Category: MotoGP

MotoGP Silverstone: Rins steals it from Marquez

Suzuki rider Alex Rins scored a brilliant victory against Reigning Champion Marc Marquez at Round 12 MotoGP in Silverstone.The margin of win was just 0.013 seconds. Maverick Vinales completed the British GP podium with a third place finish.

Marquez made a perfect start aboard from pole and escaped an incident involving Andrea Dovizioso and Fabio Quartararo, who both crashed out of the race, With the two contenders out, it was an all out fight between Marquez and Rins from that point. Rins had jumped from fifth to third after the contenders crashed out. By the end of the first lap, Rins had put in a pass on Valentino Rossi to take 2nd place, then proceeded to set several fastest laps.

With 12 laps left to go, Rins executed a move on Marquez and the pair exchanged positions back and forth. As Marquez attempted to pull away, Rins stayed on his tail. Even a small moment at Turn 9 with 4 laps to go was not enough to distract Rins from his goal. As the laps ticked down, he looked for every opportunity to overtake his rival, finally pulling off a fantastic move in the final corner to take his second win of the season. The result enabled him to regain 3rd place in the Riders standings.

Vinales finished third as the best rider for Yamaha, having battled Franco Morbidelli and eventually beating his factory team mate for third. The Yamaha rider was less than 3 seconds from the race leaders and had cut the gap to half a second by the final laps. He would end up 0.620s from first.

Rossi hung in there for fourth overall as he wasn‘t able to match the pace of the front-runners due to a lack of grip. He managed his race pace and ended up fourth behind his team mate.

Best Ducati finisher was Danilo Petrucci who topped Jack Miller but behind Cal Crutchlow for seventh.

With second place, Marquez’s 88th podium has equaled Giacomo Agostini’s premier class podium record. The result moves Honda to 45 points clear of Ducati in the constructor and brings the Repsol Honda Team to within 36 points of Ducati in the teams.

The teams now move to the Misano Circuit for a two-day test. Racing resumes at the San Marino GP from 13 – 15 September there.

2019 MotoGP Silverstone results
1        Alex Rins    Suzuki         ESP    40’12.799
2        Marc Marquez     Honda         ESP           00’00.013
3        Maverick Viñales Yamaha      ESP           00’00.620
4        Valentino Rossi   Yamaha      ITA           00’11.439
5        Franco Morbidelli          Yamaha      ITA           00’13.109
6        Cal Crutchlow      Honda         GBR           00’19.169
7        Danilo Petrucci    Ducati         ITA           00’19.682
8        Jack Miller  Honda         AUS   00’20.318
9        Pol Espargaro       KTM  ESP    00’21.079
10      Andrea Iannone  Aprilia         ITA           00’25.144

Riders Standings

1        Marc Marquez     Honda         ESP    250
2        Andrea Dovizioso          Ducati         ITA           172
3        Alex Rins    Suzuki         ESP    149
4        Danilo Petrucci    Ducati         ITA     145
5        Maverick Viñales Yamaha      ESP    118
6        Valentino Rossi   Yamaha      ITA     116
7        Jack Miller  Honda         AUS   94
8        Fabio Quartararo Yamaha      FRA   92
9        Cal Crutchlow      Honda         GBR   88
10      Franco Morbidelli          Yamaha      ITA           69




MotoGP tackles resurfaced Silverstone track for Round 12

Round 12 of the MotoGP Championship moves to the heartland of British Motorsports, Silverstone. Silverstone has been resurfaced this year and it  presents a somewhat unknown element as teams and riders will seek to understand tyre life, the various bumps and how fast the new surface is.

The Marquez – Dovizioso title rumble continues at this British track with Marqquez having an upper hand. Narrowly missing out on victory last time out, the reigning champion is fired up and ready to return to the top step of the podium to protect his comfortable 58-point championship lead. Since Austria 2018, Marquez has crossed the line in first or second in all the races he has finished, an impressive run he is looking to continue as he aims to return to the Silverstone podium for the first time since 2014. Another top three finish would see him equal Agostini’s 88 podiums in the premier class.

