Dutch TT – Rossi chases down Stoner for victory
In the 2007 Dutch TT, the race started as a lot of them had this year. Casey Stoner (Ducati) blasted off to create a large lead which looked to be unsurmountable by the other racers. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) however forgot to read the script and was out to reassert his dominance in the MotoGP paddock.
Stoner, who qualified next to compatriot Chris Vermeulen in second place, rocketed to the lead from the start and quickly established a lead over the rest of the pack. Rossi who started well down the grid on 11th was the predator to Stoner the prey.
The Ducati had obviously made a softer choice of front tyres, with the Yamaha set up going for a medium compound, and this was a telling fact at the end of the race. It took Rossi quite a number of laps to get comfortable on the bike and that was when he began to shine.
Stoner lead for 22 of the 26 lap race, but he freely admitted after the race that he was able to see the Italians run through the pack on the large TV screens around the track. Rossi was on a mission and deserved the victory. After the race he himself admitted to a confidence problem, in an admission I would have never expected Rossi to make, he stated that he had to convince himself that he could beat the young Australian. I
n other results, once again the pole sitter did not win the race, creating somewhat of a hoodoo for superstitious racers in the field. Unfortunately for Vermeulen he was collected by Kawasaki’s De Puniet whilst in 7th place. He recovered to claim 16th.
Good news however for Kawasaki’s other rider, Ant West, who claimed a top 10 finish. This result hopefully bodes well for his dream of getting a full time MotoGP ride in 2008.
Good news also for Honda’s Nicky Hayden. The 2007 champion recovered from a poor final qualifying to claim a podium place, in 3rd position. It was a great result for the American and I for one was glad to see him get a result he thoroughly deserved. Unbelievably it was his first podium for 2008. All weekend he hadn’t been lower than 3rd in the results and was bitterly disappointed to qualify in 13th.
Stoner now leads the championship on 185 points, with Rossi on 164. With the series now in its second half, I look forward to more exciting racing.
The top ten race results were:
1st – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2nd – Casey Stoner (Ducati)
3rd – Hayden (Honda)
4th – Pedrosa (Honda)
5th– Hopkins (Suzuki)
6th – Edwards (Yamaha)
7th – Barros (Ducati)
8th – Hofmann (Ducati)
9th – West (Kawasaki)
10th – Melandri (Honda)