MotoGP and Motorcycle Grand Prix at Assen

Assen is the only venue that has hosted a Grand Prix event every year since the motorcycle World Championship Grand Prix series started back in 1949 so for here more than anywhere a walk down from memory lane is particulary illuminating.

The Dutch TT became part of the World Championship when it was first created in 1949 and Assen is the only circuit to have been part of the series every year since, making this the 70th Dutch TT that has counted towards the World Championship classification.

The Assen crowd roaring for Rossi in 2017
The Assen crowd roaring for Rossi in 2017 – AJRN Image

In 2016, the Dutch TT was held on Sunday for the first time; all previous Dutch TT events had taken place on Saturday. This year, the races will be held in July for the first time since 1955.

The original Assen circuit that was used up to 1954 measured 16.54 km. This was reduced to 7.7 km in 1955 and then in 1984, further modifications to the circuit reduced the length to 6.1 km. The current layout has been used since 2006, with a few minor adjustments.

A total of 265 Grand Prix races for solo motorcycles have been held at the TT Circuit Assen since 1949 as follows: MotoGP –16, 500cc–53, 350cc–33, Moto2 –8, 250cc–58, Moto3 –6, 125cc–63, 80cc–6, 50cc–22.

The 500cc race at the 1975 Dutch TT is the only premier class Grand Prix race where the first two riders across the line have been credited with the same race time. Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini finished so close that the timekeepers of the day, using manual timing accurate to 0.1 sec, were unable to split them.

Yamaha are the most successful manufacturer at the Dutch TT since the start of the four-stroke MotoGP era, with nine wins with three different riders: Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, who took his one and only win in the premier class in 2011.

Ben Spies at Assen in 2011
Ben Spies won at Assen in 2011 ahead of Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso

Honda have had six MotoGP wins at the Dutch TT with six different riders: Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Marc Márquez and Jack Miller.

Jack Miller - Image by AJRN
Jack Miller won at Assen in 2016 – Image by AJRN

Ducati have won only once in MotoGP at the Dutch TT, with Casey Stoner back in 2008. But they’ve had three podiums at Assen in the past seven years: Andrea Dovizioso was second in 2014, Scott Redding third in 2016 and Danilo Petrucci second last year.

MotoGP 2008 - Image by AJRN - Casey Stoner won the race from Dani Pedrosa and Colin Edwards
MotoGP 2008 – Image by AJRN – Casey Stoner won the race from Dani Pedrosa and Colin Edwards at Assen in 2008

The last win for a Suzuki rider at the Dutch TT was in the 500cc race in 1993 with Kevin Schwantz. The best results for Suzuki in the MotoGP era at the Dutch TT are 5th places for John Hopkins in 2007 and Chris Vermeulen in 2009.

Chris Vermeulen at Assen in 2009 - Image by AJRN
Chris Vermeulen at Assen in 2009 – Image by AJRN

The last rider to win the MotoGP race at the Dutch TT in successive years is Valentino Rossi, in 2004 and 2005. He will be aiming to repeat that feat this year.

podium motogp
The MotoGP podium at Assen in 2005 – Rossi, Melandri and Edwards

In the 500cc class, Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan won the Dutch TT five years in a row.

The most successful rider at Assen is Ángel Nieto with 15 wins in the 125cc and 50cc classes, followed by Giacomo Agostini who had 14 wins riding 500cc and 350cc machines.

Among the current riders, Valentino Rossi is the most successful at Assen with a total of 10 wins, eight in MotoGP (7 with Yamaha, 1 with Honda) and one each in the 250cc and 125cc classes.

In 2003, on June 27th, Marco Melandri became the youngest rider to win at the Dutch TT at 15 years 324 days old.

Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri – 2003

Four Dutch riders have won a Grand Prix race at the TT Circuit Assen: Paul Lodewijkx (50cc–1968), Wil Hartog (500cc–1977), Jack Middleburg (500cc–1980) and Hans Spaan (125cc–1989).

The eight Moto2 races that have taken place at the TT Circuit Assen have been won by seven different riders: Andrea Iannone, Marc Márquez, Pol Espargaró, Anthony West, Johann Zarco, Takaaki Nakagami and Franco Morbidelli. The only rider who has more than a single Moto2 win at this circuit is Marc Márquez, who won in both 2011 and 2012. Only three of them have not won from pole: Marc Márquez (2011), Anthony West (2014) and Takaaki Nakagami (2016).

