The 83rd Dutch TT at Assen had all the drama a fan could want. The resurgence of a former champion, unbelievable grit and a classic race were the results of the weekend. Hit the jump for our recap of the Dutch TT at Assen.
Before the race even started there was big news coming out of the Dutch TT at Assen. Defending champion, and one of the favorites to take this year’s crown, Jorge Lorenzo crashed and broke his left collarbone during Thursday’s practice. Immediate speculation presumed that the crash, and probable loss of points from missing the race, would put Lorenzo’s championship hopes in jeopardy.
36 hours later Lorenzo was on the grid, in 12th position based on his fastest time in free practice, and hoping to score enough points to keep series leader Dani Pedrosa in sight. The Spanish man of steel had flow to Barcelona Thursday night, to have a plate put on his collarbone, and by Saturday morning he was back at the track. Speculation began immediately as to whether he would try and race on Sunday.
Not only did Lorenzo race he managed to finish 5th, just behind Pedrosa, and as a result he only lost two points to his fellow Spaniard instead of the potential 25 point loss in the worst case scenario. It must have been a demoralizing for Pedrosa to see his main rival ride so well with an injury that normally sidelines a rider for at least a week or two.
With Lorenzo sidelined all the pressure of Yamaha’s constructors championship hopes fell on the shoulders of Valentio Rossi. Struggling with setup for the whole season Rossi’s results had been inconsistent and many were of the opinion that he was well past his prime. Rossi put many of those doubts to rest as he qualified well and then proceeded control the race and collect the 80th win of his MotoGP career.
Whether his Dutch TT result can be repeated remains to be seen. Rossi is the first to admit that the level of competition has been raised quite a bit in the last couple of years and even with a setup that he likes “The Doctor ” will have some stiff competition from the current crop of ‘aliens”.
Some might be adding Cal Crutchlow to the list of “aliens”, riders whose skill level is exceptional even when compared to the best in the world. Crutchlow qualified on pole and managed to once again put the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha on the bottom step of podium. The British rider has finished fifth or better in every race of the season, with the exception of Catalunya where he crashed out, and many speculate that he would have the pace of the top three if he was on a factory bike.
Repsol riders Marquez and Pedrosa put in strong performances finishing 2nd and 4th respectively. With eleven races left in the season the championship is still wide open. If Rossi is able to continue his winning ways and if Cal Crutchlow remains competitive the Spanish domination of MotoGP might be in jeopardy.
For the official results from the Dutch TT check out the official MotoGP website: http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics