MotoGP Race And Practice Results
97,150 turned up to watch a 26 lap race on a dry day and they were not disappointed as Assen gave the fans the kind of race they've come to expect.
Jorge Lorenzo's eighth place start would ensure his unbroken run of laps led would end when Valentino Rossi led Aleix Espargaro, Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro through turn one. Marquez, finally on a Honda he felt he could race, wasted no time despatching Aleix Espargaro and glued himself to the back of Rossi's Yamaha. Lorenzo passed both Espargaroes and finished the first lap right behind Rossi and Marquez. Andrea Iannone clawed his way to fifth and passed his second Espargaro to take fourth at the end of the third lap.
On lap four, Rossi set the lap record and one lap later, Marquez beat it to close whatever small gap there was and the front two started to gently eke a gap from Lorenzo in third while Lorenzo kept increasing his gap from Iannone to two and a half seconds.
As Rossi and Marquez broke away at the front, Lorenzo started getting lonely, with a large gap in front and behind, able to just lap comfortably at his pace. Iannone behind him took a while to clear the fifth place battle behind him. As Iannone's gap increased, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow continued their career long battle at the lead of the pack.
Rossi and Marquez at the halfway mark were over four seconds clear of Lorenzo and Lorenzo had over five seconds from Iannone. This stretched out over the next few laps but Rossi couldn't shake Marquez, even making a slight error with a tearoff that let Marquez close right up, but he couldn't close.
With seven laps to go, it was a bit different, Exiting the chicane, charging towards his pltboard that read "L7 BRK", Rossi hit a patch of grass, losing a slight amount of traction. It was all Marquez needed to have the drive to take the lead into turn one, and Marquez would finally have the opportunity to make a break at the front. Rossi, however, had other ideas and sat behind him, not letting him get away. The pair seemed to never be further apart than a few tenths for most of the race and the switch of the lead did nothing to change this. Four laps from the end, Rossi made a rehearsal of a pass at the chicane but passed much earlier on the subsequent lap. By the chicane just before the penultimate lap, Marquez was able to delete whatever advantage Rossi had made and the pair were once again in lockstep.
With two laps to go, Valentino Rossi increased the pace and made a run for it. Marc Marquez followed. The gap built to four tenths, five tenths, back to four tenths and the last lap started after Rossi set his personal best lap of the race trying to unsuccessfully break Marquez.
The race would, as they so often do at Assen, come down to the last chicane, in front of a baying crowd. On the right hand entrance, Rossi went wide and Marquez drove to the apex, touching Rossi's knee and elbow with his bike and Rossi took to the gravel. Marquez recovered and charged for the exit only to see Rossi looking back at him, having wound on the throttle in the gravel and taken a huge advantage from their contact. Valentino Rossi won his first race from pole position since 2009 and increased his title lead.
Thirteen seconds back, Jorge Lorenzo took third place, five seconds clear of Andrea Iannone while Pol Espagaro beat Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Dani Pedrosa in a very crowded race for fifth place.
Did Rossi play the youngster like a fiddle to guarantee the win? Only Valentino knows, but he did seem survive the impact a little cleanly. Let's call it racecraft and look forward to the next race.
|15||76||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||+52.396|
|18||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||+1'14.513|
|19||33||Marco MELANDRI||Aprilia||1 Lap|
|15||Alex DE ANGELIS||ART||3 Laps|
|50||Eugene LAVERTY||Honda||11 Laps|
|6||Stefan BRADL||Yamaha Forward||21 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||0 Lap|
|43||Jack MILLER||Honda||0 Lap|
The Moto2 race was red flagged before the first lap was completed as Luis Salom clipped the back of Ant West's bike and tumbled off track, cracking its right crankcase, spilling oil all over the place and ignominiously catching fire. The restart would be 16 laps.
Jonas Folger, lurching to second place on the first start, took advantage of Johann Zarco's wheelie at the lights to push through to the immediate lead from the second row. Tito Rabat, Xavier Simeon and Johann Zarco followed but it didn't take long for Zarco to take third place and latch onto the back of Rabat and then pass him while Folger had built almost a second of lead. Rabat took second place back a lap later, losing it briefly to Zarco, but making the third pass stick, both riders leaning on each other as they vied for position. Simeon made hay while the sun shone, taking third place from Zarco in the gap made by Rabat.
Folger's lead extended to over a second, but Rabat, briefly freed from a hounding Zarco by Simeon, had room to charge down the leader.
In one lap, Rabat closed the 1.1 second gap, setting the lap record with a lap ominously 0.91 quicker than Folger's. Lowes caught Zarco and pair set about catching the leading duo.
A lap later, going into the chicane, Rabat took the lead. A lap later, Zarco passed Folger for second and a lap after that, Lowes took third place from the German. The front three, the top three in the championship, then had the podium order to settle as they cleared off from the rest, leaving Folger to the charging second group of Alex Rins, Thomas Luthi and Xavier Simeon.
