MotoGP™ 2017 - Netherland - MICHELIN and Rossi resplendent at Assen
Michelin and Valentino Rossi produced incredible MotoGP™ performances in daunting conditions as the nine-time World Champion triumphed during today’s Motul TT Assen in The Netherlands.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP™)was in the chasing pack that was led into the first corner by pole-setter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The Frenchman then led the race for 11-laps despite the attentions of Rossi, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing). On lap-12 Rossi made his move, with a pass that was to prove important despite the large amount of work he still had to do in the closing stages.
This weekend witnessed a mix of weather from very warm and sunny on Friday, to heavy rain on Saturday. Today’s race started with overcast and cool condition sand the excitement was heightened as rain started to fall over the 4,452m circuit on lap-18 causing the white flags to be waved to allow the riders to come into the pits and change to wet tires if they wanted to. Some runners chose to come in to change, but the front pack stayed out and produced some exciting battles as the race drew to a close, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) joining the action at the front as the rain continued to fall. Despite the diminished conditions the MICHELIN Power Slicks tire still gave impressive grip and the lap-times hardly dropped, as the combatants constantly changed places. The closing laps saw Rossi and Petrucci go head-to-head for the victory with both leading at various stages, before Rossi made a decisive move as he lapped a slower rider, and although Petrucci pushed to the line, Rossi took the victory by just 0.063 seconds. Petrucci had the reward of finishing as First Independent Rider and taking his second podium of the season.
Behind the front two a four-way fight was going on for the final podium place, with Marquez just taking the spoils on the line despite the valiant efforts of Crutchlow. Dovizioso was a close fifth, a position that saw him move to the top of the riders’ classification, as previous leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP™) crashed as he pushed hard through the pack to catch the leaders. The action continued throughout the field as Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) made his way from thirteen thon the grid to sixth. Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) recorded his best result of the season so far to take seventh, narrowly beating Loris Baz (Avintia Reale Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), as the pair took eighth and ninth respectively. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) rounded out the top-ten, with his brother Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)following him home, a result that meant six different manufacturers featured in the first eleven-places, again highlighting the competitiveness of MotoGP™. The full range of Michelin tires were used throughout the weekend, with five of the six MICHELIN Power Slicks tire being chosen in various configurations for today’s race, again underlining the choice that is available to all riders to give them the best performance window for their riding style and machine.