8th Consecutive Win for MM

Moto GP 2014

maddix park mx

www.motorcycle-usa.com  By Byron Wilson

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took the top step once again, scoring his eighth consecutive win in as many rounds at the Assen TT. The second-year MotoGP rider is the first to achieve the feat since Giacomo Agostini won the opening eight rounds in 1971. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso finished with his best result of the year so far in second-place followed by Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, in third.

If ever there was an opportunity for others on the grid to put an end to Marquez’s win streak, Assen was it. Conditions were maddeningly unstable, with rain showers falling intermittently at various points of the track prior to the start. The uncertain weather forced race officials to delay the contest, after which riders were given two sighting laps to evaluate conditions and make a race set-up decision. Many on the grid tested both wet and slick tires prior to the start and all but Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi decided to remain on wet tires. Rossi changed his mind just moments before the lining up, though, forcing him to begin the race from pit lane at the back of the pack.

Once the lights went out Dovi ran to the lead followed by Marquez, Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro and Pedrosa. Rain started to fall more heavily in places during the initial laps but there was little caution shown among the front runners, with Marquez and Dovi pushing hard against one another for the front. Behind, positions shuffled too many times to count among riders throughout the field, with Open class bikes pacing ahead of Factory entries and all looking to make the most of the difficult situation.

Five laps into the race, however, a dry line had emerged and the rains had largely stopped, prompting teams to ready slick-shod machines for their respective riders. Marquez and Dovi were some of the earliest to pull in for a bike swap and the leaderboard went into a major shuffle as the rest of the riders changed machines. Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, led for a brief period, as did Drive M7 Aspar’s Hiroshi Aoyama.

Dovi and Marquez didn’t lose much time during their swap and were soon tracking Aoyama for the front. Both passed the production Honda rider with ease and with 18 laps remaining, the running order began to settle somewhat. The Ducati ace continued to hold the front, having gained a multi-second lead after switching to his dry race set-up, but Marquez was on the hunt, closing in through each rotation. The battle for third raged between Espargaro and Pedrosa, the two riders changing position numerous times through the middle portion of the race.

Further back Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista ran fifth with challenges from Paul Bird Motorsports’ Broc Parkes, Dovi’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow, Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. Rossi got into the mix later as well, having clawed his way up the ranks during the early laps. The six-rider battle left fifth-place up for grabs until the final laps.

With 14 laps remaining rain flags came out once again, but riders remained steady on the slicks. At the head of the pack, Dovi was under intense pressure from Marquez and as the two came through the chicane before the finish line 16 laps in, Marquez made his move to the front. Dovi attempted to hold on but was unable to match the Honda rider’s pace, and Marquez proceeded to build a six-plus second gap on the Italian before the checkers.

Pedrosa had gained the advantage on Espargaro and was opening some space between the two, leaving the round’s pole-sitter to finish fourth. Rossi ran out of time before he could close in on the top-four and finished in fifth, followed by Iannone in sixth and Bautista in seventh. Smith took eighth ahead of Crutchlow in ninth and Bradl in 10th. Parkes held on to take his best result of the year in 11th.

The round was particularly difficult for Lorenzo, the Mallorcan dropping outside the top-15 after switching bikes. He struggled to find the pace needed to move up the field and finished in 13th.

Marquez leaves the Netherlands with a 72 point advantage over his closest rivals. Rossi and Pedrosa, on the other hand, are locked in a tie for second-place overall. Dovi sits fourth followed by Lorenzo in fifth.

MotoGP Assen TT Results 2014 
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 
4. Aleix Espargaro (Forward-Yamaha) 
5. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 
6. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 
9. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 
10. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 
11. Broc Parkes (PBM) 
12. Scott Redding (Honda) 
13. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 
14. Karel Abraham (Honda) 
15. Danilo Petrucci (ART) 
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 
17. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 
18. Hector Barbera (Avintia) 
19. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 
20. Mike Di Meglio (Avintia) 
21. Michael Laverty (PBM) 
22. Colin Edwards (Forward-Yamaha)

MotoGP Championship Points 2014 
1. Marc Marquez, 200 
2. Valentino Rossi, 128 
3. Dani Pedrosa, 128 
4. Andrea Dovizioso, 91 
5. Jorge Lorenzo, 81 
6. Aleix Espargaro, 67 
7. Pol Espargaro, 58 
8. Stefan Bradl, 56 
9. Andrea Iannone, 51 
10. Bradley Smith, 48

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