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Rossi Rides to Fifth in Chaotic Assen TT

Rossi_AssenGP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi rode impressively this afternoon to take fifth during an unpredictable race at the Assen TT. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo briefly led the race, but later fell back after a tyre change, finishing in 13th place.

There was uncertainty before the start of the Dutch GP, with the riders already on the starting grid when the race was delayed due to the rainy conditions. It was finally declared a wet race and two extra sighting laps were given.

Rossi initially went out on slicks but decided last-minute to change to wets after the warm-up lap. Though this meant he had to start the race from pit lane, the setback didn’t hold him back for long and he was quick to move up the order, reaching 13th by lap three. At the end of lap six chaos ensued again as the track started to form a dry line and half of the riders came into the pits for another tyre change. Rossi dived into the pits with the first group, rejoining the race in tenth position. He was quick to find a good rhythm and closed the gap of 2.325s to Pol Espargaro, Carl Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl over the next six laps. The Doctor then only took another three laps to move up to fifth place. He was consistently closing on Aleix Espagaro in fourth, but there were not enough laps, leaving him to hold fifth at the line.

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo had a good start, the Spaniard moving up from ninth to sixth in the first lap. Having found a good wet pace, he threatening to break into the top five when changing weather again disrupted the race. Lorenzo made the change to a dry bike and having returned in 17th was able to move up several positions to 13th by the flag.

With fifth place Rossi scores 11 points and is now tied for second place in the championship with Dani Pedrosa, 128 points behind Marc Marquez. Jorge Lorenzo gains three points, leaving him in fifth in the championship standings, ten points behind Dovizioso in fourth.

Bradley Smith completed a challenging race for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team in Assen by crossing the line in 8th after enduring the unpredictable Dutch weather for round 8 of the 204 MotoGP World Championship. Smith began his 26 lap sprit around the legendary 4252 metre circuit from the last grid slot of the second row before holding 8th place during the opening lap as he intrepidly powered through the rain and over the damp track surface. The historical Assen circuit proceeded to dry rapidly forcing the young British rider to enter the pits to change bikes on lap seven. He then re-joined the race and set into an incredibly competitive rhythm aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 and in the final stages of the race he was the fastest MotoGP rider on track, also producing the 3rd fastest race time on his final lap as he just missed out on P7 by a tenth of a second.

His Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Pol Espargaro suffered ill luck as he retired during round 8 of the 2014 MotoGP world championship at Assen on lap 18. The reigning Moto2 World champion began the day in positive fashion by seizing 3rd in this morning’s warm up before starting the Iveco Daily Dutch TT from 11th on the grid. After choosing to make a last minute swap to his tyre choice, the rookie had to start from the rear of the field in 23rd but expertly elevated himself up to 14th position by the end of the first lap before changing bikes on lap seven due to the drying track. The Spanish star rejoined the race and set his sights on regaining some positions but fell on lap 15. He heroically remounted and attempted to carry on after entering the pits again to swap bikes, before retiring on lap 18 from the Grand Prix. His non finish marks a disappointing end to a weekend which was full of high promise with the MotoGP rookie continuing to learn at every race in an impressive manner during his first season in the premier class.

NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro had a great ride at Assen despite the difficult conditions. Starting from pole, Espargaro held third position behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso until the tyre change. The Spaniard was also able to ride a good pace with the dry set-up. Espargaro fought hard with Dani Pedrosa for third place, but had to give in eventually. He finished third leaving him sixth in the championship with 67 points.

It was a difficult race for teammate Colin Edwards. Struggling to find confidence on the tricky and changeable track conditions, he finally finished 22nd.

Valentino Rossi

5th, +25.813

“You know, I took a risk because the conditions looked good but unfortunately one minute before the start it started to rain again so I had to change bike and start from last. It’s a shame because if I had started with the wets I could stay in front with the top guys. Anyway it’s something about luck today and unfortunately this time it ended like this. I’m quite satisfied with the rest of the race because I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. Also here in Assen I was quite fast.”

Jorge Lorenzo

13th, +1’04.641

“I have to say that the bike was working quite well on the wet and the dry, I just had a bad race as a rider. My confidence wasn’t great; I didn’t want to crash like last year. I didn’t have value enough like the other riders to go fast, it was a bad race for me. I would like to apologize with my team, the engineers and my fans because they all did their best but today it was definitely my worst race ever. In the dry I’m confident and not afraid of crashing but when it’s spitting maybe I have the memory of last year and I didn’t have things clear in my mind. In future if something happens like this I hope to be more confident and less scared of crashing.”

