2014 Assen MotoGP Race Result: Mastery Of Conditions At The Cathedral

Full Recap and Results Below:

Marc Marquez has become the first MotoGP rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to win the first eight races of the season after turning in a masterful performance in the mixed weather race at Assen. In front of the 90,000 strong crowd Marquez recovered from a slight hiccup, where he ran wide after changing onto slick tyres, to eventually overhaul a gallant Andrea Dovizioso and 'swim' his way across the line to take a historic victory. Like the Moto2 race before the race was initially delayed due to the emergence of rain on the grid. All riders except Valentino Rossi decided to start the race on wet tyres. After the first five laps the leading duo of Marquez and Dovizioso entered the pits to swap bikes and the rest of the field promptly did the same in the laps following. 

Marquez' teammate Dani Pedrosa took the final podium place four seconds behind Dovizioso, the Repsol Honda rider beat Aleix Espargaro by a comfortable nine seconds in the end after an entertaining race-long duel between the two. Valentino Rossi took an impressive fifth place as he was the only rider to leave the grid on slick tyres. The Doctor had to enter pit lane after the warm up lap and swap back onto wets due to additional rain falling and he started he race from there. Andrea Iannone crossed the line ahead of Alvaro Bautista who just held off a charging Bradley Smith. Cal Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl completed the top ten positions.

Broc Parkes deserves a special mention after swapping onto slicks early and taking an excellent eleventh place, completing a strong day for Australian riders. Pol Espargaro was the only rider not to finish the race after he crashed with eleven laps remaining, he tried to re-enter the race on his second bike only to crash again and compound his miserable day. To continue the theme of miserable days Jorge Lorenzo struggled in all conditions throughout the race and had to settle for a galling thirteenth place. 

Full Results:

Pos. Points Num. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 25 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 43'29.954
2 20 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 6.714
3 16 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 10.791
4 13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Forward Yamaha 19.199
5 11 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 25.813
6 10 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 29.003
7 9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 30.882
8 8 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 30.985
9 7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Ducati 44.031
10 6 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 48.662
11 5 23 Broc PARKES PBM 51.863
12 4 45 Scott REDDING Honda +1'00.329
13 3 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha +1'04.641
14 2 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda +1'05.980
15 1 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ART +1'17.611
16   7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda +1'19.753
17   69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda +1'27.630
18   8 Hector BARBERA Avintia +1'28.142
19   68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1 Lap
20   63 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia 1 Lap
21   70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 1 Lap
22   5 Colin EDWARDS Forward Yamaha 3 Laps
Not Classified
    44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 8 Laps


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The weather once again ruins a race at Assen :(

Great rides from a lot of people, top 5 in particular but that was awful. This weekend has seen the worst bad luck with weather I've seen in a long time. At least Marquez's celebration was entertaining!

Hopefully a decent race next time!

Some folks won't be happy unless the MotoGP race features a four-wide swarm of bikes at the finish line. Perhaps those folks should focus on Moto3 races on circuits with long straights, where the laws of aerodynamics create pack racing. Personally, I thought this MotoGP race was intense and compelling, with the weather being the big unknown right to the finish. I wouldn't want *every* race to be that way, but having raced in the rain, I am in awe of what these guys do in changing conditions. Just my $0.02.

Some folks don't like anything that isn't Vanilla. I thought it was a fantastic race.

One thing about Brook Parkes, I was pretty sure he started on slicks, was just about to switch to wets, then noticed he was suddenly very fast and stayed out. Great job by him

And, what the heck happened to Jorge? he was beyond off the pace. I was watching the lap times and there were laps when he was 4-5 seconds slower than Rossi

I just don't like these conditions. First few laps guys tip toeing around at half throttle and when they switch to dry tires the field is so spread out that the only excitement was Rossi making up a couple of places. In my opinion it wasn't tense at all.

Think how it could have been had it been completely dry, especially looking back at the previous races.

I agree, I think this race was far less exiting than the scraps with Dani, Vale or Jorge that we've had in previous races. Shame Rossi messed up his tire choice and what on earth is hapening to Jorge?

...to an ideal version that exists only in one's head is a fool's errand.

