Assen MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso slowed by front-end issue

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Andrea Dovizoso’s 2010 MotoGP title aspirations suffered a blow in Assen when the Italian slumped to fifth place in the legendary Dutch TT.

The former world 125GP champion never looked in contention to extend his impressive run of podium finishes this season and spent most of the 26-lap race trying to match the pace of Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet.

Dovizioso held fourth until lap 16 when he came under a brilliant attack from Texan Spies.

And he was made to fight right to the death by LCR Honda rider de Puniet who almost stole fifth at the last corner.

Dovizioso did drop back to sixth momentarily but de Puniet was unable to hold his line under hard braking at the final chicane to let the Repsol Honda rider claim fifth.

Dovizioso, who was searching for a fourth successive podium, admitted his result was well below expectations and he said: “We had higher expectations for the race and so I’m a little disappointed with how things went.

"I made a good start and moved up to fourth but I couldn’t ride the laps under 1m 35s that were needed to stay with the leaders. We weren’t at 100 per cent with the front-end feeling that meant I couldn’t ride as aggressively as I wanted.

"Having said that, we could have finished in fourth, but in the battle with Randy we lost time and Spies took advantage of our duel to get a gap.

"Considering how Dani’s and Casey’s soft tyres worked, our choice of the hard compound Bridgestone was perhaps not the perfect one.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt