Motul TT Assen: Raceday roundup – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News



A massive crowd of over 97,000 fans witnessed one of the greatest MotoGP™ battles ever today, as nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi secured a dramatic last corner victory against Marc Marquez at the legendary TT Circuit Assen. After a thrilling race-long duel, Marquez made a brave move on Rossi as the duo entered the final chicane on the last lap.

There was contact between the pair, which forced Rossi to run straight on through the gravel at the Geert Timmer chicane. The Italian managed managed to stay upright though and went on to take the chequered flag 1.242s ahead of Marquez, claiming his third win of the season and first from pole position since Misano in 2009. Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi, starting from pole for the first time since Valencia last season, led into the first corner and it didn’t take Marquez long to join him after starting from third on the grid, overtaking Aleix Espargaro on the first lap to move into second.

Marquez was happy to sit behind Rossi for most of the race, before making his move and taking the lead into turn 1 on lap 20. Rossi bided his time, and then responded with three laps to go to retake the lead at turn 10. The Italian then put in his fastest lap of the race in an effort to pull away, but Marquez responded on the final lap to get within striking distance once again as the duo approached the final chicane.

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo enjoyed a brilliant start from eighth on the grid, and found himself in third after the first lap. Any hopes the Spaniard had of making it five wins in a row disappeared shortly afterwards though, as Rossi and Marquez pulled away at the front and disappeared off into the distance. The double MotoGP™ World Champion eventually crossed the line 14.576s behind his teammate in a lonely third position and slipped 10-points behind Rossi in the World Championship standings.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+19.109s) was another four seconds back to finish in a lonely fourth.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro won an incredible battle for fifth that saw four riders all finish within 0.4s of each other. The Spaniard also finished as the leading Satellite rider after he crossed the line just 0.105s ahead of CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in sixth. Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith was seventh in front of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (+24.656s), who had fought back valiantly after a crash in the earlier Warm Up session and a disastrous start that saw him down in 12th after the first lap.

The Team Suzuki Ecstar duo of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales were next across the line in ninth and tenth respectively, ahead of Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (11th) and the second Factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in twelfth.

EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding finished 46.663s back from Rossi in 13th, while Loris Baz (Athina Forward Racing) took the Open class victory for the second time in three races ahead of Aspar MotoGP Team’s Nicky Hayden who crossed the line in 16th.

Hector Barbera and Jack Miller were involved in a crash on the very first lap that resulted in the Spaniard having to go to the medical centre for checks on his right leg, although he was later declared free of injury. Alex De Angelis, Eugene Laverty and Stefan Bradl also crashed out; with the latter finding out he had fractured the scaphoid in his right wrist after an X-ray at the Medical Centre.

Rossi’s (163pts) victory, his 85th in the premier class, means he has extended his lead in the championship standings over Lorenzo (153pts) to 10 points with ten races to go.



Ajo Motorsport’s Zarco took victory in front of close to 100,000 passionate Dutch fans that saw the Frenchman prevail in his latest showdown with title rival Tito Rabat at the TT Circuit Assen.

The restarted race was reduced to 16 laps because of a red flag on the very first lap during the original race, after an incident between Marcel Schrotter, Anthony West and Luis Salom. Salom’s bike dropped oil at the first corner and after his bike caught fire, Race Direction had no choice but to halt proceedings.

Zarco got bogged down off the line of the second start, while AGR Team’s Jonas Folger led into the first corner, and built up a lead of almost a second over Rabat in second. Zarco picked his way through the field and attempted to make a move on Rabat for second on lap four, with the two rivals making contact and Zarco running wide.

It didn’t take long for Rabat to close down Folger and take the lead on lap 8, with Zarco also passing the German shortly afterwards. Rabat then built a 0.5s gap at the front, before Zarco started to hunt him down. Zarco timed it to perfection as he took the lead with three laps to go, giving Rabat a nudge in the process before going on to win his third race of the season by 0.757s. Rabat had no answer to Zarco’s pace, and had to settle for second, with Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes (+2.080s) crossing the line in third after an excellent ride for his third podium of the season and first since Argentina.

Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Alex Rins (+03.738s) crossed the line in fourth ahead of Thomas Luthi (+4.530s) on the Derendinger Racing Interwetten Kalex and Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Xavier Simeon (+5.045s) in sixth. Folger faded after his excellent start to the race, eventually finishing in seventh, with Mika Kallio (Italtrans Racing Team) in eighth and rookie Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) equalled his career best Moto2™ finish in ninth.

Athina Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi completed the top ten, as his teammate Lorenzo Baldassari crashed out of the race in an incident with Anthony West. Louis Rossi, Ricky Cardus and Florian Alt also recorded DNF’s, with Salom not able to take his place on the grid for the restarted race due to the damage to his bike from the red flag incident.

Zarco (159pts) has now extended his Moto2™ World Championship lead over Rabat (114pts) to 45 points, with Sam Lowes (96pts) consolidating third a further 18-points back.



The packed grandstands at the legendary TT Circuit Assen were treated to an incredible seven rider battle for victory in an epic and dramatic Moto3™ race in which Miguel Oliveira claimed his second victory of the season by just 0.066s. Track temperatures rose to 26°C before the start of what turned out to be a pulsating 22-lap race. A leading group of seven riders broke away from the rest of the field in the early stages to provide drama and excitement right down to the chequered flag.

The lead swapped hands at almost every corner, as the riders in the leading group put move after move on each other. But it was Oliveira who timed his charge to perfection to snatch the lead just before the final chicane and held on across the line to take KTM’s third win in the last four races season ahead of 16-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and championship leader Danny Kent (Leopard Racing +0.117s). Jorge Navarro (+0.179s) had to settle for fourth ahead of the hard charging Romano Fenati (+0.252s) on the Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM.

Italian 17-year-old Enea Bastianini (+0.526s), who started from pole position for the second race in succession, crossed the line in sixth. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the last man in the leading group in seventh, with his teammate Karel Hanika winning the battle for eighth in the chasing pack (+21.406s) ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), who completed the top ten.

RBA Racing’s Niklas Ajo crossed the line in 17th in remarkable fashion having lost control at the final corner in the battle for eighth. He managed to hold on while hanging completely off the side of his bike to finish the race, eventually crossing the line on his knees.

Maria Herrera looked on course for her first top-ten finish before Antonelli lost control under braking for the first corner and collected the Husqvarna rider while she was leading the chasing group in eighth. Her teammate Isaac Viñales also crashed out after contact from Juanfran Guevara, while Efren Vazquez, Andrea Locatelli, Zulfhami Khairuddin, Alexis Masbou and Tatsuki Suzuki all failed to finish, with the latter suffering from a technical fault on the first lap. Kent managed to extend his lead in the championship standings once more, and is now 57-points clear of Bastianini, with Oliveira another 6-points back in third.



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