Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies took his first-ever MotoGp win at Assen on Saturday coinciding with the Japanese manufacturer’s 50th anniversary celebration of Grand Prix racing competition.
Spies’ team-mate Jorge Lorenzo however, was not in a celebratory mood after the race, calling for Honda’s Marco Simoncelli to be suspended. The controversy plagued young Italian rider, who won his fourth pole position of the season at Assen but has yet to stand on the podium, went down on turn three of the opening lap and took the defending champion with him. Both riders were able to remount and finish the race, Lorenzo sixth and Simoncelli ninth, but the incident allowed Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner to ride to a relaxed second place finish and to stretch his championship lead over an angry Lorenzo to 28 points.
Stoner’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso took the final podium spot maintaining his position of third overall, ahead of Valentino Rossi who finished the day in fourth position aboard Ducati’s newly revised Desmosedici GP11.1, while Rossi’s team-mate Nicky Hayden rounded out the top five.
After the race, Lorenzo was once again openly critical of Simoncelli’s race manners.
“Sure he didn’t mean to bring me down but he doesn’t appear to think about things much,” said Lorenzo during an interview with Spain’s RTE television.
“I thought he had learned from the controversies he’s caused in the past but obviously not. He’s as careless as ever. It’s lucky that I wasn’t hurt, I’m okay and could get a few points in the end. I really think that if he doesn’t change his attitude he will hurt more riders in the future. If I was on the safety commission I would take away his licence for several races but I’m just a rider and have no say in the matter.”
Simoncelli has already been called before the racing commission once this season and reprimanded for a clash with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa during the Le Mans race that has sidelined the Spaniard for three races now and ruined his chances at a title.
San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Hiroshi Aoyama took over Pedrosa’s factory Honda ride at Assen and placed eighth.
Simoncelli’s take on his most recent crash controversy was this:
“[T]he truth is that I was very naive. It was the first left hander, the asphalt was cold and, although I don’t think that I went in too hard to get past Lorenzo, I felt that I couldn’t hold back because I was third and close to the front two. There was time though, and I could have waited. I am unhappy to have caught Lorenzo up in my crash and can only apologize to him. The only consolation, small as it is, is that I was able to pick the bike up and finish the race and put down some good times despite having parts and pegs missing from the bike and the back of my helmet digging in.”
The next race takes place Mugello in Italy on July, 3.
2011 Assen MotoGP Race Results
1 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing
2 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda +7.697
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda +27.506
4 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati +30.684
5 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati +43.172
6 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing +44.536
7 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1’08.112
8 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Repsol Honda +1’10.753
9 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini +1’24.925
10 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP +1’26.216
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +1’38.466
12 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar 1 Lap
13 Kousuke AKIYOSHI JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 1 Lap
14 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2 Laps
14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team 25 Laps
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 0 Lap
2011 MotoGP Championship Standing
1 Casey STONER 136
2 Jorge LORENZO 108
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 99
4 Valentino ROSSI 81
5 Nicky HAYDEN 71
6 Dani PEDROSA 61
7 Ben SPIES 61
8 Hiroshi AOYAMA 51
9 Colin EDWARDS 46
10 Marco SIMONCELLI 39
11 Hector BARBERA 35
12 Toni ELIAS 34
13 Karel ABRAHAM 33
14 Cal CRUTCHLOW 32
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA 27
16 Loris CAPIROSSI 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET 10
18 John HOPKINS 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI 3