Round 7 - Assen MotoGP

Round 7 - Assen

Round 7 and the Championship is at Assen for the Dutch TT and one of the most exciting circuits in the calendar. Can Casey Stoner continue his dominant display?

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For 81 years, the last Saturday in June has meant just one thing to


motor cycling fan, it is the Dutch TT here at Assen. As you can see


behind me, fans have made their annual pilgrimage for all across


Europe to the place their call the Cathedral. I am glad to say the


Brits out out in force. The weather is not looking too great at the


moment, hopefully it will make up for a miserable weekend at


Silverstone last time out. This crash result in the a bloken


collarbone for Cal Crutchlow and no British ride for the home fans to


get behind on a soggy race day. Casey Stoner showed his pro-pros we


in the wet and took the lead. Jorge Lorenzo lost control. Lorenzo is


down. The World Champion is down. It is in bits. The M1 Yamaha is


It is in bits. The M1 Yamaha is broken and he is out. Simoncelli


has gone! Maybe it was when not if but Simoncelli is down. Simoncelli


and Ben Spies failed to finish which lifted Colin Edwards up to a


popular podium. Colin Edwards, a legend. Gets a podium. Hospital one


What a fantastic performance that was from Colin Edwards, just nine


days after breaking his collarbone in Barcelona and there he was on


the podium at Silverstone where his team-mate Cal Crutchlow missed out


on the race. I am delighted to say he is back for this one. Carl, it


has been a tough couple of weeks but I won't give away your grip


position just yet but fantastic over the weekend. You must have


been in so much pain. It wasn't too bad. We had two dry sessions


yesterday, and, one was an hour- and-a-half long and one was an hour,


so it is quite sore today. I don't know, we are go into the race and


see what we can do. I was happy with how things went, wet and dry,


we will see what the weather brings for the race. Good luck today. So


Cal Crutchlow then, will be coming this way, in just a couple of


minutes time. Through the garage, into the back here. This is where


they keep the tyres warm at the back. Where I like to keep my hands


warm on a cold day. You can see the sprairs and the tools are kept


round here at the back of the garage as well. Then through here


this is the walk thatical will be doing in a few minutes time. -- Cal.


Here to make a seat to make his final preparations before the race,


and we have his two race packs. I want to show you something. This


sticker, the team have put on Cal and Colin's bikes, two walking


wounded in this, but thankfully we have two fit men as well here. I


will have to be careful what I say! Steady on there! Great to see him


back. Colin came back eight days after his operation but Cal's is


more complicated. It was smashed in eight place, they use that amazing


treatment where they put him in a deepfreeze for short periods, the


same as Mark Webber had when h when he fell off his mountain biefpblg


he is back and fit. We heard a line of commentary from you, in the


opener, Charlie saying that Colin is a legend, he showed that at


Silverstone last time out. He is a tough character and so is Cal


Crutchlow. Colin, what a belter, the right conditions for him wet


weather, so I guess from that point of view, the softer the conditions


are for Cal the better as well. was a miserable day at Silverstone


but it was an opportunity to marvel at the skill of the guys and


especially stone. Watching people sat at home, they can't believe


what they are seeing, they are going round 10% slower than in the


dry. Any good rider wouldn't go as far as they do in the dry, let


alone what they were doing in the wet. It is -- extraordinary. You


have to hand to it Bridgestone, those tyres are extraordinary.


Missing is Dani Pedrosa. He has been replaced for this race by


Hiroshi Aoyama from Honda Gresini who has been replaced by Kousuke


Akiyoshi. Danny is still recovering and he has had another operation to


repair a chipped fragment in the bone. Charlie, we hope to see him


back next week but it has been a long time. It has been a very long


time. And it is still unclear, isn't it, how he has done it and


what he has done to himself. Did he reinjure himself? It is a real


misly the, he has disappeared for so long. His manager is here this


week. Never short of a prop or two. Talk us through this. That is a


plate that would go, that is an old one. I had one fitted about 25


years ago that sits in there. This is more of a factory one. You can


see it is shaped and everything else. That gos in there and I have


just borrowed these from a nice man called Ian who is a shoulder surge.


He explains how much better they have got. They have developed


collarbone plates now. The tech 3 guys should keep nem in the spares


department and whip them in straight away. You better hang on


the that one. I think he made his own last time. Mine we are peck


know. Talking about operations to get things right. They have been


busy at Ducati over the last couple of weeks. After lots of testing for


the 1,000 cc bike what we are seeing is the fruits of that labour.


The GP which has a new gin put into what is the early


development of next year's GP12 chassis so it is a new chassis. A


new inverted swing arm and a new gearbox. Tell us about the changes


to this bike? We change 80%, it is new. We have a new swing arm, we


take completely different shock absorber system, and we have a new


chassis and we have a new fairing but the big news is the gearbox.


The Ducati seems like transmission, this is new technology, it is a


very quick gearbox and this is a bigger advantage, we decide that to


introduce this bike now, because we think this is a big advantage.


Thank you. So, this bike is just for Rossi here in Assen. Probably


with a view to Mag low which welcome back the next race for him.


Nicky I had listen get this bike in a few weeks time. That is a major


step for Ducati to take at this stage. I remember being at the


unveiling ceremony back in January when they were pulling the covers


off that bike. It only lasted a few races. We have rarely seen a new


shaskwhri introduced so quickly. Valentino Rossi only has three


engines for the rest of the season. They have had to change the energy.


It has been reduced to 800 cc. So they introduced three. So six is


the maximum. We has to last the rest of the season with three


engines. So that is interesting. Nicky Hayden is still waiting for


that. Whether or not it works for him. Nicky has been a pace setter


across relative of the problems they have had. Valentino Rossi not


out of touch in the Championship with what a third of it gone. He is


on 68 in fourth place. Casey Stoner leading the way with that victory


in Silverstone on 116. 18 clear of Jorge Lorenzo. As you can see Colin


Edwards there in eighth in the Championship, after his heroics at


Silverstone. 37, he is showing no signs of wanting to hang his


Known as the Texas tornado Colin Edwards twice world Superbike


champion and has been a regular in Sometimes out spoken but always


popular, the only blot on his career is that he has never won a


Grand Prix, although he came close here in Assen in 2006, when this


crash on the last corner robbed him Colin, ninth season in MotoGP.


