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02/07/2012 AFTER ASSEN 30 JUNE


by Nico Cereghini

Jorge Lorenzo's run of successes not only came to a halt but was actually demolished when he was knocked down by Bautista, who definitely took a long entry into the first curve of the Dutch Grand Prix. The world leader was consumed by anger: not even one of the 25 points he had over Stoner remains, and the two riders have an even score. The seventh race of MotoGP 2012 gave a new boost to Casey Stoner's chances. Even if he took a heavy fall during the pre-race practice and was evidently walking with a limp, he cut Dani Pedrosa down to size once more, unable as he is to win even on a friendly track. The race clearly emphasised Andrea Dovizioso's progress, taking him to the standing as number one Yamaha rider and back onto the podium. Behind Spies, in fourth place, was a total void. Stefan Bradl, brilliant during the practice and who started well, unfortunately fell back during the first part of the race. It could have been a fairly good race for the Ducati, but it all went wrong. Valentino had to make a pit stop to change his defective rear tyre that had broken into pieces, and completed the race thirteenth. Nicky Hayden who started the race close to Valentino, finished in sixth place in front of Barbera, 31 seconds after Stoner. Michele Pirro, Mattia Pasini and Danilo Petrucci made a good showing, respectively finishing ninth, tenth and eleventh place on a track that penalized the CRTs a little less than usual.


And the three Italian riders gave it their all. The other two races were even more spectacular. In Moto 3 Niccolò Antonelli gave a false illusion when he sprinted from the front row with the third best time. Then he got entangled at the tail end of the group of leaders, lost ground, recovered once again and then took a spill. Four riders gave it their best shot and Vinalles won easily, outdistancing Cortese, Kent and Salom, all enclosed in only twelve thousandths of a second. It was an extraordinary photo finish. Romano Fenati placed twelfth.


It was a sensational race for Andrea Iannone in Moto 2. He ran alone in the lead of the race, leaving everyone behind to wrestle it out and appeared to be the strongest. A number of falls took away Luthi first, then Pol Espargaro (when he was leader of the race at the onset), and then even Simone Corsi who was going fast. The usual Marquez, astride his bike of superior performance, emerged from the group in the final race. He caught up with Andrea and following a lively duel and a few close contacts, completed the last lap to win with four tenths of advantage. Redding took third place ahead of Rabat, De Angelis with the new, just fitted frame, and then Smith.


The next race is in a week, in Germany.