Jun 29, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
(This original, copyrighted material may not be copied, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any way in any medium, which means, don’t post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, send, share or tweet a link or post a link to this page.)
TT Circuit Assen.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
June 29, 2013
Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 26 laps, 41:25.202
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), -2.170 seconds
3. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -4.073
4. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -7.832
5. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -15.510
6. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -27.519
7. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -31.598
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), -32.405
9. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -33.751
10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -33.801
11. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -34.371
12. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), -57.674
13. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), -61.424
14. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), -61.561
15. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), -64.426
16. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -71.114
17. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), -75.249
18. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), -84.884
19. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), -85.854
20. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -85.978
21. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), -86.256
22. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), -86.610
23. Ivan SILVA, Spain (FTR-Aprilia), -98.173
24. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -16 laps, DNF, retired
World Championship Point Standings (after 7 of 18 races):
1. Pedrosa, 136 points
2. Lorenzo, 127
3. Marquez, 113
4. Crutchlow, 87
5. Rossi, 85
6. Dovizioso, 65
7. Bradl, 51
8. Hayden, 50
9. Bautista, 47
10. Espargaro, 44
11. Smith, 41
12. Pirro, 30
13. Iannone, 24
14. De Puniet, 15
15. TIE, Barbera/Petrucci, 13
17. Edwards, 10
18. Ben Spies, 9
19. Hernandez, 6
20. Corti, 4
21. TIE, Laverty/Abraham, 3
23. Staring, 2
24. TIE, Hiroshi Aoyama/Javier Del Amor, 1
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:
The Doctor Delivers 80th Premier Class Win at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), 29th June 2013
Valentino Rossi delivered a faultless performance today to win the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, his 80th Premier class victory and his first win since 2010. Having shown race winning pace all weekend in all conditions ‘The Doctor’ was faultless in today’s TT race. The nine-time World Champion held his fourth position from the grid into the first turn then started looking for a way past Stefan Bradl for third. By the second lap he was past and with just 22 laps to go he moved past Marc Marquez into the first corner for second, beginning the hunt for Dani Pedrosa and victory. It took just one lap more and Rossi was able to dive past Pedrosa into the final chicane for a race lead he would hold to the flag, crossing the line to a sea of yellow flags and a well deserved return to form. The win puts Rossi on 85 points, now just two behind Cal Crutchlow in fourth place.
While his teammate rightly deserved the honours for an amazing victory, Jorge Lorenzo also shone today. The World Champion gave everything he had and more, defying the pain from collarbone surgery just 36 hours ago in a heroic effort to race. Lorenzo had started from 12th on the grid but had risen to eighth by turn three. By the second lap he had climbed to fifth and was chasing down satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in fourth. With 23 laps to go he had passed Crutchlow and began to close the gap to Marquez in third. As the laps wound down exhaustion set in and with 11 to go Lorenzo was re-passed by Crutchlow. With grim determination he managed to maintain pace for fifth position and rolled into the Yamaha pits to an applauding team. The remarkable feat means Lorenzo holds second in the Championship and is just nine points behind Pedrosa as they head to Sachsenring in two weeks time.
1st / 41'25.202 / 26 laps
“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time. I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike. It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible. We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend. Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his Championship.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
5th / +15.510 / 26 laps
“It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen. We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race. We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard. I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn't do more than fifth position. We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the Championship. This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here. The victory for Valentino and the third for Crutchlow are good for the Championship, I would have preferred Cal to finish in front of Marc but you can’t always have perfection! I am happy for Valentino, more than two years without winning has been hard for him so I’m happy for my box partner. After Aragon I think he made some improvements and here he took profit from the opportunity. Lets see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
“If you would have asked me a quote before the race I would have said we need to finish and get some points. To fight for the first fifteen laps at least and to be there with the front boys was unbelievable for Jorge. Finishing fifth, having Vale winning the race and having Cal also on the podium is great for Yamaha. The result is great for us as we lose just two points to Dani. I think that is what this race was all about, damage control, we had to try to finish and for sure not to crash.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
“It has been a double victory today, so great for both results. Vale is back with a victory after two years and eighth months and the last one was also with Yamaha so it has been a great result for all of us. We were also able to gain some points against our competitors so for me it was a very special victory. Jorge did something really incredible. He showed he has the determination that is not normal. That he could race having had surgery just two days ago, has been very impressive, I know what a rider can physically feel when you are on the bike and injured. At the end we also only lost two points to Pedrosa. For me this is going to be an unforgettable weekend. We will leave this place in a really good mood and for sure we are going to start the next weekend totally full gas.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
BRADL TAKES 6th PLACE AT 65th DUTCH TT GRAND PRIX
Assen, 29 June: typical Assen weather has bedevilled both days of practice, with intermittent light showers, but today’s 26-lap race was run in the dry ahead 90.000 spectators who celebrated the incredible victory of Rossi on Yamaha. LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl started from the front row for the first time in his MotoGP career with the aim to continue his progression aboard the RCV and finished 6th scoring 10 points.