Jorge Lorenzo returns to racing after being out for three races. Having recovered from a back injury, the 5-time MotoGP champion will take it easy and acclimate to the RC213V again.

Ducati camp is fired up to push Dovizioso’s fight, following a marvelous win at Red Bull Ring. Dovizioso is actually the rider who scored the last race win in England in 2017 on his Ducati. Team mate Danilo Petrucci on the other hand arrives at Silverstone with the aim of defending his third place in the classification: with 136 points to his name, maintains a lead of 12 over Suzuki’s Alex Rins, in fourth place. Petrucci returns to the circuit where he scored his first podium in MotoGP, a second place in 2015, on a Ducati Pramac.
 
Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are looking to match the Hondas and Ducatis in the remaining six races. Rossi has stood on the Silverstone podium four times since the round was added to the racing calendar in 2010. He missed out on the first edition due to injury but made up for it by getting familiar with the Silverstone rostrum in the following years. The Doctor secured a MotoGP third place in 2014, and followed it up with a superb win in 2015, adding two further third places in 2016 and 2017. Unable to extend his podium streak last year, the Italian is keen to be in the mix for the win again at the British GP this weekend to enjoy the view from the rostrum and reduce the 21-point gap to fourth in the championship standings, as he currently holds fifth position.

Viñales holds sixth place in the overall rankings, one point behind Rossi, and is feeling optimistic he can reverse their roles this weekend. He is a fan of the Silverstone Circuit and has expressed that he is looking forward to this round in particular.

The British GP will take place at high noon on Sunday, 25 August due to the unique schedule of the UK round.

Dovizioso pulls through for win at Red Bull Ring

Andrea Dovizioso proved he is a worthy championship contender at the Red Bull Ring by beating rival Marc Marquez for win, last Sunday. All through the race, Dovizioso and Marquez went a it until the Ducati rider made it stick in the final lap of the race.

At race start, the Dovizioso-Marquez battle began at turn 3 on the first lap, but Marquez would slip back to fifth when he ran wide. At this time a certain Fabio Quartararo in a Yamaha Satellite led the race. The Yamaha Satellite rider would lead until lap 6 when Dovizioso overtook him as race leader. Marquez slotted second right behind the race leader. On lap 8, Marquez pounced on Dovizioso and made it stick for the lead. It looked like it was going to be another Marquez run, but Dovizioso wouldn’t have it. Quartararo, meanwhile, was third ahead of his factory Yamaha mates Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi. Imagine, a Satellite rider leading the factory guys.


In the final laps of the race, Dovizioso came back to capture the lead on lap 20. Marquez took his time to launch his counter attack, but was just short. Dovizioso would score the win, only 0.213 seconds in front of his rival. “My Strategy was to be aggressive right from the opening lap, but Marquez was more aggressive than me. He immediately tried to impose his rhythm but I was always able to respond and in the final stages I think he had more wear on his tyres than me so I could stay right on his tail until the end, and attempt that crazy passing move on him at the final corner,” Dovizioso commented.

Eventhough Marquez was second, he still holds a healthy 58-point advantage in the riders standings, while Honda continues to lead the constructors with 236 points.


Behind the trio were the factory Yamahas Rossi was fourth and Vinales fifth. Rossi made good on his race at the Red Bull Ring, gaining six positions through the race. Viñales lost some ground in the opening stages but recovered and showed solid pace to take fifth over the finish line.

Sixth was the factory Suzuki of Alex Rins who topped Francesco Bagnaia in a Satellite Ducati and Miguel Oliveira in a KTM. Danilo Petrucci had a difficult race, who started from row 4. The Italian managed to get up to ninth place on lap 17, but was unable to improve any further and finished the race in that position. Rounding off tenth was the second Satellite Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli.

The MotoGP riders will next be out on track for the British GP, scheduled for the weekend of 23-25 August at the Silverstone circuit.

2019 MotoGP Austria results
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 39’34.771
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 39’34.984
3 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha FRA 39’40.888
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 39’42.490
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha ESP 39’43.445
6 Alex Rins Suzuki ESP 39’43.466
7 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati ITA 39’50.792
8 Miguel Oliveira KTM PRT 39’50.977
9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 39’52.121
10 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha ITA 39’55.281

Riders standings
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 230
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 172
3 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 136
4 Alex Rins Suzuki ESP 124
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 103
6 Maverick Viñales Yamaha ESP 102
7 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha FRA 92
8 Jack Miller Honda AUS 86
9 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 78
10 Takaaki Nakagami Honda JPN 62

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MotoGP contingent heads to Austria

Just a week after the Brno round, MotoGP crews are back in action again at the Red Bull Ring in Austria for Round 11 of the Championship. This is the second set of back-to-back races of the the season, only the fourth edition held here.

The Championship scenario is all Marc Marquez at the moment unless Andrea Dovizioso could answer the challenge. Marquez has been consistent at Red Bull Ring with top five finishes in the previous three occasions, including two seconds. He’ll be hunting for a first win this time around.

Team mate Stefan Bradl will again join the Repsol Honda Team in place of the recovering Jorge Lorenzo. The German rider is excited at the prospect of another Grand Prix aboard the RC213V after improving his feeling on the bike during the Brno weekend. Racing in Austria in 2016, Bradl has some experience of the track to draw upon.

Following his second place finish at Brno last weekend, Dovizioso currently also lies second in the championship standings with 147 points (63 behind leader Márquez) and he arrives in Austria determined to repeat the results of the last three editions, in which he has always been on the podium: second (2016), first (2017) and third (2018). For his part, Team mate Danilo Petrucci will be aiming to step onto the podium of the Austrian track for the first time, so as to maintain his third place in the overall standings with 129 points, 15 ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins in fourth.

In the Yamaha camp, Maverick Viñales took a solid sixth place twice in Austria, and a twelfth place last year. This year he is planning to come back fighting at the Spielberg track, especially after showing strong pace again at the Brno test. At the last testing, he worked on braking later and deeper to suit the Spielberg track’s stop-start corners to make sure that he would be able to get in the mix for the battle for top positions.

MotoGP veteran and 9-time champion Valentino Rossi looks to pour his best riding as he knows  that the nature of the Red Bull Ring traditionally doesn’t play into the Yamaha’s strengths. The Doctor is more familiar with the Spielberg track than most. He first visited the rostrum there in 1996, taking third place in the 125cc class, and secured second place in the same class a year later, before a 19-year hiatus in Austrian GPs. The Italian’s best premier class result in there is the fourth place he snatched in 2016. It’s his aim to try and change that this year and reach for the podium.

The action begins with FP1 on Friday morning, between the picturesque hills of the Red Bull Ring. Lights for the 28-lap Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich will go out at high noon on Sunday.

Marquez snatches win No.50 in Premier Class at Brno

The MotoGP Brno race saw Reigning Champion Marc Marquez claim his 50th premier class win. Ducati rival Andrea Dovizioso finished runner-up again, with Jack Miller third for his Satellite squad.   

Due to the somewhat wet conditions, the race had been cut short with Marquez leading the rest of the field. Marquez jumped into the lead from Dovizioso, Alex Rins and Miller in the first turn. He soon had a comfortable lead from his pursuers. Ducati’s lead man held second for the entire race as well. Behind the leaders, Rins and Miller battled for the final podium spot which eventually went to Miller, who wanted it more.

Marquez finished two seconds ahead of his rival to become just the fourth rider in Grand Prix history to take 50 wins in the premier class and equals Mike Hailwood’s 76 wins across all classes. Fourth on the all time winner list, Marquez heads to round 11 in Austria with 210 points, 63 points clear of Dovizioso.

Cal Crutchlow was fifth behind Rins as he beat his factory Yamaha mate Valentino Rossi, who was sixth. Crutchlow gained a position on Rossi, 13 laps from the end. The rest of the race was an eventful ride for the 9-time Champion as he didn’t want to risk a possible fall. He took sixth place, 9.083s from first.

Team mate Maverick Vinales couldn’t make an impression and battled mostly in the midfield. He would end up tenth, 16.558s from the front.

Eighth place went to Danilo Petrucci, who started from the third row. The Italian rider, who was seventh at the end of the opening lap, dropped down a couple of positions in the next few laps but was able to get back into eighth place on lap 13, finishing the race behind Fabio Quartararo.

The teams get right back into action at the Automotodrom Brno for the one-day rest.

2019 MotoGP Brno results

1          Marc Marquez Honda ESP     39’24.430

2          Andrea Dovizioso       Ducati ITA     39’26.882

3          Jack Miller      Honda AUS    39’27.927

4          Alex Rins        Suzuki ESP     39’29.288

5          Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR    39’30.437

6          Valentino Rossi          Yamaha           ITA            39’33.513

7          Fabio Quartararo         Yamaha           FRA            39’36.522

8          Danilo Petrucci           Ducati ITA     39’38.406

9          Takaaki Nakagami      Honda JPN     39’40.154

10        Maverick Viñales        Yamaha           ESP            39’40.988

Riders standings

1          Marc Marquez Honda ESP     210

2          Andrea Dovizioso       Ducati ITA     147

3          Danilo Petrucci           Ducati ITA     129

4          Alex Rins        Suzuki ESP     114

5          Maverick Viñales        Yamaha           ESP     91

6          Valentino Rossi          Yamaha           ITA     90

7          Jack Miller      Honda AUS    86

8          Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR    78

9          Fabio Quartararo         Yamaha           FRA    76

10        Pol Espargaro  KTM   ESP     61

MotoGP second half of season gets in gear at Brno

After a three-week break, MotoGP squads are ready to resume action and begin the second half of the championship at Brno and tenth round of the season.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez is  eager to return to track and continue fighting for victory and lead in the standings. Having delivered a supreme performance at the German GP, Marquez has a comfy 58-point lead from his next challenger. The Automotodrom Brno is amongst Marquez’s most consistent circuits, only once finishing off the podium since joining the premier class in 2013, Since then, he has never finished outside of the top five.

With Jorge Lorenzo still on ice, Stefan Bradl continues to race for the team at Brno. The German rider has had an intense workload since finishing in the top ten at the Sachsenring; going on to take a podium finish at the legendary Suzuka 8 Hours race alongside his usual testing duties. Bradl is aiming for another strong weekend and is looking to build on what he and the team achieved in Germany.

Andrea Dovizioso, currently second in the championship with 127 points, has collected five podiums in total at Brno and is keen to take advantage of the characteristics of both the track and the Desmosedici GP to cut the gap from the leader.

Meanwhile, Danilo Petrucci, who always finished within the top ten at Brno with Ducati, is determined to start back strong and defend third position in the championship (121 points) after stepping on the podium in three of the last five races.

Yamaha riders play catch up to the league leaders as they go full steam ahead at the tenth round. Maverick Viñales arrives in Brno holding fifth place in the championship standings, after taking a superb win in Assen and a strong second place at the Sachsenring before the summer break. He is 100 points from first, and 36 points from entering the top-3, which he is aiming for.

