ROUND 8: ASSEN 2019
James Toseland’s Insider Insights: 4th JuLY 2019
Dutch TT Circuit Assen
Hello bike fans!
Unfortunately I’m not lucky enough to be writing another blog on the Amalfi coast as I’m back at home in London now from an amazing holiday. I recommend that everyone should have an Amalfi coast holiday inked firmly onto their bucket list! It’s a beautiful part of the world. I can’t complain though as the sun is shining this morning and it looked like a rare, sunny weekend in Assen last weekend.
What a race it was again from all the youngsters in Moto 3! This class never disappoints in giving us amazing races from start to finish. Half way through the race John McPhee was in the leading pack from 20th position! I’ve mentioned John early here as I think he had one of the best races of his career at the weekend. To go from 20th to 5th in such a competitive field was outstanding.
There were a few unfortunate crashes two thirds into the race that spilt that train of Moto 3 riders but it was still a photo finish between the two young Italians, Tony Arbolino and Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Tony took his second victory of the year and in doing so, he moves up to 4th in the championship.
When you get a huge freight train of riders in the leading group, it is so important to keep your focus and keep out of trouble (easier said than done)! The championship leader, Aron Canet was a great example of how many points your competitors can gain on you if you don’t time things right in a race. Aron finished 12th and Lorenzo Dalla Porta finished 2nd. Aron was only 3 seconds behind Lorenzo as they crossed the finish line but that cut Aron’s championship lead from a relatively comfortable 23 points, to now just 7 points.
Moto 3 is developing into a fantastically unpredictable championship this year and we don’t have to wait long until we’re treated to another epic battle between these very talented young riders with Sachsenring being this weekend! Can’t wait!
It was another record breaking weekend for the new Triumph powered Moto 2 class! It took every last rev from that 765 engine to finally beat the 4 year old lap record set by Tito Rabat in 2015! To break a lap record that has stood for 4 years in your inaugural season of racing is so impressive!
The chassis, electronics, and engine position are just a few key differences that the riders and teams have no data on whatsoever going into these races (tracks they haven’t been able to test on in the winter) and to break lap records of this stature with very little data proves just how good the Triumph 765 engine really is.
It was so good to see Sam Lowes leading a Moto 2 race again but unfortunately he collided with Jorge Martin which brought his race to a premature end. I hope Sam was able to get a lot of confidence from being at the sharp end though and he can hit the ground running in Sachsenring this weekend.
The big story of the race was Lorenzo Baldassarri taking out the championship leader Alex Marquez with only a handful of laps left. It looked like Alex was going to take his 4th win in 4 races but it wasn’t to be. Lorenzo tried to overtake Alex mid corner and it was a little too much for his front Dunlop tyre to cope with. It was a real shame as it was hotting up nicely as they approached the chequered flag. That left the door wide open for the 3 podium positions! Augusto Fernandez, Brad Binder and Luca Marini didn’t need a second invitation either!
A maiden win for Augusto Fernandez and now a real championship contender with that victory.
Great to see the KTM back up there and the likeable South African, Brad Binder back on the podium. Luca Marini rode an amazing second half of the race. Coming from 12th to 3rd was very impressive and a well-deserved podium.
With Alex Marquez and Lorenzo Baldassarri out, Thomas Luthi now leads the championship by just 6 points! Let there be plenty more of this exciting, unpredictable racing next time out in Sachsenring this weekend please!
There is just one name on everyone’s lips at the minute inside the MotoGP paddock and that’s Fabio Quartararo! Do we have another Marc Marquez on our hands here?! It certainly looks that way from watching him in his rookie season. 3 pole positions and 2 podiums at 20 years old on a satellite Yamaha speaks for itself. Absolutely outstanding!
He had to wait nearly a year but Maverick Vinales was back on the top step though! I couldn’t be happier for him either. He’s been taken out 3 times this season and I’m not a big believer in luck but the kid definitely needed a bit! His perseverance and determination finally paid off with a brilliant win. It’s one of Yamaha’s strongest tracks though so I’ll be interested to see how it goes this weekend in Germany.
Marc Marquez as always was right there with the two Yamahas and put up a great fight but he had to settle for 2nd this weekend. He now has a commanding lead of 44 points in the championship now and we all know how successful Marc is around the Sachsenring!
It was another frustrating weekend for Valentino Rossi. Huge controversy surrounded Valentino’s penalty and if Valentino could have started 5th and not 14th it would have been a completely different race for the legendary Italian. Valentino is good around the Sachsenring circuit so I’m sure he’ll bounce back.
It was a three horse race in Assen but I’m sure there will be a few more joining the party next time out!
Catch up next week!
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