“Honestly we are not completely happy because we were expecting a better result after our first front row. The sixth position is still okay but we missed something to catch the guys in the front. Actually we could not repeat yesterday’s lap times and I felt the bike was heavier to turn and this cost us a lot of time in corner entries. Some riders passed me in the beginning on brake because I was not able to fix my braking point and I struggled to find my references. I was not able to put the things together and reduce the gap to the front. Now we move to Argentina for a 2-day test session and then my home race at Sachsenring: I am really looking forward to race in front of my local fans”.
More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:
The most valuable points of the season:
Abraham was fighting against Ducati in Assen
Karel Abraham finished on fifteenth position in Assen equalized his best place of this season. It is the most valuable result of the season for the Czech rider because he scored in competition of all riders. No MotoGP rider crashed out or retired during Dutch race except of Lukáš Pešek who retired from the last position. Compared to CRT bikes Karel Abraham reached his best result of the season finishing on third position behind Espargaro and De Puniet. The race has been won by Valentino Rossi, who was waiting for podium finish since autumn 2010.
„It is only one point again, but I achieved it in competition of all riders. It is the most valuable point of the season for sure, on the other hand it´s frustrating know that it could be better. The entire race I was riding in a group with Michel Pirro and Andrea Iannone on Ducati prototypes. Unfortunately I can´t compete with them with current engine. Thus in turns they were slowing me down and in straights I didn’t have enough power to overtake them. At the exit before the longest straight I was very close to them but at the end of the straight I was losing around hundred meters and after two turns I reached them again. And this was happening during the entire race. Randy De Puniet, that he was in our group at the beginning, he took an advantage of the mistake of both Ducati and overtakes them. I was able to take advantage of the mistake of Pirro, so I got between him and Iannone, but in penultimate lap I made a mistake and I got again behind Pirro.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„It was a great race for us, we were able to fight with Ducati and mainly with Pirro that has a new prototype chassis of factory machine. The problem is that Ducati is faster than us on straights so it is almost impossible to overtake it. When Karel was driving alone, he was doing similar times as Espargaro that finished on eighth position. We know that we can have more but when we start from seventeenth position on the grid it is difficult to fight for tenth. The motorbike is working well and after test in Barcelona we improved the setting of the bike a lot. I think we can go to Sachsering with a good prospect that we could get ahead of Ducati.“
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Marquez takes his 6th podium of the season with Pedrosa in 4th
The Dutch TT marked the 300th start for the Repsol Honda Team and Marc Marquez celebrated it with a well deserved 2nd position in a battle to the end. Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who led the first 5 laps of the race was unable to stay in the fight for the podium and finished 4th.
Dani had a fantastic start from 5th and was already 1st by turn one. Marc, starting from 2nd slipped back to 3rd briefly but then regained his spot behind Dani. On lap four, Marc was passed by Rossi, who went on to also overtake Dani on lap six. The three riders rode in perfect formation until Marc passed Dani on lap eighteen to take 2nd. With just six laps remaining, Dani was unable to hold onto 3rd place and was passed by Crutchlow, who continued to chase down Marc. His injured right finger - from yesterday's crash in FP3, began to cause him trouble, as Marc was unable to brake with all four fingers which meant he was over stressing his arm muscles, but he held off Crutchlow for another podium finish - his 6th of the season.
Dani still leads the Championship Standings with 136 points, 9 points ahead of Lorenzo. Marc remains 3rd with 113 points as we head to round eight in Germany in two weeks.
Marc Marquez 2nd Championship Standing: 3rd - 113 points
"Overall the pace was faster than I had expected. At the start and throughout the race both Dani and Valentino were very strong. In fact, Valentino was simply faster than us today. I could only pass Dani towards the end, because at first I had a lot of trouble. Once I passed Dani, I tried to catch Valentino, but my arm began to affect me and I couldn't brake in my normal way due to my injured finger. In the end we took 20 points after a good battle with Cal and think I defended pretty well against him. In general, we can say we've done a good job all weekend. I have a lot of respect for Jorge today, he showed real strength and he did a great job. I would also like to congratulate Valentino, as it's always good for motorcycle racing when he's up at the front!"
Dani Pedrosa 4th Championship Standing: 1st - 136 points
"Today I started well, saving a crash at the very beginning with cold tyres and I was able to continue and put in some good laps. Then I had problems with the tyres, both in the front and the rear. Still, I tried to hold on for as long as possible, because I don’t want it to be an excuse. I sat behind Rossi for several laps, then as the race progressed it was more and more difficult to keep up, especially when Marc and Crutchlow caught me. I guess everyone was sliding around behind us, but I found that I could not control the bike on entry to some corners and that made me lose touch, especially in the closing laps. Overall this weekend we had very negative feelings and in the end we managed an ok race. Now it's time to move on, relax and get ready for the next round. Finally, congratulations to Jorge, because what he did today and how he did it was very impressive! I take my hat off to him"
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Round seven of the MotoGP world championship ended with a dry but cold day (18° C, 64° F) at the Assen TT circuit.
Andrea Iannone was initially in a quartet of all four of the Ducati riders, a few tenths out of the top ten, but he eventually had to settle for thirteenth place.