Team mate Valentino Rossi is also looking forward to stepping aboard his beloved YZR-M1 again. The Italian is currently in sixth place in the 2019 MotoGP rankings, just five points behind his team-mate, and is looking to build momentum at a track that’s also special to him because he secured his first ever 125cc win at the Brno track in 1996. Rossi is a master at Brno: his 125cc victory in 1996 was followed by a 250cc win in 1999, a 500cc victory in 2001 and modern era premier class Brno victories in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009. All combined, the nine-time Champion stood on the podium there 14 times and is keen on adding another Brno trophy to his collection, having finished just off the rostrum in fourth place in the last two years.

The action gets on the way with practice on Friday, the qualifiers on Saturday’s second half and the main event on Sunday.

Marquez storms to Win at Sachsenring

The German Grand Prix at Sachsenring saw Marc Marquez take a pole to victory, ahead of Yamaha rival Maverick Vinales and Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda. Best Ducati finisher was Danilo Petrucci  who finished fourth in front of Championship hopeful team mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez’s win ensures he extends his lead in the Riders standings, now 58 points apart. The MotoGP contingent now heads for a three-week break before getting back into action at Brno, 2 – 4 August.

At the start, Marquez already on the groove as he led the tightly bunch field on the first turn. A couple of fastest laps ensured he pulled a comfortable lead from the closest pursuer. From the fifth lap onwards, he was on his own unless something some mishaps occur. Marquez practically sailed to the finish line, 4.5 seconds from second place runner. It was the 49th MotoGP win of his career. The victory is Marquez’s tenth straight win at the Sachsenring, a level of domination no other rider has achieved in the modern era.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins briefly stole runner-up spot from Vinales on lap 4. Rins would crash out on lap 19, which promoted Vinales to second. The Yamaha rider drifted further from the Repsol Honda and had to keep Crutchlow in check. In the closing laps, Vinales held second firmly as Crutchlow made a tiny mistake on the final lap.

The third group had the two Ducatis sloughing it out for fourth. After a strong start, Petrucci and Dovizioso were sixth and seventh from the second lap within a group of seven riders separated by only 1.5 seconds, then climbed to fourth and fifth respectively by the half-way point. Petrucci held off his team mate for fourth. just 92 thousandths of a second apart. 


It was a difficult race for Rossi who started from 11th and ended up eighth. He benefitted from several riders who crashed out. He ran ninth after picking off Pol Espargaró. In the final stages of the race, he overtook Franco Morbidelli with 9 laps to go and was eager to join the now fight for fourth, but a mistake, with four laps remaining, cost him a couple of tenths. He tried to have another go, but ultimately had to settle for eighth place, 19.110s from the top.

Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement Stefan Bradl was author to a consistent race, lapping steadily in the mid 1’22s as he chased the group battling for the top ten throughout. The home rider took 11th place from P.Espargaro late in the race and moved into tenth place soon after. He would snap up a tenth spot at the finish line.

