Rossi takes victory in thrilling Dutch TT

Valentino Rossi secured his first MotoGP victory in over a year as he took the chequered flag in Assen. The Italian fought of stiff competition for Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci to take the win, whilst Marc Marquez rounded off the podium.

Rossi Assen

Image: BT Sport (@btsportmotogp)

It was fellow Yamaha rider Johann Zarco who made the strongest start, converting his pole position in to an early lead. The Frenchman led a breakout group, with Marquez, Rossi and Petrucci moving well clear of the pack.

With 15 laps to go, Rossi made his move, hitting the front ahead of Zarco, There was a bit of contact as Zarco tried to snap straight back at the Doctor, but this didn’t affect Rossi, and allowed Marquez to pass Zarco.

Shortly afterwards, Petrucci muscled his way past Marc Marquez in to second, but the real excitement started when, with 8 laps remaining, the white flags came out, indicating that there was rain and that riders were allowed to come in and change bikes.

Andrea Dovizioso, who had been having a quiet race by his recent standards, pushed past both Zarco and Marquez on the same lap to put himself in to podium contention, before hunting down Petrucci on the following lap.

During this time, Johann Zarco, who had been on the softer option tyre, decided to swap bikes to a wet race set-up, a gamble that proved unsuccessful as he would be unable to make up the lost time, and even suffered a penalty for speeding in pit lane. Only Hector Barbera, Alex Rins and Jorge Lorenzo followed Zarco in changing to wets.

Rossi looked to be getting clear as the two Ducatis battled amongst themselves, but Petrucci was able to break clear and catch the leader. The two Italians battled it out for the final few laps for first, with Rossi leading in to the final lap. The Pramac Ducati rider looked to have the pace to take his first MotoGP victory going in to the final sector, but lost time lapping Alex Rins, who Rossi had passed smoothly. This enabled the 38 year old to take his tenth win at Assen across all classes, finishing 0.063 seconds clear of Petrucci.

Cal Crutchlow appeared from nowhere to join the race for the final podium position in the final stages of the race. The Brit passed Dovizioso and Marquez with ease, but the factory Honda rider fought back. Marquez just managed to better Crutchlow, holding him off by 0.042 seconds.

Last year’s race winner Jack Miller finished sixth, ahead of Karel Abraham in seventh. Loris Baz, Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro rounded off the top ten.

It was a miserable day for the Brits, apart from Cal Crutchlow of course. Sam Lowes crashed early on, and was soon followed in to the gravel by SBradley Smith. With two laps remaining, Scott Redding completed the hat-trick of British riders crashing out.

Dovizioso’s fifth place sees him move to the top of the championship, after previous series leader Maverick Vinales crashed out having fought back to fifth place after a start to forget. Dovizioso leads the championship now by four points, with Rossi a further three points behind Vinales, and Marc Marquez only eleven points off of the lead.

In Moto3, Aron Canet secured his second win of the season, preventing a fantastic comeback from Britain’s John McPhee, who ended up third after making up sixteen places to catch the leaders. Franco Morbidelli celebrated securing a MotoGP ride in 2018 with another Moto2 victory. The Italian has now won five of the opening eight races.

The next race is the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring on the 2 July.

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Miller takes shock win at Assen

“This makes it clear that we do know how to ride a motorbike and I’m not an idiot.” These were the words of Jack Miller as took his first MotoGP victory in a rain affected Dutch TT. The race was red-flagged on lap 15 when heavy rain caused flooding on the track, and the Australian was able to make the most of the 12 lap restart, becoming the first satellite rider to win a MotoGP race since 2006.

Miller Assen

Source: Crash.net

Miller took the lead from Marc Marquez on lap four of the restart, slipping past the Repsol Honda rider at the final chicane. The Australian looked unfazed by the conditions, quickly establishing a lead of over two seconds.

Marquez was one of the riders to benefit from the restart, rising from fifth to a comfortable second place. The Spaniard’s championship lead has been extended after Valentino Rossi crashed out of the lead on lap four of the restart, while Jorge Lorenzo salvaged six points, ending a torrid weekend in tenth.

Scott Redding completed the podium, equalling his highest ever MotoGP finish. After ending the initial race strongly he continued his pace in to the restart, seeing off the challenge of Pol Espargaro.

Andrea Iannone recovered from an earlier crash to take fifth, with Hector Barbera sixth. Eugene Laverty took seventh, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Maverick Vinales, who also struggled to adjust to the conditions.

