Defending world champion Casey Stoner won the Assen TT MotoGP on Saturday to move level on points with championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed out in the first lap.
Stoner’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was second and Andrea Dovizioso of Italy overtook last year’s Assen winner, Ben Spies of the United States, on the final lap to claim third place.
Pedrosa led for more than half the race, but Stoner, who started from pole position, overtook him with 10 laps to go and quickly pulled away to finish 4.965 seconds ahead.
Lorenzo was knocked out in a collision with fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, who slid off his bike in the first corner and took Lorenzo down with him, denying him the chance to win four straight MotoGPs for the first time in his career.
The crash sent Lorenzo’s Yamaha lying on its side in a cloud of smoke, but the Spaniard walked away apparently unhurt.
Stoner had finished on the podium in the last five races at Assen, including winning the race in 2008 on a Ducati.
Last year, Lorenzo also fell in an opening-lap collision although that time he was able to get back on his motorcycle and continue the race.
Promising young German Stefan Bradl also crashed out early after starting from the second row of the grid, the first time he has not finished a race in his rookie season.
Marc Marquez of Spain earlier won the Moto2 class from Andrea Iannone of Italy and Britain’s Scott Redding.