“Marc Marquez returns…but he needs a Doctor.”

Welcome back to my MotoGP Season Review columns, and Round 8 of the Championship had the crazy train hit the godfather of speed, and the oldest venue on the MotoGP Calendar, Assen. And in this race, nothing was going to stop The Doctor from taking a foothold back in the Championship race as he won from Pole Position, but not without some controversy, as a very gamey Marc Marquez returned to his best to push him all the way to the final corner, and beyond!

In Moto2, Johann Zarco tightened his grip on the Championship as Tito Rabat had no answer for him again, causing a backflip in clogs. And in Moto3, one of the races of the century as Miguel Oliviera won a titanic scrap with seven riders, and that was only the 2nd spectacular finish, of said race! All that and more in my MotoGP Review of Assen!


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Rossi vs Marquez

This was The Doctor’s weekend, from start to finish. And that’s not happened in a long, long time. Misano 2009 was the last time Valentino Rossi won a race from pole position. And this was a Race that Rossi BADLY needed to win. His poor qualifying all-season long had given him too much work to do, so of course, cometh the hour, cometh the lap. In a Qualifying session where a tenth covered seven riders, Rossi broke out a banzai lap for pole, in one of the shocks of the season so far. What a response from the 9-time World Champion.

Rossi was hounded from start to finish by a resurgent Marc Marquez, running with the 2014 chassis after documented issues with this year’s bike, and it worked a treat, MM93 was back to his best, and I don’t care what anyone says, this sport needs Marc at the top. After four consecutive Lorenzo borefests, this was just what… The Doctor ordered. Sorry.

So I know what you’re thinking, what did I make of that final corner incident? Easy. You don’t get punished for contact on the last corner of a GP, Jerez 2005 taught me that, so why the hell not have Marquez take a lunge and force some contact. Rossi was a wily old fox, if you have an excuse to use the gravel to win, you go for it, as James Toseland rightly proclaimed on BT Sport’s Chequered Flag. Marquez doesn’t make that corner if it’s not for Rossi’s bike being used a very creative buffer. No harm, no foul, the right man won. Let’s not make more of this than what it actually was.

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The Midcard Superscrap

The only major downside of what was a great Assen race, was that we didn’t get enough airtime in hindsight (With it being 20/20 of course), to the battle for 5th place between Crutchlow, The Espargaro Brothers, Smith and Pedrosa, all dicing it out for P5, and it was fantastic, a real war with passing attempts every lap, and the very underrated “Rider Cam” that Bradley Smith had on his Tech 3 Yamaha, so we could see what Bradley was seeing. Dorna Sports production quality is insane, and it’s something I only truly realized when I watched the race without commentary for the first time ever. Yay for totally legal torrenting.

But well done Pol Espargaro coming out on top in a performance he really needed, given his struggles this season, and his well documented gift from the Movistar Yamaha team – A Factory chassis for the factory supported rider. Bradley’s going to be pissed at breakfast, that’s for sure.

What concerns me, is that Dani Pedrosa was right in the middle of said scrap, and finished in 8th, all the more confusing given his really strong race pace in practise, and his Catalan