The conditions definitely affected the race, with Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso joining Rossi in crashing out of the lead. In total there were eight non-finishers, including Cal Crutchlow, Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro. Dani Pedrosa and Bradley Smith rejoined the race after crashing, finishing in 12th and 13th respectively.

There were also first time winners in the other classes, with Takaaki Nakagami taking the chequered flag in the Moto2 race, whilst Francesco Bagnaia took the win in Moto3.

Marquez makes it four in a row in Austin

Marc Marquez took his fourth consecutive Texan Grand Prix with a dominant display at the Circuit of the Americas. The Spaniard led the race from start to finish, with Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone completing the podium.

marquez texas

Marc Marquez’s dominace was shown by his 6 second margin of victory. Image: BT Sport

Valentino Rossi crashed out on lap three after he had slipped back from his front row start and was battling with Aleix Espargaro. Andrea Dovizioso will be wondering who he has upset, as for the second race in a row he was taken out. This time, Dani Pedrosa was unable to stop his Honda at turn one, skipping his bike in to the side of the Ducati rider. Dovi had been in third at the time, and this incident left the final podium place open for his team mate, Andrea Iannone.

Maverick Vinales overcame a tough battle with his Suzuki team mate to take fourth, whilst Scott Redding saw off fellow Brits Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, who both crashed out within seconds of each other on lap eight. Michele Pirro, riding in place of the injured Danilo Petrucci, finished eighth, with Hector Barbera and Stefan Bradl rounding off the top ten.

In Moto2, Alex Rins dominated the race, whilst Sam Lowes’ second place takes him top of the championship. The Moto3 race saw Romano Fenati come out on top.

Marquez takes win in Argentina

Marc Marquez eased to his first victory of the season in an action-packed Argentinian Grand Prix. The race saw an incredible eight non-finishers, including a controversial last lap clash between the Ducati team mates.

marquez argentina

Source: Autosport.com

Teams were forced to make a pit-stop during the race for safety reasons, after Scott Redding’s tyre failed during FP3, and things were made even more unpredictable with a drying track littered with damp patches.

Marquez took the lead early on, and he enjoyed a earl tussle with Valentino Rossi before pitting. But the Spaniard switched bikes quicker and managed to get out of pit lane with Tito Rabat between him and Rossi. Marquez took advantage of this breathing room, arguably getting even more out of his second bike to extend the lead to 7 seconds as he took the chequered flag.

Valentino Rossi fell back, battling first with Maverick Vinales and then with both of the Ducatis. Vinales passed Rossi but crashed out on turn 1 with two laps to go. Andrea Iannone looked to have got the better of his team mate, tussling with Rossi for second position. However, Dovizioso mugged the pair of them to move in to second. But on the penultimate corner, Iannone dived for a gap that wasn’t there, lost the front end and took out his team mate, gifting Rossi second place.

iannone dovi crash

Andrea Iannone will incur a 3 place grid penalty in Texas for taking out his team mate. Source: Crash.net

Dani Pedrosa claimed third, 28 seconds behind Marquez, with Eugene Laverty coming fourth. Hector Barbera edged out Pol Espargaro for fifth, whilst Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith rounded off the top 8.

Jorge Lorenzo was unable to follow up his victory in Qatar as he slipped off early on. He was not having a good race anyway, only seventh after Jack Miller crashed out on lap four. Scott Redding continued his unlucky weekend as his bike broke down whilst in sixth, ahead of Dani Pedrosa. Cal Crutchlow crashed out on the final lap.

Johann Zarco took the victory in Moto2, with Britain’s Sam Lowes profiting from a crash to finish second. Danny Kent missed out on the points finishing 16th. Rookie Khairul Idham Pawi won the Moto3 race, becoming the first ever Malaysian Grand Prix winner.

Marquez in thrilling finish down under

Marc Marquez finished the Australian Grand Prix for the first time in some style, producing a masterful final lap to take the victory. The Spaniard went in to the last lap in fourth, but produced a lap record to pip title hopeful Jorge Lorenzo to the win. Andrea Iannone completed the podium after winning out over title leader Valentino Rossi.