Anthony West at Assen 201
Anthony West at Assen 2014 – Image AJRN

The six Moto3 races that have taken place at the TT Circuit Assen circuit have been won by six different riders: Maverick Viñales, Luis Salom, Álex Márquez, Miguel Oliveira, Francesco Bagnaia and Arón Canet. None of them won from pole.


MotoGP Facts and Stats

The three riders standing on the podium in Catalunya had a record accumulated total of 246 Grand Prix wins across all classes. The previous record was 232 GP wins for the three riders standing on the podium at the Aragón GP back in 2016, won by Marc Márquez from Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

MotoGP 2018 - Round Seven - Catalunya - Results Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 40'13.566 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +4.479 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +6.098
MotoGP 2018 – Round Seven – Catalunya – Results
Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 40’13.566
Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +4.479
Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +6.098

The total number of premier class wins for the three riders on the podium at Barcelona was a new record of 173; 13 more than the previous record set at the San Marino GP in 2016 (Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo).

The total number of premier class titles for the three riders on the podium at Barcelona was a new record of 14; 2 more than the previous record also set at the San Marino GP two years ago.

Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi have an accumulated total of 20 titles across all classes. Only at six occasions in the history of Grand Prix racing there were more titles on a podium: 22 in 1975 at Brno (Read and Agostini), 21 at Le Castellet, Hockenheim, Imola and Assen in 1975 (Agostini and Read), and 21 at Spa-Francorchamps in 1974 (Read, Agostini and Braun).

MotoGP 2018 - Round Seven - Catalunya - Results Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 40'13.566 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +4.479 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +6.098
Assen will see recent winner Lorenzo up against favourite Rossi, and championship leader Marquez

With Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez, this is the second Spanish 1–2 of the season along with Austin (Marc Márquez ahead of Maverick Viñales), and the 45th in the premier class.

Valentino Rossi crossed the line in third at Barcelona, which is his third successive podium finish. This is the sixth successive year that Valentino Rossi has stood on the podium three times in a row at least once.

Maverick Viñales has scored points at the last 17 successive races. The last time he failed to score any points was in Assen last year when he crashed out on the twelfth lap of the race at the last chicane.

Along with Maverick Viñales, only one other rider has scored points in all seven races of the MotoGP races in 2018 and that is Danilo Petrucci.

Johann Zarco finished seventh at Barcelona and he is still leading the Independent Team rider classification with 73 points, followed by Danilo Petrucci.

With Franco Morbidelli finishing the race in 14th place, all riders across the line scored points at Barcelona, which is the first time this happened since Le Mans last year.

Yamaha riders have not won since Assen last season with Valentino Rossi (17 successive races), which is the longest sequence without a win since the 18-race sequence that included the last two races of 2002 and the 16 races of 2003.

Assen 2017 was the last time Yamaha or Rossi won a race - Image AJRN
Assen 2017 was the last time Yamaha or Rossi won a race – Image AJRN

The only two of the five rookies in the MotoGP class this year to have previously won at the Dutch TT in any of the smaller classes are Franco Morbidelli (2017) and Takaaki Nakagami (2016), both in the Moto2 class. Tom Lüthi is the only other of the five rookies to have stood on the podium at Assen: 2nd in 250cc in 2008, 3rd
in Moto2 in 2010 and 2nd in 2017.

Hafizh Syahrin crashed out of the race at Barcelona. His closest rival in the fight for Rookie of the Year, Morbidelli, also crashed but managed to cross the line 14th and score two points, meaning he’s now leading the fight for Rookie of the Year with 19 points.


Jorge Lorenzo levels with Dani Pedrosa

The win for Jorge Lorenzo at Catalunya was the 112th time he has stood on the podium in the premier class, the same number as Dani Pedrosa. Only Valentino Rossi has stood on the podium on more occasions than Lorenzo and Pedrosa in the premier class.

