Jorge Lorenzo used his Yamaha M1 to take victory in the MotoGP TT Assen today. Making an early break from the motorcycle racing pack with a good start, the Fiat Yamaha rider pulled 1.2 seconds ahead of the field at the start, before being caught by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, both of whom benefitted from the early advantage of the softer rear tire.
By lap ten though, Lorenzo started to open a gap that grew steadily until the finish. The battle of the compounds continued throughout the field too, as Ben Spies nurtured his softer rear slick to pass Andrea Dovizioso, on the harder rear tire, on lap 16.
Randy de Puniet, also on the hard rear, then had a great scrap with Dovizioso and the pair traded places five times in the last two laps. Rounding out the top ten, Marco Simoncelli used a hard rear slick to emerge ahead of his close battle with Aleix Espargaro, who was on the softer option rear.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “This race was a little more difficult than Silverstone! I knew Dani was fast on the soft tire but we were going with the hard tire so I knew I had a little advantage at the end. Casey was also fast at the beginning, so I tried to stay focused and concentrated. I made a good start, waited a little bit, then I could open every lap this little gap. The last laps were quote difficult to keep the pace high, but the important thing is that we can always be on top.”
Wilcon Zeelenberg says: “We knew before the start that Pedrosa and Stoner had chosen the softer tyre so we expected them to be fast at the beginning and in fact we were quite pleasantly surprised that Jorge was able to make a gap so early on. Then they came back to him but he is mentally very strong at the moment and he just kept his head and did very well to stay in front, because they were pushing him hard for a while. Once the laps went on and our fuel load was reduced, Jorge was able to use the harder tyre to his advantage and he succeeded brilliantly, we had no doubts about him. Well done to him and to all the team for this second win in a row on this special TT Anniversary”
Dani Pedrosa says: “Well first of all I have to say I’m surprised by this result because, I tell you, in practice we had a lot of problems and we tried so many things that didn’t work, so I wasn’t expecting to get second today or to have this pace. For the warm-up we found something which gave us a better lap time and my rhythm improved a lot, which gave us the chance to fight in the race. I knew with the soft rear Bridgestone tyre that I would have more of an advantage in the first part of the race and so I pushed really hard from the start to catch up.”
“But then I began losing a little bit of time in the first section of the circuit and lap-by-lap we lost touch. Anyway, this is a good result for us and I’d like to say thanks to my team because they never gave up. I’m back into second in the World Championship but actually I’m more pleased with second in this race. Now we go straight to Catalunya for my home GP and I hope we can have a good race there too”
Andrea Dovizioso says: “We had higher expectations for today’s race and so I’m a little disappointed with how things went. I made a good start and moved up to fourth but I couldn’t ride the laps under 1m 35s that were needed to stay with the leaders. We weren’t at 100% with the front-end feeling which meant I couldn’t ride as aggressively as I wanted. Having said that, we could have finished in fourth today, but in the battle with Randy we lost time and Spies took advantage of our duel to get a gap.
Considering how Dani’s and Casey’s soft tyres worked, our choice of the hard compound Bridgestone was perhaps not the perfect one today. Anyway, we have to learn from this and I’m looking forward to Barcelona – it’s a track that I really like. Today’s race was disappointing, but with only five days before we get back out on track we won’t have to w ait long before we can make amends”.
Casey Stoner says: “This is the first race this season we have come away from with a decent result. It shouldn’t be our first podium of the year but that’s the way it is and it was nice to finish a race, not just a qualifying session, and head to parc ferme. The team has been doing a fantastic job, especially over the last two weekends, when we have established a good base setting that has allowed us to fight for the podium, if not the win yet. Unfortunately at Silverstone we had the start we had but here it was me that struggled more than the bike with arm-pump from about mid distance – it was the same problem as Silverstone and I guess we didn’t have time to recover. It is another setback we have to deal with now but I think we can get over it. Anyway all in all it was a positive day and I want to thank the team for the work they have done”.
Nicky Hayden says: “Seventh place isn’t exactly the best but as always I’m trying to look at the positives: after making a good start on Thursday we had a difficult session on Friday morning with a breakdown and a crash, when we also wrecked a set of tyres, and that obviously made things hard for us. Whilst the rest made progress with their set-up we lost ground. I got a decent start but got held up by De Puniet and was passed by a lot of riders. I managed to pass Colin and Simoncelli but lost time and even though I tried to close the gap the front end tucked a couple of times and I had to settle for seventh. It’s a shame because it’s our worst result of the year apart from the crash at Mugello but we go racing again next week and we’ll be trying to get back to the front.”
Vittoriano Guareschi says: “We deserved this podium, we haven’t had one for a bit and we’re happy that it’s arrived today. The team worked very well, they found a good set-up for the race and fixed the problem with the clutch that penalized Casey a week ago. Casey rode very well, he made eight laps in the 34s, and I think that if he hadn’t had the problem with his arm he would have been able to attack Dani. In any case he did a great race. Nicky lost time in the first corner and lost contact with the leading group and he wasn’t able to catch them back up. The problems he had in practice didn’t help him to find a set-up that he could trust but I am sure that he will be back in front at the next race.”