Not finding this year's Assen TT fascinating indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the many ways life and racing intersect. Gotta appreciate them all, 'cause wishing it never rained on race day's just gonna leave you disappointed.

thanks to the weather.
Marquez might have won as usual, but it was much less straightforward than usual.\
I enjoyed it a lot.

The man of the day for me was Dovi, he simply attacked from the go and kept himself close to Marquez for as long as he could when conditions were sketchy and lead a fair number of laps after Marquez misfortune, but once the track dried and he lost the edge he became a sitting duck for the Honda's. Good ride and well deserved podium for Dovi and Ducati.

"Marc Marquez has become the first MotoGP rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to take eight victories in a row…"

Ahh, no Mick Doohan took 10 in a row in 1997 in the middle of the season.

I think you need to add "From the start of the season" or "the first eight GPs" to correct your statistic.

You are quite correct. I've edited Jacob's summary to be more precise. Of course, if Doohan hadn't lost at Jerez that year, his winning streak would have been even more impressive.

A gutsy move by Rossi to start on slicks, but the gamble failed when he decided on the sighting lap that he needed to be on wets. So a start from pit lane. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and its hard to judge things from a TV screen, but I wonder how it would have worked out if VR46 had stayed on the slicks. Does anyone know the amount of time it takes at Assen to come in for a bike change? If Valentino had stayed on slicks, he would have started on row 4 rather than in the pit, and would have avoided the bike change.

And BTW, MM93 is the clear winner of the bike change competition. Nobody comes close to Marc in leaping from one bike to another. How cool is that?

from the time they leave the track, come down pit lane, switch bikes, continue down pit lane, accelerate then merge back onto race track. It takes around 19 seconds for a bike on track at race speed to go from point of pit entry, to the point where bikes leaving pit lane merge back onto track. So it is a net loss of 25 seconds or so depending on how smooth your swap goes.

Dovi came in to do his bike change at the same time & (I assume) performed a more traditional bike change..

Time difference .6 seconds.

Considering the risk vs. reward, probably not the greatest strategy..but

props for style!

Blimey, what would he need to get a 10.0? Do it in a tutu! All the field can learn from that lesson and I'll bet a pound to a penny that there'll be a few practicing that jump this week.

While not the fairing bashing race we might have liked this was another intense race. I think Rossi's decision to start from pit lane probably cost him a real shot at a win, but still an impressive ride through the field. Marc Marquez.....he really is on another level and I could help but laugh when he "swam" across the finish line. Lorenzo said after the race he was spooked by the conditions and the memory of his crash last year. It takes a lot for a racer to admit that to himself, much less to the public, but I can't help think the superman we saw last year has been reduced to a shell of his former self.

Fair play indeed to Jorge for saying this out loud but the fact that he can be slowed by a crash from a year ago is quite worrying.

It was a waste of two super high tech exhausts for Yamaha... Rossi's error in judgement was poor..Great Quali from MM which won him the race, if there was any doubt, and great to see Parkes up there..

Nice podium finish. It would be such a bad joke that I won't even go there... to make a wise@$$ remark about Dani's maritime skills in the wet conditions! LOL.

And just when we were beginning to think that the others had Sussed out MM93 and would force him into a mistake! Awesome race by Marc and his crew and mr Marquez now stretches his lead to nearly 3 races. How long before his competitors write off 2014 as a lost cause and turn their attention to 2015.

Particularly impressed by Dovi. Worrying thing is there is no one who can consistently take battle to Marquez race after race especially Rossi with his poor qualifying.

There was a point when I thought this year could turn out great with Dani and Jorge changing their tactics to take the fight to Marc and Vale resurecting; it now looks like none of this is really going to be enough. At least we're getting good racing.

After watching this race, I think Marquez - barring accident - could very well run the table. I was skeptical of a feat like that, but I think Yamaha really screwed up when they agreed to the engine development freeze, and the data through the year that's available to us TV viewers (that is, not paddock insiders) suggests that they have significantly more average / usable horsepower than Yamaha which, unfortunately, I suspect to be a deficit that no amount of skill can overcome with the spec. tire. I suspect peak HP is the same - which is probably why Yamaha felt good enough to make this move - but like many engine manufacturers, they maybe forgot that the engine is only making peak HP for a short duration, and spends a lot more time running between 75% or so and 100% HP (no CVTs...). Whether this is electronics or fundamental engine characteristic is impossible to determine. There are probably other drive-train elements that Honda has an edge with also (transmission most specifically).