Still searching that first win. Is that something that keeps you


going? Well, you know, I mean, I have won two World Championship, I


have won losts of race, am I upset I haven't won a Grand Prix? Not


really. I am just not ready to go anywhere else. I still love riding


motorcycles. I knew this year we were going have a new bike so I was


really motivated. Any time you get new parts, when it gets steal, then


yeah, but last year we struggled. We were on an old bike. A lot of


old stuff from years ago, and this year starting fresh, and brand-new,


bits, and it has been real motivating as well. I like working,


and finding new ways to tinker round with new part, and try and


extract the most out of them, so it has been a good year. We found a


couple of things that seem to be working pretty good. You have your


wife and kids back at home what is life like back in Texas? I have two


lives. This is my secret double agent life! No, at home is like a


full-time job. I wake up, bring the kids to school. Go get my wife a


star buck, bring it home, you know, I am working when I am home. When I


come here it is like vacation, I get to ride motorcycles and it is


like two different lives. Now my wife can't come with me, we have


kids in school, and it is... It, yeah. You have two sides it feels


like. What are you thinking about the current crop of riders at the


moment? You know, here you have fast rider, faster rider and the


fastest rider who I think at the moment is Casey. Everybody's kind


of lucky he is been with Ducati or he might have dominated the last


three or four year, so it is tough, as far as impressing me I think


Simoncelli has been riding well this year. There has been so many


feuds this year, like old one, new ones and you seem to be the only


person that just about gets on with everyone. A bit of the father


figure or the Agony Aunt. Yeah, I think u you know the same


organisation that let vos vos and didn't penalise him, and Valentino


used to fight on track all the time. Now they want to pin those guys --


penalise guys 20 second. Welcome to the MotoGP procession everybody. I


think it is (BLEEP). It is soft things on track, off track,


whatever, but all the tack and the BS just kind of, it is too much. It


is too much. And especially you can't bring gladiators to an opera,


we come to fight, so you have to It's all over. Talk about pushing.


He is done. You are a unique character in the paddock. How would


you like to be remembered in the MotoGP world when crow do leave?


How would I like to be remembered? I don't know. I don't feel like I


have ever changed since, since I started racing motorcycles. I never


felt like I needed to be an bleep because I could ride bikes better


than the next guy. I am who I am, and if it be outspoken it is not


cocky, it is just I tell the truth. And sometimes the truth hurts.


you are I hope you still have a few years left in you Colin. We will


see. I feel good. Riding good, so, we le will see what it brings.


he is a true legend is Colin Edwards and I have another one here


next door in the factory Yamaha garage where they are racing in the


red-and-white colours. You were the first 500 World Champion for Yamaha


in these colours, it must be special for you to see them back


again? Yes, this is the colour when I race, when I started to race in


74 and 75 and 75 I win the World Champion and the 500 so it is the


first title of Yamaha in the 500, and I have a very nice time, and I


hope this colour is a good luck for the rider today, here in Assen, and


I hope Yamaha have a good result here. Thank you. I hope you enjoy


it too. It is of course confusing for the riders to be in different


colours as we saw from Jorge Lorenzo during practise. Have a


look at this. He is come back in pit lane. He expects to see them in


blue. Misses the pit box, goes down too far, you are not allowed to


ride the wrong way so he had to go back out and do another lap. But


fantastic successful half century for Yamaha in Grand Prix racing and


Steve has been taking a trip down You cannot believe how much history


there is for Yamaha. This is a bike built for Bill Ivy. It is just a


little toy. Tiny drum brakes. It is minuscule. Everything that is made


is made the same as a motorcycle, but it is so tiny. 56 kilograms,


about the weight of Dani Pedrosa. I can pick it up easily. This is a


beautiful 125, four cylinder machine. This is a 1968 model. When


you start looking around, we are talking about drum brakes, treaded


tyres as they had in those days. The pistons would be about that


small, absolutely tiny, and it would do about 18,000 rpm. They


were so noisy. A 250, another great machine. Phil Reed, 250 cc, again


four cylinders. Worth millions of pounds, there is nothing like it


around. This is quite unique as well, ridden by Aggers Deeney, a


350 Yamaha from the 1975 season. This is very interesting, the gear


shift is on the opposite side. When I started racing, we always had the


gearshift on the right and the brake on the left, that turned


This is quite a serious bike, about 120 brake horsepower, it weighed


about 130 kilograms. I have crashed one of these many times and a lot


of my scars are due to bikes like this.


Deaf and scarred, but otherwise I think you came through that quite


well! The safety car is out on the track, the bikes are getting lined


up on the grid. Let's find out what The entire practice and qualifying


positions for the Assen Grand Prix have been stood on their head --


qualifying sessions. First by bad weather and then and on President


event. Oil was spilled around more than two kilometres of this circuit


-- unprecedented event. All three of the riders went out. Meant a


really hard push in qualifying. Simoncelli has been leading the


pace in all sessions, and in qualifying was the man to beat. The


guy pushing him hardest was Ben Spies for Yamaha. He was only 9004


of the time set by Simoncelli. Our Thousandths Cal Crutchlow at one


point was on the front row. Ultimately being pushed back, but


still starts in sixth, an astonishing performance when you


consider his recovery from collarbone surgery. For Valentino


Rossi, he is on a new motorbike, they have re-engineered everything


but it has just not work. 11th fastest and at one point, he was


As you can see, we are out on the grid. Some very desperate


alterations have been made to Jorge Lorenzo's bike. I mentioned it was


drizzling, it has dried out now. It looks as though they are changing


too slick tyres. We were hoping to grab a word with Jorge Lorenzo. He


is speaking to his team manager here. Lots of concern and not easy


for the riders to keep concentration. He is speaking to


his crew chief now. He will be filling him in on what changes they


have made. I am going to hang on for a second. We would like to grab


a word with Jorge Lorenzo if we can. Is chatting to the Bridgestone tyre


technicians as well. There was some talk that we might get a full set


of new slicks from Bridgestone headquarters in Germany, because a


lot of riders have crashed on cold tyres. The cold tyre problem we


have seen throughout the season. That move to get a new set in from


Bridgestone was vetoed by one manufacturer, so it hasn't happened.


We will come back to Jorge Lorenzo. Maybe he is coming over, just one


second... We will come back. Let's speak to Casey Stoner, let's go to


the front row. We will try to get a word with Casey Stoner. He has


qualified on the front row of the grid. He is leading the


championship. We will come in the back door. Sorry. Casey Stoner,


front row start for you. Some consternation about the conditions.


It seems to be drying up. weekend, it has been pretty bad.