Ben Spies says: “I got a good start and was happy with that. I ran the soft rear tire because it made the front load better for turning and the track temperature was hotter than all weekend. But it didn’t work as well I’d hoped in the first ten laps and then when Dani and Casey came by I knew I was holding them up. But I was sticking with my game plan. I tried as hard as I could and 12 laps in Andrea passed me. But then his tyres dropped down to where I was with mine and I reeled him back in. The podium battle had gone away and then over the last three laps I heard Andrea and Randy putting the pressure on. I put my head down hard and managed to open a gap. I was sliding a lot but I managed to stretch away and I could cruise the last lap. I wanted at least fourth p lace today and I’m happy but I didn’t have the pace for the podium like in Silverstone. I’m happy with the result and we go to Catalunya next week not knowing the track and I think we will be a little bit on the back foot again. But I’ll do the same as the past two weeks and push as hard as I can.”
Colin Edwards says: “I can’t be disappointed or upset with eighth place and wonder why I didn’t get a better result when I rode my heart out. There was nothing else I could have done today but I know what we can improve. We’ve been experimenting with some different front-end settings and we’ve made it better, but I just lose a bit of time when I release the brakes and can’t turn the bike how I want. And losing that little bit everywhere adds up by the end of the lap and makes it difficult. I know I rode harder than last year when I finished fourth, but I’m eighth. I guess that proves that those guys at the front are running an unbelievable pace. I was behind Nicky for a long time but I could never get close enough to put a pass on him. Looking at Ben it can be better and once again, I can’t praise him enough. He’s riding really good and I have to congratulate him because at the last two races he’s been really impressive.”
Herve Poncharal says: “I can’t say enough good things about Ben. He made an incredible start and he almost took the lead. We knew Casey and Dani would push hard and in the first few laps I don’t think Ben had a great feeling with the bike. But he dug deep and continued to push and I have to give him enormous credit for that. Dovizioso and de Puniet were pushing really hard at the end but Ben’s strength is his pace on used tyres and he demonstrated this again. Being greedy we’d have liked to be on the podium again but fo urth showed he is the best of the rest of the moment. His confidence is really high and he’s proving a massive asset for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Colin had a strong race and after Silverstone he found a direction with the bike, which we hope will work in the future. He was pushing hard and never gave up and the points he scored have helped us move back into fourth place in the Team Championship. That is very important for us. I said that in 2010 the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team had its strongest line-up ever in MotoGP and I think today again we proved that.”
Randy De Puniet says: “After a positive qualifying lap time, I took a bad a start from the second spot because I dropped the clutch too quickly having a big wheelie but after that I overtook many riders in the first run. Unfortunately I had some issues on the front tyre at the beginning of the race so I decided to change my riding style a little bit to keep the pace. Then in the middle of the race I caught Dovizioso and Spies starting a close battle and I had fun. In the last lap I tried to overtake Dovi again but went too wide in the last corner. Anyway we are very pleased about this result and this week end because we maintain our sixth position in the classification”.
Marco Simoncelli says: “It has been a particularly difficult day today. After practice I was hoping for a different kind of race but it didn’t go to plan. I knew something wasn’t right from the start because the feeling wasn’t as good as yesterday, the rear tyre didn’t have the same grip and from the first lap I was taking risks. I decided to pull the oars into the boat and get to the line in the best position possible. It is a top ten finish but we wanted more today. It is a shame but on the plus side we did a good job just to get the bike to the finish. Now we go to Barcelona and I hope we can build on the good qualifying practice we had yesterday. ”
Fausto Gresini says: “It is a shame because after practice yesterday we were convinced we could have a good race, the pace was good, but today the tyres did not work in the same way and Marco had some problems – he couldn’t push as hard as he would have liked. He took a few risks and then had to slow down and make sure he made it to the end. I’m disappointed but the important thing is that the kid continues to improve and we’re ready for the next Grand Prix. There are still a lot of races left, this is learning year and I think he’s doing a very good job.”
Loris Capirossi says: “I just don’t know what to say after this weekend – when I try to go quicker than I did today I feel like I will crash and when I try to make a race I end up almost last. The effort we are putting in is a lot and I am really angry and annoyed, because the whole team is trying really hard, we make so many changes to try to find the best solution and we just cannot find it. We just had no feeling at the start today and we needed three or four laps to get any kind of feel in the tyres, but by then it was too late. It is the same to finish 11th or 13th, both positions feel the same and it is just not good enough, we need to make some big changes for next weekend so we can try to be more competitive.”