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

This was the 150th podium finish across all classes for Jorge Lorenzo, making him the fourth rider to reach the milestone of 150 podium finishes in Grand Prix racing along with Valentino Rossi (231), Giacomo Agostini (159) and Dani Pedrosa (153).

Premier Class Podiums

MotoGP Rider Podiums Pre Assen
MotoGP Rider Podiums Pre Assen 2018

In addition to equalling Dani Pedrosa’s record of premier class podium finishers, as shown above, Jorge Lorenzo’s win at Barcelona is significant for the following facts.

Lorenzo became the fifth rider to win more than once on a Ducati bike in Grand Prix racing along with Casey Stoner (23 wins), Andrea Dovizioso (8), Loris Capirossi (7) and Alberto Gandossi (2).

#CatalanGP - Image by AJRN
Jorge Lorenzo – Image by AJRN

Jorge Lorenzo became the fourth Ducati rider to win back-to-back races in Grand Prix racing along with Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Loris Capirossi. In addition, this is also his first back-to-back Grand Prix win since 2016 (France/Italy) and his 9th overall in the premier class.

At the Dutch TT, Jorge Lorenzo will be aiming to become the second Ducati rider to win three races in a row along with Casey Stoner and the fourth rider to do so with bikes from two different manufacturers along with Geoff Duke (Norton/Gilera), Valentino Rossi (Honda/Yamaha) and Casey Stoner (Ducati/Honda).

Jorge Lorenzo’s win at Barcelona was the 18th win from pole in his 46 premier class wins, the 2nd in Catalunya, and the 9th time he also set the fastest lap.

Jorge Lorenzo became the eighth rider to qualify on pole position with bikes from two different manufacturers in the MotoGP era along with Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau and Aleix Espargaró.

2018 Catalunya MotoGP
2018 Catalunya MotoGP

The pole position for Jorge Lorenzo at Barcelona is the first for a Ducati in the dry since Andrea Iannone at the Red Bull Ring in 2016.

Jorge Lorenzo has scored 66 points after the opening seven races of the season, the same score as Andrea Dovizioso. This is the first time that Lorenzo is ahead of his teammate in the Championship standings since joining Ducati. He’s ahead by virtue of having two wins to Dovizioso’s single victory of the season so far.

#CatalanGP
#CatalanGP 2018

Following the Catalan GP, Ducati have scored 132 points in the Constructor’s World Championship, which is their highest score after the opening seven races since 2007 when they had 143 – on their way to clinching their only title so far.


Fabio Quartararo rewrites record books

With his maiden Grand Prix win at Barcelona, Fabio Quartararo moves above Johnny Cecotto in the following table of the youngest riders of all-time to win in the intermediate category:

Rider – Age – Race
  1. Marc Márquez 18yrs 87days France/2011/Le Mans
  2. Dani Pedrosa 18yrs 202days South Africa/2004/Welkom
  3. Alan Carter 18yrs 227days France/1983/Le Mans
  4. Jorge Lorenzo 18yrs 326days Spain/2006/Jerez
  5. Marco Melandri 18yrs 349days Germany/2001/Sachsenring
  6. Fabio Quartararo 19yrs 58days Catalunya/2018/Barcelona
  7. Johnny Cecotto 19yrs 64days France/1975/Le Mans
  8. Maverick Viñales 19yrs 91days Americas/2014/CotA
  9. Shoya Tomizawa 19yrs 122days Qatar/2010/Losail
  10. Valentino Rossi 19yrs 131days Dutch TT/1998/Assen
Fabio Quartararo - Image AJRN
Fabio Quartararo – Image AJRN

In addition, Fabio Quartararo became the second-youngest rider to win a race in the Moto2 class since its introduction back in 2010, behind Marc Márquez.

This also makes Fabio Quartararo the youngest French rider to win in the intermediate category, taking this record from Jules Cluzel (21 years 251 days old).

Moto2 Race Results Fabio Quartararo (FRA) SPEED UP 38'22.059 Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM +2.492 Alex Márquez (SPA) KALEX +3.48
Moto2 Catalunya Race Results
Fabio Quartararo (FRA) SPEED UP 38’22.059
Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM +2.492
Alex Márquez (SPA) KALEX +3.48

Fabio Quartararo is the third French rider to win a race in the Moto2 class along with Johann Zarco (15 wins) and Jules Cluzel (1), and the 15th in the intermediate category.


