Press releases from the teams and Bridgestone after Saturday's exhilarating Dutch TT at Assen:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Conquers the Cathedral with Fifth Consecutive Double Podium
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi came out victorious today after a stunning race at TT Circuit Assen, that was decided in the final meters before the flag. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also gave a strong performance to secure third.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi completed a perfect weekend at the TT Assen with an impeccable victory, the 111th in his career and his third of the 2015 season. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also did a superb job at the overcast but dry track, coming from eighth on the grid, to take Yamaha to its fifth double podium of the season.
Valentino Rossi kicked off the Dutch Grand Prix from pole with a dream start to take the holeshot. He held a 0,426 advantage to Marc Marquez after the first lap. The Doctor tried to break away from his encroaching rival and the rapidly approaching Lorenzo and responded by dipping under the previous lap record, but was unable to shake his pursuers off.
Rossi had Marquez on his tail by lap four, but used his YZR-M1's nimble nature to the fullest to keep him at bay. He held on to his position until the Spaniard made his move going into turn one with seven laps to go, but the Doctor was far from defeated. Refusing to let his rival go he stuck close to Marquez and bided his time for four laps before retaking the lead.
The following laps had the fans on the edge of their seat. Valentino rode a personal best time on the penultimate lap of 1'33.673 to create a margin, but Marquez closed in on him in the second half of the last lap. The crowd went wild when the Spaniard made his move going into the chicane for the final time clipping the side of the YZR-M1 and forcing Rossi to run straight through a patch of gravel. The Italian did well to hold on to the bike and reentered the track in front of his rival to take his third win of the season with a 1.242s advantage.
It was a lonely race for teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Starting from eighth on the grid he flew off the line, taking fifth in the first corner. With his teammate in his sights he had an incredible first lap and started to claw his way to the front. He overtook Aleix Espargarò and Pol Espargarò to finish the first lap in third, but the passes cost him valuable time.
The Spaniard put his head down to close the gap to Marquez in second place, but was unable to join the front-runners. With no other riders to spar with, he focused on managing the gap to the rider in fourth place and crossed the line 14.576s behind his teammate, claiming his fifth podium in a row.
The results see Rossi hold on to the lead in the championship with a 163 points total. He is now ten points ahead of teammate Lorenzo in second place.
There is little time for Rossi to recover from today's epic battle; he will be heading straight to the United Kingdom for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this evening and tomorrow. After this prestigious event, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will move on to Germany for the next round at Sachsenring in two weeks' time.
1st / 40'54.037 / 26 laps
"I pushed, and I don't want to say I did a perfect race, but close. I saw I was not able to get distance from Marc. It's always difficult with him and you know the battle will be very hard, but I was confident that I was competitive and I wanted to try for victory. In the last laps I pushed a lot and I arrived at the last chicane when Marc tried to overtake but he arrived a little bit too late, I was already into the chicane and we touched a little bit and I had to cut the corner. Essentially I had no choice and I was lucky, because I got on the gravel, but I stayed on the throttle even though I didn't know how deep it was and I thought there was a chance I could lose control. When I returned to the track I checked the position of Marc, but he had slowed down more than I did. It has been a great weekend and it's very important because I increased my point advantage over Jorge. I think that in a championship as close as this, it is very important you take the maximum profit when you are competitive and when you like the track, because for sure we will have some more difficult moments. It was fantastic to come back here with a victory. I think we deleted the results of Jerez, where Jorge gained nine points over me and now we have to try to delete also Mugello's results where he did the same thing. Apart from the joke, it is very important because Jorge did fantastic to cut down a 28 points gap to just one. So to take nine points now is crucial, also because I think this championship will arrive to the last race and the last lap."
3rd / +14.576 / 26 laps
"We are still ten points behind the leader, which is good. It was 29 points after Argentina so now ten points after a difficult weekend that we had before a race is not so bad. I make a good start, I was really focused in the first lap to recover positions and did it faster than I expected, because I was already in third position when we crossed the finish line for the first time. I tried to keep up with the pace of Valentino and Marc, but they were really strong and I realized that today was not the day. Today was the day to fight and keep this third place, which is very good for the championship. If we struggle and still finish in third place, it's a good thing. Valentino was a little bit more competitive here from the beginning, Marc improved his bike and was more comfortable to keep up the pace and for us it was the opposite. We found that the harder tyre gave us a little bit more problems and in two sectors I couldn't be fast enough and lost so much time in sector two and four. In both I lost half a second and that made it impossible to have a good pace. The next race will be a bit more complicated at Sachsenring, because I've never won there, but you don't know what might happen."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"What an amazing race! Vale really deserved the victory, we couldn't ask for anything more from him. He and the team worked really well over the entire weekend and everything went exactly how they wanted it to go. Valentino rode a very impressive race, because to take victory with someone following you that closely is very difficult. Jorge also did a good job today to take third. Considering the problems he had this weekend and that he had to start from eighth, he did really well. Overall we are very satisfied with our performance at Assen. I have to thank everybody on the team. They all did a fantastic job and proved again why we are the team to beat in the championship. We leave here again with our heads held high, having delivered yet another amazing performance by riders and team."
Marquez takes second after spectacular battle with Rossi in final chicane with Pedrosa 8th
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have experienced another strange race weekend in Assen at the Dutch TT. Qualifying 3rd and 4th on the grid for today’s 26 lap race, both riders showed strong pace throughout the practice sessions. However, in this morning’s warmup session, Dani suffered a high speed crash in turn nine, resulting in a trip to the medical centre and his mechanics with a heavy workload to prepare the bike in time.
