Maximum points for record breaking Marquez in Assen

Eight from eight for championship leader ahead of Dovizioso and Pedrosa

Marc Marquez sealed his eight consecutive MotoGP victory for the Repsol Honda team at today’s Iveco Daily TT at Assen in a rain-affected race that saw multiple bike changes and thrilling action on track. Marquez’s win makes him the first rider to win the first eight premier class races of the year since Giacomo Agostini in 1971. Taking second place was Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso who battled hard with Marquez for the majority of the race while Dani Pedrosa overcame NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro for third.

We are very happy with this victory and to have got a very important 25 points.

Marc Marquez

With the 26-lap race declared wet at the beginning, most riders decided to start on wet weather tires but a bad decision from Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi saw the seven times MotoGP world champion having to start from pit lane having taken the decision to change to his wet-weather bike after the sighting lap and joining the race in 20th position. Yonny Hernandez also made the late decision to change machines and rejoined at the back of the field on the Energy TI Pramac Racing bike.

Marquez and Dovizioso made a great start and were out in front with a gap back to Espargaro and Pedrosa who were locked in what would become a race long battle. Within the first five laps there was a good dry line formed and the majority of the frontmen took the opportunity to change machines straight away while the second half of the field stayed out for another lap that saw Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo take the lead briefly before pitting on the next lap and re-entering in 13th and the double MotoGP champion would eventually finish in the same position.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Ducati Corse

Marquez was leading Dovizioso after the change before he nearly crashed out on the dry weather slicks still needing to be warmed, Dovizioso then moved into the lead with Marquez rejoining to chase down the leader. The change for the lead came moving into the last ten laps with Marquez back to his ultra-fast self leaving Dovizioso in his wake and crossing the line doing the breast stroke on his bike in jest at the disruptive weather conditions! The battle for third highly entertained the crowd with multiple passes coming from both Espargaro and Pedrosa but the Repsol Honda rider’s experience saw him through to the final podium position.

Rossi had gained a raft of places after changing to his dry weather bike and eventually moved into 5th past a group of riders, including the Paul Bird Motorsport machine of Broc Parkes who made the most of the tricky conditions to eventually finish in 11th. Battling behind Rossi for the remaining top ten positions were: Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Alvaro Bautista (GO&Fun Honda Gresini), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda).

Marquez was very happy with his result and with his team’s preparations for the changing conditions. He said, “It was a tough day because this was a race where I could have lost many points, but we were still able to extend our lead in the Championship so I'm very pleased with how it has gone and how we dealt with the flag-to-flag. It was our first experience of a race like this, with both wet and dry conditions, and we even had a little scare after the bike change. We are very happy with this victory and to have got a very important 25 points on a weekend we had circled on the calendar.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Speaking after securing second place Dovizioso said, “At the beginning we understood where it was wet and dry, so we could push very hard. And we made the same strategy as Marc, it was the best moment I feel. In the first lap on the slicks Marc pushed a little too much and had a moment of the left hand side of the tire that was cold. I knew his pace was quicker so I stayed with him as long as I could. It was a very hard race from beginning to end. It was important to understand the track, the colour at Assen is quite strange so it can be hard to see the wet and dry spots. In the first laps we tried to keep the RPM low to limit the spins, but then both Marc and I decide to push 100%.”

Pedrosa was happy with his strategy for the race and for the battle with Espargaro throughout the race. He said, "It was a very difficult race and was even a bit chaotic at first, when it came to having to decide which tyres to put on the bike. I kept a cool head and chose the option of wets, because at first the track was a little damp. I should have pushed more in the opening laps - but I chose not to in case it rained again - as the track began to dry out. The rain didn’t come and I had a good fight with Aleix for the podium in the dry. I am happy to have taken the rostrum finish, because you never know how races like today’s might go, but this one went well for us and we are now focusing on doing a good job in Germany.”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Event Dutch TT
Article type Race report
Tags assen, dovizioso, ducati, featured, hatch, marquez, pedrosa, repsol honda