Victory for Ben Spies as Simoncelli and Lorenzo clash on first lap

Ben Spies romped to his maiden MotoGP victory after Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo clashed on the opening lap of the Dutch TT at Assen.

Gresini Honda rider Simoncelli has come in for criticism from his fellow professionals at recent races, with Lorenzo being particularly vociferous, and it was the defending world champion who was the innocent victim when he got caught up in the polesitter's fall at the turn four hairpin.

That left Yamaha rider Spies in total control as the rest of the field were delayed in the aftermath of the chaos in front of them, the American had a lead of over three seconds by the time the field completed the opening lap.

Scond place Casey Stoner of Australia, left, first place Ben Spies of the US, center, and third place Andrea Dovizioso of Italy

Taking full advantage: Ben Spies made the most of a first lap crash

From there he was rarely troubled and was left with the simple task of ticking off the laps to claim a first top-class success at the 28th attempt, the win also makes Spies the first former Superbike world champion to win a MotoGP race since Troy Bayliss' win at Valencia in 2006.

Behind Spies, championship leader Casey Stoner further extended his points lead as he took a steady second place.

Ben Spies of the US

Victory lap: Ben Spies of the US

The 2007 champion enjoyed a brief battle with Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso but eventually pulled away from the Italian, although he never looked likely to get close enough to trouble Spies, to open up a 28-point advantage over Lorenzo.

Dovizioso ultimately secured a comfortable third while Valentino Rossi, riding the 2012 Ducati chassis, was fourth ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Lorenzo launched an excellent recovery ride following his early fall, fighting his way back through the field in impressive fashion to finish sixth ahead of Colin Edwards, Repsol Honda stand-in Hiroshi Aoyama and Simoncelli.

Toni Elias rounded out the top 10 on his customer Honda.

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