2019 German GP Sachsenring results

1         MARC MARQUEZ   SPA   REPSOL HONDA TEAM 41’08.276

2         MAVERICK VIÑALES        SPA   MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP     + 4.587

3         CAL CRUTCHLOW GBR   LCR HONDA CASTROL    + 7.741

4         DANILO PETRUCCI          ITA     MISSION WINNOW DUCATI  + 16.577

5         ANDREA DOVIZIOSO       ITA     MISSION WINNOW DUCATI  + 16.669

6         JACK MILLER         AUS   PRAMAC RACING           + 16.836

7         JOAN MIR    SPA   TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR           + 17.156

8         VALENTINO ROSSI          ITA     MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP     + 19.110

9         FRANCO MORBIDELLI     ITA     PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT         + 20.634

10       STEFAN BRADL     GER   REPSOL HONDA TEAM + 22.708

Riders standings

1         MARC MARQUEZ   185    

2         ANDREA DOVIZIOSO       127               

3         DANILO PETRUCCI          121               

4         ALEX RINS   101    

5         MAVERICK VIÑALES        85                 

6         VALENTINO ROSSI          80                 

7         JACK MILLER         70                 

8         FABIO QUARTARARO      67                 

9         CAL CRUTCHLOW 67       16                 

10       POL ESPARGARÒ 56

MotoGP Round 9: A storm before the calm

The Sachsenring hosts Round 9 as the championship hits the mid-part of the season. Defending Champion Marc Marquez is eager to get back on the bike, despite a short rest. The Repsol Honda man usually does well at this circuit. Since joining the premier class in 2013, Marquez has converted pole position to victory on each of his six visits to the German track.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzi isn’t participating this race as he’s recovering from a crash at the previous GP. HRC test rider Stefan Bradl takes over Lorenzo’s spot. Bradl has twice finished in the top five at the Sachsenring while riding a Honda in 2012 and 2013.

Maverick Vinales who won at the previous GP at Assen intends to keep the momentum going this weekend. Vinales has had a podium here as many as  three times, in lower classes. In MotoGP, he has gotten a podium spot last year for Yamaha. His target for this weekend is a podium at the Sachsenring.

The Doctor Valentino Rossi arrives in Saxony searching for redemption after an unfortunate crash in the Netherlands. He scored a strong second place here last year and is more than starving for a podium finish, again. This weekend the Doctor sets out to secure his fifth MotoGP race win at the German circuit to add to his victories from 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2009. He also stood on the premier class podium in 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2018 for a second place, and in 2013 and 2015, having taken third position.

Prior to the race, Ducati MotoGP have signed up Danilo Petrucci for a second term. Petrucci will once again partner Andrea Dovizioso for the new season. His first season with the factory yielded three podium, including a fantastic win at Mugello.

Ducati MotoGP have  scored five podiums in total, the last of which in 2016 with Dovizioso. Last year, moreover, Petrucci led a group of four Ducati riders on the finish line to claim fourth place, just five tenths of a second off the podium. 

Both Ducati riders, who are currently second and third in the championship with 116 and 108 points respectively, are keen to get closer to the top of the standings and finish the first leg of the season positively ahead of a challenging start of the second phase, with three races scheduled in August.

The action at Sachsenring begins today with free practice 1. Lights go out on the 30 lap MotoGP race on Sunday. After that, it’s summer break.

Vinales takes Assen TT in duel with Marquez

At Round 8’s Assen TT, Maverick Vinales beat Reigning Champion Marc Marquez in a close fight to the finish.  Right behind the Championship contenders was Fabio Quartararo. The big story in the race was Valentino Rossi crashing out.

In a fast start, Suzuki’s Alex RIns led from the field but would slip off, giving the lead to Quartararo in the early going. Quartararo then led from Marquez and Vinales. Dovizioso was right behind the lead group in fourth.

VInales quickly realized he was drifting back and made a move to inch closer to Marquez. Meantime, Marquez and Quartararo had a close battle for the lead. Quartararo’s Yamaha SRT would soon fade into the background. Vinales took his time and decided to make his move to take on Marquez by middle of the race.

He waited until 14 laps to go to pounce on
Quartararo and Marquez in one fell swoop. Vinales made a fantastic cut to overtake both Quartararo and Marquez. However, the Repsol Honda man wouldn’t give up so easily, he claimed second from the Yamaha SRT. It was then between Vinales and Marquez in a fight to the finish.With 9 laps to go, the Yamaha rider ran wide going into Turn 1 and fell back to second place, but it was only briefly. He retaliated that same lap and reclaimed the lead. It was the right moment to put his head down, and this time he broke free from Marquez, who decided to play it safe. He would finish 4.854s from Marquez to top the Assen TT.

Marquez’s second place ensured more points in the standings, with Dovizioso managing only a fourth place finish. Marquez is now on 160 points, 44 points clear of Dovizioso.

Dovizioso’s team mate Danilo Petrucci finished sixth at the Assen TT. Both Ducatis engaged in a thrilling battle with Mir and Franco Morbidelli to swap positions several times. In a sprint finish, Dovizioso successfully defended fourth position under the checkered flag and Petrucci took sixth place, just five tenths of a second behind his teammate. 

