News 26 Jun 2011

Spies scorches to first ever MotoGP victory at Assen's Dutch TT

American Ben Spies won his first ever MotoGP race on Saturday at Assen.

American Ben Spies won his first ever MotoGP race on Saturday at Assen.

American Ben Spies has won his maiden MotoGP World Championship race at Assen’s Dutch TT on Saturday.

Yamaha’s Spies, the 2009 Superbike World Champion, rode a perfect race to cross the line 7.697s ahead of Casey Stoner in second place.

“It was a strange race today as it was one of the most comfortable races we had and it resulted in a win,” Spies explained. “I saw the Simoncelli crash on the TV screen in the corner of my eye so I knew about it.

“I had a good feeling in the bike in the first couple of laps and had to push as much as I could to get a gap. When Casey was pushing back I still had a few tenths if I needed to, we could always match the pace.

“To do it this weekend with the 50th colours gives a little bit of pressure but it came out good! I was racing as hard as I could.

“I have to thank my guys – they gave me a great bike today. At least we’ve won a race now!”

The Texan had a good start, allowing him to narrowly avoid the drama of the first lap, when pole starter Italian Marco Simoncelli took out Spies’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo in the third corner.

Simoncelli had hoped to finally reach the podium in the Saturday race, but the Italian fell victim to a cold tyre early on.

Stoner led Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso to the finish, where the Italian claimed his third top three finish of the 2011 season.

Stoner is now 28 points ahead of Lorenzo in the championship while Dovizioso remains third, but is now only nine points behind the Spaniard.

The Ducati Team duo was lead across the finish line by Valentino Rossi in fourth and Nicky Hayden in fifth.

Lorenzo was able to rejoin the race and put his head down after the clash with Simoncelli to cross the line in sixth place.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards was seventh, in front of Dani Pedrosa’s stand-in Hiroshi Aoyama.

They were followed by Simoncelli in ninth, who rejoined the race after push starting his own motorcycle following the run in on the first lap.

Toni Elías of the LCR Honda team completed the top 10 finishers.

Cal Crutchlow exited the track with a front tyre problem, though re-entered the race to finish 14th.

Karel Abraham ended what was otherwise a good weekend for the Cardion AB Motoracing with a fall early in the race.

He was followed a short time later by Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), the fourth DNF of the season for the Frenchman. Both riders were unhurt in the falls.

Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) did not participate in the race due to injuries sustained in a fall during the qualifying session.

2011 MotoGP World Championship
Round Seven – Assen, Netherlands

MotoGP Results:
1. Ben SPIES 41:44.659
2. Casey STONER +7.697 seconds
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO +27.506
4. Valentino ROSSI +30.684
5. Nicky HAYDEN +43.172
6. Jorge LORENZO +44.536
7. Colin EDWARDS +68.112
8. Hiroshi AOYAMA +70.753
9. Marco SIMONCELLI +84.925
10. Toni ELIAS +86.216
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA +98.466
12. Hector BARBERA +1 lap
13. Kousuke AKIYOSHI +1 lap
14. Cal CRUTCHLOW +2 laps