Fortunately, Dani escaped serious injury and suffered from heavy contusions to his left thumb and middle finger forcing him to take painkillers prior to the race.
Marc had a good start to the race moving up to 2nd place behind Valentino Rossi on the first lap, but Dani had an issue with his clutch creating too much spin at the start and costing him valuable seconds, resulting in him dropping back to 13th. He soon realised that there was a problem with the brakes which proved costly as he tried to pass riders to move into the podium battle.
Dani climbed up to 8th by lap thirteen and entered a battle with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Marc, who had been tracing Valentino for nineteen laps – recording a new fastest lap record on lap four of 1’33.617 (Beating Dani’s 2012 time of 1’34.548) – made his move with seven laps remaining, taking the lead. With just three laps to go, a small mistake in the last chicane allowed Rossi to pass Marc and try to open up a gap. Marc showed true character and recovered four tenths of a second in the last lap to Valentino and made his move into the last chicane on the final lap. The two riders touched briefly but Valentino was able to pick the bike up, riding through the gravel trap, beating Marc to the finish line.
Meanwhile, Dani got pushed wide at the same chicane by Pol Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow and was demoted to 8th after briefly running in 6th.
After the official post-race press conference, Marc and Valentino were called into race direction for a rider hearing and to review the video footage. It was agreed this was a racing incident and no appeal has been lodged.
2nd Championship Standing: 4th - 89 points
"I am very happy that I'm back on the podium and I had a good race, fighting for victory until the end. I think it was a moral victory for us, but we were riding at the limit on the last chicane. We have worked very well all weekend and I have to thank the team, because you regain confidence when you're with the best team in the World. They are helping me a lot and this was shown by the fact that, at a track where we are usually not so strong, we fought for the win until the last corner. We’ll see if we can take another step forward in the coming races. We rode a last lap to win the race, especially on the last chicane. I had studied things well and knew where I had to brake in order to be able to overtake Vale, and so I did that but didn’t end like I wanted…."
8th Championship Standing: 10th - 47 points
"It was a bad day. I had a very strange crash in the morning: I was going straight, braking, and the tires were already up to temperature –but I lost the front without warning. Unfortunately the bike was damaged, then I took off my glove and saw I had cut my finger but I was still able to return for the race. I had to use my second bike and I had a problem with it, because when I released the clutch at the start the bike did not react. I had to release it completely and began to slide. I went from fourth to thirteenth and I lost many positions, but in addition I also had a problem with the brakes. I tried to adjust it but I could not control the bike under braking. It was very difficult to adapt, but in the end I managed to make up some places. However, I couldn’t brake well and on the last lap Crutchlow took me out on the chicane and I lost more positions."
Positive Dutch TT race for Andrea Iannone, fourth at the flag. A vibration hampers Dovizioso, who finishes twelfth
Andrea Iannone managed to score another good result in round 8 of the MotoGP World Championship, the classic Dutch TT round held at the Assen circuit. The rider from Abruzzo, who started from sixth place on row 2 of the grid, got off to a good start and was fifth at the end of the opening lap. On lap 3 he passed Pol Espargaro to move into fourth, a position he held until the chequered flag, and he ended the race with a five second gap to his Spanish rival.
Andrea Dovizioso, who started from row 4 after qualifying tenth on the grid, had another unlucky race. The rider from Romagna managed to work his way up to fifth place by lap 11 after passing Smith, Crutchlow and the Espargarò brothers, then held on to that position until lap 14. Unfortunately an unexpected vibration on his GP15, which got worse lap after lap, forced him to slow his pace and as a result Dovizioso had to settle for twelfth overall.
Iannone stays third in the Riders’ standings with 107 points, while Dovizioso drops one place to fifth on 87 points, two behind Marquez.
Ducati lie third in the Constructors’ standings with 132 points, with the Ducati Team still second in the special ranking for teams.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th
“It was a difficult race because when you aim for better results it’s not easy to be satisfied with fourth, even if you score good points. In the race I got off to a good start, unlike in the other rounds, but I was not able to run particularly well in the first three or four laps and I struggled to pass Aleix Espargarò right away, so I lost touch with Jorge, Marc and Vale. My race pace was similar to Jorge’s so I could probably have tried to do a bit more. However we have to be pleased and satisfied because we managed to take home the best possible result today. I believe that we did a good job over the weekend, we ran a constant pace throughout the weekend and again we were able to work out the right direction to follow.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 12th
“It’s a real pity what happened today because after not exactly setting the world alight in qualifying, I had succeeded in moving up to fifth place in the race. I was running behind Iannone when a part of the seat, attached to the exhaust, broke. This moved around a lot and caused the front of the bike to vibrate. I had to slow down because I almost crashed many times and this did not allow me to score a good result. Without this setback we could have done a good race even though we were not entirely satisfied with our speed.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Andrea Iannone did a really nice race, getting a good start and keeping up a good pace that enabled him to take the chequered flag in a well-deserved fourth place. Unfortunately a technical issue conditioned Andrea Dovizioso’s race while he was lying in fifth. These things should not happen but we have to look ahead with confidence.”
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR TOP-10 AT ASSEN MotoGP
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 27.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales raced to ninth and 10th places respectively in today’s eighth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the TT Circuit of Assen in The Netherlands.
Although the start to the weekend was not easy for both Spaniards, with some difficulties in finding a good set-up, yesterday’s qualifying proved positive with Espargarò in second and Viñales ninth. Today, both fought hard in the middle of the pack, struggled to find clean lines, but finally managed to gain a positive result that gives them points in the Championship as well as important feedback to the Team for future development.