Prior to the next race, at the Sachsenring on 14 July, the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team and its Italian rider will take part in a private test on this Wednesday and Thursday to further develop the ‘laboratory’ Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“It was a very difficult day for me. I never managed to really improve from the first practice sessions this weekend, and I never had a good feeling with the bike. We’ll keep trying to improve; now we’ll go to Misano for a test, and I’ll certainly focus more on the electronics, as that’s an area where I struggled a lot. I have to learn to give more precise feedback to my engineers and technicians so that I can have an easier time in the race. This is a particular track where there’s very little braking, and that doesn’t suit our bike very well, as it’s very physical and quite difficult on corner entry. We’ll put this behind us and go to the Sachsenring.”
More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Round seven of the MotoGP world championship ended with a dry but cold day (18° C, 64° F) at the Assen TT circuit.
Michele Pirro was initially in a quartet of all four of the Ducati riders, a few tenths out of the top ten, but he eventually had to settle for 14th place.
Prior to the next race, at the Sachsenring on 14 July, the Ignite Pramac Racing Team and its Italian rider will take part in a private test on this Wednesday and Thursday to further develop the ‘laboratory’ Desmosedici GP13.
Michele Pirro - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“I still have to recover. I started to get arm pump on the second lap, and I had to back off because I couldn’t ride anymore. I tried to continue on without making mistakes, but I’m disappointed because I started pretty well and I certainly could’ve done better. The bike still isn’t how I’d like it to be, and I really had a hard time riding it. In the beginning I followed Nicky and Dovi and battled a little with Andrea [Iannone], but then I backed off. It’s certainly a race to forget, and now we’ll see if we can do better at the Sachsenring.”
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Rampant Rossi records first win of the season at Assen
Round 7: Dutch MotoGP™ - Race
Assen, Saturday 29 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 17-18°C; Track 29-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Valentino Rossi rode superbly for his first victory since returning to the Yamaha Factory Racing team, the Italian rider taking full advantage of his best qualifying position of the season to take the top step of the podium at Assen.
Starting the race on the second row in fourth position, Rossi worked his way through the front-runners and once seizing the lead on lap six was never headed, going on to take the chequered flag by 2.170 seconds. In second place on the Repsol Honda RC213V was Marc Marquez, the MotoGP rookie resisting a late charge from Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow who claimed his third podium of the year by finishing in third place. Aleix Espargaro finished in eighth place today on the Power Electronics Aspar ART to once more claim honours in the CRT class.
Track temperatures today were at the highest level recorded all weekend, with a peak measurement of 32°C recorded in the latter half of the twenty-six lap race. The warmer conditions resulted in some riders making a late decision to switch to the harder front slick option, with all but two of the riders selecting this tyre for the race. Rear tyre choice was uniform across the grid, with all riders selecting the softer rear slick available to them; the medium-soft compound rear slick for the works riders, and the soft compound rear slick for the CRT riders.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa still leads the MotoGP™ championship standings after placing fourth in today’s race, extending his points lead over Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo – who bravely rode with a broken collarbone to fifth place – to nine points. Marquez remains third overall and twenty-three points off the championship lead.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“It is very good to see Valentino back on the top step of the podium and I would like to extend my congratulations to him and Yamaha on their excellent performance today. I must also make a special mention for Jorge, as to ride like he did today with his injury was truly inspirational and the mark of a true champion. The weather finally made a change for the better today which helped give us good conditions for the race, and it is always great to see such a large and passionate crowd at this circuit. The weather for most of the weekend here was very cool and wet which made it very challenging for riders and resulted in some crashes, so I am pleased that today’s race was completed without any further incidents.”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was the first time this race weekend we had two dry sessions and this was important as it allowed the teams to fine-tune their setup, something that was made difficult due to the rain we experienced the previous two days. It was also warmer today and with the higher track temperatures, the need for warm-up performance was not so important which meant a strong trend towards the harder front slick, with all but two riders selecting this option. All riders selected the softer option rear slick as although the track was warmer, no riders had a chance to assess the performance of the harder rear slick in the practice sessions. It was a positive weekend for Bridgestone as our tyre allocation for this race worked well in the poor weather and I am encouraged by how our heat-resistant rear slicks performed in their first appearance at Assen. Our decision to develop this specification of slick for the Dutch Grand Prix is another example of our dedication to continually improve our tyres to ensure MotoGP riders get the highest level of safety and performance.”
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“I’m happy but I can’t believe it because it’s a great feeling to have won again. I never gave up and have always worked hard as it is my passion to race motorcycles and I have to thank Yamaha for giving me another chance with an M1 in the Factory team. It was a long race and I fought with Marc, Dani and Cal but I was faster today, so thank you to everyone who helped me with this victory and now we need to continue in this way.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
Valentino Rossi has won the Iveco TT Assen, picking up his 80th victory in the MotoGP™ premier class and his first since the Malaysian Grand Prix of 2010. The nine-time World Champion shared the podium with Marc Marquez and pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow, with Jorge Lorenzo finishing fifth despite a broken collarbone.
