MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Assen: where stuff happens
MotoGP’s most historic venue has a habit of dramatically affecting the title chase, but never more so than in 1992
The Dutch TT (it’s the only non-Manx motorcycle race licenced to use the Tourist Trophy moniker) has a long habit of throwing a spanner in the works of ambitious racers.
Just ask reigning MotoGP champ Jorge Lorenzo. Assen helped derail both his previous title defences – in 2011 he was taken out by Marco Simoncelli and in 2013 he fell in practice and broke a collarbone. Hopefully he’s not the superstitious kind who believes that bad luck comes in threes.
Valentino Rossi has also known Assen’s cruelty. In 2006 he fell during practice and broke a wrist and an ankle. It was the beginning of the end for his hopes for a sixth consecutive title.
There are plenty more tales of cruel luck at the Circuit van Drenthe (to give the track its official name), but none more so than the story of what happened at Assen in June 1992, when the Dutch TT turned into some kind of surreal MotoGP disaster movie. And then something happened at the end of the weekend that signalled the start of a transformation of the GP landscape.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.