There is no consistency whatsoever. In both conditions, the track seems


slippery and unpredictable so in mixed conditions, it is lethal. We


have seen a lot of crashes and it is not nice going into a race,


knowing that. It is unpredictable and we are not really sure what


tyre choice will be best. We are running with what we know at the


moment. Presumably you will go with slicks? At this moment. The track


is pretty well drive. It could rain at any time, as you have seen all


day. We will have do see what happens, how it pans out and stay


upright. I hope it stays dry. Thank you. Just a reminder, if you are


new to MotoGP, if it does start to rain during a dry race, the riders


will be able to come in, change bikes on to a set of wet tyres and


be able to go back out. We have missed Jorge Lorenzo unfortunately.


Not to worry, we'll get him another day. Who else is on the second row?


Let's have a quick chat to Phil Read. Can I interrupt you? We spoke


to the first premier class world champion earlier, but Phil Reed,


you won the first world title for them. Yes, many years ago. It was a


great thrill to ride the yammer our bikes again and get a fantastic


reaction from the crowd. You did a couple of demo laps. That's right.


It was great. Lorenzo, I am amazed he has changed everything before


the race, hoping it is going to stay dry. It is a gamble. A big


gamble. Great to see you, enjoy the race. It is going to be exciting.


Phil Reed, three-times world champion in three classes. The only


other guy to do that is Valentino Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo, Dovizioso and


Crutchlow, on the second row. Cal Crutchlow is getting energy gel


into him before the start of the race. Can we grab a quick word? It


is hard to speak to anybody in these conditions. I will try to


speak to his crew chief. Can you tell us which set you are going


for? We are going for dry set for shock, the race is tries to win a


start with price-setting -- a dry setting for sure. The race is dry


so we must start with dry settings. Let's get on to the fourth row of


the grid. This is where Valentino Rossi is, from 11th position. That


is where he started in 2007, and you may remember, in the Fiat 500


special edition colours, he went on to win that race. Let's grab a word


with his team manager. Just a quick word. What setting are you guys


going for? Are you going to take a gamble? It is one of those races.


No, the race is dry, we start with a dry bike. I don't know exactly.


If it is a good choice. Every bike has this setting, this tyre. We


hope. I suppose for you guys, with the current predicament you find


yourselves in, it is perhaps not the worst situation. Terrible this


weekend. We tried every practice and qualifying, we tried this


setting and we hope it is a good choice. Thank you, good luck today.


Not easy for any of the riders. Sorry. I don't think anybody really


wants to ride in conditions like A message to Dani Pedrosa on the


front of his bike. Come back soon. I will hold that up for them. The


news is that Dani Pedrosa will be back next weekend to take his place


in the Repsol team. Looks like we are being kicked off the grid. If


we get a split race, it will make it longer. They like to get this


sorted out quickly. John Hopkins is here this weekend. He is in Suzuki


colours, even though he is riding in the British Superbike champion


ship at the moment, he is planning to write a second Suzuki as a wild


card in the Czech Republic. It seems as though John has


disappeared... Here he comes. Let's grab him as we walk off the grid.


Giving Cal Crutchlow a nudge. John, a quick word. Great to see you back


in a MotoGP grid, are we going to see you on a bike any time soon?


There should be an announcement pretty soon, we are working hard on


getting the wild card dialled in. I am happy to be a guest with the


twizzlers Suzuki, to be here on the grid is awesome. Great to be back


in MotoGP -- Rizla or Suzuki. not easy for the riders. Mixed


conditions, sat on the grid, what is going through your mind? You are


scrambled, you want to get a good start, but when it is half white,


it is a gamble. Hopefully it works out. I think it is going to be a


dry race -- when it is half wet. Right now, it is a gamble. You want


to ride smart and have the aggression, but keep it up right.


It is a tough call. Banks was speaking to us. It may not be much


fun for the riders -- thanks for speaking to us. It will be a lot of


fun for us. The Gladiators are now Those conditions are horrible out


there. They really are. The worst conditions you could ever have.


There will be a white flag if it starts raining and then the guys


can come in and change to the other bike, that they will be trying to


get sorted out into a wet setting is, but bear in mind, he won from


that position a few years ago. He was in much more form back them.


This is an extraordinary position to see him in. We will talk about


it during the race, which I am sure will spread out a bit as time goes


on. They are throwing everything at it, including a new machine. They


have had trouble getting the tyre temperatures up in perfect


conditions. It is colder today than yesterday. It is about 13 degrees


on the track, very cold. There was this situation where we might have


seen a softer Bridgestone tyre introduced. I think Simoncelli said,


I might use the harder ones, so I don't want a softer one. He was


covering himself. I think the softer option which they are


running is working for him, but maybe not some of the other teams


and riders. I think some of the other teams and riders would have


liked a softer option. Indeed. Let's talk about the track. This is


the new modified part of the circuit, it is tight around here.


It is so important for getting power onto the back straight.


longest part of the circuit, the longest streak that you have got.


As you come out of that, it is a 180 degree, slow corner, the


slowest corner on the circuit. The straight isn't really a straight,


there are kinks and bumps but it is a place where you nail it and then


on the brakes for this new chicane that has been put in. The track has


been changed immensely over the years. It has turned into a full on


the corner that caught out Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso. That


is where their fired themselves at the scenery. It is round this


corner that Aoyama threw his bike down the road. There are the


standings there. Valentino Rossi has a bit of work to do. It's a


good opportunity for Casey Stoner toex tend his lead. He only


qualified third but he hurt himself in that practise crash yesterday


morning, so it is quite likely that he will, if he is not too sore he


might find pace. He did do the splits but he will be out there


riding as hard as possible. Even at the moment or in the u first few


laps will be cautious, it is awkward. The tyres have taken three


laps to get up to temperature. We saw that in qualifying. You can see


front and soft rear tyres for just about everybody apart from


Simoncelli. But the best position he has had is fourth. Is he going


to get a podium or even a win? are up, we are ready for a start in


Holland. A belting start from Simoncelli, at least across the


line. Time will tell. Bike 11 Ben Spies going with him. Lorenzo


trying to find way round and it looks like he has done it. Spies


gets back past Lorenzo. They feed in through this series of right


handers. Round and round they go. In a minute they hit the left


hander, and that will be really really critical. They will want to


tap on that power. Oh. Simoncelli. It looks like he lost the front,


straight down he goes. That is a nightmare. That is Lorenzo down,


alongside him. Man oh man. Can you believe that? That was Simoncelli


went down first, and we just, we were saying is he going to get a


podium. He certainly isn't. Ben Spies has a lead. I do not believe


it, Simoncelli what will he are to do to get a result? Can you imagine


what Lorenzo will be saying about him. He was calling him a lunatic


earlier. If you were Lorenzo you would want to kill him. If you were


Simoncelli you would make a beeline for the back of the fence and jump


it. We will get lots of looks at it. I did remark on the cold tyre issue.