There’s not long to wait for the German GP which runs from 5 – 7 July.



2019 MotoGP Assen TT results

1            Maverick Viñales          Yamaha             ESP              40’55.451

2            Marc Marquez Honda  ESP       41’00.269

3            Fabio Quartararo          Yamaha             FRA              41’05.153

4            Andrea Dovizioso         Ducati  ITA        41’09.562

5            Franco Morbidelli         Yamaha             ITA              41’09.882

6            Danilo Petrucci             Ducati  ITA        41’10.209

7            Cal Crutchlow  Honda  GBR      41’13.776

8            Joan Mir            Suzuki  ESP       41’19.683

9            Jack Miller        Honda  AUS      41’21.911

10         Andrea Iannone            Aprilia  ITA        41’22.412

Riders standings

1            Marc Marquez Honda  ESP       160

2            Andrea Dovizioso         Ducati  ITA        116

3            Danilo Petrucci             Ducati  ITA        108

4            Alex Rins           Suzuki  ESP       101

5            Valentino Rossi             Yamaha             ITA        72

6            Fabio Quartararo          Yamaha             FRA       67

7            Maverick Viñales          Yamaha             ESP       65

8            Jack Miller        Honda  AUS      60

9            Pol Espargaro  KTM     ESP       52

10         Cal Crutchlow  Honda  GBR      51

The Cathedral awaits MotoGP riders

After the Catalan race, the MotoGP circus is ready to face Assen TT; the only round featuring just MotoGP class. The fast and flowing nature of the 4.5km long circuit has traditionally produced some of the most exciting races of the year.

In the current championship scenario after 7 rounds, Reigning Champion Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso battle for the honors in the riders’ standings. Marquez leads Doviioso by 37 points.

Marquez knows he can’t relent for a second at Assen TT, so you bet he’ll give it all at one of his happy hunting grounds.  Marquez has an impeccable record in Assen having finished on the podium in each of his six premier class starts.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo has improved over the 7 races and is looking to inch closer and closer to the front. He has recovered from the crash at previous test and looks to up his game at Assen.  

The race marks Honda’s 60th anniversary in the business. To mark the occasion, a number of legendary bikes and riders will be on display and in attendance over the weekend.

The Catalan GP saw Danilo Petrucci capture a third place, while Dovizioso was involved in a crash that forced him to retire. Dovizioso needs to recover precious points to get close to Marquez in the standings. Both Petrucci and Dovizioso have second place each in 2014 and 2017 at this Dutch circuit.

Petrucci is  keen to make the most of the technical upgrades tested after the race at Catalunya to score as many points as possible and cut the gap in the rankings. Ducati is second among Manufacturers with 131 points, while the Ducati leads the Team standings with 201 points. 

Yamaha riders have drifted further and further away from the championship standings. Rossi crashed out at Catalunya and went pointless, however Assen presents a good hunting ground for the 9-time champion. The Italian holds a very impressive record at what is often referred to as “The Cathedral” of motorcycling. He claimed eight wins there in the premier class (in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2017), as well as one second place (2001) and one third place (2003). He also scored well in the lower classes, collecting victories in the 250cc (1998) and 125cc class (1997), and a 250cc second place (1999). He’s chasing Petrucci in the standings, from fifth.

For Vinales, his mission is to keep the positive vibes going, take the podium he was gunning for at the previous round, and improve his current 11th place ranking. The number-12 rider has enjoyed strong results at the TT circuit in his past eight years of Grand Prix racing. He has won twice at this circuit and enjoyed a four-podium streak on Dutch soil, securing a 125cc win in 2011, a Moto3 win and second place in 2012 and 2013, and a Moto2 second place in 2014. His best score in the MotoGP class was the third place he secured in last year’s close battle.

As always, the action starts with the practice sessions then qualifiers on Saturday and the race on Sunday.