Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Rossi powers to victory in Dutch GP


Valentino Rossi of Italy, front, leads from Casey Stoner of Australia, during the the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen, the Netherlands, on Saturday.


Valentino Rossi powered past 10 other riders on Saturday to win the Dutch Grand Prix, ahead of MotoGP championship leader Casey Stoner.

Last year's winner and reigning world champion, Nicky Hayden of the US, was third.

Rossi, the five-time champion, started 11th on the grid and immediately started passing other riders on his Yamaha as Stoner, who started on the front row of the grid, quickly built a lead.

With 15 laps of the 4.555km Assen track to go, Rossi passed John Hopkins to take second place and start pressing Stoner, who has won five races this season.

Rossi sat on the rear wheel of Stoner's Ducati for 12 laps before making his move with just over three to go. He cut inside Stoner going into the final chicane and powered away to lead by nearly a second on the next lap.

Stoner, who crashed in the warmup earlier on Saturday, never got close enough to challenge Rossi and looked content to settle for second place.

Chris Vermeulen, who started on pole position on a rain-slicked track in Friday's qualifying, could not keep up in dry conditions and crashed with Randy de Puniet midway through the race.

Vermeulen managed to steer his bike out of the gravel trap and came last, while De Puniet's race finished early for the fourth time this season.

In the 250cc race, world champion Jorge Lorenzo won on his Aprilia. The Spaniard's sixth win of the season boosted his lead in the standings to 18 points. Alex de Angelis was second and Alvaro Bautista third.

In the 125cc race, Mattia Pasini led from the start to win by six seconds. It was the Italian's second straight victory after last week's Donington triumph. Championship leader Hector Faubel was second and Gabor Talmasci was third.

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