The legendary Assen circuit was the setting of another brilliant performance by the Repsol Honda Team. The 90,248 spectators occupying the grandstands at the 'Cathedral' enjoyed a two-man battle between Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, who led from start to finish, with no rivals to challenge them.
Casey celebrated his sixth consecutive podium in Assen with another victory, his third of the season, and Dani crossed the line behind him to complete the team's fifth double podium of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship. This result, combined with Jorge Lorenzo's unfortunate crash, places Casey in the joint championship lead with 140 points and Dani, 19 points behind them consolidating third position.
Pedrosa took the race lead from the start, with Casey close behind. They were matching times, lap by lap, separated by mere milliseconds and increased the gap to the rest of the pack by more than eight seconds. Dani set the circuit record on lap fifteen (1'34.548) but couldn't pull away from Casey, who overtook him with nine laps to go and led until the end.
The Repsol Honda Team couldn't ask for a better start to the most demanding period of the season, with three races back to back. Next up is Germany's Sachsenring followed by Italy's Mugello Circuit.
CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Position: 2nd with 140 points
"To take pole position and now the win is really incredible, a big thanks to my whole team who never gave up. My plan was to get a better start than I actually did, take some advantage and use the energy I had to try and make a gap and try to hold on to the end. We also knew that which ever position we were in, we had to preserve the rear tire. Choosing the softer tire, there was a big chance that we would destroy it and have nothing left for the end of the race. When I saw Dani was running at a reasonable pace and we were pulling away from the others, I decided to stay there and watch him to save the tires and my energy as much as I could. With a few laps remaining, I knew we wouldn't suffer a big drop in tire performance, I still felt good so I decided to pass him and see if I could pull a gap. It was a tough race, I had a lot of arm pump as I had to compensate for my injuries from the crash yesterday, but my fitness was good and the bike was working well in general. I'm sorry for Jorge, nobody wants to take points over a competitor in this manner, but as we can see, one race can change everything".
DANI PEDROSA 2nd World Championship Position: 3rd with 121 points
"Looking at the lap times we did during the weekend, I knew I had better rhythm than Casey, so I made a good start and tried to pull away from the first laps. Casey stayed behind me all the time and by the second half of the race, I believe he took profit of extra energy he saved during the first part of the race to overtake me. Our pace was very good in the race, the bike worked very well but maybe I just chose the wrong strategy this time. At the end of the race, the bike felt heavy with change of direction due to tiredness and it was enough to slow me down from 1'35 to 1'36 for just two laps, and I lost ground, but this is racing. I hope to do a better strategy next week in Germany".
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