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GP Week : Issue 160
By the end the difference was almost five seconds, the two remaining Hondas comfortably clear. Stoner was sporting. “You never want to take back championship points when you know the crash was none of his fault. Hopefully he can get his own back and the championship ends up the way it should have been,” he said. A similar sustained battle for third provided a smattering more entertainment for a crowd of 90,248, already sated by all-action Moto2 and Moto3 races. Spies had looked comfortable, even when Dovizioso did get ahead for four laps from eight to 12, though “the bike felt different from practice” . He’d reversed the positions and was holding a second advantage when rear tyre problems got more serious and Dovi closed again. Then, with three laps to go, “a second chunk flew off and hit my leg. I just wanted Andrea to come past me then. I thought if the tyre came apart he’d hit me. The last two laps I was scared as hell. The bike was shaking and trying to come round.” Dovi did get by on the last lap for a second rostrum of the year. “The battle with Ben was good, then he really pushed hard. Then I could see he had a problem with his rear tyre ... the podium is really important for us.” Crutchlow came through to fifth, taking much of the race to pass a trio of Ducatis, Hayden heading team-mate Rossi and Hector Barbera. Then Rossi suddenly slowed, pitting next time round to replace his own badly chunked rear tyre. Hayden hung on to a solid sixth, Barbera trailing by the end. Randy de Puniet won the CRT battle after Power Electronics team-mate Aleix Espargaro crashed out. Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda) was close throughout. Mattia Pasini (Speed Master ART) was a lone tenth. Rossi wasn’t last in spite of a pit stop; he pipped last finisher James Ellison (PBM ART) for 13th by two thousandths of a second. Lorenzo and Stoner are equal on 140 points apiece; Pedrosa in touch on 121, Crutchlow and team-mate/rival Dovizioso news on 77 and 76. “You never want to take back championship points when you know the crash was none of his fault. Hopefully he can get his own back and the championship ends up the way it should have been,” STONER 23 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> ASSEN