Spoiler Alert: 2012 Assen MotoGP results listed below
The 2012 MotoGP Championship headed to the Netherlands this weekend for the 82nd running of the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen, the most historic venue on the schedule.
The 2.822-mile is the longest-running circuit in MotoGP, the 18-corner (12 rights, six lefts) track on the GP calendar since the series’ inception in 1949.
And the 2012 Grand Prix of the Netherlands would provide vastly different outcomes for the two riders leading the series – heartbreak for one, enthusiasm for the other.
The heartbreak came to man who led the MotoGP Championship points race heading into Assen – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. The 2010 MotoGP Champ suffered a DNF after a very controversial crash on the first turn.
But enthusiasm would arrive in the Repsol Honda pits after Casey Stoner took his third win of the season. The reigning MotoGP Champ would be joined on the Assen podium by teammate Dani Pedrosa, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso.
And as usual, Assen’s technical layout provided for drama right from the very first turn of the 26-lap race.
When the 20-rider grid (minus Cardion AB Ducati’s Karel Abraham, whose finger injury prevented him from starting) began round seven of 18, Pedrosa took his typical start, getting from starting position of second to first by turn one.
Following behind were the pole man Stoner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, who took his maiden MotoGP victory at Assen last season, and Lorenzo.
Drama developed at the first turn, though, as Lorenzo was hit by a charging Alvaro Bautista. The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, who started from eighth on the grid, went to the inside, and came into Turn 1 with way too much speed. Bautista ran into Lorenzo, and both riders slid off the track, ending their day.
Once up, Lorenzo showed frustration, throwing hands in the air. Many around the pits were saying the move was unprofessional, and the crash is currently under investigation by the FIM.
Meanwhile, by the end of the first lap Pedrosa was leading, followed by Stoner, Spies, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, and the Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi, respectively. As for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, he had a bad start, going from fifth to 13th.
The drama continued on the second lap when Hayden lost a position due to running off the circuit. A few turns later LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl crashed out, ending the German’s race. With 20 laps to go it would be Avintia Blusens CRT’s Yonny Hernandez who would crash out, and a lap later NGM Forward Racing CRT’s Colin Edwards would ride into the pits, the American ending his day with bike troubles.
By the 10th lap, major separation occurred between the riders. Up front, Pedrosa and Stoner battled for the lead. The Repsol Honda RC213V riders held an over five-second lead ahead of the two men who would fight to the end for the final podium position – Spies and Dovi.
A further five seconds behind the Spies and Dovi battle was a group of riders vying for the fifth position – Hayden, Rossi, Barbera and Crutchlow. This group of four held a 15-second advantage over the man in ninth at this point – Power Electronics Aspar CRT’s Randy de Puniet.
With eight laps remaining, Stoner took a clean inside pass on Pedrosa for the lead, and immediately opened up a gap. The Australian would beat Pedrosa to the line by 4.965 seconds.
The battle for the final podium position came down to the last lap. Spies looked to have it, but on the beginning of the final lap Dovi made an aggressive pass on the American, and held the position to the end; Dovizioso would finish 11.994 seconds behind Stoner.
Spies would take fourth, 14.775 behind Stoner, followed by Crutchlow in fifth. The top Ducati was once again the GP12 piloted by Hayden. The American would be followed by Barbera in seventh, the last rider to finish within a minute of Stoner.
Once again the top CRT finishers was the Frenchman de Puniet, who finished in eighth, 1:04.441 behind Stoner.
As for Rossi, he entered the pits with eight to go to replace his rear tire, which was completely worn, an issue the nine-time World Champion has continually dealt with throughout the season. He would finish a lap down in 13th.
Due to Lorenzo’s DNF and Stoner’s win, the two are tied at top of the MotoGP Championship point standings with 140 points. In third is Pedrosa with 121 points. A ways back in fourth with 77 points is Crutchlow.
The 2012 MotoGP Championship continues next week at Sachsenring, Germany, for the second race in three back-to-back weekends.
2012 Assen MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||171.4||41’19.855|
|2.||20||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||171.1||+4.965|
|3.||16||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||170.6||+11.994|
|4.||13||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||170.4||+14.775|
|5.||11||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||169.9||+22.074|
|6.||10||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||169.3||+31.660|
|7.||9||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||167.4||+59.107|
|8.||8||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||167.1||+1’04.441|
|9.||7||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||166.9||+1’06.980|
|10.||6||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||165.7||+1’25.087|
|11.||5||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||165.3||+1’32.103|
|12.||4||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||165.2||+1’33.797|
|13.||3||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.6||1 Lap|
|14.||2||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||163.6||1 Lap|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||167.0||12 Laps|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||155.7||19 Laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||165.6||21 Laps|
|6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||162.0||25 Laps|
|99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||0 Lap|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||0 Lap|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||0 Lap|
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after seven of 18 rounds):
|13.||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||19|