Monday 25 June 2012
2012 IVECO TT ASSEN
ROUND SEVEN 2012 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY JUNE 30
CRUTCHLOW’S CRUSADE TO THE CATHEDRAL
Cal Crutchlow’s MotoGP crusade continues at the Cathedral of motorcycle sport, the TT circuit at Assen in Holland on Saturday. For the 64th time on the last Saturday of June the world famous circuit stages the Dutch round of the World Championship and this year the Iveco Dutch TT is the seventh round of the 18 round MotoGP™ World Championship.
Isle of Man-based Midlander Crutchlow fought through the pain barrier and confounded the medical authorities by finishing sixth at the previous round at Silverstone riding with a broken and dislocated left ankle sustained in a practice crash 24 hours earlier. The Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha rider moved back into fourth place in the Championship in front of his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso who crashed out. Crutchlow has been receiving extensive treatment on the injured ankle back in the Isle of Man before travelling to Assen to compete in the 28 lap race round the 2.822 mile circuit near Groningen in the North of Holland.
Cumbrian James Ellison picked up more points after finishing 14th at Silverstone on the Paul Bird Motorsport ART machine. He returns to Assen in fourth place in the CRT category with chances of improving with three grands prix on the next three weekends.
Gloucestershire teenager Scott Redding shared the headlines with Crutchlow after Silverstone. The Marc VDS rider finished a brilliant second in the Moto2™ race after a titanic last bend fight with Championship leader Marc Marquez. It was his second podium of the season and he needs to continue the podium finishes to close on the leaders from his fifth place in the Championship.
Twenty one year old Oxfordshire rider Bradley Smith finished third in the Assen Moto2 race last year and the 2009 125 cc race. Riding the Tech 3 Mistral machine he led for the first few laps at Silverstone to eventually finish seventh after a tremendous last lap scrap with Tom Luthi. It was his best result of the season and hopes to make further improvements on Saturday while Londoner Gino Rea looks for a points scoring ride on the Federal Oil Gresini machine after a disappointing race at Silverstone.
Eighteen year old Wiltshire rider Danny Kent looks to at least match his sixth place at Silverstone on the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 machine. It was his best result of the season and he has a great chance to climb from his 14th place in the Championship. It’s been a nightmare season for the experienced Danny Webb in the same class. The Kent-based rider has yet to score any championships points as the Indian Mahindra team struggle for reliability in the very competitive class.
“If they pass me fit at Silverstone, they’ve got to pass me fit at the next race unless I have an operation – and I won’t be having an operation. The doctors said they could operate and put a pin in it but the guy who I saw on the Saturday, who is an ankle specialist, said it would make it worse. The doctors told me I was not allowed to put any weight on my foot for eight to 10 weeks but me being a typical motorcycle rider, that’s eight to 10 hours. I ride motorcycles for a living. The bone is quite badly broken on the inside. I’ve fractured the inside of my ankle and I dislocated it. I’ve got to rest up, let the healing process do what it can and aim to come back stronger in Assen. The Silverstone result gives me confidence because I was as fast as the guys in front and matching Jorge Lorenzo. The positive thing for me is that I was running at a consistent pace when out in clear air, which is something we’ve struggled with since last year so that’s encouraging for the future.”
STONER NEEDS ASSEN VICTORY
World Champion Casey Stoner needs to get back to winning ways at Assen on Saturday to prevent Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo running away with the 2012 title chase. Lorenzo riding the factory Yamaha has won the last three races to build up a 25 point lead over the Australian who has been dogged with tyre and chattering problems on the Repsol Honda.
Both have premier class victories at the 2.822 miles TT circuit with Lorenzo also a winner in both 250 and 125 cc classes. It promises to be a close fought 28 lap encounter between the two World Champions. Last year Lorenzo’s Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies secured his one and only MotoGP victory and how the American needs a repeat or at least a podium finish as he fights to keep his place in the factory team.
Stoner’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa has made a solid start to the season but needs to step up to fight for wins to push on from his third place in the Championship. The Spaniard has only been off the podium once this season and is a former 125 cc winner at Assen.
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team-mates Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso are separated by six points in their battle for fourth. Dovizioso crashed out of the last round at Silverstone while Crutchlow was a brilliant sixth, riding with a fractured left ankle. It’s even closer behind them with seven times Assen winner Valentino Rossi tied on points with San Carlo Gresini rider Honda rider Alvaro Bautista, a 250cc Assen winner, in sixth place. Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl has made a good start to his MotoGP career on the LCR Honda and leads former World Champion Nicky Hayden by a couple of points. The American Ducati rider won his only grand prix outside America with a last bend victory over countryman Colin Edwards in 2006 riding the Repsol Honda. Karel Abraham returns to the action on the Cardion AB Ducati after missing Silverstone with a hand injury.
Spaniard Aleix Espargaro leads the CRT category from his Power Electronics Aspar team-mate Randy De Puniet.The pair come up against some experienced Assen competitors. Italian Mattia Pasini may be having a tough season on the Speed Master ART machine but was a 125 cc winner five years ago while veteran Edwards was desperately unlucky not to win the MotoGP race a year earlier.
With the outcome of the appeal by Pol Espargaro’s Pons 40 HP Tuenti team against the re-instating of Marc Marquez’s third place in Barcelona still to be heard, the Moto 2™ World Championship is packed with intrigue and great racing. Last year’s Moto2 and the year before 125 cc winner Marquez grabbed the lead in the Championship after finishing third behind Espargaro and Scott Redding in Silverstone. The in form Espargaro shares second place with former leader Tom Luthi, who could only finish eighth at Silverstone, just six points adrift of Marquez with 2010 winner Andrea Iannone fourth in front of the Marc VDS pair of Redding and Mika Kallio.
Another Spaniard and Assen winner last year took over the lead in the Moto3™ World Championship. Seventeen year old Maverick Vinales, riding the Blusens Avintia FTR Honda, won at Silverstone to lead German Sandro Cortese by just two points, in what is turning into a two rider head to head confrontation for the Championship. Luis Salom in third place chases that elusive first grand prix win after two second places, including Silverstone, while 16 year old Romano Fenati in fourth place makes his Assen debut.
ASSEN FACTS AND FIGURES
THE ONLY SURVIVER
The Assen TT circuit is the only survivor from the original inaugural 1949 World Championship calendar. Motorcycle racing started on the roads surrounding the Dutch City of Assen in northern Holland in 1925 and has continued ever since apart from a break in the Second World War.
The circuit has changed considerably over the last 87 years from the long road circuit to the current 2.82 configuration. However, some of the old bends remain and the circuit is still known as the Cathedral of grand prix motorcycle racing.
Circuit Length: 4.542 kms
Width: 14 m
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 487m
Left Corners: Six
Right Corners: Twelve
Pole Position Record:
BBC/BRITISH EUROSPORT 2
Friday 29 June
1150 – 1505 BBC Red Button & British Eurosport 2 – Live Qualifying
Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2
Sunday 30 June
0950 – 1400 BBC Red Button Live Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP race
0945 – 1225 British Eurosport 2 Live Moto3 and Moto2 races
Nick will be available at the circuit from Wednesday lunchtime until Saturday night. Please note Nick will not be available to answer the phone during qualifying or the races.
Media Office Tel No: +31 592380375
A time schedule for the event is attached
Crutchlow has received extensive treatment on his ankle for this weekend’s race
Redding will be aiming to go one better this weekend