Source: crash.net

Source: crash.net

Although Marquez started on pole, it was Lorenzo that set the early pace.It soon began to develop in to a four way race, with the leaders interchanging throughout. Marquez passed Lorenzo through Honda corner, and the number 99 almost slipped another place, but Iannone ran wide after blasting past on the home straight. The reigning champion was unable to escape his fellow leaders though, with Lorenzo passing him, then Rossi and Iannone both lunging down his inside on the same corner. On the final lap, Marquez passed Rossi at the beginning of the lap, before passing Iannone at Doohan. The Italian fought straight back but in doing so left the door open for Marquez to slip straight past him. As Marquez chased down Lorenzo, Rossi slipped up the inside of Iannone, just doing enough to prevent the Ducati man from biting straight back. Marquez made his move with just two corners left, holding a tight line through the hairpin. Luckily for Lorenzo, Iannone also passed Rossi at the same corner, meaning that the Spaniard’s championship hopes are still alive.

Dani Pedrosa finished fifth, with Maverick Vinales sixth and Cal Crutchlow finishing as the top Brit in seventh. Bradley Smith continued his run of scoring points in every race this season with a tenth, just ahead of Scott Redding. Jack Miller was the top Open class rider in fifteenth.

Marquez's win was his 50th Grand Prix victory. Source: twitter (marcmarquez93)

Marquez’s win was his 50th Grand Prix victory. Source: twitter (marcmarquez93)

With those 20 points, Jorge Lorenzo has now cut Valentino Rossi’s championship lead to just 11 points with two races remaining. The win for Marquez all but secures his third place, whilst Bradley Smith is still within touching distance of fifth placed Dani Pedrosa despite his tenth place at Phillip Island.

In Moto3, Danny Kent will have to wait to seal his title after he was taken out in spectacular fashion by his main title rival Enea Bastianini. Miguel Oliveira won the race to leapfrog Bastianini in the championship, 40 points behind Kent. It seemed almost inevitable that things would not go for the Brit this weekend, having been relegated to seventh from pole for slow riding in the warm-up, and being clipped already by Francesco Bagnaia before Bastianini ended his race. Alex Rins was the clear winner in Moto2, with Brit Sam Lowes keeping his hopes of reaching third in the championship alive with a second place.

Pedrosa wins in Japan

Dani Pedrosa claimed his 50th Grand Prix victory in the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi. The Spaniard beat title leader Valentino Rossi and fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo to the chequered flag, whilst team mate Marc Marquez could only finish fourth.

Source: crash.net

Source: crash.net

Pole man Lorenzo set the pace early on, but as the race went on he was plagued with tyre problems. Pedrosa worked his way past Rossi with eight laps to go before powering in to the lead on the next lap. Lorenzo’s tyre problems were evident when Rossi caught him, running extremely wide to allow his team mate to slip past. Marc Marquez caught Andrea Dovizioso late on to take fourth, whilst Cal Crutchlow overtook fellow Brit Bradley Smith in the final few corners to claim sixth. Scott Redding finished tenth, with Eugene Laverty seventeenth.

Rossi’s second place extends his championship lead to 18 points with three races remaining, whilst Marc Marquez is now unable to retain his crown, 86 points behind the Italian.

Source: crash.net

Source: crash.net

Johann Zarco was awarded the Moto2 title before the race, with closest challenger Tito Rabat’s weekend being cut short through injury. Zarco celebrated his title with another win in a rain affected race, whilst Danny Kent will have to wait to secure the Moto3 title, finishing sixth, with Niccolo Antonelli taking the win.

Marquez wins in difficult conditions

Marquez Misano Marc Marquez took victory at the San Marino Grand Prix, whilst Jorge Lorenzo crashed to enable Valentino Rossi to extend his championship lead to 23 points. The conditions wreaked havoc with the riders, with many who started on slicks changing to wet tyres, before changing back to finish back on slicks. Bradley Smith finished second, despite not pitting at all during the race, with Scott Redding remarkably completed the podium, even though he crashed early on.

Title leader Rossi had lead the race, but decided to ditch the wet tyres later than his rivals. Marquez and Lorenzo pitted two laps before the Italian, giving them the advantage. However Marquez was gifted the victory with six laps to go as Lorenzo came off.

Misano podiumLoris Baz finished fourth, with Rossi fifth and Danilo Petrucci sixth. Dani Pedrosa could only finish ninth after missing his pit board four times, with the Britain’s other rider Cal Crutchlow eleventh.

Rossi now leads the championship by 23 points, with reigning champion Marquez a further 40 points behind. Johann Zarco took yet another Moto2 win, and Enea Bastianini took the victory in Moto3, with Danny Kent finishing sixth.