Álvaro Bautista says: “This has been a very bad race for us for a couple of reasons. Yesterday in qualifying it looked like we had improved the bike, but when I woke up this morning I felt more pain in my left arm. I think that yesterday I did too much and today my left arm was very tired and painful. This was a bad start for a race, but I tried to be positive and have a good race. From the first lap though it felt very difficult riding the bike, because it felt like the tyres were still not warm enough, so I tried to push and find my rhythm like in practice, but the bike just moved around much more than it did in practice – I don’t know why. I struggled a lot in the race and I just tried to do the best I could. I hope that the feeling is better for the next race because it is my home GP. I have a week to get some more strength in my arm and try to recover a bit more and hopefully get a better result in Barcelona.”
Paul Denning says: “Things have been very difficult this season and they didn’t get any easier today! Álvaro’s potential is unclear, based on the fact that his injury restricted him so much again today. We hope that the layout of the Barcelona track will be a bit kinder to his body and allow him to push harder. I want to say sorry to Loris and Álvaro that we couldn’t give them a competitive machine today, Loris especially is incredibly frustrated and that frustration is shared by all of us. We have to keep working hard and keep focused to find the key that will allow the riders to perform to the best of their abilities.”
Aleix Espargarò says: “The result does not prove the full value I could give on this track. Unfortunately the bad start had made me lost immediately the contact from the first riders, I had to fight to regain the positions I have lost. After I had pass some riders I have had a good race pace that allowed me to recover the gap I had from Simoncelli. In eight laps I managed reduce the three seconds gap I had from him and pass him. I pushed as hard to try to detach him but I risk the falling into a couple of strokes. At seven laps I made him pass me. I studied the places where I could try to overcome him, but the last lap I could not be so close to beat him. I’m also happy to had a so reduced gap from the Grand Prix winner, this is the minimum gap I had in this season. In the next week we’ll race in Barcelona, my home Grand Prix. I will do my best to obtain a good result for my team and my fans. ”
Mika Kallio says: “I’m very happy for the excellent start I had that allowed me to gain three positions after the first lap. Unfortunately my race pace has not allowed me to stay with the best riders, my bike was not very quick in some fast points of the track. I fought with Capirossi and Barberà for the eleventh position. In the last five laps I was able to drive the group to the end and I win the battle with Barberà that he could not pass me in the last corner. I hope to get a better result next week on the Spanish circuit.”
Fabiano Sterlacchini say: “Assen result do not fully repay the work we have done during this weekend, we knew that we could go very fast on this track and get an important result with both riders, in any case is a positive result. We finished the race with both riders and we have seen the steady growth of both. Mika had struggled to get the eleventh position, he has a great start, he was in tenth position after the first lap. He subsequently lost a few positions, but in the last turns he headed the group that was struggling for eleventh and in the last round he had won the position against Barberà. It ‘s a good result that gives good hopes for his complete recover on the Barcelona track where he will race next weekend. Good race for Aleix who proved once more to improve his feeling with his bike and this category. The hope is that he can get a good result in his home track next week.”
Kousuke Akiyoshi says: “First of all I have to say that I wish all the best to Hiro and I hope he will come back soon. In general this was a good weekend for me. I am here as a replacement and to test the bike and to help the team. The last time I was part of a race of the world championship was more than a year ago and once again I really enjoyed this experience. I am looking forward to the race in Barcelona.”
Daniel M. Epp says: “You can see on the result of Kousuke that the level of the MotoGP riders is very high. Kousuke improved step by step during this weekend and he did all he could do. He never has been to this track before. Barcelona he knows. In Barcelona will also be a second test rider as the replacement for Valentino Rossi and I am looking forward to see the battle between the two test riders and I am curious who will win this battle.”
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: Congratulations to Jorge and Fiat Yamaha for their fourth victory this season! He rode a great race and is proving to be ever-stronger at each event. It is good to see Dani on the podium again, and of course Casey with his maiden podium finish this year. There were many exciting battles in that race, for fourth between Ben, Randy, and Andrea, between Marco and Aleix for ninth and between Mika, Hector and Loris for eleventh. There were a good number of spectators today to enjoy these and there was a great atmosphere to celebrate this 80th anniversary of the Dutch TT.”
Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department) says: “I am very happy with the result today because the race showed that both our rear tyre compounds were working well. Jorge used the harder rear to win by nearly three seconds, whilst Dani set the fastest lap of the race on the softer rear, only 0.01 seconds slower than the pole position time. We can also see that the consistency was good even for the softer option, as Ben’s penultimate lap was only 0.2seconds slower than his personal best during the race. This race demonstrates the performance overlap of our rear tyre options, and also shows how different rider and bike packages favour our different rear tyre options.”
2010 MotoGP Netherlands – Assen 26/06/2010 – Race 1 – 26 Laps
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 41’18.629
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’02.935
3. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 0’07.022
4. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’13.265
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’15.323
6. Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 0’15.772
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’25.867
8. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’28.991
9. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 0’35.658
10. Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 0’35.837
11. Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 0’56.769
12. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’56.890
13. Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1’00.615
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’08.074
15. Kousuke Akiyoshi Honda JPN -1Laps
Stay tuned here at Ultimate MotorCycling for more Moto GP quotes, results, rider coverage and photos from the 2010 TIM TT Assen motorcycle racing event.