Jorge going for Stoner's record

2012-06-29 10:44

ASSEN, Netherlands - Jorge Lorenzo will line up for the Dutch MotoGP aiming to succeed where Casey Stoner failed by making it four wins on the bounce.

Stoner turned up at Assen 12 months earlier as the rider in form but missed out when beaten by Ben Spies in the only race of the season to be held on a Saturday.

One year on and Lorenzo, level with Stoner on 42 wins, is the man to beat after Yamaha's Spanish ace reeled off wins in France, Catalunya and Silverstone. That run of form has left the man from Mallorca at the top of the riders' standings on 140 points, 25 clear of Honda's defending World champion Stoner.


Since Stoner's solitary win at Assen in 2008 it has been all Yamaha: Valentino Rossi in 2009, Lorenzo a year later and then Spies, the American's first and to date his sole success in MotoGP.

"The place of your first GP win will always be unique," the Texan said, struggling this season in 11th in the overall standings. "We've had a tough start to the year but have made good steps forward. I'm confident we can step up and be fighting for the podium this weekend."

Lorenzo, who signed a new two-year contract with Yamaha before Silverstone, is looking forward to Holland, where he's won in all three divisions.

"Assen with Brno are the tracks where I've enjoyed most success," the Spaniard said. "Assen is good for our bike and it suits my riding style so let's see what happens. Our target remains to be on the podium each race and if possible to win."

The race will be Stoner's farewell to Assen after shocking the MotoGP grid by promising his retirement at the end of the 2012 season, after the French GP.

He will want to go one better than in 2011 when he competed despite a serious fall during practice on the eve of the race.


"We've had some great results in Assen but also some pretty bad ones so I hope we can go there this weekend, be competitive and avoid any injury like in 2011 when I hurt my neck, which followed us for the season and still causes me problems."

Assen, Round 7 of the 2012 season, has one of the shortest straights on the MotoGP calendar. Stoner said: "You spend a lot of the time on the edge of the tyre and unfortunately on our bike at the moment this is a weak point.

"We will need to work on Thursday and Friday to improve before we can consider ourselves competitive there.

"With three races back to back, it's important to get some good results at Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello - we need to remain focused."


Combined free practice results after the third and final session here Friday ahead of Saturday's Dutch motorcycling Grand Prix:

1 Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 1min34.522
2 Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) +0.161s
3 Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Honda) +0.224
4 Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) +0.344
5 Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) +0.350
6 Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) +0.446
7 Casey Stoner (AUS/Honda) +0.659
8 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Yamaha) +0.728
9 Valentino Rossi (ITA/Ducati) +0.774
10 Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) +0.776
11 Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) +0.815
12 Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) +2.093

1 Maverick Vinales (ESP/FTR Honda) 1min44.312
2 Danny Kent (KTM) +0.046
3 Alex Rins (ESP/Suter Honda) +0.683
4 Niccolo Antonelli (ITA/FTR +0.717
5 Miguel Oliveira (POR/Suter Honda) +0.737
6 Alberto Moncayo (ESP/Kalex KTM) +0.765

Results from Thursday's two practice sessions for the Dutch MotoGP

1 Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) 1min34.866
2 Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) +0.006
3 Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) +0.102
4 Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Honda) +0.142
5 Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) +0.191
6 Dani Pedrosa (Honda) +0.214
7 Casey Stoner (AUS/Honda) +0.315
8 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Yamaha) +0.391
9 Valentino Rossi (ITA/Ducati) +0.430
10 Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) +0.432

1 Pol Espargaro (ESP/Kalex) 1min38.421
2 Andrea Iannone (ITA/Speed Up) +0.147
3 Dominique Aegerter (SUI/Suter) +0.451
4 Marc Marquez (ESP/Suter) +0.642
5 Johann Zarco (FRA/Motobi) +0.709
6 Claudio Corti (ITA/Kalex) +0.727

1 Maverick Vinales (ESP/FTR Honda) 1min44.312
2 Miguel Oliveira (POR/Suter Honda) +0.737
3 Niklas Ajo (FIN/KTM) +0.987
4 Sandro Cortese (GER/KTM) +0.994
5 Luis Salom (ESP/Kalex KTM) +1.168
6 Alan Techer (FRA/TSR Honda) +1.192