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Dutch GP (Assen): Racing at “The Cathedral”

Ducati in Assen

– Ducati comes to the Dutch GP after taking victories in Italy and Catalonia, just like they did last year.

– With Lorenzo’s double triumph, he joins an exclusive Ducati riders’ club of those who have two consecutive victories, which includes Loris Capirossi, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso.

– Lorenzo’s pole position in the Catalan GP was his first with Ducati, and the fifth time he has started from the front row: he was first on the grid in Catalonia (2018), second in Catalonia (2017), at Aragón (2017) and Mugello (2018), and third in Austria (2017).

– In the Catalan GP, Lorenzo took pole position, fastest race lap and the win, which was the 14th time that a Ducati has achieved this triple feat.

– Dovizioso set pole position in the Dutch GP in 2016, which was the third time a Ducati has started first at Assen, after Capirossi in 2003 and Stoner in 2008.

– Dovizioso was leading the 2016 race until heavy rain forced Race Direction to stop the race for safety reasons.

– Dovizioso has stepped onto the Assen podium four times: once in 250cc in 2006; and three times in MotoGP in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

– Jorge Lorenzo has not won at Assen since 2010. Since that year, luck has always eluded him in Holland: He was eliminated by Simoncelli in 2011 and Bautista in 2012 at the start of the race, and in 2013 he crashed in FP2 and broke his collarbone. In an act of true heroism, he was operated on the same day, and took part in the race the following day, finishing in a surprising 5th position just 36 hours after having undergone surgery.

– Lorenzo has won in Assen in all categories. In 2004 in 125cc; in 2006 and 2007 in 250cc, and in 2010 in MotoGP. In addition, he has a total of 6 podiums and 4 pole positions.

– Stoner won the Dutch Grand Prix with Ducati in 2008 by 11.31 seconds, the largest gap since Gardner defeated Lawson in 1988 by the exact same margin.

– Netherlands, Catalonia and Australia are the only GPs where Stoner stepped onto the podium every year in the four years he competed with Ducati.

– Ducati reached a top speed of 319.8 Km/h in 2015 with Andrea Iannone, the fastest speed recorded by a MotoGP bike at Assen.

– The top five highest speeds in the GP last year were all by Ducatis.

Curiosities

– This weekend will be the seventieth time a GP race has been held in Assen, and it is the only circuit that has been on the calendar since the first edition of the World Championship in 1949. Because of this, and for the large number of fans that annually attend this GP, it is known as the Cathedral.

– Traditionally this GP was held on Saturday until 2016 when it was moved to Sunday like the rest of the races in the calendar.

– In 2006, the circuit layout underwent its most extensive remodelling: track length was reduced by 1442 meters by eliminating the first section from the first corner to the current turn 4.

– The point that most characterizes the Dutch track is the chicane before the finish line, where many races have been decided and where there have been several controversies. It has a top speed of 260 km/h which decreases to 126 km/h over a distance of 159 metres in 3.8 seconds.

– Turns 2, 3 and 4 create one turn of nearly 360º.

– Turn 5, the slowest of the entire track and one of the slowest in the Championship, was where the most falls were recorded last year, totalling 17 in the three categories. The second most controversial point was the entrance to the chicane, where 15 crashes were recorded.