MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez produced a masterclass in difficult conditions at the Iveco Daily TT Assen to make it eight wins from eight races in 2014, ahead of fellow podium finishers Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) – after an entertaining flag-to-flag contest.
In a race which started after a delay due to wet conditions Marquez judged the 26-lap challenge to perfection, running with Dovizioso at the front in the early stages and asserting his authority as the riders changed to dry set-up machines on the seventh lap.
Marquez eventually clinched the win by 6.7s seconds to become the first rider since the great Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to win the first eight premier-class races of the year.
Marc Marquez: “It was a tough day because this was a race where I could have lost many points, but we were still able to extend our lead in the Championship so I’m very pleased with how it has gone and how we dealt with the flag-to-flag. It was our first experience of a race like this, with both wet and dry conditions, and we even had a little scare after the bike change. We are very happy with this victory and to have got a very important 25 points on a weekend we had circled on the calendar.”
Dovizioso stepped onto the rostrum for the second time in 2014, with Pedrosa completing the podium after holding off the pursuing Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) for several laps. Espargaro rode well to hold fourth, having started on pole on the ‘Open’ Forward Yamaha.
Andrea Dovizioso: “At the begining we undersood where it was wet and dry, so we could push very hard. And we made the same strategy as Marc, it was the best moment I feel. In the first lap on the slicks Marc pushed a little too much and had a moment of the left hand side of the tyre that was cold. I knew his pace was quicker so I stayed with him as long as I could.”
“It was a very hard race from beginning to end. It was important to understand the track, the colour at Assen is quite strange so it can be hard to see the wet and dry spots.”
Dani Pedrosa: “It was a very difficult race and was even a bit chaotic at first, when it came to having to decide which tyres to put on the bike. I kept a cool head and chose the option of wets, because at first the track was a little damp. I should have pushed more in the opening laps – but I chose not to incase it rained again – as the track began to dry out. The rain didn’t come and I had a good fight with Aleix for the podium in the dry. I am happy to have taken the rostrum finish, because you never know how races like today’s might go, but this one went well for us and we are now focusing on doing a good job in Germany”
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took fifth having shown great pace in the second half of the race, his problem being a late decision to swap back from slicks to wets at the start. Rossi started from pit lane on wets, therefore, and recovered considerable ground before and after eventually the swap back to slicks.
Valentino Rossi: “You know, I took a risk because the conditions looked good but unfortunately one minute before the start it started to rain again so I had to change bike and start from last. It’s a shame because if I had started with the wets I could stay in front with the top guys. Anyway it’s something about luck today and unfortunately this time it ended like this. I’m quite satisfied with the rest of the race because I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. Also here in Assen I was quite fast.”
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
Broc Parkes (Paul Bird Motorsport), rode superbly to 11th having started from pit lane following a problem on the warm up lap. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) retired with six laps to go after crashes on slicks and then wet tyres.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 29.954s
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 43m 36.668s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 40.745s
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 49.153s
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 43m 55.767s
6. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 58.957s
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 44m 0.836s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 44m 0.939s
9. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 44m 13.985s
10. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 44m 18.616s
11. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 44m 21.817s
12. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 44m 30.283s
13. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 44m 34.595s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 44m 35.934s
15. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 44m 47.565s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 49.707s
17. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 57.584s
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 44m 58.096s
19. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 41.754s
20. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 43m 58.159s
21. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 44m 49.966s
22. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 33.704s
Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* DNF
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 200
2 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 128
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 128
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 91
5 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 81
6 Aleix Espargaro NGM Forward Racing 67
7 Pol Espargaro Monster Yamaha Tech 3 58
8 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 56
9 Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing 51
10 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 48
11 Alvaro Bautista GO&FUN Gresini Honda 43
12 Scott Redding GO&FUN Honda Gresini 28
13 Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar 27
14 Yonny Hernandez Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing 27
15 Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar 24
16 Cal Crutchlow Ducati Team 22
17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 15
18 Colin Edwards NGM Forward Racing 8
19 Michele Pirro Ducati Team 7
20 Broc Parkes Paul Bird Motorsport 6
21 Danilo Petrucci IodaRacing Project 3
22 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing 2
Moto2: Ant West breaks 11 year drought
Wet specialist Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) took Moto2 victory using all his experience to finish ahead of Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) who joined him on the podium.
The 32 year-old Australian former premier class rider won from 23rd on the grid in his 211th Grand Prix, crossing the finish line 0.3s ahead of Viñales, with Kallio 0.4s further back. It is West’s first win since the 2003 Dutch TT.
The race start was delayed by 20 minutes as heavy rain fell on the initial sighting lap with pole man and championship leader Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) crashing in that first outing. Rabat still started on pole and eventually finished eighth.
Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team) all used their considerable experience to finish in fourth to seventh places restively.
Behind Rabat, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) and Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) completed the top ten.
Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) finished unlucky 13th after crashing out of the race lead at the midway stage, whilst Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) was 15th having crashed from third place in the final stages. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) had led the race at the start having taken the holseshot, but crashed twice after trying to stay with Corsi at the front.
Moto2 Results (Top 10)
1. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 46m 2.089s
2. Maverick Viñales SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 (Kalex) 46m 2.407s
3. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 46m 2.832s
4. Johann Zarco FRA AirAsia Caterham (Caterham Suter) 46m 9.389s
5. Alex De Angelis RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 46m 13.342s
6. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 46m 17.021s
7. Julian Simon SPA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 46m 19.747s
8. Esteve Rabat SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 46m 22.266s
9. Lorenzo Baldassarri ITA Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 46m 27.349s
10. Hafizh Syahrin MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) 46m 52.850s
Moto3: Win for Alec Marquez – Miller crashes out
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took a second successive Moto3 victory at Assen with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) joining him on the podium after crashes for championship frontrunners Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46).
Miller crashed in the early stages whilst Fenati battled to 18th after coming back from an early mistake and then crashing to drop back again. Neither of the championship front runners were hurt and they remain first and second in the standings with Miller still seven points in front, though Marquez has now pulled level second with Fenati, whilst Rins sits fourth – three points adrift of his teammate.
Marquez built on his Barcelona win with another dominant performance to take victory by three seconds, leading for the majority of the race from second on the grid. Team-mate Rins briefly challenged him for the lead but the younger Marquez brother eventually had too much for his compatriot over the course of the 22 laps.
Rins overtook Oliveira for second in the final stages, whilst 12 seconds further back Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) won a tremendous battle for fourth between a group of seven riders.
Those battling for fourth with Masbou were Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN), Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG), Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) – who completed the top ten.
Moto3 Results (Top 10)
1. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 38m 7.648s
2. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 38m 10.608s
3. Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 38m 11.292s
4. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 38m 23.998s
5. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 38m 24.114s
6. Efren Vazquez SPA SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 38m 24.135s
7. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 38m 24.179s
8. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 38m 24.207s
9. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 38m 24.291s
10. John McPhee GBR SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 38m 24.334s