Satoru Terada – Project Leader:
“This has been a pretty hard race for us, we got a very positive result in qualifying with Aleix in second place but we couldn’t turn this into a good result in the race. Assen is a very demanding circuit in terms of engine performance and we lack in acceleration. This prevented us from being competitive with the top riders and both Espargaro and Viñales had to struggle in the middle of the pack. Acceleration is our weak point at the moment and we will now be working hard to fill this gap. I hope that the next round at Sachsenring will be easier for us since it requires a lot of handling and cornering; which are the strong-points of our GSX-RR. We are constantly-developing the machine, we knew it would be a hard path, but we are keeping very positive for the future.”
“This race was pretty frustrating, we still suffer in acceleration and this was a problem at such a tight circuit like Assen. At the very beginning I lost many positions and then I had to fight in the middle of the pack to be competitive. Braking and cornering is pretty easy with the good chassis we have, but when it comes to acceleration, everything gets harder and harder. I tried to push from the early laps, but then in the middle of the race I knew it was impossible to fight for the top and I concentrated on earning the points. For sure we can do better but it’s also true that this weekend was hard from the beginning; but we managed to get second place in qualifying and a positive race result so we must be proud of this. I hope in Sachsenring we will be able to show the big potential that we have.”
“Despite the result on the timesheets I think this was probably one of my best races so far. In Catalunya a lot of riders in front of me crashed, while here in Assen it was a real race. This circuit is stop-and-go, with big acceleration from first-to-sixth gear, and we know that we suffer when it comes to absolute power. The positive thing is that my pace was good and I got closer to the top riders when it comes to handling, braking and changes of direction. For sure we still need to improve the qualifying, to avoid always being in the middle pack: If I could make my own lines I’m sure I would get better results. We are still working on development but Sachsenring will be a more-friendly track for us so let’s hope for further improvements.”
BAUTISTA 17th AND MELANDRI 19th AT ASSEN
Assen (Holland), 27 June 2015 - The changes Aprilia brought to Assen were used both in practice and in the race, continuing development on the RS-GP. But after the good results obtained on Thursday and Friday a series of circumstances made the race difficult for both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders.
Straight away in the first lap contact between Barbera and Bautista took both riders out of the race and Bautista into the gravel. Alvaro re-entered at the rear of the pack, losing precious seconds, but from that point on he demonstrated an impressive pace which allowed him to catch up the group ahead of him and move up through the pack to 16th place. Just as it seemed that he would be able to make an attempt at a better position, Alvaro had the same chattering problem that had hampered progress in qualifying, forcing him to slow down and settle for a 17th place finish instead of a position that would have brought home championship points as he had done consistently in recent races. It was a difficult race for Melandri who finished 19th with a wide gap.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Unfortunately in the race the chattering problem that we had unexpectedly in qualifying returned and that slowed Alvaro down. It's a shame because he had already had a problem at the beginning in the first lap when he was knocked off track and despite losing a few seconds he re-entered lapping very well. It could have been a good race bit the problem got progressively worse and in the end Bautista had to slow down significantly.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“We didn't bring home any points but we gained another valuable experience. As always the goal was to gather information that we can use in developing the bike and we did that, even if it turned out to be a complicated race, with contact at the beginning that forced Alvaro to lose a lot of ground. We were a bit unlucky but we still finished the race with both bikes. We'll try to capitalize on the positive aspects and this is without a doubt one of them.”
“I got off to a good start, gaining a few positions, but in the last turn a rider behind me hit me. I was forced to take a little off track excursion and I re-entered in last place. Then I maintained my pace and when I was starting to catch up the riders ahead of me, around 10 laps from the end, I started having a strong chattering problem at the front. The problem got worse every lap and by the end I was having a lot of difficulty in the turns. It's a shame because we could have brought home points today. The weekend was positive in practice but then this problem with vibrations came up both in qualifying and in the race. Now we'll try to figure out what is causing it so it doesn't happen again in the future. During the weekend we also did a lot of good development work. The new swingarm provides a few advantages and we'll continue to use it in the future.”
“An excellent start but the usual chassis problems keep me from pushing hard. We'll head to Germany hoping for some changes.”
Petrux ended up 11th after a fantastic race. Yonny struggled and finished 14th
A fantastic 11th place for Danilo Petrucci in the Grand Prix of Holland. Yonny Hernandez (14th) has been missing that little step to overcome the difficulties of a Dutch weekend characterized by a large competitiveness and minimum gaps both in qualifying and in the race.
Following a huge Friday's qualifying, easily overcoming the Q1 to end the Q2 only 5 tenths of a second behind Valentino Rossi's pole position, Petrux confirmed the great feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 14 in the race. The rider from Terni has started really fast the race waging a good fight with Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales, then he managed to keep Dani Pedrosa behind him for five laps. With two laps to go the head to head with Maverick Vinales who has prevailed. But Petrux has not lost his aim and keeping his pace high, on the last lap he managed to close the gap of arounf one second from Andrea Dovizioso passing him in the last corner.
Yonny's race was very linear. The Colombian rider has earned a position at the start but was passed on lap five by Redding. During the race Yonny failed to lap with the good time recorder during warm uprace (1'34.675) being unable to reply to the British rider for the the thirteenth position.
OCTO Pramac Racing keeps the sixth position in the team ranking (72 points).
Danilo Petrucci (11th with 44 points) is close to Dani Pedrosa (47) in the race for the tenth place. Yonny Hernandez is 14 ° (28) 2 points behind Scott Redding.