Lorenzo generated many of the headlines before the race, having been cleared to race less than four hours before the start and having travelled back from an operation in Barcelona. Rossi’s afternoon started from fourth on the grid. A decisive pass on LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl saw the Yamaha rise to third in a very strong move at the chicane as the first lap came to a close. The Italian then proceeded to hunt down the Hondas, dispatching of Marquez on Lap 4 and Pedrosa on Lap 6 in what was a similar move to that of 2007. He would go on to take an emotional victory by 2.1 seconds.
Marquez’s second place boosts his championship situation, finishing ahead of both Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Having sealed his first front row starting position since Le Mans, the 20-year-old rookie ran third but caught Pedrosa on the 18th lap; his first attempt to overtake failed, but the reigning Moto2™ champion made the most of his next opportunity and seized second spot on the drag to the first corner.
Pedrosa would fall back one more place before the chequered flag, losing out to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow who was fortunate to avoid a crash when he touched Marquez’s rear wheel on the final lap. Although fourth is Pedrosa’s worst result since Round 1 in Qatar, he still extends his championship lead by two points.
Lorenzo was mightily relieved to have scored 11 points, having suffered a heavy crash on Thursday before being operated on in the early hours of Friday morning. He arrived back at Assen on Friday afternoon and was given the green light to race after 11 o’clock this morning. Having risen to the top five from 12th on the grid by only the second lap, he ran as high as fourth but fell back as pain began to kick in.
Sixth place went to Bradl, who, from his first ever MotoGP front row, had briefly snatched second at the start, whereas GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista overhauled leading CRT rider, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, for seventh with six laps to go. On the final lap Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden lost two places and fell to 11th, dropping behind Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and his own teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva finished 23rd covering for the injured Hiroshi Aoyama, whereas Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek was the sole retirement.
Valentino Rossi’s success is his first since returning to Yamaha and, as well as being his 80th win in the top tier, is his 106th career victory and eighth at Assen.
Moto2™ title rivals Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding went toe to toe at Assen on Saturday, with the Spaniard triumphing in the Iveco TT Assen. Switzerland’s Dominique Aegerter finished third after leading earlier in the race, confirming his second ever podium finish after Valencia 2011.
On a weekend full of dramas, the first retirement came before the race had even started as 2010 class champion Toni Elias crashed on the Warm-Up lap. As the lights went out, Marc VDS Racing Team’s championship leader Redding quickly dispatched of Espargaro and his Tuenti HP 40 teammate Esteve Rabat to seize the lead.
The front battle hit fever pitch on the eighth tour. Espargaro had retaken the lead from Redding but, as the Englishman dived up the inside of the first corner, both men went wide and it was Aegerter who led the race to the delight of his team. As the front end pace increased, he would drop back into a battle with Rabat and Johann Zarco.
Espargaro handed the lead to Redding on the 20th tour, then following closely before mounting a strong challenge into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap. He would keep the top spot, defending at every one of Assen’s 18 corners. More last lap drama saw Rabat plummet from third to fifth, handing the final rostrum position to Aegerter on the Suter, while Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio finished fourth.
The aforementioned Zarco ended his day in sixth place for Came IodaRacing Project, with the rest of the top ten all crossing the line somewhat spaced out; positions seven to ten were filled by Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon, Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi, Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres and QMMF Racing Team’s Anthony West.
A total of four riders failed to make the finish. Following the pre-race demise of Elias, there were crashes for NGM Mobile Racing’s Simone Corsi, Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith and JiR Moto2’s Mike di Meglio.
Luis Salom has increased his Moto3™ championship lead by winning Saturday’s Iveco TT Assen. His advantage increases to ten points over Maverick Viñales, who lost the top spot by running wide in the final moments of the race. Alex Rins completed the podium after leading for many of the 22 laps.
Friday had seen Miguel Oliveira become the first-ever Portuguese rider to clinch pole position in any class, also picking up the first Moto3 pole for Mahindra Racing. He would finish the race fourth and involved in a titanic five-rider battle for the lead, with Salom picking up his third consecutive win and fourth of 2013.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom started fourth, having lost provisional pole position after running off-track in qualifying. He took second in the early stages of the race before dropping back to fourth position and holding station. His late-race attack – fast becoming a typical strategy of the Mallorcan – would begin in earnest three laps from home, pulling an impressive move on Rins for second.
It looked as though Viñales had the race won thanks to the fight taking place behind, but the Team Calvo rider’s wide line on the exit of Ramshoek was just the invitation Salom needed on the last lap. They would cross the finish line just a tenth of a second apart, with Alex Marquez dropping to fifth as Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate Rins completed the podium.
Rins headed the field for the majority of the race and by Lap 10 had pulled out a lead of 1.3 seconds, but this was quickly decreased as Salom in particular upped the pace of the chasing group. 19 seconds behind the top five, Jonas Folger was sixth for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3, with Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller a further eight seconds in arrears.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Arthur Sissis, Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou and Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo rounded out the top ten, while both CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara and Ambrogio Racing’s Danny Webb were injured in crashes; the Spaniard was taken to Assen hospital for a CT scan following a first-corner accident, whereas the Englishman fractured his right wrist and was attended to in the Clinica Mobile.
