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Assen MotoGP: Marquez masters elements to match Ago at Assen

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez retains his unbeaten record in 2014 as Spanish star claims eighth straight victory in weather-hit race to reign supreme at Assen MotoGP
CLICK HERE to view full Race results for the Dutch MotoGP round.

  • Marc Marquez equals Giacomo Agostini with eighth premier class victory on trot
  • Andrea Dovizioso puts Ducati back on MotoGP rostrum
  • Valentino Rossi battles to fifth after starting from pit lane

Unbeaten Marc Marquez made it eight wins from eight MotoGP starts this season as the Repsol Honda rider conquered the elements in a muddling race at Assen.

The defending world champion has now equalled Italian great Giacomo Agostini, who also won eight premier class races on the spin in 1971.

Marquez had to fight his way back into contention with race leader Andrea Dovizioso after almost coming off his machine on lap seven, moments after pitting to switch to his 'dry' RCV213V after the race was started in damp conditions.

However, he gradually wore the Ducati rider down, overcoming a deficit of four seconds before finally hitting the front with a classic pass at the chicane at the end of lap 16.

Marquez pulled away on the drying track and set a series of fastest laps to win by 6.714s from Dovizioso, with Dani Pedrosa claiming the final place on the rostrum, 10.791s down on his team-mate.

Pole man Aleix Espargaro finished fourth on the Forward Yamaha, with Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi taking fifth. The nine-time world champion will be kicking himself after he was forced to start from pit lane, opting to start on wet tyres after initially completing the warm-up lap on slicks.

Andrea Iannone rounded out the top six on the Pramac Ducati, followed by Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda), Bradley Smith on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and Ducati's Cal Crutchlow.

Aussie Broc Parkes finished in a superb 11th place on the PBM machine behind LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl, while Scott Redding came home in 12th on the Open class Honda.

It was a miserable day for Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, who crossed the line in a lowly 13th place.

The race was delayed by around 20 minutes as rain continued to fall at Assen, with the riders given two sighting laps.

A tyre lottery ensued and Yamaha star Rossi got it badly wrong as he opted for slicks on the YZR-M1 along with Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro, only to return to pit lane at the end of the warm-up to switch to his 'wet' machine.

As a result, Rossi was forced to start from pit lane and as the race got under way Marquez surged to the front from Dovizioso, with Pedrosa, Aleix Espargaro and Iannone giving chase.

Marquez and Dovizioso swapped places on the first lap before the Honda rider took over the reins and settled into a rhythm. Espargaro was into third ahead of Pedrosa as the pair became engaged in a battle for third that lasted for much of the race.

Lorenzo was holding sixth at this stage behind Iannone and ahead of Ducati's Cal Crutchlow, while Rossi was up to 14th.

Race leaders Marquez and Dovizioso had cleared away at the front by the time they veered into pit lane after six laps to change to a dry set-up, resulting in a change at the front as Lorenzo took up the running as some riders opted to remain on tack for another lap before making the inevitable change.

Marquez gave his Honda team a heart-stopping moment when he almost came off at T10 after changing to slicks, appearing to tuck the front under braking and handing Dovizioso an advantage in excess of four seconds.

Pedrosa was a further 10 seconds behind in third, still hounded by Espargaro, with Bautista now fifth ahead of Parkes, whose decision to come in earlier than anyone else to change to slicks on the PBM machine was paying dividends.

Rossi was making strong headway and last year's Assen winner was now ninth behind Iannone and Crutchlow and ahead of Bradl.

Some spots of rain began to fall at the midway point of the race but it wasn't sufficient to force another unscheduled return to pit lane.

Dovizioso's lead at the front, meanwhile, was being cut all the time by Marquez, and the gap was down to one second on lap 14 as the duel between Espargaro and Pedrosa continued to rage behind.

Rossi went sixth with a move on Crutchlow and turned his attention to Iannone on the Pramac machine, while Crutchlow was coming under pressure from Bautista.

Marquez was rattling off a succession of fastest laps and Dovizioso's cushion was only three tenths on lap 16. Before the lap was over, the race had a new leader as Marquez lined up the Ducati rider for a successful pass at the famous Assen chicane and pulled it off with clinical effect.

The world championship leader began to edge away, although Dovizioso wasn't giving up without a fight as he attempted to cling on to the Honda.

However, as has always been the case this season, Marquez was able to find another gear and he stretched his lead to more than four seconds in the closing laps, eventually winning by 6.7s as Dovizioso settled for a terrific second place on the Desmosedici.

Pedrosa finally broke Espargaro's challenge and was closing on Dovizioso in the final stages, but his surge came to late and third was the best he could manage.

Behind Espargaro, Rossi got the better of Iannone for fifth, with Bautista taking seventh in front of Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Crutchlow and Bradl were ninth and tenth, with Parkes denied a dream top ten finish on the PBM machine by the LCR Honda rider at the end.

Scott Redding finished as the leading Open class Honda rider in 12th, one place ahead of Lorenzo, who endured an afternoon to forget.

Karel Abraham took 14th with the final championship point going to Ioda Racing's Danilo Petrucci, who stalled his machine on the grid at the start of the race.

Pol Espargaro slid off at T1 but rejoined the race on his second machine, before coming in to venture back out on his dry bike. The Spaniard, however, eventually called it a day and retired with nothing to gain.

Dutch MotoGP:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Andrea Dovizioso
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Aleix Espargaro
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Bradley Smith
9. Cal Crutchlow
10. Stefan Bradl
11. Broc Parkes
12. Scott Redding
13. Jorge Lorenzo
14. Karel Abraham
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Nicky Hayden
18. Hector Barbera
19. Yonny Hernandez
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Michael Laverty
22. Colin Edwards
Pol Espargaro



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Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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Pol Espargaro attends Asean Cup race at Indonesia`s Sentul circuit (pic: Tech 3)
Repsol chairman Antonio Brufau with Marc and Alex Marquez (pic: Repsol)
Valentino Rossi at 2014 Monza Rally (Pic: Cristiano Bami)
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Iannone, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Bautista, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Bautista, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Bradl, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Bradl, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014

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Motojunky

June 28, 2014 2:50 PM

Next race victory and he breaks another long standing record set by argueably one of the best, Agostini. Just like his opponents the records keep tumbling. And some still do not realise we are seeing something special.



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