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Unfortunately it was clear from the start of the weekend that the weather was going to be the biggest factor today. As always the team worked hard from the first session to give both Vale and Jorge the best possible set up for the race. In typical Assen fashion we had the weather changing every couple of minutes in the lead up to the start, making it a real gamble to decide which tyres to start on. Having started from the pit lane Vale did well to come back and ride through the chaos to take fifth. Jorge gambled on staying out a lap later than the leaders to change to slicks and so had a bigger challenge to come back. It’s a shame as our results don’t represent what we have been capable of here, had the weather been more consistent. We’ll put this weekend behind us now and hope for either fully wet or fully dry at the Sachsenring!”

Bradley Smith

8th, +30.985

“Overall I am pleased with my performance at the end of the race even if the position is not what I’m aiming for. I was very comfortable with the bike once the track had dried and my race pace would have seen me within top 5 if not on the podium. Unfortunately at the same time today was quite a frustrating situation. The bike didn’t work too well in the rain and I lost so much time at the beginning because of these wet conditions. I decided to follow Jorge’s judgement on the pit stop and remained out for one more lap with him which was definitely the wrong decision as I lost approximately 10 seconds during that lap and when looking at the time sheets now, I would have been able to fight for 4th position with Aleix had I not lost that time. However when I rejoined the race the bike was awesome in the dry. The team did a great job but it’s still just a bit irritating to end up in this position after such a solid end to the race in terms of pace. So unfortunately the result doesn’t justify our efforts but we’ve worked really well this weekend and I go hard from the beginning to the end and look forward to giving it my all next round in Germany.”

Pol Espagaro

DNF, 8 Laps

“It has been such an unlucky and disappointing end to this weekend! We started in a brilliant way during the practice sessions where I felt strong and competitive on the bike. My only worry was the weather and the storyboard planned the worst scenario for me. The rain arrived when we were going to the starting grid and from that moment on I got really nervous. I think , we also made a few of unfortunate decisions as it was actually a gamble which tyres to choose at the beginning of the race. Also the fact that my first ever wet laps had to be the opening ones of today’s race did not really help my confidence. However, I really didn’t feel comfortable enough to push and when we changed to dry tyres I was already far behind trying to close the gap to the riders in front of me, but I made a mistake and crashed. Afterwards, I returned to the pit box and tried to finish the race with my second bike, which was on rain tyres, but with the track already dry there was nothing I could do. Now I have to look forward to the next race in Germany in two weeks of time where we hopefully will be able to show our true potential.”

Aleix Espargaro

4th, +19.199

“It was a great race and the battle with Dani Pedrosa on a factory Honda was hard but it was good fun. On the wet I was cautious so I lost the contact with Andrea (Dovizioso), but with the dry set up I pushed hard to fight for the podium. We had a very good battle with Dani: he was overtaking me on the straight and I passed him in the corners. It’s a pity, but I’m happy with this result. We gained important point for the championship and now we are 6th. We leave Assen happy with the results and we will return stronger in Sachsenring.”

Colin Edwards

22nd, 3 Laps

“It was a difficult weekend and I struggled a lot also in the race. The tracks conditions were very tricky, I played a bit with the tyres but it didn’t work. I lack of confidence and I cannot push as I would like. I need to figure out something for the German GP.”

2014 MotoGP Netherlands

Assen 28/06/2014

race I
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 43’29.954
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0’06.714
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’10.791
4 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha ESP 0’19.199
5 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’25.813
6 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 0’29.003
7 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’30.882
8 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 0’30.985
9 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GBR 0’44.031
10 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’48.662
11 Broc Parkes PBM AUS 0’51.863
12 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’00.329
13 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’04.641
14 Karel Abraham Honda CZE 1’05.980
15 Danilo Petrucci ART ITA 1’17.611
22 Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha USA -3Laps
23 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP -8Laps

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 8 of 19

1. Marc Marquez Honda ESP 200
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 128
3. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 128
4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 91
5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 81
6. Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha ESP 67
7. Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 58
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 56
9. Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 51
10. Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 48
11. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 43
12. Scott Redding Honda GBR 29
13. Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 27
14. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 26
15. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 24
16. Cal Crutchlow Ducati GBR 22

Circuit Length:
4555

Weather:
Changeable

Lap Record:
1’34.525
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2010)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’33.713
(Casey Stoner, 30-6-2012)

Last Years Winner:
Valentino Rossi

Manufacturer Standings

28/06/2014

1 Honda 200
2 Yamaha 138
3 Ducati 94
4 Forward Yamaha 67
5 PBM 6
6 ART 3
7 Avintia 2

Team Standings

28/06/2014

1. Repsol Honda Team 328
2. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team 209
3. Ducati Team 113
4. Monster Yamaha Tech3 106
5. Pramac Racing 78
6. NGM Forward Racing 75
7. Go&Fun Honda Gresini 72
8. LCR Honda MotoGP 56
9. Drive M7 Aspar 50
10. Cardion AB Motoracing 15
11. Paul Bird Motorsport 6
12. IodaRacing Project 3
13. Avintia Racing 2