If you look at the good data on MotoGP's website, you can see that once Marquez got by Dovizioso (lap 17 was his first clear lap) he immediately rang off a sequence of sub-1:35 laps, putting more than 0.5 seconds per lap into a Rossi running in clean air. (Rossi got clear of Iannone? one lap earlier). This similar to the gap in FP4, which was the last "clean" data from this race weekend. He then backed off a bit, for whatever reason, to low 1:35s which was Rossi's pace (I think Rossi had the best non-Marquez pace, although there were a couple of others with fast single laps). I suspect that even had Rossi started from the front row, in a perfectly clean race, Marquez would have arrived at the finish ~2-3 seconds ahead - although probably not more than that. Rossi lost an easy 20 seconds due his gamble / pit-lane start, and I think it was closer to the full 25 seconds that separated 1st from 5th - but Marquez slowed down AND was held up by Dovizioso and his great ride today.

After watching the races, it's obvious that Marquez is a real phenom (the pit lane jump is cool) - and although I don't think he's got much more than Rossi or Lorenzo, he's got plenty on everyone else. The Honda, though, flatters - I am fully convinced that whatever black magic they've put into that thing is worth at least 0.1 - 0.3 per lap vs. Yamaha if both are ridden "perfectly" over a full race (probably a little more over a short period of time) and looking at the results - that's about what we've seen. Marquez is smart, quick, brave and bold - all the qualities of a champion - and he may make a mistake. But when you have the best rider on the best bike, combined with loads of ambition - unless Yamaha can pull some technology out of their hat...it's kind of up to Pedrosa to end the streak (possible, but I don't think Pedrosa is the same class as the top 3 - it's easily debatable, and there are tracks where he's very, very quick).

One of the problems with "spec." components and things like fuel restrictions is that if one manufacturer happens to "get it right" - there are very few ways to respond. This has been a big problem in F1 for a long time, with hyper-restrictive rules, and in MotoGP the tighter the rules, while closing up the gaps in time, those closer times are a mirage because they can't be bridged without a Honda-like budget. Disallowing dual-clutch gearboxes, the low fuel lints, the spec. tires - all of these together have effectively reduced to the gap to the back, but made that smaller gap unassailable without huge investment. That's my thinking anyway. It's a shame, because this had the potential to be a cracking season in terms of results from week to week (the racing has been interesting, but I think this race really exposed the "truth" of the order to a greater degree than other weekends).

… but you don't need me to tell you that, the factories do that for us.

Honda know full well that they have the best bike. Of course it was not always that way with HRC being hammered throughout the 800cc era until Stoner delivered the title in '11. During that time Honda spent freely introducing all the tech that now gives them dominance, pneumatic valves ,seamless gearbox, torqueducer, corner by corner electronics. Now at the top of the heap Honda champion engine development freezes, reduced fuel capacity & limited testing to keep the opposition in place.

Am I cynical? I don't need you to tell me that, HRC provides my defence. Nakamoto admitted that the RSV1000R Open class "Production Racer" was as expensive as the satellite bikes, so why bother developing special valve spring heads rather than just installing open class software on last years satellite spec bikes as per the NGM Yamaha's? To keep the RSV1000R teams in their place.

My view on the neutering of Lorenzo is simple. Once the rumours started circulating that Ducati were considering entering under Open rules Yamaha had a decision to make. Toe the dutiful Japanese line or jump ship & enter as Open class too. Under the present Factory rules Yamaha are handicapped technically into second place on the ladder with no hope of developing their bike to cross the gap. My sense is that Lorenzo saw the possibility of Yamaha joining Ducati as an open entry & thus with pressure from Dorna humbling Honda to follow suit as his only chance to get on equal machinery terms with Honda & thus Marquez. Yamaha lacked the chutzpah to jump out of line & Lorenzo has tossed up his hands in despair.

Marquez and team are certainly making all the right calls and tending to "little details" like bike swaps - this has to be THE easiest way to gain or lose a couple of seconds - and Q strategy. I'm wondering if any of Team Rossi's missed judgements go to the crew, or if it's all Rossi duffing it up with his dice rolls?

