Spoiler Alert: 2013 MotoGP results from the Iveco TT Assen in the Netherlands (Dutch Grand Prix) listed below
Many fan-pleasing stories came out of the Netherlands Saturday following round seven of the 2013 MotoGP Championship at Assen.
The two largest tales arrived from the Yamaha Factory Racing squad. First, Jorge Lorenzo suffered a nasty high side during Thursday’s practice session, injuring his shoulder. The reigning MotoGP Champion flew from the land of the Dutch to Barcelona to undergo successful surgery (eight screws and a titanium plate inserted), and flew back to Assen Friday night.
In a surprise move, Lorenzo participated in the warm up after he was medically cleared. Then, 24 hours after having his broken shoulder repaired, the two-time MotoGP Champ started the race. His finish? Fifth…impressive.
The second story to arrive out of the factory Yamaha paddock was the one of Valentino Rossi. Following two years of struggles aboard the Ducati, and not being able to keep up a podium pace so far this season, the nine-time Champion returned to his winning ways.
With the crowd going absolutely crazy for MotoGP’s hero, VR46 began from fourth on the grid, and made fast work to move into third by the end of lap one.
He would then battle his way to the front on lap six, and lead the remainder of the 26-lap event. Rossi would finish over two seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, and over four seconds ahead of the man who snatched his maiden pole at Assen, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow.
This was Rossi’s 80th premier-class MotoGP victory, and the first time he had won since the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2010.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time. I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury.
“It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike. It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible. We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend. Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his Championship.”
When the race got underway, the points leader Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda got his usual fast start. Starting from fifth on the grid, the RC213V pilot got to turn one first, followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez, Rossi and Crutchlow. Lorenzo started from 12th, and got up to eighth by the first turn.
Marquez made quick work of Bradl, getting into second on the third turn. Then Rossi began precisely picking off the Honda RC213V prototypes on the Dutch circuit, taking an aggressive first-lap pass on Bradl on the chicane of the 2.822-mile circuit.
By the end of the second lap (of 26), Pedrosa, Marquez and Rossi were pulling away from the second group of Crutchlow, Lorenzo and Bradl, who took his first-ever first-row starting position.
By the fourth lap, Rossi took second from the rookie Marquez, who started from second on the grid. Rossi then chased down Pedora, and passed the Spaniard on lap six.
From there it was reminiscent of the Rossi of 2009, the last year he took a world title. The 34-year-old Italian rode with absolute precision, eventually finishing 2.170 seconds ahead of Marquez. This was Rossi’s first win at Assen in four years.
Marquez was able to get into second after a turn-one pass on Pedrosa during the 18th lap. Marquez rode consistent, and remained in second to the checkered flag. As for Pedrosa, he would eventually lose third to Crutchlow, who was the first Brit to take a pole since 2002 (Jeremy Williams).
Pedrosa would take fourth, with the spontaneous Spaniard Lorenzo taking fifth. Lorenzo ran in fourth for a bit ahead of Crutchlow, but due to pain fell back to fifth. Regardless, Lorenzo earned every one of the much-needed 11 points that can go towards a possible third premier-class title. The “superhuman” Lorenzo spoke fluidity of his fifth-place finish.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen. We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race. We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard.
“I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn’t do more than fifth position. We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the Championship. This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100 percent, but I hope to be better than here.
“The victory for Valentino and the third for Crutchlow are good for the Championship, I would have preferred Cal to finish in front of Marc but you can’t always have perfection! I am happy for Valentino, more than two years without winning has been hard for him so I’m happy for my box partner. After Aragon I think he made some improvements and here he took profit from the opportunity. Lets see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race.”
Bradl took sixth, ahead of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and the top CRT rider, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Ninth went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3?s Bradley Smith, with the top Ducati rider rounding out the top 10 – Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. As for Dovi’s teammate Nicky Hayden, the American lost two places on the final lap, dropping him to 11th.
This was Rossi’s first win since rejoining the Yamaha team for the 2013 MotoGP Championship. It was the 106th win of his career, and 80th in the premier-MotoGP class.
In the point standings, Pedrosa maintains the lead with 136 points. Lorenzo trails by nine points, with Marquez in third with 113 points. Crutchlow is in fourth with 87, followed by Rossi with 85.
The 2013 MotoGP Championship breaks now for two weeks ahead of round 8 at Sachsenring in Germany.
2013 Assen MotoGP Results:
|1||25||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||171.0||41’25.202|
|2||20||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||170.9||+2.170|
|3||16||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||170.7||+4.073|
|4||13||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||170.5||+7.832|
|5||11||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||170.0||+15.510|
|6||10||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||169.1||+27.519|
|7||9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||168.9||+31.598|
|8||8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||168.8||+32.405|
|9||7||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||168.7||+33.751|
|10||6||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||168.7||+33.801|
|11||5||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||168.7||+34.371|
|12||4||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||167.1||+57.674|
|13||3||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||Ducati||166.9||+1’01.424|
|14||2||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Ignite Pramac Racing||Ducati||166.9||+1’01.561|
|15||1||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||ART||166.7||+1’04.426|
|16||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||166.3||+1’11.114|
|17||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||166.0||+1’15.249|
|18||71||Claudio CORTI||ITA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||165.4||+1’24.884|
|19||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||165.3||+1’25.854|
|20||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||FTR||165.3||+1’25.978|
|21||67||Bryan STARING||AUS||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||FTR Honda||165.3||+1’26.256|
|22||70||Michael LAVERTY||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||165.3||+1’26.610|
|23||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||FTR||164.5||+1’38.173|
|52||Lukas PESEK||CZE||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||161.6||16 Laps|
2013 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after seven of 18 rounds):
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||FRA||15|
|17||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||USA||10|
|20||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||ITA||4|
|23||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||AUS||2|
|25||Javier DEL AMOR||FTR||SPA||1|