Dre’s 2015 MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix Review

Read time: 5 mins

“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!


[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]CIriIvhW8AAHwTq[/fusion_imageframe]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.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]CIW_1dwWEAEkiAp[/fusion_imageframe]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 [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”(Even if he finished 20 seconds behind the Yamaha’s)” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]podium[/fusion_tooltip]. Is it a return of the arm pump issues he’s had before? Or just a really bad day at the office? Strange.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]CIvaTP_WIAAVXF4[/fusion_imageframe]Zarco vs Rabat, Round 3

Yep, Johann Zarco is the best rider in this class now, this is no debate. Zarco won with almost a carbon copy of his win in Catalunya, a bad start, a decent recovery and outsmarting Tito Rabat when the chips were down, with Rabat unable to provide any answers.

With Rabat now 45 points down, and the 2nd race in a row where Zarco’s just been better on the day, one has to wonder just how big a body blow that is to Rabat’s championship chances are, as Rabat only now has really looked comfortable with that 2015 Kalex chassis, something Zarco’s had nailed from the very start. That learning adaptation could be what costs Rabat his title.

Also, well done again to Sam Lowes for another mature ride in third place, a podium he’s been overdue for a little while now. Speed Up just aren’t quite there with Kalex in terms of race pace at the limit, and I think Sam knows it too. He’s collecting the points well here though, and as much as Speed Up is probably two tenths off where it really needs to be, Sam Lowes on his own is getting some customers for the Italian outfit.

Also, Johann Zarco backflipped in clogs. He’s awesome.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]CIgc12dUMAA-eIi[/fusion_imageframe]Race of the Decade?

Erm, WHAT IN GOD’S NAME WAS THAT? An utterly incredible Moto3 race, as Miguel Oliviera, Romano Fenati, Danny Kent, Fabio Quartararo, Enea Bastianini, Jorge Navarro and Brad Binder went to war for our sins. A truly incredible race and fight from start to finish, with an average of about 17 passes per lap. We had Fenati swing round the outside of Turn 3 beautifully, Kent trying to make a break like always, Oliviera controlling the pace, and the Fabio/Jorge combination surprising people left and right. Nice to see Jorge Navarro having a good run of form by the way.

And that wasn’t even the craziest finish, with Niklas Ajo finishing ON HIS FREAKING KNEES after the greatest biking save I’ve seen Alex De Angelis nearly got killed at Aragon all those years ago after being nudged on the final straight. A truly incredible save that’s gone viral, being picked up even by ESPN and SportsCenter, and they NEVER do bike coverage…

ESPN Moto3

If you haven’t seen it, go find it, it’s the best Moto3 race I’ve ever seen, and THAT says something given that last season had 5 races in my Top 10.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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