Marc Marquez 2nd and Dani Pedrosa 12th in chaotic Assen race
The first premier class in the history of the Dutch TT to be held on a Sunday saw Marc Marquez at his brilliant best. The Repsol Honda Team rider handled the difficult conditions faced by the MotoGP field at Assen to add 20 valuable points to his total, in a race won by surprise victor Jack Miller.
After 14 laps of the race, a rainstorm forced the red flag out. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez had been in fifth and sixth place, respectively, within reach of the frontrunners. Following the restart, Pedrosa suffered a crash on the opening lap. He rejoined the race and eventually crossed the line in finish twelfth, claiming 4 points.
At the front, Marc Marquez took advantage of a crash for Valentino Rossi and problems for Jorge Lorenzo, finishing second and increasing his points total to 145. He ends the Dutch TT 24 ahead of Lorenzo and 42 ahead of Rossi. Pedrosa is fourth, with 86 points.
“Today’s race was one of those in which you can either lose many points or gain them, and you can face it with two mentalities: either you take a risk to gain a bigger advantage, or you focus on finishing the race in order to lose the fewest points possible. The latter is the mentality that the team repeated to me about forty times between this morning, and it is exactly what I did. I tried to stay in the top five so as not to drop many points to Valentino [Rossi] and attempted to not make mistakes in order to finish the race.
At the beginning of the first race I didn’t feel comfortable and lost touch, but then I was able to recover. I think that stopping the race was a good decision, because it was very dangerous out there. In the second race I started off thinking about pushing a bit more, but everyone was very fast and I decided not to follow Rossi and Dovizioso because they were going too quickly. However, both of them crashed later on.
When I saw Jack (Miller) stalking behind me, I knew that he would be going for his first win so I preferred to let him pass and keep a couple of seconds gap between us, as well as a cushion to third place. I did that because with Jorge [Lorenzo] so far back and Rossi out of the race, second place was as good as a victory. In the end, we leave Assen with a bigger lead.”
“It’s been a pretty tough weekend but races like today are a lottery. In the first race it seemed that the race strategy of running the soft tyre had gone well. At first, when the track was drying, I went slowly, but when it started to rain I upped my pace very quickly while others were at a disadvantage. However, that was when the Race Direction decided to stop the race. I felt unlucky, because it turned out that thinking ahead or trying to pick a different strategy wasn’t beneficial. In the second race I crashed on the first lap, because I had a new rear tyre without too much grip. It has been a difficult Grand Prix but we will try to find better solutions for the next race and regain our feeling in order to go faster.”
Source: Repsol Media