Didn't he get it. All he can hope for is if it is going to rain. We


will see if it starts raining. White flags will indicate. He has


smashed the, he has done something. He has broken the camera mount. Ben


Spies, he was only 9,000. Is he in a fantastic position. There is


another flag up there. It is all going off here. So Andrea Dovizioso


in second, behind him is Casey Stoner, trying to find a way


through. That is Karel Abraham. He is holding his wrist. That is bad


news. Nightmare. But there is Casey Stoner at 27 being followed by


Andrea Dovizioso. I don't believe it. Randy de Puniet has gone out


and he was the sole surviving Pramac rider. So that is both


Pramacs out now. What is going on here? This is going to cause some


issues here. Running these tyre, everyone wants the softer tyre, but


at the moment they are having to cope with it. They have to be


careful. Look at the lead that Ben Spies has, he went over the line


last time. He had 2.58. Here they go. Down the inside. Rear left.


Left side. Left cold side of the tyre went down. Well he needed that


like a third armpit, Simoncelli. Lin Jarvis wasn't impressed. Their


man Jorge Lorenzo, is right at the back at the moment. That, he is


having a, all of a sudden, Lorenzo, I don't know who was leading the


Championship is having a nightmare. Stoner is through, that is


important. Jorge Lorenzo was right down the back there, was in front


of Simoncelli, and certainly in front of Abraham who is out. Cal


Crutchlow what about that? Brill Janet stuff, he is into fourth. --


brill Janet stuff. I imagine the seat is broken up. We will get a


view. Bits and pieces are flying off that bike. There it is. It is


smashed up. There was contact with Lorenzo after he went down and


Lorenzo's bike went into the back section. He took out that beautiful


red-and-white Yamaha bike. Not the anniversary they wanted as bits of


the seat are hanging off. This may be a black flag issue if he is not


careful. Back at the front 3.5 seconds near enough for in man, Ben


Spies. He was gifted that in terms of that crash that opened up the


field. Valentino Rossi, keep your eyes out for him because he is


going forward. Two guys are in front of him, maybe three, but he


is in touch. Cal Crutchlow is in fourth. That man eight days ago was


having an operation to have a plate in his shoulder. Getting out wide.


You are supposed to be still mending and you are very sore, but


stone I can tell you is gingerly making his way round there. He


won't be pushing too hard. His main contender, he will know is out of


the race. He was behind at the time. That is a very important point. Ben


Spies is back in ninth in the championship with 36 points so it


doesn't matter to Casey Stoner if he wins the race and Casey takes 20


points out of the equation. As we lock at the battle of the Texans.


Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards. Part of the walking wounded squad


markers here but it all happened at the front. They must be very


unhappy in Yamaha. Obviously very sad faces here in Jorge Lorenzo's


garage now. It is very disappointed for us. We know circumstances are


difficult and the riders know, they are all nervous, but to make such


action at an early stage, I don't think it was the smartest one to do,


but yes, it is an accident. Lorn he was on the wrong place at wrong


moment. The race is still on. is riding 13th place, and yeah,


what I can -- can I say? We are leading the race with one Bic, and


with the -- bike and with with the other one we have such a bad


situation. Hoping for rain then? Yes, whatever happens it would be


nice to have a change on tyres, whatever. From our side of the


garage. From Ben's side of the garage, he is leading the race, so


let's see what will happen. Thank you. Anything could happen I


suppose when the dice is thrown like that. But the Simoncelli


incident, I mean, that is racing when someone has a crash in front


you have and you get involved. How do you call it? It was an incident.


He got on the gas a bit early. Everyone got round there, he triped


to -- tried to tap it on to that cold tyre, there it is, you will


see the back end come rourpbgsd flicked him off. He was down-and-


out and that was the situation, and it was just, you can see it again


there, he was off, and Lorenzo has nowhere to go. But, he is still


going to get blame over it. Lorn won't be impressed. But what about


this man, Ben Spies, could he be going on to take his first MotoGP?


In a way it will be great when he does for him, but it will be


bitter-sweet, because he would like to beat everybody on the feet. Cal


Crutchlow has had tho give best to Valentino Rossi. Rossi is moving up


into fourth Cal in fifth. Getting back to that Jorge Lorenzo issue,


with Simoncelli, it was, it all started the whole problem getting


that needlessly severe penalty in Le Mans. All of that started with


Jorge Lorenzo in a press conference saying "This guy's dangerous,


anything happens to me then there will be trouble." Now it has


happened so there will be trouble. Simoncelli is going to get arrests


then! That is what he said! I think there will be the Spanish police


round to grab him actually. But any way it is still going at the moment.


As you out, mate, four seconds down the road to Ben Spies.


We might have 20 laps to go but if he can keep stroking a long. But


this man Casey Stoner will have taken time to get the heat in the


tyres. He will be comfortable. It is coming to him. We know it took


at least three laps. There is Karel Abraham. I had walk round the track


and showed what a dangerous coner that is, and it would have been


pressient if we had seen it. How about this? Getting a bit of a


battle. Akiyoshi in the thick of it. He will want to take a freeze frame


of that. From is Lorenzo fighting through. That has moved him up into


12th. Still points and he will need them at the owned of the season. A


long way to go and he has moved up another place. Two people, into


11th. Jorge Lorenzo last year's champion. Nice manners there. He


could see Lorenzo coming through. So Lorenzo, here is the man. He is


40 seconds down the road from his, this guy here, from his team-mate


notice how different that Ducati looks. I am talking about Valentino


Rossi's. It is the only one that has the brand-new, it is called the


11.1 chassis. But it is basically next year's 2012 chassis. We talk


about it but the energy is the chassis, the big difference is the


rear suspension. The way the link cadge works. Now, the Ducati that


Rossi is riding has a suspension system where the shot bolts on to


the back of the engine. The team there at Ducati have been working


hard. More importantly the factory are been working hard to give him


that. But this morning in warm up they felt it was running better.


