It was a fantastic weekend for our brands, Saturday Stoner won the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix and Sunday Melandri prevailed in Race 2 Superbike. The only regret of the weekend was the crash of Jorge Lorenzo at the first corner, and one which was not his fault.
ASSEN MotoGP: Action began on Friday when Casey Stoner gained an unexpected Pole after he seemed subdued and bruised from his Friday morning crash. In the race, this was followed by Lorenzo's early exit when he was taken out by one of his opponents. Stoner remained in second position until 10 laps to go then took the lead to gain his third win of the season. It was a sad day for Lorenzo who must now share his position at the top of the championship standings with Stoner.
The next race on July 8th at Sachsenring.
Both races were really spectacular and kept us glued to the TV with our hearts pounding! A very determined Marco Melandri, ranked second, fought for the win until the last lap of Race 1, but was forced to surrender due to the degradation of his rear tyre. ?A satisfied Carlo Checa took third position, which was damage limitation on a circuit which did not favour his bike. Unfortunately Badovini crashed during the last lap and threw a podium opportunity away. Fabrizio was sixth and ninth for Camier. Race two was, if possible, even more exciting and full of breathtaking overtaking manoeuvres. Marco was really determined to take the win and with a last lap performance, worthy of an oscar, won his third WSBK race of the season. Checa finished seventh, Badovini ninith and Fabrizio eleventh. These results bring the ranking of our riders up as folllows: Second Melandri, Checa fourth and twelfth and thirteenth Fabrizio and Badovini.
Declaration of the riders:
CASEY STONER (Nolan X-802)
"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 tyre. Choosing the softer tyre, 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 tyres and my energy as much as I could. With a few laps remaining, I knew we wouldn't suffer a big drop in ty re 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".
JORGE LORENZO (X-Lite X-802)
“Well, today was a complete disaster, Alvaro's move was crazy. I met him after the incident, he apologised and we shook hands but in my opinion this is not enough to justify the accident. When I made a mistake in Japan in 2005 I was penalized with a race. Race Direction told me that he will start from last position on the grid in Sachsenring but this is nothing. We hope that we will be lucky in the future that nothing will happen but if the riders are not penalized properly then they will continue to do crazy things like today. My leg is a big bruise, a big impact but nothing serious happened. Luckily for us we had a 25 point advantage or we would now be far behind. Now we are at zero with Casey so we begin again, the Championship is long so let’s see what happens.”
MARCO MELANDRI (NOLAN X-802)
"It is just amazing. To win here is beautiful. I just want to say thanks to my guys, because we made another step with the bike. In race one we had a good battle and I just missed a little bit of speed in the end to try to beat Max. In the beginning I first had to overtake Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes. Then I had to push hard to catch up with Max who was leading. Once I was there, I tried to overtake him, but it was not easy as I struggled with my rear tyre. When I was in front, I would have preferred to make it difficult to him to pass me back, but he overtook me quite easily. He was faster than me and on the last lap it was hard for me to follow him. It is always nice to be on the podium, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed after race one.
"In race two I put all my effort to get the win. It was not easy because the wind was very strong and the Aprilia guys were pushing hard. In the beginning, Max could not go as fast as in race one and for me it was similar. Eugene was very fast and suddenly with only a few laps to go, Max overtook me. I passed him back but went wide and so Chaz and Eugene went past me. And they were riding so strong and so fast that it was not easy. For the last lap I had no plan, because when racing against those guys you cannot think about a plan because they try to pass you every corner. So I just tried to find a good place for braking at the end of the straight. Now we will try some more things in the test tomorrow and keep working in this direction in the next races."
CARLOS CHECA (X-Lite X-802)
“To close in the top five would already have been a good result today, so to reach the podium was pretty unexpected to be honest. It’s always great to score this kind of result when you’re racing at home. I thank all of my team for their hard work and also the public for their enthusiasm. We had a little luck at the end of race 1 – I was sorry for what happened between Badovini and Sykes, and pleased they were unhurt. The second race went fairly well, in the sense that my rhythm was a bit better but I was unable to get past those ahead of me. They slowed me down a little through the corners and then I was losing out to them on the straight. It’s difficult to race in these conditions, you have to force every manoeuvre, pushing so hard in the last part of the track to make up for what you lose on the straight.”