At A-Style TT Assen
Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi emerged on top after another great battle with World Championship rival Casey Stoner this afternoon in a superb MotoGP race at the A-Style TT Assen.
The ninth round of the World Championship saw The Doctor come from
11th on the Assen grid to take victory over Ducati Marlboro's Stoner by just under two seconds and reduce the deficit at the top of the standings.
However, Stoner also had a good race and would have settled for a 21 point World Championship lead at the half way stage of the season had it been offered to him before the first race of the year in Qatar.
World Champion Nicky Hayden demonstrated that he really has finally found a comfortable race set-up for his Honda 800cc RC212V with a superb performance to finish third and earn the first podium of his title defence season, despite starting in 13th on the grid.
Hayden held off his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for that podium position, the Spaniard finishing fourth, just ahead of Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins (fifth) and Colin Edwards (sixth).
It was a disastrous afternoon for Kawasaki Racing's Randy de Puniet who dropped from third to 11th on first lap and then took out Suzuki's pole man Chris Vermuelen as the pair collided on lap 12 to immediately end the Frenchman's race – Vermeulen remounting to finish last in 16th place and sadly miss out on the points.
Pramac d'Antin colleagues Alex Barros and Alex Hofmann were seventh and eighth respectively, while another solid effort from Kawasaki newcomer Anthony West brought him home ninth - with Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda) rounding off the top ten.
DORNA / CAPSIS International