With perfect hindsight, you can say Rossi duffed it up. But of course Rossi has to act in the moment, not in hindsight. Read that GPone article linked up above... Rossi believes very firmly that he made the right decision for the conditions... until the rain resumed two minutes before the race started ["two fucking minutes" is his quote.] So I think it is disingenuous to criticize his tire choice from the couches and armchairs.

Is the way Herve Poncharal called it before the race re: tire choice.

To be less kind perhaps Val, knowing full well that everyone (but Parkes) was on wets & in an act of hubris/desperation/inspiration? made the call figuring if correct he might win the day.

It looks like Marquez's mojo is so strong, everyone else is reconciled to the fact the ONLY way to beat him is strategically & he is unassailable in a straight fight.

Rossi - you've got it in one in that last sentence ..."strategically". If it hadn't started raining again and he'd pulled the rabbit out of the hat, this and every other forum would be lionising him for a fantastic strategic decision. (But it might have been a very boring race once he'd got past everyone).

In my view he gambled, it didn't work out, he made the right decision by swapping back, and then did a pretty good job of limiting the points damage.

Didn't Stoner make a similar call towards the end of his career - going with the opposite tyres to everyone else in a rain-affected race start - and lost out because of it?

They have to roll the dice sometimes.

Have to agree with cgates66 - Honda definitely has the best factory bike in MotoGP, but we won't mention the customer 'open' class machines, will we!

Still, Honda could very well sweep all three classes this year. It has MotoGP seemingly locked up, Formula Honda is a given and in Moto3, all that stands between Honda winning that title are two KTM riders, Jack Miller and Ramano Fenati. Behind those two KTMs are three Honda riders, with Alex Marquez the leader of that trio on 110 points (equal with Fenati) then Alex Rins (107 points) and Efren Vazquez (102).

With just eight races run out of 18, is anyone willing to bet Honda will not also win Moto3 ?

And is anyone else willing to bet we will not have three Spanish World Champions at the end of the year, with an historic situation with brothers ending up champions in two separate classes?

It could be:

Marc Marquez - MotoGP - Honda

Esteve Rabat - Formula Honda - Honda

Alex Marquez - Moto3 - Honda

Honda races, Honda wins. Indeed.

The race was won on Friday in qualifying when Marquez showed his mettle and took charge by making the right choice to push hard before the rain came in. Agreed, he wasn't the fastestqualifier but the mental attitude he displayed shows where he's at .... Strong!

It was great to see the duel between EspA and DP. That was fun for awhile. What I thought was interesting was it stopped raining, the Ducatis kept going and didn't crash out in the dry and for a while Dovi was really competitive before finally conceding that it was impossible to stay with Marquez. Big improvements indeed!

Lorenzo , Lorenzo where for art though Lorenzo? Any idea why he performed so poorly anyone? Other than struggling on a bike that has consistently got him on or near the podium.

Well done to Broc Parkes. To finish like that must be a real lift for him and his team

A great day for Ant West. To see him smile like that is worth an 11 year wait. (Yes he was smiling ...... It must have been hard ... But he was genuinely smiling). That was a tense finish and he showed all his accumulated skill and patience to grind that win out.

I for one was thoroughly enjoying all the tension and drama unfolding throughout all three races. More please!

2 races ago he looked like a guy deserving of a new 2 year factory team contract. Yesterday, he looked like a guy deserving of a warm handshake and a gift wrapped Renzetti Master.

It appears his brain has misplaced that thing that seperates the good from the great. Hope he finds it soon before a Yamaha exec gives him Stoner's phone number to talk about what he'll be doing next year.

I have a lot of respect for Jorge, he's shown himself to be an incredibly tough character over the years. Maybe this is just a year to forget for him; maybe it needs someone (else) to beat Marquez a few times for the real Jorge to re-appear.

Maybe too soon to write him off. Some riders have only had bad years and are still here several years later. I doubt anybody would turn him down just yet. I've never been Jorge's biggest fan but he's an incredible talent and still one of the few who can bring the fight to Marc.

with Rossi's recent performances and the confident ride he had. It could have been a close race......
However, if and but's......
There was plenty to keep us interested in this race, but I cannot help feeling that the weather may have taken an enthralling 93/46 battle away from us.