Another podium for Rabat
Tito Rabat clinched his fifth podium in a row at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, his first on the Assen circuit. Alex Marquez made it to the top ten, while in MotoGP Scott Redding finished thirteenth.
After qualifying for the front row of the starting grid and leading until three laps from the finish, Tito Rabat showed he meant business on the Assen circuit. “I had a good race,” agreed the rider for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team. “I had a good start and I had to fight to catch up with Folger, the race leader. The fight with Zarco was tough as well. But Johann’s bike was running at a slightly faster rate than mine and there was nothing I could do when he overtook me three laps from the finish.” Alex Marquez crossed swords with Mika Kallio. But a tiny error a few kilometres from the finish made the Spaniard loose contact with the Finn. Marquez still took the chequered flag in ninth position, equalling his best result since his debut in Moto2. It was a difficult weekend, however, for Scott Redding in the MotoGP class. After flunking Q1 again, the Brit finished thirteenth, 43 seconds behind the winner. “I’ll remember this as a frustrating weekend,” admitted Redding. “Just when we thought we’d taken one step forward, we’ve actually made two steps back. We mustn’t give up, but I’d like us to find ways of improving my feelings with this bike.”
Even though he scored only four points in the Netherlands, Redding stays at thirteenth place in the MotoGP standings. In Moto2, Rabat has consolidated his second spot even if he is now forty-five points behind Zarco. Marquez has climbed up another place thanks to the seven points he scored in Assen, and is now fifteenth in the Championship.
From next year onwards, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands will be raced on a Sunday. That something of a revolution for the Dutch TT, an event which is almost a century old, and was always held up until now on the last Saturday of June. “At the time,” says Hans van der Mark, “the race was held on open roads which had to be closed to traffic, and preventing villagers from going to church on Sundays was out of the question.” The tradition has continued. Since 1925, Dutch fans have become accustomed for the meeting to be held in late June near Assen so they commune with their passion for motorcycles. The only event to feature in the World Championship calendar since its inception in 1949, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands is therefore going to break with tradition to meet the demands of modernity. “Organizing the races on Sundays will mean we can welcome more spectators,” said the organizers of the Dutch TT. “We’ll also have better media coverage, and that will benefit everyone. It was a step we had to take.”
Next race: Germany, July 2015, 11-12