Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner won his second consecutive MotoGP race in the Netherlands. Stoner, who qualified on pole the day before led all 26-laps of the race and took the checkered flag by a margin of 11.31 seconds over Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
“We knew we had the pace to win today but sometimes coming into race day that can make you even more nervous because you know the only thing that can go wrong is yourself,” said Stoner. “I was able to get out front, put my head down and concentrate on doing the times we’ve been doing all weekend in dry conditions.”
In an unusual turn of events, Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi crashed on Lap 1 collecting LCR Honda’s Randy De Puniet in the process.
“After seven podiums in a row I made a mistake today. I am very disappointed because we made a change to the set-up of the front and it worked very well, and I could tell from the warm-up lap that my bike was very good today.
Unfortunately I made a mistake at the first left; I arrived too fast when the tires were still cold, I was too hard on the brakes and I lost the rear,” said Rossi. “I am sincerely sorry to Randy de Puniet and all of his team. After the crash I had a bent handlebar and no gear shifter, but despite this I was able to do the third fastest lap time.”
Despite starting from the second row, Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards took the final podium spot after passing Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden in the final corner, on the last lap when Hayden’s RC212V engine stopped with an electric problem.
“Third is never a win, but this feels as good as one,” Edwards said. “I could see Nicky and Dani in the distance and all I did was ride as hard as I could. I thought if I kept applying pressure he might make a mistake and if I hadn’t kept pushing as hard as I did then I might not have been close enough to pounce on Nicky. I’d settled for third but as I came out of the chicane he was sat up, and I couldn’t believe it. I guess that’s karma corner after 2006. This place owed me something after I crashed a couple of years ago with my first win in sight, and I’m really happy with third just because in the way I achieved it. It’s hard to get on the podium at any time in MotoGP, so to do it from last is a great feeling.”
Hayden managed to roll across the finish line in fourth with JiR Scot’s Andrea Dovizioso finishing fifth.
“Man, we had a pretty good race. Unfortunately this game can be cruel sometimes,” said Hayden. “To be so close to a really good result is tough, but we still finished, we made it across the line and still got some good points out of the
Dynamite Dani snatched first place in the championship point standings thanks to his second place finish and Rossi’s wipeout.
deal, but it would’ve been nice to stand on the podium. The team certainly deserved it, they’ve worked really hard this weekend. I had a dash light come on at the start of the race, though it went off after the start. She finally quit right before the finish line. Nonetheless the bike is working good. Now they’ve got a week and a half to hopefully sort it out in Japan and we can keep moving on.”
MotoGP 2008 Assen Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati) 42’12.337
2. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +11.310
3. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) +17.125
4. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) +20.477
5. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot) +27.346
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) +28.608
7. Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) +32.330
8. Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Gresini Honda) +34.892
9. James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) +38.566
10. Sylvain Guintoli (Alice Ducati) +38.817
11. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) +46.025
12. Toni Elias (Alice Ducati) +48.213
13. Marco Melandri (Marlboro Ducati) +59.594