Salom’s feat marks only the second time a rider has won three consecutive races in the Moto3™ class.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Disappointing day for Ducati Team at Assen TT
The Ducati Team faced an uphill battle today in the Dutch TT, as Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden struggled with a lack of traction on their way to tenth- and eleventh-place finishes, respectively.
Although the teammates started one row apart, the usual shuffle of the early going had them riding nose-to-tail by lap two. For most of the race, Hayden and Dovizioso occupied ninth and tenth places, but a last-turn tussle between the two Ducati Team riders resulted in them trading spots and Bradley Smith passing them both before the finish line.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Dovizioso and Hayden will be at Misano for a test aimed at finding solutions for improving the competitiveness of the Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 10th
“Considering the expectations, the race didn’t go so badly. I followed Nicky for the entire race, and I rode really hard; it was so tough to do that pace here. The gap is still big, but compared to our gap in practice, we weren’t as far back on lap times. We pushed hard for the whole race, taking risks to try and catch Espargaro and Bautista. We were able to do it, but unfortunately we were really at the limit and weren’t able to battle with them. In the last chicane, I made a pass on Nicky that was on the limit, but I don’t think it was dirty. That chicane is famous for that, but unfortunately our battle on the brakes made us slow on the exit, and Smith passed us on acceleration. It’s a shame, but it just shows our difficult situation. Let’s say we limited the damage somewhat today.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 11th
“It’s been a very hard weekend, right from the beginning. There wasn’t much grip here, which certainly didn’t help us. We tried hard to make the bike better, but we couldn’t ever really get it working. It was quite difficult in the race, especially in change of direction. The bike was moving a lot, and I was pushing the front in a couple of the fast corners. I was really at the limit, and every time I tried to push a little harder to close the gap, I’d run a bit wide or lose the front. On the last lap, I didn’t get a good run through turn 15 and Dovi came up the inside and pushed us both wide, so Smith beat us both to the line. It was a racing move, and anyway, the real problem is we got beat by 33 seconds, which shows how far behind we are.”
Paolo Ciabatti – Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“It’s not easy to talk about a race like today’s. We knew that Assen was a circuit that didn’t favour the characteristics of our bike, but today’s result is obviously very disappointing. We realized right from the start of Thursday practice that it would be a difficult weekend, and unfortunately, despite our technicians’ hard work and our riders’ best efforts, we weren’t able to improve the situation. Next week we’ll be at Misano with our test riders and our team riders. We’re expecting three days of hard work to find solutions to make our bike more competitive.”
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
Edwards and Corti 1st and 2nd FTR – Kawasaki at Assen GP
The Dutch GP comes to an end at the TT Assen circuit for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team. The American and Italian riders have finished the Saturday race as first and second best FTR – Kawasaki bikes in seventeenth and eighteenth place respectively.
After a good beginning of the race, the traffic in turn one and a little mistake in turn five forced Edwards to slow down during the first lap, causing him to lose positions. Edwards’s race pace was very consistent and allowed him to overtake and regain the positions lost during the initial lap.
Claudio Corti has proven to be very competitive this weekend in wet conditions at Assen but struggled today during the first half of the race to have a fast pace. The Italian rider was able to close the gap with the front during the second half of the race and overtake fellow FTR – Kawasaki’s rider Hector Barbera.
“I felt like I had a good start and then when I got into turn one, I got kind of pinched off. Had to slow up on the inside, kind of almost run over the curb and a couple of them got by me. We came into turn five and got bumped around and pushed out wide and got on the white line and another couple of guys went by me, next thing you know I was in last place, or at least I felt like I was in the last place. Then I put my head down and passed a bunch of people, probably the most people I have passed in a long time. I could see my lap times were good, the guys in front of me where not leaving me so I tried to chase them as hard as I could but honestly that was hard work. This bike seems to be really heavy left to right, through chicanes in this high speed. Thanks to the team, it was a tough weekend.”
“A complicated race and as in previous races, I struggle during the first ten laps of the race with a full tank but once the tank is half-way empty things change for me, so we will have to work on this. Overall it was a difficult weekend except in wet conditions where I was able to be very competitive. At the beginning of the race I went wide and lost a lot of time but towards the end of the race I was able to narrow the gap with the front. I was able to overtake and regain positions, especially Barbera, given that we both ride the same bike, which was important for me. Now we have to work on improving our performance on the first half of the race because on the second half the pace is always better, so that is what I will be focusing on. I was not able to get in the points and that was the goal that the team and I had set for this weekend. We didn’t achieve it and I am sorry for that. We were first and second FTR – Kawasaki today and that gives us some satisfaction but I believe that we have a lot of potential with this and I believe that we can be closer, if not in the points.”
Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director
“We are not happy with today’s results because Colin had a good race pace but unfortunately during the first lap, after he had a very good start, in turn five everybody tried to enter the corner and pushed him out making him be in last position. Through out the race he regained positions and he had a good pace. His lap times were similar to the ones Pirro, Iannone, Abraham and Petrucci were doing but the gap that got created from the first three laps was impossible to close. Claudio had an even better start but he went straight at the beginning and lost some positions. Towards the end of the race and once the fuel tank was empting; he started to have a better pace. We were the first two FTR – Kawasaki’s and it is very positive but not good enough to be in the points today at Assen. The next race will be at Sachsenring, where last year we had a good result. It is a track that will probably be better suited for our bike and at where we will try to repeat our Barcelona results.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Crutchlow returns to podium in Assen thriller
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow made a stunning return to the podium in a classic Dutch TT encounter this afternoon.
The 26-lap battle was a nail-biting affair from start to finish and a fantastic charge in the second half of the race secured British rider Crutchlow a third rostrum in the last four races and ensured once again that he was unmatched as the outstanding non-factory rider.
Starting from pole position for the first time in his premier class career after a sensational qualifying performance yesterday, Crutchlow found himself down in fifth place in a frenetic opening to the 65th running of the historic Dutch TT.
With 90,000 fans gripped by the exciting action, Crutchlow’s podium challenge commenced when he seized fourth from heroic reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who just 48 hours after breaking his left collarbone in practice was producing a superhuman effort to keep the podium in his sights early on.
Crutchlow disposed of Lorenzo’s threat at the final chicane on lap 15 and he then moved into the rostrum places with an identical move to get by World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa on lap 21.
The former World Supersport’s blistering speed then saw him brilliantly hunt down Marc Marquez for second as the race reached an enthralling climax. Eager to equal the career best second place he scored in Le Mans last month, Crutchlow came close to pulling off a thrilling overtake at the first corner on the final lap.
Marquez though was not to be outdone and after coming close to contact, Crutchlow momentarily ran off track before recovering to claim a richly deserved fifth MotoGP podium that keeps him in fourth position in the World Championship standings
Bradley Smith produced yet another hugely encouraging display, the British rookie finishing inside the top 10 for the fifth race in a row.
Starting alongside eventual winner Valentino Rossi and Pedrosa on the second row after a career best qualifying performance, Smith did his best to keep himself in the hunt for the top six in the early stages to try and gain vital experience from the fastest riders in the world.
Struggling in the hard braking zones with discomfort from a recovery left wrist injury, Smith slipped outside of the top 10 but refused to settle for an 11th position he held from the fifth to the last lap.
Locked in a battle with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, Smith produced a stunning last lap attack to finish ahead of both to claim ninth for the third time in the last four races.
Cal Crutchlow 3rd – 87 points:
“I am really happy to be back on the podium after the disappointment of Barcelona. It was a great battle right to the end and once again I showed my speed and I was close to finishing second and that would have matched my best result in MotoGP. But obviously after starting from pole position I wanted to win the race and had it not been for me struggling with the full fuel tank in the first five laps, I think I had a chance to fight with Valentino. I can’t turn the bike on a full fuel load and then Jorge passed me and he was riding amazing considering his physical condition. It took me a while to get back by him but then I chased down Dani and Marc but it was a case of too little, too late. It was close with Marc on the last lap and I think we touched, so we were lucky he got back on the throttle when he did otherwise both of us could have been in the grandstand! Being back on the podium is great for Monster, Tech 3 and Yamaha and it is another positive result for the Championship. Before the start of the season, if somebody had said I would have been on the podium three times in seven races and been so consistently fast with the best riders in the world, then I would have been happy. Now we go to Germany in a positive frame of mind and hoping to get back on the rostrum again.”
Bradley Smith 9th – 41 points:
“With my wrist injury continuing to cause me a problem, today was probably my hardest race of the year. After the operation immediately after Catalunya I expected it to be better than the last two races but to be honest I have a few more problems now. So it was a good race and to be able to get ninth on the last lap is a good situation. The distance to Bradl was quite similar to Barcelona and truthfully this ninth feels better than the sixth I got in Barcelona because today I really had to battle and nobody crashed. The gap to the front is quite similar to Barcelona and obviously the big positive of the weekend was starting on the second row. I knew finishing seventh was going to be a best case scenario because I knew Jorge was going to be coming through. I stayed consistent and my pace in the second half of the race was strong. I still need to work on the set-up for the early laps but I can go to Germany with a lot of confidence. I’ve scored another top 10 and beaten two very experienced riders on the final lap. And hopefully the wrist will be less of a problem at Germany and I can be in a bit less discomfort than here.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“That was a fantastic race but truthfully we might have expected a little bit more after Cal scored his first pole position in qualifying. It was the first pole for us since Ben Spies in 2010 and had Cal been able to be a bit faster in the early part of the race I’ve no doubt he could have challenged Valentino for the win. So while we got pole position and a podium, which is a truly magnificent effort, we were hoping Cal would have been closer to the win. Take nothing away from him though because once again he was the outstanding non-factory rider, he beat the World Championship leader in normal conditions and almost passed Marc right at the end. Today Cal showed once again what a great job he is doing and we are confident he can battle for the podium in Germany. Bradley also had a very positive weekend. Unfortunately the wrist he damaged in Mugello is still causing him some considerable pain, so to qualify sixth and finish inside the top 10 again was a fantastic effort. He never gave up and he remained very consistent and to get a top 10 on the last lap from two riders with incredible experience like Nicky and Andrea will give him some confidence for the future. Finally congratulations to Valentino and Jorge. It is great for Yamaha and MotoGP to see Valentino winning again and I am lost for words to describe Jorge's performance. He showed why he is World Champion today and I am sure he was pleased to see Cal finishing ahead of Dani for the standings."