11th - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing Team # 9
I am really very satisfied. I was close to the group in front throughout the race and finishing only 15 seconds from the podium is for us a great satisfaction. We were fast all the week end and in the race I pushed a lot. I missed to get into the group ahead but to see so close Crutchlow, Smith, Dovizioso and the two Espargaro made me learn a lot. On the last lap I managed to pass Dovizioso who seemed to have some problems. I'm sorry about this, we are very good friends, but this is a race. I would like to dedicate this good result to the team. I feel to understand more and more the bike even with a full tank that's wy I was able to lap very fast. I am really happy to be here. The whole teamis doing a fantastic job and I feel a great harmony.
14th - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing Team # 68
It has been a difficult weekend. I could not find the pace to be competitive. Especially with the front there has never been a great feeling. In the warm up I turned well but in the race I didn't manage to be fast. I hope to be more competitive during next race. We should have been perfect to be competitive during this weekend race, but unfortunatelly we didn't managed to solve some problems.
Redding collects valuable points in Dutch TT
Assen, The Netherlands – 27 June 2015: Scott Redding salvaged a hard fought 13th place at the end of a difficult weekend for the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider at the historic Assen circuit in the Netherlands today.
The Briton never found a confidence-inspiring set-up with his Honda RC213V ahead of the 26-lap race, which took part in cloudy but warm conditions in front of a bumper crowd of over 97,000 fans.
Redding still gave his maximum in the eighth round of the 2015 World Championship and his efforts were well rewarded with a sixth points scoring finish of the season that keeps him in the hunt for the top 10 in the overall standings.
The World Championship now heads to the tight and twisty Sachsenring track in Germany, with Redding remaining optimistic that he can reach a more competitive level going into the summer break.
Scott Redding: 13th
“I’m pretty frustrated. You think you take one step forward but then it feels like we take two back. Nothing seems to be going right at the moment and I feel like I am letting myself down. It is not good for the team too when they are putting in all their effort to try and find solutions to the problems. We’ve said we need to regroup before but nothing is improving and that is hard.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today was a very disappointing race and the conclusion to a very difficult weekend. It is difficult to understand why the pace wasn’t as strong as practice. All we can do is continue to work incredibly hard to try and be more competitive at the next race in Germany. We came here with a lot of optimism after a decent performance in Catalunya, but the weekend was tough right from the start.”
Espargaro storms to 5th at the Motul TT Assen
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro stormed across the finish line in 5th position today in Assen at the eighth round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. The Young Spaniard launched off the grid from 5th and met the first corner in 4th position whilst right in the mix with the factory MotoGP bikes. He executed an impressive overtake on Aleix Espargaro to move into third before being shuffled back one position at the end of the first lap. Espargaro then stuck into his fierce race pace as he intended to remain with the riders ahead of him. The lap numbers counted down and by the mid point of the race, he was heavily involved in a notable battle for 5th position with five additional riders. On the 20th lap, the pack was covered by just two seconds and the 24 year old was running in 6th with his sights firmly locked on Cal Crutchlow in front. Two laps later, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion powered past Crutchlow and progressed up to 5th before blazing across the finish line impressively ahead of the chasing four riders who were covered by just 0.388.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith produced another strong display in the Netherlands to seize 7th position after becoming involved in the tussle with his teammate that went right to the finish flag. The 24 year old rider commenced the 85th Dutch TT from 12th on the grid and produced a solid start to battle his way up to 8th at the fall of the first lap. Then Smith stuck into his race rhythm and rode consistently as he sought to close in on the group in front. The Briton remained calm and made steps forward before diving past Pedrosa on the 16th lap to seize 8th. With seven laps remaining, he tried to overtake his teammate, yet unfortunately ran off the track in the process and slipped back to 9th. However, Smith soon recovered the distance and was back in the middle of the battle for 5th. He powered onwards before reclaiming 8th on the 23rd lap and then geared up for the final sprint around the 4.5 kilometre circuit. Here he jumped up a place and after speeding out of the iconic Geert Timmer Bocht chicane he was less than a hairs breadth to Cal Crutchlow in what was a spectacular finish to the Motul TT Assen where he just missed out on 6th position by 0.069.
Position : 5th Championship : 8th Points : 56
"Of course, I have to be pleased with the fifth position today, yet it was a very tough race. Unfortunately, I had a lot of difficulties with my right forearm again, which I have recently had surgery on and the last six laps were particularly tricky. I ran wide in the fast corners and couldn't brake, so to be honest, riding like this was anything but easy. In the last three laps, I even started to think that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race as I was convinced I would run wide and crash somewhere. Yet, I kept fighting and held my position until the finish line, but I just tried to be as big as possible in the last lap to make the others struggle to go past me as I had nothing more to give on the brakes. Therefore, beside the satisfaction of the good result, there is also some frustration because in this situation it will be tricky to continue racing due to the problem itself which is also painful. However, tomorrow we will fly, as scheduled, to our first test in Japan for the 8 hour race and face this new challenge after the good result here in the Netherlands."
