The first half of the MotoGP season ends with the race in Assen. Now it’s time for everyone to take a well-deserved summer break. But before that, here’s the race action in Assen from my point of view. In short, this weekend had it in itself.
While last weekend at the Sachsenring it was unbearably hot, this weekend in Assen it was changeable, wet and a bit chilly. For the race Sunday it should look similar. The question that arose: When will it rain again? The Moto3 and Moto2 races took place under dry conditions. Already in the starting grid of the MotoGP, however, it looked quite different. Dark clouds were gathering. Will the weather hold? Or will it come to a flag-to-flag race?
The race started in dry conditions, but it was still turbulent. Already when the drivers drove into the starting positions it came to the first incident. Joan Mir stopped a bit abruptly and Miguel Oliveira hit him. Both riders were able to take part in the race, albeit with slightly fewer winglets on their bikes. As turbulent as it began it should continue. After Fabio Quartararo saw a gap (where there was no gap) he slid into the gravel at turn five, taking Aleix Espargaró with him. How Espargaró avoided a crash is honestly a mystery to me. The Aprilia rider remained seated and, lying in 15th place, now fought his way through the field of riders. For the Yamaha factory rider Quartararo also continued. After a short stop in the pits, he resumed the race. Shortly after – again turn five – highsider of Quartararo. That meant the end for the world championship leader. His streak was broken. Fortunately, Fabio Quartararo was able to leave the track upright.
It went more sovereign for the world championship fourth Pecco Bagnaia. From the start, the Ducati factory rider dominated the race in Assen. Even the occasional raindrops from the middle of the race could not change anything. It remained in the light rain and none of the riders decided to change the bike – it would have been possible.
For Pecco Bagnaia it was the third victory of the season and for Ducati the second ever in Assen. The last Ducati rider on top of the podium in Assen was Casey Stoner in 2008, let’s be honest, that was a long time ago. In addition to Bagnaia’s commanding performance, three other riders deserve mention.
Marco Bezzecchi celebrated his first podium in MotoGP. The rookie crossed the finish line just 0.444 seconds behind Pecco Bagnaia. There was also a premiere in third place. Maverick Viñales was able to celebrate a podium finish for the first time since his switch to Aprilia. His teammate Aleix Espargaró fought his way back from 15th place to 4th after a near crash. He did not give up and fought bravely through the field.
Particularly impressive was the overtaking maneuver in the final chicane. His spectacular double overtaking maneuver, in which he overtook Jack Miller and Brad Binder, was reminiscent of times gone by. More of that after the summer break, please!
We’ll continue in six weeks, but for now it’s time to take a break. Enjoy the summer.
Your Miss MotoGP