Moto2 Facts and Stats

Fabio Quartararo’s win at Barcelona is the 87th Grand Prix win for a rider from France and 51st in the intermediate category. He finished second at the Dutch TT in 2015 in Moto3, which was his last podium finish before his win at Catalunya this year.

Fabio Quartararo became the fourth rider to win with Speed Up in the Moto2 class since its introduction in 2010 along with Sam Lowes (1 wins), Anthony West (1) and Andrea Iannone (5). Speed Up has won twice at the Dutch TT, with West (2014) and Iannone (2010).

Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Image AJRN

Miguel Oliveira stood on the podium for the fifth time of the season in Catalunya, which is his 14th podium finish in the Moto2 class, equalling Takaaki Nakagami and Scott Redding.

With Álex Márquez crossing the line in third place in Catalunya as the top Kalex rider, this is the first Moto2 podium with riders on bikes from three different manufacturers since Valencia 2014.

Marcel Schrötter finished fourth in his 100th Moto2 race at Barcelona, equalling his best result from France earlier this year.

Francesco Bagnaia finished eighth at Barcelona, which is his worst result since he was ninth at Argentina earlier this year. He is now leading the Championship by only one point ahead of Miguel Oliveira; this is the lowest margin after the opening seven races in the Moto2 class since its introduction in 2010.

Francesco Bagnaia
Francesco Bagnaia – AJRN Image

None of the riders currently competing in Moto2 have ever won at the Dutch TT in the class. However, Sam Lowes (2015) and Dominique Aegerter (2013) have stood on the podium at this track.

Mattia Pasini (125cc – 2007), Álex Márquez (Moto3 – 2014), Miguel Oliveira (Moto3 – 2015) and Francesco Bagnaia (Moto3 – 2016) are the four riders currently racing in Moto2 who have won in the lightweight class at this circuit.

Bo Bendsneyder and his bike crossed the line right after a crash on the final straight at Assen last year, but as he wasn’t making contact with his bike on the finish line, the result didn’t count. He will be aiming to become the first Dutch rider to win a Grand Prix race since Hans Spaan in Brno 1990.

Joan Mir crashed out of the race at Barcelona meaning only two riders have scored points in all seven races of the Moto2 races in 2018: Francesco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira.


Moto3 Facts and Stats

Enea Bastianini won his third Grand Prix in Catalunya on what was his 77th start. Bastianini’s win at Barcelona is the 790th for an Italian rider in the history of Grand Prix racing, the 240th in the lightweight category and the 20th in Moto3 since its introduction in 2012.

Enea Bastianini - Catalunya 2018 - AJRN Image
Enea Bastianini – Catalunya 2018 – AJRN Image

Over the last four years, Bastianini has managed to score points at the Dutch TT only once: he finished sixth in 2016 starting from his second ever pole position.

Marco Bezzecchi crossed the line in second place at Barcelona as the top KTM rider, which is his fifth podium finish of the year. Bezzecchi finished 15th at Assen last year during his rookie season in the Moto3 class from fifth on the grid, which was his best qualifying result at that time.

With Enea Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi, this is the first Italian 1–2 since Mugello last year with Andrea Migno and Fabio Di Giannantonio, and the 65th for Italy in the lightweight category.

Enea Bastianini - Catalunya 2018 - AJRN Image
Enea Bastianini – Catalunya 2018 – AJRN Image

Gabriel Rodrigo crossed the line in third place in Catalunya, becoming the first rider from Argentina to stand on the podium in the lightweight class since Willy Pérez was third at Spa-Francorchamps on a 125 back in 1986.

John McPhee finished in fourth place at Barcelona, which is his best result across the line since he was third last year at the Dutch TT.

Arón Canet, who took victory last year, is the only rider currently competing in Moto3 to have won at the Dutch TT. Fabio Di Giannantonio (2016), Andrea Migno (2016) and John McPhee (2017) are the only other riders to have stood on the podium at this track.

No Moto3 rider has won at the Dutch TT after qualifying on pole since the introduction of the category in 2012. The last rider to have won from pole at this track in the lightweight category is Maverick Viñales in 2011.

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