Australian Casey Stoner was handed an easy win in today's Assen MotoGP encounter as title rival Jorge Lorenzo was wiped out by an errant Alvaro Bautista going into the first turn on lap one.
Bautista came from the third row, sprinted down the inside of the front runners but couldn't get it anchored up, lost the front into Haarbocht and took Lorenzo with him. The crash also forced Cal Crutchlow wide and ruined any chance of the Briton taking his first podium.
It was disaster too for Valentino Rossi. Both works Ducati riders were forced to take the hard tyre and, after a bright start, The Doctor slowly slid backwards as his grip fell off a cliff. He pitted in with ten laps to go, changed to a soft and then re-joined, finishing a lap down but he collected a smattering of championship points after passing James Ellison for 13th place.
At the sharp end, Dani Pedrosa led Stoner until lap 16 as the reigning champion sat behind his team-mate. When that novelty wore off, the champion got the hammer down, passing Pedrosa through Hogheide and cleared off to the tune of three seconds when the chequered flag came out. It means Stoner and Lorenzo are equal on points but Lorenzo remains in the lead on countback as he has been victorious one more time.
The scrap for third looked to be settled as Ben Spies had pulled a gap on Andrea Dovizioso at middle distance but the Monster Yamaha man wasn't done, reeling the works YZR-M1 in and did his chances of a promotion back into a factory team by going past the American over start/finish on the last lap and gapping him by three seconds at the line.
Crutchlow, meanwhile, had a hell of a job getting past Hector Barbera when he got back on the track but did so and then set about Rossi and Nicky Hayden. He dispatched the nine-time champion with relative ease and then passed the Kentucky Kid with 12 laps to go, stretching his advantage to ten seconds at the finish.
Randy De Puniet was the top CRT man in ninth after his team-mate Aleix Espargaro went out at half-distance. He was followed home by Michele Pirro and Mattia Pasini with Ellison taking the final two points as only 14 bikes finished. Stefan Bradl lobbed it out of fourth on lap two and Colin Edwards retired on lap six.