Two laps from the end, Zarco squeezed past Rabat, as Lowes struggled with the pace, settling for third as Zarco broke away a few tenths at the lead.
Johann Zarco won by three quarters of a second and celebrated with a back flip off a barrier, having parked near as many photographers as he could find. Tito Rabat took a comfortable second while Sam Lowes settled for a safe third almost two seconds clear of Alex Rins in fourth. Jonas Folger was passed, one by one, by the entire second group and finished in seventh, in spite of a convincing lead at the start.
Zarco extended his lead as the top three finished in the same order as their championship standings.
|3||22||Sam LOWES||Speed Up||+2.080|
|11||60||Julian SIMON||Speed Up||+11.749|
|18||23||Marcel SCHROTTER||Tech 3||+25.663|
|25||13||Jasper IWEMA||Speed Up||+1'10.079|
|7||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI||Kalex||5 Laps|
|95||Anthony WEST||Speed Up||5 Laps|
|96||Louis ROSSI||Tech 3||7 Laps|
|88||Ricard CARDUS||Tech 3||11 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|66||Florian ALT||Suter||0 Lap|
|39||Luis SALOM||Kalex||0 Lap|
A dry start and no flag-to-flag racing in Moto3 means the race would be stopped to let the riders change to wet tyres for safety reasons if it starts to rain. Would the weather hold off?
Miguel Oliveira led into the first turn and held that for three laps as a group of six riders, Oliveira, Enea Bastianini, Jorge Navarro, Danny Kent, Fabio Quartararo and Efren Vazquez, started to clump together, Vazquez crashed out on the third lap and was replaced by a hard charging Romano Fenati and joined by Brad Binder.
Quartararo took the lead briefly, but Oliviera took it back and held on until Fenati made it through the leading crowd to the front to lead over the line as lap seven started. The front seven were over three seconds clear of eighth place and the gap kept increasing.
Danny Kent took his turn at the front but couldn't hold Enea Bastianini off for long. Then, four riders abreast, Miguel Oliveira took the lead back.
On lap 12, Francesco Bagnaia lots the front a little into turn one and forced his teammate Juanfran Guevara into Maria Herrara, causing the pair to crash out as Bagnaia escaped unscathed.
Bastianini led for a lap before Fenati took it back as the front seven swapped places, Brad Binder being the only constant at the back. After a few more lead changes, Jorge Navarro finally took his turn at the lead, the sixth rider to lead over the line, and he held it until the last lap.
Oliveira led at the beginning of the opening lap but it was all change as the top seven riders jostled for position, Quartararo leading before the last section with Kent up to second, but Oliveira knew his position, having taken second from Kent, was the best to go for the win and he passed Quartararo over the line with Kent in third.
Niklas Ajo entered the last chicane but lost control of his bike and was thrown out of the saddle. He held on to the handlebars and wrestled the bike across gravel and grass on his knees and somehow wrangled his KTM over the line with both knees grinding leather on tarmac and wearing a hole on the toe of his left boot.
Danny Kent increases his lead to fifty-seven points, but Oliveira closed up to within six points of second-placed Bastianini.
|27||25||Jorel BOERBOOM||Kalex KTM||1 Lap|
|28||86||Kevin HANUS||Honda||1 Lap|
|55||Andrea LOCATELLI||Honda||1 Lap|
|6||Maria HERRERA||Husqvarna||10 Laps|
|58||Juanfran GUEVARA||Mahindra||10 Laps|
|32||Isaac VIÑALES||Husqvarna||11 Laps|
|63||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN||KTM||17 Laps|
|10||Alexis MASBOU||Honda||17 Laps|
|7||Efren VAZQUEZ||Honda||20 Laps|
|24||Tatsuki SUZUKI||Mahindra||0 Lap|
Dani Pedrosa crashed heavily at De Bult. He was taken to the medical center, where he was diagnosed with contusions to his left thumb and finger.
|14||6||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||1'34.989||1.242||0.002|
|18||76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'35.291||1.544||0.019|
|20||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'36.130||2.383||0.022|
|22||15||Alex De Angelis||ART||1'36.271||2.524||0.118|
|4||22||Sam Lowes||Speed Up||1'38.044||0.545||0.092|
|16||60||Julian Simon||Speed Up||1'38.649||1.150||0.063|
|17||88||Ricard Cardus||Tech 3||1'38.684||1.185||0.035|
|22||23||Marcel Schrotter||Tech 3||1'38.897||1.398||0.053|
|23||95||Anthony West||Speed Up||1'39.011||1.512||0.114|
|24||96||Louis Rossi||Tech 3||1'39.591||2.092||0.580|
|29||13||Jasper Iwema||Speed Up||1'40.769||3.270||0.534|
|34||25||Jorel Boerboom||Kalex KTM||1'46.905||4.825||1.527|
Tito Rabat, current Moto2 world champion, went into the session having gone two tenths of a second quicker than anyone else, with only Xavier Simeon and Johann Zarco within half a second. Conditions were dry and clear.
