Marc Marquez broke away from a seven-rider leading group to win a sensational Dutch TT at Assen, extending his lead in the MotoGP world championship. The reigning champion emerged the winner after a thrilling race-long battle including both factory Yamahas, both factory Ducatis and Cal Crutchlow, with Alex Rins coming through to snatch a career-best second for Suzuki.
The pattern for the race was set immediately on the opening lap as Jorge Lorenzo made a remarkable start, climbing from tenth on the grid to lead across the line for the first time. The Spaniard enjoyed a fierce early scrap with Marquez but his race nearly ended in catastrophic fashion on lap five when Valentino Rossi slammed into the back of his Ducati through the high-speed turn 13. Remarkably, both riders continued.
Marquez had a near-miss of his own on lap 12 when Rins dived past him for second at De Strubben. The two tangled on the exit of the hairpin with Marc forced to react quickly to avoid falling from his Honda, only losing a couple of places in the end. A later tussle with Maverick Vinales also could’ve ended in disaster with both running off track but ultimately, the decisive move in the race would come five laps from home.
With Lorenzo having been shuffled back to seventh, Andrea Dovizioso was flying the flag for Ducati with the Yamaha of Rossi looking dangerous in second. As the two Italians focused on each other though, Marquez powered back into the lead at the Veenslang before edging clear as his pursuers delayed each other while disputing second.
Dovizioso finally saw off Rossi with a forceful move at the start of the penultimate lap which forced the Doctor off track, relegating him to fifth. The squabbling allowed Vinales and Rins through though and with a brave move into the Ramshoek on the last lap, the Suzuki rider would secure a sensational second. Vinales took third for his first podium since COTA while Dovizioso, Rossi and Crutchlow completed the top six. Lorenzo was seventh ahead of Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista with Jack Miller completing the top ten.
2018 Motul TT Assen: (Result)
|1||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||41:13.863||25|
|2||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+2.269||20|
|3||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+2.308||16|
|4||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||+2.422||13|
|5||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+2.963||11|
|6||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda Castrol||+3.876||10|
|7||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||+4.462||9|
|8||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+7.001||8|
|9||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+7.541||7|
|10||43. Jack Miller||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+13.056||6|
|11||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+14.255||5|
|12||44. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+15.876||4|
|13||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+15.986||3|
|14||45. Scott Redding||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+16.019||2|
|15||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+16.043||1|
|16||53. Tito Rabat||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+16.416|
|17||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+29.073|
|18||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+33.824|
|19||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Honda||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||+34.037|
|20||12. Thomas Luthi||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+47.853|
|NC||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+9 Laps|
|NC||10. Xavier Simeon||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+9 Laps|
|NC||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+15 Laps|
|NS||21. Franco Morbidelli||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Injured|