There you can see Rossi and Crutchlow when they are braking and


putting on the throttle. I wonder if Cal Crutchlow in his hospital


bed about a week ago thinking I would be racing with Valentino


Rossi at Assen. Probably hoping he would be in front of him knowing


Cal. The track is dry. Those white lines will still probably be a bit


slippery but they are using every part. It is a nice drying day as my


mum would have said. A bit of a breeze out there. Look at that lead


There is the race leader. We can count it down. They are starting ev


so slightly to make inroad here. These two Stoner and dove, the


team-mates, there is only a little in it. So they just have take an


tenth or so out of Ben Spies, nothing for Ben to worry about. 19


laps to go. These guy are still going to have to get their heads


down if all stays dry, if they want to get on terms with Ben Spies. One


of the hardest things in racing is to keep your rhythm up when you are


buy yourself. Very dif. He is the one who has to work out the track


conditions. He will look at his pit board, and I will be coming back


down a bit. We will work out how robust that camera is, because it


is getting a proper work out on the back of that seat that is falling


off. Simoncelli is, his lap times are very much in the hunt. He is


lapping, well last time round a 37, which is pretty good lap time.


Considering he is making his way through the pack. But at the front,


35.966 for Ben Spies. They only took a tenth out of him. It is a


very long way to go. They will have to get a clip on or he would have


to make a mistake. Ben Spies, when he gets his eye on he is a good


rider. Broadly he gets his head down, stays focused. A quiet


achiever. Stoner has gone faster at 35.5. He has taken four tenths out.


Cal Crutchlow is not down with Valentino Rossi yet Yes. Taken four


tenths out. You don't have to be up their exhaust pipe to put them


under pressure. You see the lap board and you think "I know I am


losing time." So they could force an error out of Ben Spies even


though he is half a mile down the road. It takes that lap for him to


see the pit board to realise he has to get a move on. Toni Elias in


The yammer half, it hasn't changed apart from its colour scheme -- the


yammer half. -- the Yamaha. It has better fuel consumption. Because


there are so few riders in this race, Marcus Simoncelli is in the


points, even though he is last. It is worth him flogging around.


we are going to find out if the gap has come down. Ben Spies going over


the line. 3.572. He has responded. A good lap from them. He knows he


has got to get a ripple on. Speaking of which, it seems as if


Mr Stoner is pushing on and leaving Dovizioso behind. Valentino Rossi


is not shaking off the terrier-like performance of Cal Crutchlow.


can't have a new plate in your shoulder and not be very sore at


this point of the race. He has done a lot of clubs over the weekend but


when you have to string them together... I know you struggled


with your wrist, Justin commentary. On board with your race leader --


he will be absolutely furious. Jorge Lorenzo will be fuming,


incandescent with rage. He has not liked Simoncelli much, since he has


caused problems with other riders. What ever will be said now, I


cannot imagine. It is fair to say, that will not impress him one


little bit. The Warsi himself as a prophet, he will say he warned you


of this -- he will see himself. Jorge Lorenzo is the one with steam


coming out from under his helmet, getting past Bautista or now. A


stunning performance to regroup and get going. The bike basically went


along on top of the bike. It had a softened blow. The bike ended up on


top of the stricken Simoncelli under someone has, you have got to


tap the power. It is good job we can't hear them -- under someone


else. It was terrible to happen so early in the race and lucky that it


was only two riders. We have 16 laps. If you can do half a second a


lap, they would be there in no time, if they can do two tents, they


would make it in the time. definitely have a race on. -- two-


tenths. Casey Stoner will be leaving for


miles if he stays on the podium. Jorge Lorenzo, back in tenth. We


already have been nice cushion of 18 points. -- he already had the


nice cushion. A big gap is now official. There is not much in it.


-- the gap is now visual. 3.4 is the distance, but it always makes a


difference... Cal Crutchlow is pulling into the pits. I was about


imagine that, frankly, but you imagine it would be a problem with


him. Are they going to change the front tyre? Something silly like a


puncture? They saw something was wrong. That is terrible luck. He


had pushed the boat out and he was running hard, running with the


hounds, even though he was fat. Spies will be seeing his pit board,


he will be seeing the time coming down and know he has got to pick up


the pace to take his first MotoGP win. He has been second, he has had


pole position, but he has never won. I think we have some news in the


tech three garage. Cal Crutchlow sitting in the corner, he is not


looking at the moment. They are pulling off the front tyre now. The


right shoulder of the front tyre is shredded. It is a dodgy tyre, they


are putting a new one on. Hopefully he can go back out. Cold comfort


but at least he will get some points. Absolutely but it will be a


long job, they have to take the steel discs off. It will be a long


process. The carbon discs, I beg your pardon. Something very strange


about that tyre. He has gone for the hard option and that is cold


tear. Are they going to put the softer option in? It is really


peculiar for that to happen. Unusual for Bridgestone to have a


faulty tyre. It was very much a cold tears situation. The reason


they are having to change the desks is that they are matched to the


brake pads and they have to go as one. They have had to put them on


the spare wheel, a new tyre going on, which would have been on the


tyre warmer. He will have to be careful, first-lap out. There are


points in the table, he will be in the points if he finishes the race.


The worst thing, he will have to regroup and refocus and get his


head around things. There is nothing worse than having your


concentration jarred and tried to convince yourself it is worth going


out. -- trying to convince yourself. Ben Spies has pulled away, that is


very impressive. He is two-tenths faster than Stoner. He is -- Jorge


Lorenzo is still battling away, putting in good times. Lorenzo is


passed Elias now, putting him up into eighth place. We watched the


disconsolate figure of Crutchlow inching his way back to join this


race, a couple of laps down. Lorenzo was coming up on Aoyama.


You don't need a lap board to work out the gap. Riding with Lorenzo,


Aoyama is just ahead of us, about to turn in. You have some more news


in the pit lane. Cal Crutchlow has gone back out onto the track. They


didn't change the rear tyre, it is still the same one. It was stood


there for a good 30 seconds to a minute, so that would have dropped


dramatically. Cal Crutchlow needs to take it steady over the next


couple of laps. Hopefully he will. There will be no dividend in


passing on. He will finish 14th no matter what, unless somebody else


hops off. That is Jorge Lorenzo. he gets past Aoyama, he will move


up into 7th, and it is only a matter of time. That looks like the


time. Lorenzo carries the speed through. Who is next up the road


from Aoyama? Quite a long journey to Nicky Hayden, the next target.


The bigger bets are further down the track. Bike number 11 is the


race leader. Ben Spies. He has got the hammer down in the last few


laps. He has got the fastest lap of the race so far. Very impressive,


the man from Memphis Tennessee. 26 years old, World Superbike champion.


