Elias and Terol make positive comebacks after starting from far back on the grid
The Moto2 race at Assen followed on from the thrilling Moto3 opener, and provided plenty of intrigue for the title picture. With Thomas Luthi taken out by Ratthapark Wilairot just three corners into the race, and Pol Espargaró crashing whilst leading on the second lap, the contest was set up for two riders at the front. Andrea Iannone took over the lead and extended his advantage to just under three seconds. Scott Redding and Marc Márquez fought amongst themselves behind him, and eventually it was the latter who caught up with the Italian. Márquez managed to take the win on the final lap, ahead of Iannone in a race which was undertaken at a pace even faster than in yesterday’s qualifying session.
Just two weeks have passed since the British Grand Prix, and there were shades of deja vu from the Silverstone round at Assen for the MAPFRE Aspar Team riders. Toni Elías started the race from 21st on the grid, but was determined enough to push early on and had moved up to thirteenth by the end of lap one. He then stuck with the leading group until they broke away slightly, nevertheless claiming ninth place in a fantastic performance. He thus equaled his best result of the year so far, from Jerez.
Teammate Nico Terol also made a comeback through the field, having experienced difficulties setting up his bike earlier in the week. He struggled to find pace at the beginning of the race, but eventually was able to use his skills to get closer to the points –finishing in seventeenth.
9th Toni Elías: “We have to be happy with today, because we started from low down on the grid –like at Silverstone- and we were able to make our way up the order. The pace of the race was a lot quicker than in practice. Obviously ninth place is not where we want to be finishing, but at least we can leave Assen feeling good about our performance. I think that we did a good job today. I am not completely happy with the setup of my bike, but we are working very hard to find solutions that give us stability and allow us to up our pace. We have to keep working against the clock, just as we have been up to now, as we have a great opportunity next weekend to finetune our bike configuration.”
17th Nico Terol: “The weekend was rather a tough one, because neither yesterday, nor on day one, was I able to feel comfortable. As soon as the race started I felt better than in practice, so I decided to just enjoy myself. I have to thank my team, because we have managed to reduce the chatter that we had been having with the front end. My mechanics have managed to give me a much more comfortable machine today. Starting from far back means that the opening laps are difficult, so you have to be agile in order to not lose the riders in front. I lost touch at the start, but was able to come back through. In the end I placed 17th and I am satisfied with how I felt. I keep gaining experience every day and have a good foundation upon which to build.”
Source: Aspar Team Press Release