Valentino Rossi has branded himself a dickhead after the first-lap crash that handed Casey Stoner a world championship lifeline at Assen. The Italian, who lost the rear at turn three and skittled Randy De Puniet in the process, allowed Stoner to take his second successive win and close the points gap to 25 points or one win. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the overall lead in the championship.
Marco Melandri could well be on his way to Kawasaki earlier than expected after another dismal performance at Assen. He apparently wants to be released just half a season his two-year contract even though Ducati want him to ride at the next two rounds to assess his form further.
Nicky Hayden’s last lap fuel shortage was caused by a faulty electronic calculator which failed to monitor his fuel consumption properly. Usually, an automatic system will lean off the engine so the Honda has enough fuel to finish a race.
Ducati have denied they have done a deal to take Hayden off Honda’s hands in 2009 even though rumours at the Dutch TT of meetings between the American and team boss Livio Suppo were more than strong.
Ben Spies turned down a last-minute ride to replace the injured Loris Capirossi. The 23-year-old AMA Champion was apparently offered the seat when the Italian crashed heavily. But Spies is reported to have said that he didn’t want another ride on a track he didn’t know and hamper any chances of a MotoGP deal for 2009.
Scott Redding’s hopes of further success were dashed after his Blusens Aprilia broke a powervalve and he was unable to make it to the grid for the restarted 125cc race. Compatriot Bradley Smith, who was miles in front until he became the first rider to find the rain, and was then beaten to third in a five-lap sprint to the end.