Assen MotoGP: Well done Stoner, unlucky day for Lorenzo but shows tough resolve - 28/06/2011

t's been a tough weekend for our riders; bad weather, Stoner’s slip in Friday morning free practice  and Lorenzo’s misfortune in the race. In third and fourth position at the end of qualifying, both our riders were not very confident for the race due to grip problems. On the grid there were moments of suspense with indecision on tyres, shock absorbers and springs as the weather changed again before the start. Once underway, only seconds into the race on the fifth curve, “bang”, an incident that saw Simoncelli fall and bring our blameless Lorenzo down with him. Lorenzo promptly got up and carried on with his race but unfortunately this put him well down from the front runners who by this time were far away. The race finished with Stoner in second place, a position he held onto until the end despite the pain of Friday’s slip, and a memorable race for Lorenzo who gained pace lap after lap and finished in a courageous 6th place.

"Today we would have liked to challenge for the win, but the way this weekend has gone for us I'm really very happy for a podium finish and to take some valuable points. Yesterday we weren't happy with the bike the set-up, so today we made some changes and tried to get some more feeling, but unfortunately in the warm-up we didn't get a proper chance to try it, which meant we started the race with a set-up we didn't really know. After the crash yesterday I'm a little bit sore. In the middle part of the race I started to have some problems in the left hand corners with the shoulder, but in general we knew we didn't really have the pace to stay with Ben (Spies). I tried everything possible to catch him, but he was able to retain the advantage and start to pull some more, so my congratulations to Ben, he rode a great race, but for us it was just important to get points today.”

“Of course Simoncelli doesn’t want to throw me off the track, that wasn’t his intention but I think he is not very conscious about the risks in this class with these tyres. I thought he learnt from the past and the polemic he created with Dani but it’s clear he hasn’t learnt. The good thing is that we finished in sixth and took some points. I was fast with a good pace. The championship is now more difficult so we have to go all out to win races and go fast. We are making changes to the bike that are making it better with stability to brake harder and deeper so I think we can go to Mugello and be more competitive like Ben demonstrated today. I want to say a big congratulations to him for his first GP win and also thank you to all my guys who again worked really hard all weekend to give me a competitive bike.”

Stoner remains in first place in the championship with 136 and Lorenzo is second with 108.
Next race at Mugello on July 3.

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