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MotoGP Dutch GP

Bezzecchi was “scared of losing podium” at Dutch MotoGP

Marco Bezzecchi couldn’t secure a brace of MotoGP victories at Assen, but the VR46 Ducati rider was thankful to salvage second place in the grand prix after a “strange” vibration problem.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Bezzecchi defeated Francesco Bagnaia to win the sprint race on Saturday, when both riders ran a soft rear tyre, but he had to give best to the factory Ducati in the longer, hotter Dutch Grand Prix at Assen, when most of the field took the medium rear tyre.

“Pecco was a bit stronger than me on the medium rear tyre,” said Bezzecchi. “I thought about using the soft until the very last moment, but I didn’t want to risk throwing everything in the bin.”

As on Saturday, KTM’s Brad Binder got away into the lead at the start, but was quickly overtaken by championship leader Bagnaia. Bezzecchi couldn’t follow him past the South African so easily in Sunday’s warmer conditions and had to wait until lap 17 of 26 before he could get by.

“I struggled a lot with the front temperature and pressure trying to pass Brad. I didn’t have as much confidence as Pecco had to pass him. I made some mistakes, losing the front, but then I was finally able to pass him out of Turn 5. I was ahead of him almost before braking for Turn 6.

“Then I could break away from him a bit and push to try and catch Pecco. But then I had a problem with the bike that made me very nervous. I had so many vibrations in the rear, it was really very strange. I couldn’t lean the bike much, especially on the fast corners.

“I didn’t expect this. I tried to manage with the mapping. I was pushing every button that I had, but nothing improved.

“I’m happy that I survived, because I was scared that I could lose the podium. I thought for sure I was going to be overtaken by someone.

“So considering all of this, I’m very happy because I think I did the best that I could.”

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Second place in the grand prix rounded out a strong weekend for Bezzecchi, having secured the sprint race victory, taken pole position and topped all three practice sessions.

His work at Assen has also seen him move to within one point of second place in the championship following an average weekend for Jorge Martin, who could only manage sixth in the sprint and fifth in the grand prix on his Pramac Ducati.

“We have to be satisfied with our job this weekend,” Bezzecchi concluded, as MotoGP heads into its summer recess. “I led every session and took pole, when I’m not normally very good in qualifying.

“If you get a good result before the summer break, you can relax a little bit! But I already can’t wait to get back on the bike and ride.”

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