Position : 7th Championship : 6th Points : 77
"Overall, I am pleased to walk away from the Assen track with another solid finish even though it was hard work in this race. It was especially difficult behind the Honda and Ducati bikes as they have to be ridden in different styles when compared to the Yamaha, so it wasn't easy at all to find my way through. To be honest, it was a bit of shame that I qualified in 12th yesterday as I definitely felt that I had the bike underneath me which was strong enough for 4th position. In the second part of the race, I tried to pass Pol with around eight laps left to go, but I ran off track and then had to move back through the group all over again. I thought that I could have overtaken him and then broken away so it was a pity that I ran wide. Nevertheless, beating two factory bikes was great, especially as it was in one on one battles, so I’ve got to be pleased with my performance. Also the top satellite bike was only two bike lengths in front, which means we have been competitive again. I must say thanks to the team for the great job and I look forward to getting back on my Yamaha M1 at Sachsenring."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It was yet again a very strong race result for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. Both Pol and Bradley had good starts and were involved in the incredibly tough battle for 5th throughout the whole race, plus they also passed each other several times. Both were fighting with factory riders, such as, Iannone first and then Dovizioso, Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro who all fought and passed each other throughout the 26 lap sprint. Pol managed to finish ahead of this group even though he had a lot of pain in his right arm and I’m very glad that he was able to complete the race in this position. I’m really happy for him, especially after his DNF at his home round and I’m sure that this result comes at a perfect time for him and his whole team because they have worked very hard. Bradley was right there as well and at some point of the race he was even setting the fastest times of the entire group. Yet unfortunately, at this track it’s not easy to pass. The bottom line is that we leave Assen with a 5th and a 7th which is another positive finish for both guys. Pol was the first satellite rider, plus we are keeping our dream alive as we are just eight points behind Repsol Honda in the team championship and finally, I also want to congratulate Valentino on another incredible victory. Tomorrow our two riders are flying to Suzuka, so I hope they can recover and also sleep well on the plane and we trust to have them back strong at the German GP.”
CRUTCHLOW SCORES SIXTH PLACE IN HOLLAND
CWM LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow took sixth place in Saturday’s Dutch TT having started from seventh on the grid, having become embroiled in a race-long battle with several of his MotoGP rivals.
The British rider made a solid start in the sunny conditions, but as the leaders pulled away from the pack, Crutchlow was stuck in a dogfight with at least five others, which saw the group chopping and changing positions in virtually every corner, on every single lap.
Ultimately Crutchlow came home sixth to collect points for the first time in four races, adding 10 to his account for the season, and filling him with confidence before the championship heads to one of his most successful circuits, the Sachsenring in Germany, in two weeks time.
Cal Crutchlow #35 – 6th
“I had three non-finishes after three crashes, a couple which were no fault of my own, so I had to finish the race, but 24 seconds off the lead is not where I want to be. I think we had the pace to be fourth today, but I couldn’t get away from the group because the bikes in a straight line were faster than mine.”
“Andrea Dovizioso passed me down the straight six or seven times, and that messed up my rhythm preventing me from escaping. It was a nice battle though, because we have great respect for each other.”
“Battling with all the other riders was good fun, but I honestly wanted to be further up than I was. That said, I needed to finish the race so sixth is not so bad.”
MILLER CRASHES OUT ON FIRST LAP IN HOLLAND
It was a quick end to Jack Miller’s maiden Dutch TT in the MotoGP World Championship, as the Australian was involved in a melee at the final chicane on the first lap, which saw him crash out of contention.
After a positive weekend of practice, Miller had been disappointed with his qualifying position of 20th place, however he had been confident of making up spots in the race. Sadly, as he tried to make up positions into the last corner, he lost traction and ended up in the gravel.
Miller and the CWM LCR Honda Team will be back in action in two weeks time, at the Sachsenring in Germany.
Jack Miller #43 - DNF
“I got a really good start and had a small touch with Eugene Laverty off the line, but after that I recovered. Coming into the last corner I tried to pass Bautista but my rear tyre overtook my front tyre and I got a little nudge from someone. It was unfortunate because I felt quite good here all weekend and my pace wasn’t so bad, so to end it like this was a shame.”
“We are working hard every week, and I look forward to getting back to racing at Sachsenring. I’m more disappointed about losing the experience of racing here, we’ve missed out on a lot of laps and we are here to make laps. If we kep working hard I’m sure we can do a great job in Germany next time.”
Baz in front of everyone else at Assen
It was a two-faced race the one that has just ended in Assen for the Athinà Forward Racing team. Loris Baz was first Open after a tough race while his teammamte Stefan Bradl crashed and he fractured his right scaphoid.
Baz, 15th on the grid, had a good start and he was able to get behind his teammate and very close to the points. On the sixth lap he took the lead of the Open and kept it until the end when he crossed the line in 15th place. For the French rider this is the second win of the season in the Open class. The point collected in Assen consolidates his second place in the league and further shortens the distance from Barbera.
Unlucky race for Stefan Bradl who crashed heavily after few laps from the start. The German, 13th in yesterday’s qualifying, was the fastest Open but he suddenly lost the rear and crashed without being able to do anything to avoid the accident. After the first medical investigations at the Clinica Mobile, Dr. Michele Zasa confirmed the fracture of the right scaphoid. Bradl immediately left the track for Munich where probably he will have surgery his right hand in the next few days. A press release on his conditions will follow as soon as possible.
"Too bad, my race ended earlier than expected when I was leading the Open class and I was close to the points zone. I lost the rear and I could not do anything to prevent the fall. Unfortunately I broke my right scaphoid in the impact and I propably will have to undergo surgery to reduce the fracture".
"It was a tough race, but I'm happy with the end result. I struggled in the first half of the race, I could not push as I wanted, but the more laps the better was my pace. In the end I was very fast and I finished first in the Open class. I’m pretty satisfied if I think that until yesterday afternoon my health condition was badly affected by an intestinal virus. Only two points separate me from Barbera and this is one more reason to be happy. Thanks to all the team and the sponsors for their support: we can now go for the lead of the Open class".