Rabat set an early benchmark time on the Kalex but championship leader Zarco beat it with the quickest time of the weekend so far, ten minutes into the session. Rabat hit back with a 1'36.887, chopping a third of a second off Zarco's time and beating Marc Marquez's 1'37.133 record from 2012. Simone Corsi crashed out fifteen minutes in, walking away from his bike after watching it trying it's damnedest to undress itself in the gravel. He had the fourth quickest lap behind Sam Lowes's third place but would need a new bike to improve on that.
Twenty minutes in, Rabat lifted the bar once more to a 1'36.818 then a 1'36.633, looking unassailable. Then, Zarco assailed, getting within two hundredths of a second one lap then beating it by over a quarter of a second with a 1'36.346. Sam Lowes in third place was over a second behind as Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat made it clear that they were going to be the only men in with a shout of pole position.
With ten minutes left, the jostling for position and hunting for clear track started, with riders leaving the track to let others past, looking for empty tarmac. Sam Lowes improved his time to within a second of Johann Zarco, but he was still third with Simone Corsi's early time still holding station in fourth. Lowes then sliced another couple of tenths off as Alex Marquez crashed out at speed. Another fast lap from Lowes cemented his third place and Corsi somehow retained his fourth place as charges from Jonas Folger and Xavi Simeon couldn't knock him off.
Johann Zarco surprised with his first place ahead of the dominant Tito Rabat and Sam Lowes took the last place on the front row over half a second behind.
|3||22||Sam LOWES||Speed Up||1'36.878||0.532||0.245|
|12||60||Julian SIMON||Speed Up||1'37.632||1.286||0.028|
|17||23||Marcel SCHROTTER||Tech 3||1'37.790||1.444||0.026|
|22||88||Ricard CARDUS||Tech 3||1'38.222||1.876||0.047|
|23||95||Anthony WEST||Speed Up||1'38.262||1.916||0.040|
|25||96||Louis ROSSI||Tech 3||1'38.997||2.651||0.446|
|31||13||Jasper IWEMA||Speed Up||1'40.717||4.371||0.726|
Results and summary of qualifying practice at Assen:
Valentino Rossi has taken a surprise pole in qualifying at Assen. The Movistar Yamaha has been fast throughout every session of practice, but has struggled ever since the new qualifying format was introduced. He found his feet immediately in Q2, being fastest through the first three sectors, then on his second run, the Italian set a pace no one else was capable of following. Rossi took pole with a margin of nearly a quarter of a second. It was his first pole position since Valencia 2014, but the one previous to that was back in 2010.
Aleix Espargaro had looked like making it two poles in a row, the Suzuki working very well round Assen with the soft tire, but he ended up being bumped down to 2nd. He just squeaked ahead of Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider finding a way to ride around the problems of the RC213V, and threatening to take pole here before being knocked down the order.
Dani Pedrosa will head up the second row, the Spaniard just a tenth of a second off the pace of his Repsol Honda teammate. Pedrosa leads a very tight group: less than a tenth of a second separates Pedrosa in 4th from Andrea Dovizioso in 10th. Jorge Lorenzo ended up swapping fortunes with his Movistar Yamaha teammate: the Spaniard will start from the middle of the third row in 8th.
The pace of qualifying was blistering. All 12 riders qualified under Casey Stoner's pole record from 2012, and under Marc Marquez' fastest lap from 2014.
|13||6||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||1'33.789||0.409||0.286|
|15||76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'33.999||0.619||0.124|
|18||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'34.289||0.909||0.066|
|23||15||Alex De Angelis||ART||1'35.189||1.809||0.217|
Marc Marquez has topped the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class, laying down an impressive pace to lead the way. The Repsol Honda rider ended in front of two Movistar Yamaha riders, Valentino Rossi taking 2nd, while Jorge Lorenzo finished in 3rd. Both men had good pace, but it was Lorenzo's which looked closer to the run of 1'33s which Marquez put down.
Dani Pedrosa was two tenths behind Lorenzo, and four tenths behind his teammate, while Cal Crutchlow came home in 5th, two tenths behind Pedrosa. Aleix Espargaro was the first of the Suzukis, just behind Crutchlow and just ahead of the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and the Tech 3 Yamaha of Bradley Smith.
|15||6||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward||1'34.690||1.303||0.020|
|19||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'35.494||2.107||0.037|
|20||76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||1'35.685||2.298||0.191|
|23||15||Alex De Angelis||ART||1'36.597||3.210||0.790|
Results of qualifying for Moto3 at Assen:
|35||25||Jorel Boerboom||Kalex KTM||1'46.694||5.411||2.252|