More, from a press release issued by Honda:
HONDA’S PEDROSA EXTENDS POINTS LEAD, MARQUEZ ON THE ROSTRUM
Repsol Honda RC213V riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez both took profit from today’s Dutch TT at Assen. The younger rider Marquez had the better result, finishing second to continue a run of top-three finishes interrupted only once in his first MotoGP season; but Pedrosa had the comfort of extending his overall points lead, with a strong fourth place.
A crowd of 90,000 fans made the journey to the north of The Netherlands to the classic Assen circuit, to be rewarded with yet another close and exciting race, won by popular former multi-champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), his first victory since 2010. It was the climax to a dramatic weekend, when all top three championship rivals suffered crashes in damp and difficult practice sessions.
Pedrosa was lucky to escape injury, but Marquez was nursing not only painful bruising but also a fracture in the little finger of his right hand, and another in his right foot. Jorge Lorenzo
(Yamaha) broke his collar-bone on Thursday, underwent surgery that night, and returned to the track for the Saturday race, finishing fifth.
Marquez’s second place was his second this year in the MotoGP class after winning the Moto2 World Championship last year. He claimed a first win at only his second MotoGP race at Austin in Texas, second place at Jerez in round three, and has been third at every other race except in Italy for round five, when he crashed out while lying second.
He qualified second at Assen – his fourth time on the front row, but was displaced on the run into the first corner by flying team-mate Pedrosa.
Marquez stayed with the older Repsol Honda RC213V rider as Rossi came past both of them on lap six of 26, and the trio kept close company as the laps counted down.
Then as Pedrosa’s pace dropped Marquez finally got ahead after several attempts with nine laps to go. He chased Rossi in vain, and at the end successfully fended of a fierce attack from third-placed Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha).
Pedrosa’s race started well, but the feeling didn’t last for the points leader, who has won twice this year so far. He took the lead into the first corner with a familiar jack-rabbit start from the second row; and stayed there for the first five laps, controlling the pace.
But the Spanish racer was expecting difficulties in the later laps. He’d been chasing grip issues all weekend, and as the tyres wore they returned with a vengeance. His valiant defence of second was eventually in vain, and by the end of the race he had dropped back, to finish fourth behind Crutchlow. It was the first time he has finished below second in the last five races.
German LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl finished a lone sixth after a steady race. He had lost positions off the start in the early laps as he struggled to regain the feeling that gave him his first-ever front-row qualifying position; but was steadfast in sixth, comfortably clear of the opposition.
That came from Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista, four seconds behind Bradl but less than one ahead of his race-long rival Aleix Espargaro (ART). After crashing out of the last two races, the Spanish former 125cc World Champion was anxious to secure a safe finish, but had his hands full with the persistent Espargaro to the finish.
Australian grand prix first-timer Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) was 21st on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine, crossing the line fourth in a close group of five battling riders. Eighteenth to 22nd places were covered by less than two seconds.
The battle in the all-Honda-powered Moto2 class went all the way, with Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP
40 Pons Kalex) regaining the lead from
championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) on the last lap, after the pair had outstripped the opposition to run away together after half-distance of the 24-lap race.
They were separated by barely a tenth of a second over the line. The result meant that Espargaro clawed back five points from the British rider, but Redding’s lead still stands at a comfortable 30 points.
An absorbing battle for third was also decided after a frantic final lap saw positions change almost corner by corner. Over the line Switzerland’s Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) narrowly claimed the last rostrum spot by just over a tenth, from second Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex rider Mika Kallio, Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) and Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project Suter). All five crossed the line within just over half a second.
Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) finished out of the points in 18th.
Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) was again the top Honda rider in the
Moto3 class, claiming a fine seventh place, still in strong pursuit of the leading group while also fighting off the attentions of compatriot Arthur Sissis (KTM).
The battling pair were comfortably clear of a massive mid-field battle, where Honda riders played a leading role. Ninth place to 21st crossed the line in less than four seconds – the winner of the battle was Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda rider Alexis Masbou, with the next-best Honda just two places behind – the Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda rider Isaac Vinales.
Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) was in the thick of it, claiming one point for 15th place to remain the top Honda in the championship, one point ahead of Miller.
The next race is the German GP at the Sachsenring, in two weeks.
Honda MotoGP rider quotes
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Overall the pace was faster than I had expected.
