ASSEN. Few races are written immediately into the history books as the flag flies at the finish line, but the 2018 Dutch GP will be one of them. It was Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who emerged from the melee to take the win on the Championship’s 70th visit to the track, but the headlines were stolen somewhat as the TT Circuit Assen hosted a showcase of the best of MotoGP™ starring Marquez, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), teammate Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). And those on the podium at the end – Marquez, Rins and Viñales – fought to the top in the closest top fifteen of all time.
Marquez, Rins, Viñales, Dovizioso and Rossi were followed home by Crutchlow and Lorenzo, with Zarco, Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) completing the top ten in one of the greatest races contested on two wheels.
Thirteenth place for Aleix, betrayed by tyre choice
Both of the Aprilia machines finished in the points in a spectacular race on the Dutch Assen track, the eighth round of the MotoGP Championship It was a race that, as the practice and qualifying days had foreshadowed, was characterised by a spectacular balance, so much that Espargaró and Redding missed the top ten even though they finished only 16 seconds behind the winner, Marquez.
For Aleix it was a disappointment explained by the conservative choice of putting a hard rear tyre on for the race. Off the line well from the third row – earned thanks to a brilliant qualifying session – Aleix was eighth at the end of the first lap, but then he lost five positions due to contact with Zarco. Clawing his way back up to thirteenth place was made difficult by the poor grip conditions his tyres provided throughout the race and he finished in that position, 15.986 seconds behind the leader.
Aleix Espargaró: 13th
“I am not happy. Unfortunately, I made the wrong choice for the rear tyre. My Aprilia worked extremely well throughout the weekend on the soft, even if we were at the limit with wear. Precisely for this reason and after the wear problems at Mugello and the crash in Barcelona, I opted for the hard, thinking that it would be a safer choice. In reality, I did not have grip from the start, so all I could do was simply try to finish the race. A pity because we really worked well in all the sessions and then the worst came right at the decisive moment, where the points are earned".
Xavier Siméon: N.C.
“It was difficult to understand what happened this weekend. After the test in Barcelona, where we did a promising race simulation and I got a good feeling with the bike, I was expecting a good result here at Assen. I’ve been always fast here and I love the track, so I came here determined to do well in front of the Belgian fans. But I was not comfortable during the whole weekend. In the race I struggled with the rear tyre after ten laps and we don’t know why. I want to say sorry to my team, because we all came here looking forward to a good result. Now we have to think of Germany".