Assen, a race to forget
27/06/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Dutch Grand Prix - RACE
Hector Barbera arrived to the Netherlands motivated and confident to be able to finish the race in front of his rivals in the Open Class, but he couldn’t finish the first lap after being rolled out by Jack Miller in the last chicane. Fortunately the Avintia Racing riders was unhurt, he has some pain in his ribs, but nothing that will prevent him to come back stronger in the next round in Sachsenring in two weeks time. Barbera has been leading the standings in the Open Class since the first race of the season and he is looking forward to increase the gap in Germany, the last race before the summer break.
His Avintia Racing teammate Mike Di Meglio started the race in a great mood after the steps made in the last few races of the championship. But today the conditions changed and the strong wind made his Ducati more difficult to ride and he was not able to match the pace shown during practice. He finished the race 18th and quite disappointed.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / DNF @HectorBarbera
I’m angry, because it’s sickening when things like this happen. I was looking forward to this race, in Barcelona was the same and I couldn’t show my performance, and here it happened again… I was convinced that today I could be the best Open bike and we had been working really hard during the weekend to find myself confortable on the bike. This morning I made 35.2 with a 27-lap rear tyre and everything was set to make a good race. But the rece was finished for me before I complete the first lap, Miller missed the brakes going in to the last chicane and he hit me. I don’t really know was he was thinking about, because it was impossible for him to make the turn. I was lucky to walk away unhurt because it was a bad crash; my right leg was caught with the rear wheel of his bike. I know Miller is a rookie, he has no experience with these bikes, but you have to be clever, because the race was 26 laps, and you can’t win in the first one. This is racing and now we have to think in Germany.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 18th (P3 Open) @Mikejpp63
The race was difficult and I was slower than in practice from the first lap. The bike felt completely different today. I’m disappointed because we have been working really hard during the weekend and our pace was similar to the Open Hondas, but today the wind changed everything and it was a disaster. There is one race left before the summer break and I want to get a reward from the job we have been doing in the last races. In Sachsenring will be important to understand why the bike behaves different when the conditions change.
Nicky Hayden places 16th at Dutch TT Open
Saturday, 27 June 2015 16:19
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider fights back after dropping to last on the opening lap, competing for best Open class rider honours
The Dutch TT at Assen provided another exciting MotoGP race this Saturday, won by Valentino Rossi from pole position. The Italian engaged in an entertaining battle with Marc Márquez. The two rode side-by-side for much of the race, out on their own after breaking free from the chasing pack. The victory was decided on the final corner of the final lap, at the notorious Assen chicane. Márquez attempted a pass, grazing Rossi and running him off track as the Italian avoided crashing. The shortcut along the gravel took Rossi to the chequered flag, in a finish that was controversial for the contact made by Márquez. Jorge Lorenzo completed the podium in third.
As in Barcelona, POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Nicky Hayden suffered a racing incident that relegated him to last position after the opening lap. This time it was Jack Miller who knocked him off the track at the end of the back straight and the American was forced to adjust. Thanks to the hard work of his team this weekend, Hayden was able to ride quickly and gain confidence during the warmup session and then copy the same pace in the race itself. He was able to climb several positions and get into the fight for best Open rider. Loris Baz finally managed to hold him off, but the Kentucky Kid was fairly satisfied with sixteenth place and a good performance.
Eugene Laverty also got involved in battle for best Open rider. A new swingarm for the Northern Irishman allowed him to be more consistent and today he was a tough opponent for his rivals, until on Lap 16 he lost the front at Turn 10 and crashed out.
16th Nicky Hayden: "The weekend did not go as well as expected. We had some problems, but the team worked exceptionally hard and that allowed me to get a good pace this morning. In the race I made a great start, probably the best of the year, but Miller knocked me off the track at the end of the back straight and I had to go onto the runoff area. That left me in last position and I had to fight hard. That was only possible because the bike responded well. After overtaking several riders I caught up with Baz, but not enough to try to overtake him. We must recognise that today we were very consistent, with excellent pace. It is a pity that, for the second consecutive race, I dropped to last place on the first lap and had to make a comeback. On the other hand, I am satisfied because we did not give up and were able to overtake many riders thanks to our great pace. On the closing laps, when the tyre performance dropped, there was some chatter that hurt us when turning, but even so we finished quite satisfied."
Eugene Laverty (DNF): "Today we fought for victory in the Open class, but unfortunately it was only in fifteenth position. The important thing is that I was consistently fighting until I went down. I pushed very hard, and in fact my fastest lap came just before the crash. We had some problems with the front, and I lost it at Turn 10 when accelerating. We’d had several warnings on similar corners, and it was just an unfortunate crash. We have done a great job this weekend with the new swingarm, and we can see that it has great potential and allows us to be consistent. We need to work on it, because when improve one area we get worse in others. This is my first crash in a race this year; it hasn’t been a great weekend, so we will try to change our luck in Germany."
Rossi resists Marquez to take victory at the Dutch Grand Prix
Round 8: Dutch MotoGP™ - Race
Assen, Saturday June 27 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 20-21°C; Track 31-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi signed off a perfect weekend in the Netherlands by emerging victorious from a fantastic battle with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez to extend his lead in the MotoGP™ championship standings.