A pretty good start from Ben Spies, he switched to the inside. He was


behind Jorge Lorenzo going in to turn one, then he cut back on the


inside. Yes, Simoncelli got off the line instantly very quickly. Then


it went sour for him. Great acceleration from Spies. Very much


so. Jorge Lorenzo was just there, then Spies cut back on the inside.


Getting the drive out of this number-one collided. Simoncelli is


past Hector Barbera. Our wonderful robust camera, maybe it has finally


died. Barbera is having a lacklustre season, you expected a


lot from him, he was one of the heart 250 charges. That was down


in this race, the lap times are relatively slow. The lap record is


held by Dani Pedrosa from last year, we are about a second offer of lap


record pace. But with track temperatures being so cold, last


year the track temperature was 40 degrees, today it is only 13.


Spies has put a lap on Akiyoshi. An extraordinary turn of events in


this class of racing, with 11 laps to go. Most certainly is. He still


has the 4.194 advantage, that is a pleasure to see, when you see your


pit board and you are extending your leave. You can see how much he


is sliding the Yamaha round. We said it would suit this track, it


has already -- always gone well around here. It is not only about


speed but change in direction, a lot to do with the fast sweeps


around the circuit. Stoner has got a comfortable gap over Dovizioso.


4.7 ahead, and 4.7 behind the race leader. Everybody, well and truly


gaps, having a lonely time. Rossi is behind Ben Spies. Colin Edwards


is right behind him, four seconds down the road from him. We have the


commentator's nightmare, a massively gap to field. We have.


Casey Stoner will pick up 20 points if he stays in that position.


that is smart. Ben Spies is in ninth place so he will not worry


him. Jorge Lorenzo is the closest, and then Dovizioso. He will


stretches advantage in this championship by the time we get to


next weekend, around eight. For anyone that has switched on, they


will be wondering what has gone wrong with Jorge Lorenzo so far


back. It all happened when Simoncelli crashed and took him out


with him, on the 4th corner. Ten laps remaining, Ben Spies, looking


like making history, by taking his first MotoGP race. It will be


frustrating for Ben Spies. It will be a delight, unbridled delight to


win a race. But it will be slightly frustrating for him... As we watch


the art of the man... That he did not beat Lorenzo on the track. He


was out-qualifying him, he was faster across the weekend and it


would have been slightly more emphatic. Fair point, but in


reality, he was in front of him when unfortunately, Jorge Lorenzo


got taken out. Anyway, a win is a win. It certainly is. We have dust


has some news from Karel Abraham's team. -- just had some news. They


are saying that a touch with Aoyama caused the crash and it looks like


a broken little finger. That is very painful and awkward but they


can strap it all up. I remember Barry Sheene having his job off


because it didn't work properly. will be lighter. You have got to


think about that. A broken finger will be extremely painful but I'm


sure he will be out racing again. He is having a good season, at


least until the date. Nicky Hayden has basically had the edge across


the weekend. -- until today. Spies is putting a lap on Barbera.


It is club racing, getting lapped at this level. I don't understand


what is happening to Barbera, he has faded from view this year.


guess you have to say, the Ducati has not suited him. It was better


last year, it is as if they have taken a backward step. We know how


much development is going on, or the work going on with Valentino


Rossi riding with Ducati and how much they are changing the bike. It


is pretty much unheard of, to turn up with a completely revamped bike


in round seven, particularly as we move to the new bikes for next year.


The budget that Ducati was working too would have been thrown out the


Nicky Hayden is in fifth, six seconds further back.


interesting thing and the thing that will cheer Ducati up, is quite


simply, the fact that Valentino Rossi's lapping as fast as we see


Casey Stoner leave a massive big black line out there. That rear


tyre has probably seen its best. Casey Stoner will not want to be


doing anything silly now with the to points he's has in the bag with


eight laps to go. If you are just joining us Simoncelli got tadge


tangled up and ran into Jorge Lorenzo. We lost kaib cane -- Karel


Abraham and Randy de Puniet in a crash. What is the shuffle there.


Your season seems to be going from bad to worse. What happened with


that last crash? I crash in exit to the first corner. I think I was a


bit wide on the border, and that's it, I am disappointed for me, for


the team, because we had the possibility to be in the top eight


this weekend, we improve a bit during the weekend, and we on a


good way, and that is why I am disappointed. But we need to


continue, to work and to hope next week will be a good weekend for us.


It is a Ducati track. And I like the Mugello and I will try to do a


good race. Now that is a problem for those guys, but it looks like


dove has one too. And stone, the front tyres look like they are


shred up. The close up shot we had of the two Repsol Hondas, the right


side of the tyre... It is important to recap the issue of tyres and


taerge -- alternative people had on tyres that was denied them. What


happened yesterday, a lot of the teams got together and they were


not impressed with the left tyre, the left side of the rare tyre


saying it wasn't getting up to temperature quick enough.


Bridgestone said they had a different tyre. They will give them


two tyres, any way they turned up and they had a soft and medium. But


it turns out they had a softer tyre but they hadn't put it into the


allocation at the start of the week. When the track temperature was so


cold they found another tyre, but Simoncelli said, no, I am happy


with the one I have got. I don't want a softer tyre. I bet he wishes


he has one now. It is orn nick, it seems as though word came from the


Simoncelli team, they did want to change the tyres. It has to be


every member of the teams and riders say it is OK if we change


the tyres. He didn't want to. was the pacesetter and the fastest


guy across the week. That is very much the case. We look at the 291.


That is in the fastest section into turn seven. We are at turn eight.


We are about to come up to turn eight as we turn right. Third gear


corner, and then will is a kink. The next corner we co-come up to,


this is where Stoner, and Andrea Dovizioso crashed out yesterday in


the first session, yesterday morning. Along, long right here.


Turn ten and 11. And ten turn 12 which is a skreerm. Look through


Yamaha, celebrating their 50th anniversary in Grand Prix racing,


new colour schemes, to take the win. I think they would have expected


that win to have come from Jorge Lorenzo but it isn't going to be


because he is down in seventh courtesy of Simoncelli, but


nevertheless they will take a win and they won't care who it is.


would be regarded by many as overdue for Ben Spies to knock off


a win here, he was regarded as the fifth alien you remember last year.


The leading guys in there, there are four then Simoncelli, add Ben


Spies to it. You would have to say that Ducati, I guess, the change of


of the system, the suspension system on the back, must be working,


or it is giving Valentino Rossi a place in front of Nicky Hayden.


