Jorge Lorenzo consolidated his MotoGP championship lead with an accomplished victory in the Dutch TT, his fourth win in six races ensuring that he is now 47 points clear of Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard remained in control throughout the 27 lap race at Assen, but he was at least made to work harder for this win than he was at Silverstone six days ago. This time Pedrosa kept the Yamaha within his HUD for much of the race.
Lorenzo made an excellent start to lead from the off, with a fast-starting Ben Spies second and Pedrosa, who got a typically lightening launch, third. The championship leader then enjoyed two laps grace to build a second's worth of space before Pedrosa made a brave move down the inside of the Texan on lap three to go second.
That apparently threw Spies off balance, because very quickly Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso were both past in to third and fourth. Pedrosa immediately began to lap very quickly on the softer tire, and by lap six the HRC was binded to the rear tire of the leader, Stoner following not close behind. And this was where Lorenzo won the race.
Having absorbed several laps of pressure, he waited patiently for his hard rear tyre to come on song, and then unleashed a six-lap spell of laps in the 1m34s bracket. Pedrosa simply couldn't match that on the medium option.
Pedrosa fell back for a while in to the clutches of Stoner, before stabilising his position, but in the end he was 2.9sec behind Lorenzo, who has now won at Assen in all three championship classes.
Stoner finished a disappointed and distant third, 4s behind Pedrosa, having struggled in the closing laps with arm pump, just as he had in Silverstone.
Spies got back past an inconsistent Dovizioso, who dropped to sixth before mounting a resurgence and engaged in a massive scrap with Randy de Puniet. The pair swapped positions no less than five times in the last lap and a half, and it was the Frenchman that was left to punch his bubble screen in frustration across the line.
Nicky Hayden was nowhere in seventh, having been initially held up by Marco Simoncelli, and once past couldn't close on the riders in front. He did however keep Colin Edwards at bay. Simoncelli rallied to ninth after an intense dice with Aleix Espargaro who finished 10th.
Mika Kallio was 11th ahead of Hector Barbera and the Suzukis of Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista. Kousuke Akiyoshi finished last, but did at least ensure there were no retirements.
Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 41m18.629s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 2.935s
3. Casey Stoner Ducati + 7.022s
4. Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha + 13.265s
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 15.323s
6. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 15.772s
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 25.867s
8. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 28.991s
9. Marco Simoncello Gresini Honda + 35.658s
10. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati + 35.837s
11. Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati + 56.769s
12. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 56.890s
13 Loris Capirossi Suzuki + 1m00.615s
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 1m08.074s
15 Kousuke Akiyoshi Interwetten Honda + 1 lap
Marco Melandri Gresini Honda -