Starting from pole position, Rossi led the opening laps of the race but was closely followed by Marquez throughout the twenty-six lap contest. After relinquishing the race lead to Marquez on lap twenty, Rossi was able to seize back the advantage with a few laps remaining and then held off an attempted pass by Marquez at the final chicane on the last lap to take victory by 1.242 seconds ahead of the reigning World Champion. A further thirteen seconds back in third place was Jorge Lorenzo, who after starting in eighth place on the grid was able to scythe through the field on his Yamaha M1 to secure a place on the rostrum. All riders on the podium selected the medium rear slick for the race, but although both Rossi and Lorenzo opted for the soft compound front slick, Marquez selected the medium compound front slick for the race and was the only rider to use this option for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Weather conditions were slightly cooler than yesterday but fine throughout the day, with a peak track temperature of 32°C recorded during the race. The stable weather allowed the riders to circulate at record pace, with Marquez setting a new Assen Circuit Record Lap time of 1'33.617 on lap four while Rossi’s race finish time was also a new record, beating the previous best race finish time by over twenty-five seconds. Tyre choice showed a strong preference for the soft compound front slick, with all the riders except Marquez selecting this option, while for the rear tyre the field was evenly split, with twelve riders each selecting the soft and medium compound rear slicks.
Rossi’s third victory of the year helps him extend his lead over teammate Lorenzo to ten points, while Andrea Iannone consolidates third position on the championship table and sits 46 points behind Lorenzo after taking fourth place at Assen.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today we saw a great battle for the race victory but in the end Valentino was too strong so congratulations to him and also to Yamaha for securing their sixth consecutive victory. I am happy that today we had the largest race day crowd at Assen since 2002 and it seems the great racing we are seeing on track is bringing more and more fans to MotoGP. I am very pleased that that new Circuit Best Lap, Circuit Record Lap and overall race time records were set this weekend, as Assen is a very demanding circuit and our tyre allocation performed perfectly. I am sad to hear the news that Stefan Bradl broke his scaphoid in a crash during the race and I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is able to take part in his home race in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“It was a bit cooler today but generally the conditions were very similar to what we experienced earlier on the weekend. As a result, tyre choice amongst the riders was the same that we saw yesterday afternoon in Free Practice 4 with almost every rider preferring the soft compound front slick. For the rear tyre, it was evenly split between the soft and medium compound rear and both of these options performed very consistently over race distance. It was good to have a weekend at Assen with generally stable weather conditions as this allowed the riders to show just how quickly and consistently they could lap at Assen on our latest generation of MotoGP tyres.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“This was a very important race for me as I was competitive all weekend and started from pole position. I pushed a lot for the whole race and my pace was very quick but Marc was able to stay close to me. I tried to play all my cards and my last two laps were really strong, but Marc tried to pass me into the last chicane but I was already through the corner. To take twenty-five points is important and it was a great victory here in Assen.”
PODIUMS FOR KENT AND LOWES AT LEGENDARY ASSEN
Twenty one year old Danny Kent kept a firm grip on the Moto3™ World Championship after finishing third in a superb race at the Motul Dutch TT at the legendary Assen circuit this afternoon. The West Country Leopard Racing Honda rider increased his lead in the Championship to 57 points after eight rounds. Scotsman John McPhee made a welcome return to form with tenth place on the Racing Steps Foundation supported RTG Honda, in the race won by Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes secured a top class third place in the Moto2™ race after starting from the front row. He cemented his third place in the World Championship behind Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat who were first and second respectively.
Isle of Man based midlander Cal Crutchlow bounced back to points scoring form with a welcome sixth place in the MotoGP™ race on the CWM LCR Honda after a fantastic battle with his fellow Brit Bradley Smith. The Oxford rider finally had to settle for seventh place despite running off the track. Gloucestershire's Scott Redding was a disappointing 13th while Eugene Laverty crashed out without injury chasing his fourth consecutive points scoring finish.
Rossi takes dramatic win after epic duel with Marquez
Valentino Rossi wins in dramatic fashion after an incredible race-long battle with Marc Marquez at the Motul TT Assen.
97,000 fans basking in the sunshine at the legendary TT Circuit Assen were treated to one of the greatest MotoGP™ battles ever witnessed as the nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi managed to hold off Marc Marquez in a dramatic end to the race to take his 111th GP victory and extend his championship lead.
Marquez made a move on Rossi as the duo entered the final chicane on the very last lap and made contact with the Italian, forcing Rossi to run straight on through the gravel. Rossi managed to stay upright though and went on to take the chequered flag 1.242s ahead of Marquez, claiming his third win of the season and first from pole position since Misano in 2009.
Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi, starting from pole for the first time since Valencia last season, led into the first corner and it didn’t take Marquez long to join him after starting from third on the grid, overtaking Aleix Espargaro on the first lap to move into second.
Marquez was happy to sit behind Rossi for most of the race, before making his move and taking the lead into turn 1 on lap 20. Rossi bided his time, and then responded with 3 laps to go to retake the lead at turn 10. The Italian then put in his fastest lap of the race in an effort to pull away, but Marquez responded on the final lap to get within striking distance once again as the duo approached the final chicane.
Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo enjoyed a brilliant start from eighth on the grid, and found himself in third after the first lap. Any hopes the Spaniard had of making it five wins in a row disappeared shortly afterwards though, as Rossi and Marquez pulled away at the front and disappeared off into the distance. The double MotoGP™ World Champion eventually crossing the line 14.576s behind his teammate in a lonely third position.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+19.109s) was another four seconds back as he also circulated for most of the race on his own, finishing just over four and a half seconds back from Lorenzo.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro won an incredible battle for 5th that saw four riders all within 0.4s of each other. The Spaniard also finished as the leading Satellite rider 0.105s ahead of CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in sixth. Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith crossed the line in seventh in front of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (+24.656s), who had fought back valiantly after a crash in Warm Up, and a disastrous start that saw him down in 12th after the first lap.
