Casey Stoner said he settled for a finish in the Dutch Grand Prix as soon as he saw that main title rival Jorge Lorenzo had been involved in a collision. Lorenzo could only finish sixth after he was taken down by Marco Simoncelli on the first lap of the Assen race. Stoner ultimately took second, despite a bad start.
"I got off the lead and slipped the clutch pretty badly, so I absolutely blew the start," he said. "I went into Turn 1 and was just scared of getting taken out myself. I was trying to get through as quickly as I could, and as I went into the first left-hander and saw Jorge and Marco go down, and knew that from that minute on, I had to finish the race, no matter what.
"We weren't going to go through the effort of the last three weekends just to lose it again today."
Stoner would eventually pass his Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for second, and briefly pushed to catch runaway leader Ben Spies, but admitted half his mind had been on scoring good points.
"I tried to do the best I could, tried to stay as safe as possible and warm that left side of the tyre up," said Stoner. "But even by the time I caught up to Andrea, Ben was gone.
"He'd taken every advantage of that mishap and pulled a massive gap on the first two laps. I tried to pull that back. Once I got comfortable I started gaining a little bit of time, but it was hard with something in the back of your mind telling you 'don't push.'
"My hat's off to Ben – he did an awesome job today, and all weekend to be honest. It was going to be tough to beat him no matter what."