At the start and throughout the race both Dani and Valentino were very strong. In fact, Valentino was simply faster than us today. I could only pass Dani towards the end because at first I had a lot of trouble. Once I was ahead of Dani, I tried to catch Valentino, but my arm began to affect me and I couldn’t brake in my normal way, due to my injured finger. In the end we took 20 points after a good battle with Cal, and I think I defended pretty well against him.
In general, we can say we’ve done a good job all weekend. I would also like to congratulate Valentino, as it’s always good for motorcycle racing when he is up at the front.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th
“Today I started well, saving a crash at the very beginning with cold tyres, and I was able to continue and put in some good laps. Then I had problems with the tyres, both in the front and the rear. Still, I tried to hold on for as long as possible, because I don’t want it to be an excuse. I sat behind Rossi for several laps, then as the race progressed it was more and more difficult to keep up, especially when Marc and Crutchlow caught me. I guess everyone was sliding around behind us, but I found I couldn’t control the bike on entry to some corners and that made me lose touch, especially in the closing laps.
Overall this weekend we had very negative feelings and in the end we managed an okay race.
Now it is time to move on, relax and get ready for the next round. Finally, congratulations to Jorge, because what he did today and how he did it was very impressive. I take my hat off to him.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th
“Honestly we are not completely happy because we were expecting a better result after our first front row. Sixth is still okay, but we missed something to catch the guys in front. Actually we could not repeat yesterday’s lap times, and I felt the bike was heavier to turn. This cost us a lot of time in corner entries. Some riders passed me in the beginning on brakes because I was not able to fix my braking point, and I struggled to find my references. I was not able to put the things together and reduce the gap to the front.
Now we move to Argentina for a two-day test session, and then my home race at the Sachsenring. I am really looking forward to racing in front of my local fans.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 7th “We finished the race, and this was above all the main goal of this weekend. It’s a small consolation but after two setbacks this was very important. In the race I didn’t have a perfect feeling with the bike, because it was unstable and moving around a lot. Unfortunately with the weather conditions being so variable we didn’t have the time required to find the best setup. At first I tried to stay calm by getting heat into the tyres, trying not to take excessive risks.
Maybe I lost a bit too much time then, and later from the middle of the race I had problems with the rear brake and I could not slow down as I wanted. It took a few laps to adapt to the situation, and after that I tried to finish in the best possible way. It was not really a good race, but it was important to finish in order to think about the future with greater serenity.
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini, 21st “I was convinced that I could do much better. For a while I battled as part of the group but then I was not consistent enough until the end. For this reason I am a little disappointed with my performance. It’s further experience, but I would have preferred to end it with a different result.
However, I’ve learned some important things that I hope to put into practice in future races.
Honda Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP 40 Pons, race winner This whole weekend I have felt so confident – and felt so good with my bike. Through the race it was the same, and finally Scott and I had an incredible battle in the last laps. I was faster through the third and fourth sectors, he was faster than me in the first two. He wanted to close the door as we started the last lap, but I managed to do it. Thanks to my team. Now we must continue to work and recover points on Scott.
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team, 2nd “Normally I’d be disappointed with finishing second, but not today. It was a close race and it was good for me to know I could put pressure on Pol throughout, despite him having a bit of a speed advantage on the straight. I could pass him in the first sector but he would just come back at me in sector two or sector four. In the end I went through and tried to pull a gap, because I knew it would be difficult to hold him off on the last lap if we were close. It was all going to plan, but then the bike jumped out of sixth gear and it was enough for him to close on me again.
It was a close fight and Pol made some hard moves, but I was smiling in my helmet for the whole race. It was great fun, so losing out on the win by just a tenth at the end wasn’t as disheartening as it would normally be.”
Dominique Aegerter, Technomag carXpert, 3rd The race was very difficult. I made a great start and I could fight very well with the front group, and I could even take the lead for one or two laps. But it’s not so easy to fight with these people, and in the middle of the race I lost a bit of confidence with the front. Then when Zarco and Rabat passed me, I could get the confidence back. Thanks to the team for a good job, they gave me a good bike and I am very happy with my second podium.
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology-RTG, 7th “The bike was really good for the first eight laps and I had a good start … but I got stuck behind Arthur Sissis for a few laps and we lost touch with the leaders. I destroyed the tyres after ten laps, and I was losing the front all over the place. There was another good battle with Sissis at the end, and I managed to fight him off. I’m pretty happy. The bike worked great, and we got a decent finish and were top Honda at a track I don’t like very much.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold, 9th
“A good result. This weekend I thought it was possible to start with the fast group, but the gap was too much in the early laps. I got a good rhythm and a lot of times I was in front of the second group and doing my best. There was a big fight in the last laps and we lost a lot of time, but then we saw the front of the group again and got good points again. Not so bad.”
Isaac Vinales, Ongetta-Centro Seta, 11th “It was a shame not to make it to the top ten.
After this successful weekend I was highly motivated to make a good start and try to hook up with the leading group, but in the first two laps I had a hard time finding a good pace because I had some pain in my right shoulder from the fall yesterday. I fought in the second group where it is difficult to gain pace because so many other riders are mixed up with each other. Anyway it was a fun race and I have shown I am a candidate to be top Honda. This give me extra motivation.”