Today’s Dutch TT at Assen was an eventful flag-to-flag contest, with a wet track at the start of the race rapidly drying over the twenty-six laps, but in the end there was no stopping Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez who adapted best to the changing conditions for his eighth consecutive victory in 2014.
Marquez traded the race lead with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in the early stages of the race while on wet tires, before the leading pair swapped bikes on lap six and headed out of pit lane on slick tires to resume their battle. Marquez made the race-winning pass on Dovizioso on the fifteenth lap and then upped the pace – almost setting a new race lap record on lap 19 – to eventually take the chequered flag 6.714 seconds ahead of Dovizioso who claimed an excellent second place. Dani Pedrosa ensured two Repsol Honda’s made the podium by seizing third place.
Rain fell leading up to, and for the first few laps of the race but once it stopped the track dried extremely quickly at which point the riders on slicks were able to lap much quicker than those still on wet tires. By the eighth lap all the riders that started on wet tires had changed to slicks to take advantage of the improving track surface. Twenty-one riders started the race on the soft compound wet tires front and rear with only two riders; Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez and Paul Bird Motorsport’s Broc Parkes starting the race on the soft compound slick tires front and rear. The slick tire options that were used on the riders’ spare bikes after they changed bikes for the dry conditions were the extra-soft and soft compound front slick, and the soft and medium compound rear.
Marquez has amassed 200 championship points courtesy of his flawless win record, while Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi are joint-second in the standings with 128 points each.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“The variable weather certainly made for an exciting race, but in the end Marc showed the same impressive performance so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another superb performance. Today was quite tricky for the riders and teams as conditions changed quickly leading up to the race which meant final decisions on race tire choice were made just moments before the race . Almost every rider made the decision to start on wet tires before switching to slicks, and the pace that some of the riders were able to set on slick tires as the track dried out was very impressive. I am pleased with how both our specifications of tires performed today in what were challenging conditions.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“Today was incredible, before the race I was quite nervous because these are the conditions nobody wants, as it’s hard to know the best strategy. We started on wet tires even though we knew that after six or so laps the track would dry. After I swapped bikes I made a mistake which allowed Dovi to get past me, but then after a while I was able to catch Andrea as I had a better rhythm. After that it was a bit easier but I still had to keep my concentration to take the win.”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.