Nicky Hayden is till on last year's, he will be frustrated as we look at


the two Tech 3 bikes, that was crutch's leg sticking out. -- Cal


Crutchlow. Made -- Nicky Hayden is supposed to get the suspension


system that Rossi has. As I said earlier on in the show, Rossi only


ha has three energies left now for the rest of the season, and if he


goes to more than that, that was the indent again as we saw


Simoncelli taking out lorn. If you have to use your seventh engine and


I am talking about this guy here, you have to start from the pit lane.


But I think one of the reasons that Nicky Hayden has not gone for this


system, because he would then have to go into new energies and he had


used four of his six, means he has two for the rest of the season.


That is probably one of the reason, look at that Lorenzo through on


Colin Edwards. So that shows you who is next down the road for


Lorenzo, getting up into sixth position. Which is a laudable


performance under the circumstances. Under the problems he has suffered.


Lorenzo is pushing very hard. He is lapping mighty quickly. A 35.7.


was about to say he is lapping faster than anyone on the track.


Now we are looking at 24, tell, last time round, Jorge Lorenzo with


35.788. So four tenths faster than the race leader. It shows you what


anger does. Simoncelli meanwhile, still back there in 11th place, but


I would say his bike was slightly more beaten up. Not only did he


crash on the ground it has a Yamaha sat on top as it was sliding along.


Toni Elias still having a difficult time although the record books will


show this will be a top ten finish. He is pushing the envelope. He has


finished in front of Alvaro Bautista. It is better than he has


been doing and as far as the Championship is concerned, those


two are battling it out for 14th and 15th place in the series, but


not a bad ride for Toni Elias. Back with Ben Spies coming over the line.


Four laps to go. Four laps to go for Ben Spies. This has been a bit


of time coming. He has shown so much speed. He has had 27 MotoGP


starts now, he has had three podiums. He has had a pole position


and his best result is 2nd place. He has been knocking on the door.


It has been coming for a long time. I uing think we thought it would


have come before this. His last pole position was Indianapolis last


year. He wasn't on pole today. If he gets the win he will forget ant


that, he will get over it. It will vault him ahead. Currently only


ninth in the Championship. He has had three races with where he has


not finished. And Spies piest the man we are look at, he was saying


he thought he could have gone faster but the lap he wanted to do,


the lap he thought he was going to, Capirossi pulled out. He had a


fantastic start. Wasn't first into turn one. Taking the iron sideline,


getting in front of Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo. And not mixed up


with the accident on that left hander at. So that is what the


points would look like. Casey Stoner picking up 20 points if he


finishes in second. Lorn, as you can see would hold on to second


place, but 28 points adrift of Casey Stoner, so Stoner easing up


that lead. It will help Spies but it won't affect anybody. Simoncelli


not really taking any prisoners there. Jamming in but nice move.


Nice and relatively clean. Didn't seem to upset Alvaro Bautista too


much. What is going on with that Suzuki for Simoncelli to crash and


still get past. They have struggled with not getting temperature. When


the track is so cold they don't seem to generate enough heat and


the big problem is now we have a controlled tyre, Bridgestone supply


the tires It won't suit every bike. For some reason it would like to


run softer tyres but you can only go as soft as softer option. You


nearly have to build a motorcycle to suit the tyres. So it is all


about working that out. Now, Ben Spies now coming round to... Finish


this race in what a majestic race it has been for him as well. Very


solid. Consistent all the the way through. I was going to say Casey


Stoner decided to settle for second but he never settles for anything


much. Even sew it is -- so, it is interest he has not been able to


come to terms with Spies spoist at all. He must be carrying some sort


of injury, from yesterday's crash, but don't take it away from Ben


Spies, he is riding very well. As we have discussed and talked about


yesterday in qualify, it is a good Yamaha track because it's a circuit


of fast direction change and it's a well behaved bike. Very much so. As


Valentino Rossi had a podium of course this year but not a bad


result for him, fourth place. mean, that is exactly right.


Useful.s for fourth. It will read like fourth place. But I would


remind you he is 24 seconds behind this guy here, Ben Spies, so the


highly clever boys in the Ducati team will know they have a bit on


yet. They have. Last lap and stone had been working this out. It is


handy 20 points for him. 16 for Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino


Rossi will keep place in the Championship with his fourth place


finish. Dani Pedrosa who was currently fifth is going to drop


back down behind Nicky Hayden. The talk is that Dani Pedrosa will be


back at Mugello next week. It has been a long time for him. That


accident an incident we had in Le Mans and he missed the British


Grand Prix, now missing Assen. the front it is Ben Spies. Champion


in AMA in America. World Superbike champion. This is an important one


to tick off the list. When he turned up in Europe having come


from AMA American charm champion and did something special. Didn't


mow the track. Generally a required has to learn the tracks but he came


ore, learned the track but he won the Championship and was an


absolute class act. Jumped straight into this. Went with Tech 3 Yamaha


and did a great job for them of course, finishing up sixth in the


Championship, straight into the factory team. So Lin Jarvis the


stone face of Lin Jarvis, still recovering from the fact that Jorge


Lorenzo was knocked off in the first lap, but this will ameliorate


matters none. Fantastic result His first win finally done at


absolutely brilliant. Casey Stoner getting across the line for very


valuable points in second place, and then right after him, Andrea


Dovizioso takes a podium, well earned, well raced. Across the line


That is fair enough too. Encouragement for the guys in


Ducati. Work to do but still fourth place for Valentino Rossi, and


fifth place for Nicky Hayden, so that won't hurt the Championship


hunt at all and Jorge Lorenzo after that amazing issue at the start,


still shaking his head because he is still cross, as is Mr Jarvis his


boss, he has come home in sixth place. Colin Edwards now just


finishing off the single file in seventh. And away they go, a hugely


gap field, we have 14 finish, one Cal Crutchlow who had that terrible


tyre problem gets himself across the line. Aoyama an unspectacular


eighth, and Simoncelli, where will he finish? It looks like a top ten


finish. It might be ninth. Yes, he gets in front of Toni Elias who has


had another lacklustre performance, it wasn't for this guy. Biestbiest


-- Ben Spies. This is his 28th rate. Race, he has finally done.


Congratulations from Valentino Rossi, acknowledging the enormous


achievement, of Ben Spies, who has had so much promise, has not really


troubled him in the Championship so much this year, he has had a


difficult year. But after last year where he showed he had the pace,


this race he has shown he can make Ben Spies always races with his mum,


not literally but she travels with him. Congratulations, how do you


feel, your son's first win in MotoGP? Nervous, had become a


really happy for the crew and for Ben. Fantastic, go and enjoy it.


He loses the tier at the front, it takes out Jorge Lorenzo. -- loses


the tyre. Did not trouble this guy, the tyre. Did not trouble this guy,


Fantastic victory for Ben Spies, what did you make of it? We had


been expecting it, we know what a brilliant rider he is. It has been


overdue. Absolutely faultless. He played it from the front, look at


his pit board and did everything he should have done. He has had a


really difficult first few rounds, for various reasons. It has been a


crash and bash, think she would not expect from him. He has had a bad


start to the season but I think his season has started properly here


today at Assen. A great way for Yamaha to celebrate their 50th


anniversary. I think they were expecting it to come from Jorge


Lorenzo but they will take it, and it is great to see those red and


white colours, after 50 years, still winning races. It will have


scared Casey Stoner, how well the Yamaha has gone. Casey Stoner,


probably the big winner, with Jorge Lorenzo being taken out. He has


edged further ahead. Yes, he just wanted those 20 points, it has


given him a lovely lead and he has just got to keep things together.


It looked like he had a front tyre issue as well. Paul Cal Crutchlow,


Paul he was aiming for a top five and it looked like a cold tear from


the Bridgestone. I am sure we will find out before we get to Mugello.


Simoncelli was his own worst enemy again. What is going to happen? Can


you imagine the rift as far as the Spanish and the Italians, Lorenzo


and Simoncelli? It was a mistake from Marco, he tipped it on, he


knew the cold tier would be an effect. He said he didn't want the


softer tyres so he has got a smack in the face. Take us through the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 59 seconds


Congratulations, your first MotoGP when, in front of all the legends,


with all the history here. There was a little pressure, I guess. I


could see what happened in the first turn and I had a really good


feeling on the warm-up laps. I wanted to go as far as I could in


the beginning. Once I saw I had a gap, I tried to be as consistent as


I could, tried to keep Casey Stoner at three-and-a-half, four seconds.


The bike worked great today. It was hard to lead by myself but I tried


to raise myself and my clock. -- race myself. To do it in front of


the Assen fans and the 50th anniversary, it is really special.


You can see a lot of pick up on those tyres. The motor O2 guys were


There were lots of marbles out there. If you look at the right


hand up shoulder on the front of the tier of Dovizioso, look at


Stoner's front tyre as well. Not as badly knocked about as Dovizioso's,


and it was good enough to put him into second place. A very important


point. Thanks. Everything has been going tough. For the race, we were


a bit disappointed because we did not get to test our setting. There


were if the conditions and there was no way to get a track time. It


worked better than we had during the weekend, but it still was not


quite there. Ben Page and marker had a pay side could not match. --


Ben and Marco had a place I could not match. I think even if I could


have caught up to Ben Spies, he would have had the advantage. I am


very happy with the result. It is something to keep us cheerful.


Thank you, congratulations. Very cheerful indeed, it has been proved


his point position. Jorge Lorenzo is back on 108 points, he has


opened up that gap. More than one race wins worth. He is 28 points in


front. Valentino Rossi, not hopelessly out of touch but on 81


points in fourth. Nicky Hayden, 71, in fifth. Ben Spies moves up to


seventh with 61 points from where He is a crestfallen a lad. Another


look at it, inside Lorenzo. He taps on the power, the bike takes


Lorenzo with him, everybody else sales surpassed -- sails past and


Ben Spies is given a useful lead. There is the view from Lorenzo, the


accident happened in front of him, it was one at present Simoncelli's


accident, took out Jorge Lorenzo -- it was 100% Simoncelli's accident.


Lorenzo will know there will be repercussions, he will not be on


anybody's Christmas card list. A big day for Honda, but a huge day


for Yamaha, winning against the odds. Very, very difficult. Honda


has shown itself to be the horsepower bike, the bike to beat.


Important to talk about Cal Crutchlow as well. He finished 14th,


still in the points. They had a very long pit stop. He was two laps


down by the end of it, but still in the points. Cal Crutchlow is 13th


Nevertheless, getting some useful A couple of technical problems for


Matt and Steve. Back into parc ferme. Watching the end of those


interviews, a couple of points for Cal Crutchlow. He was running with


the hounds, in spite of the collarbone injury. He was intact


and dicing with Valentino Rossi when he had to come in. -- he was


in touch. He gets a pittance of consolation points. Aoyama had a


useless race, really. Finished eighth, way off the pace. He will


be disappointed by that. Come back soon, Dani Pedrosa, you are not


kidding! Could do with the numbers on the grid apart from anything


else. Extraordinary scenes out there, Barbera getting lapped,


which is baffling. Akiyoshi, also getting lapped, not what you would


Excellent for the Yamaha team, with his 50th celebration, to be


knocking over a result like this. Dovizioso, this time last year, he


finished 5th. An improvement for him. He is third in the


championship. He has improved his contact with the guys at the front,


and given himself just a bit more of a gap over Valentino Rossi, who


will be breathing down his neck a little bit. That is also quite


useful. Ben Spies, on the top step of the podium, didn't think I would


be saying that. No, apologies to everybody that we did not get a


chance to speak to him, some technical problems. We will catch


up with him next week at the Italian Grand Prix in Italy. What a


day for Ben Spies and his whole family. Absolutely. We got to talk


to his mum and she was pretty pleased, she has been here all


season waiting for that. It was great for Yamaha, it has started


Ben Spies' season. Yamaha need some updates, they have got to get a bit


faster to keep up with Casey Stoner, but let's hope we can have a battle


for the championship. It is not looking like it, with Casey Stoner


on such fantastic form. Repsol Honda are leading the team


championship by a stretch as well and he is looking pretty


unstoppable. Things are not going the way of Jorge Lorenzo. It isn't.


Defending is often harder than winning in the first place. Some of


it, you can't blame him for. The crash at Silverstone, he was mad at


himself but he knew he had work cut out, with the speed of the Honda's.


Casey Stoner probably thought, let's keep finishing races, and he


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 59 seconds


The American national anthem sounds again here at Assen, just as it did


in 2006 when Nicky Hayden won the race, and he went on to take the


championship as well. Maybe this will be the first of many for Ben


Round 7 and the Championship is at Assen for the Dutch TT and one of the most exciting circuits in the calendar. With the mid-point of the season fast approaching, can Casey Stoner continue his dominant display after taking the Championship lead from Spain's Jorge Lorenzo last time out in Silverstone? And will Britain's own Cal Crutchlow be back on the grid after breaking his collarbone at his home grand prix?

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