The Team Suzuki Ecstar duo of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales were next across the line in ninth and tenth respectively, ahead of Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (11th) and the second Factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in twelfth.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding finished 46.663s back from Rossi in 13th, while Loris Baz (Athina Forward Racing) took the Open class victory, and the final championship point that was up for grabs in 15th, just ahead of Aspar MotoGP Team’s Nicky Hayden who crossed the line in 16th.
Hector Barbera and Jack Miller were involved in a crash on the very first lap that resulted in the former having to go to the medical centre for checks on his right leg, although he was later declared fit. Alex De Angelis, Eugene Laverty and Stefan Bradl also crashed out; with the latter finding out he had fractured the scaphoid in his right wrist after an X-ray at the Medical Centre.
Rossi’s (163pts) victory, his 85th in the premier class, means he has extended his lead in the championship standings over Lorenzo to 10 points with ten races to go.
Zarco wins showdown with Rabat in Moto2™
Moto2™ World Championship leader Johann Zarco came out on top in duel with rival Tito Rabat in a re-started race at the Motul TT Assen.
Ajo Motorsport’s Zarco took victory in front of the passionate Dutch fans that had flocked in to see his showdown with title rival Tito Rabat at the TT Circuit Assen in conditions that improved as the race went on, with the sun coming out and track tempereatures rising to 28°C. The re-started race was reduced to 16 laps because of a red flag on the very first lap during the original race, after an incident between Marcel Schrotter, Anthony West and Luis Salom that saw the latter crash out and his bike catch fire, leading to oil on the track.
During the re-start Zarco got bogged down off the line while AGR Team’s Jonas Folger led into the first corner, and built up a lead of almost a second over Tito Rabat in second. Zarco picked his way through the field and attempted to make a move on Rabat for second on lap 4, with the two rivals making contact and Zarco running wide.
It didn’t take long for Rabat to close down Folger and take the lead on lap 8, with Zarco also passing the German shortly afterwards. Rabat the built a 0.5s gap at the front, before Zarco started to hunt him down. Zarco timed it to perfection as he took the lead with three laps to go, giving Rabat a ‘nudge’ in the process, and went on to win his third race of the season by 0.757s. Rabat had no answer to Zarco’s pace, and had to settle for second, with Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes (+2.080s) crossing the line in third after an excellent ride for his 3rd podium of the season.
Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Alex Rins (+03.738s) crossed the line in fourth ahead of Thomas Luthi (+4.530s) on the Derendinger Racing Interwetten Kalex and Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Xavier Simeon (+5.045s) in sixth.
Folger faded after his excellent start to the race, eventually finishing in seventh, with Mika Kallio (Italtrans Racing Team) in eighth and rookie Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) equalling his career best Moto2™ finish in ninth.
Athina Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi completed the top ten as his teammate Lorenzo Baldassari crashed out of the race in an incident with Anthony West. Louis Rossi, Ricky Cardus and Florian Alt also recorded DNF’s, with Luis Salom not able to take his place on the grid for the re-started race due to the damage to his bike from the red flag incident.
Zarco (159pts) has now extended his Moto2™ World Championship lead over Rabat to 45 points, with Sam Lowes (96pts) consolidating third a further 18 points back.
Oliveira takes incredible Moto3™ victory
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira takes his second Moto3™ victory in a simply sensational race at the Motul TT Assen.
The packed grandstands at the legendary TT Circuit Assen bore witness to a incredible seven way battle for victory in an epic and dramatic Moto3™ race in which Miguel Oliveira claimed his second victory of the season by just 0.066s.
The sun came out to play and track temperatures rose to 26°C before the start of what would turn out to be an incredibly dramatic race. A leading group of seven riders broke away from the rest of the field in the early stages to provide drama and excitement in equal measure as they fought tooth and nail for the victory.
The lead swapped hands at almost every corner, as the riders in the leading group put move after move on each other, but it was Oliveira who timed his charge to perfection to snatch the lead just before the final chicane and held on across the line to take KTM’s 3rd win of the season ahead of 16-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and championship leader Danny Kent (Leopard Racing +0.117s).
Jorge Navarro (+0.179s) had to settle for fourth ahead of the hard charging Romano Fenati (+0.252s) on the Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM, while the man who started form pole, 17-year-old Italian Enea Bastianini (+0.526s), crossed the line in sixth.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the last man in the leading group in seventh, with his teammate Karel Hanika wining the battle for eighth in the chasing pack (+21.406s) ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), who completed the top ten.
RBA Racing’s Niklas Ajo crossed the line in 17th in remarkable fashion having lost control at the final corner in the battle for 8th and managing to hold on while hanging completely off the side of his bike to finish the race, eventually crossing the line on his knees.
Maria Herrera looked on course for her first top-ten finish before Antonelli took her out after losing control under braking while she was leading the chasing group in 8th. Her teammate Isaac Viñales also crashed out after contact from Juanfran Guevara, while Efren Vazquez, Andrea Locatelli, Zulfhami Khairuddin, Alexis Masbou and Tatsuki Suzuki all failed to finish, with the latter suffering from a technical fault on the first lap.
Kent managed to extend his lead in the championship standings once more, and is now 57-points clear of Bastianini, with Oliveira another 6-points back in third.
Danny Kent extends his championship lead with a third place at Assen
Valentino Rossi wins the Dutch TT after a fantastic battle with Marc Marquez