seven-time MotoGP champion then passed Cal Crutchlow for fourth, a position he held for the rest of the race, finishing three-seconds behind countryman Dovizioso - but over 30sec from victory.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Dutch MotoGP Race 2011
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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WDB - Unregistered

June 25, 2011 3:12 PM

Spies was leading when Simoncelli crashed, Spies also had the fastest lap of the race, anyone who thinks this win was not earned is just not being honest.

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