Assen switching to Sunday MotoGP race in 2016

Assen MotoGP to be held on a Sunday from 2016.
Assen switching to Sunday MotoGP race in 2016

The Dutch TT will drop its unique status as a Saturday race from the 2016 MotoGP season.

Assen is the only event remaining from the inaugural 1949 motorcycle grand prix season and was original held on a Saturday for religious reasons, a format that has been retained until now.

The full statement explaining the reasons for the change can be seen below. The Assen round, which also features 'TT' (Tourist Trophy) in its title as a nod to tradition, will continue to be held on the last weekend in June.

"After carefully considering all the pros & cons, the TT Board has decided to move the race day from Saturday to Sunday, starting in 2016.

"The TT Assen race day will be held on the last Sunday in June. This will have benefits for the future of the TT Racetrack, the preservation of the MotoGP and motorcycle racing in the Netherlands in general.

"By changing to Sunday from 2016, it is expected that larger numbers of spectators will visit the track. In the current Dutch leisure pattern a top sporting event on a Sunday is more attractive than on a Saturday. On Sundays there is also more media exposure for these top sporting events, which is something the TT Assen will definitely benefit from. This has also proven to increase visitor numbers. By moving the training days to Friday and Saturday, the TT Assen becomes more attractive for a multi-day visit and therefore also for the purchase of all-in tickets.

"The decision to move the race to Sunday was made out of sheer necessity. The number of motorcycle Grands Prix around the world is limited, and often there is more capital available elsewhere to obtain a MotoGP license. In this competitive environment, the TT Assen can only hold its own by increasing the number of visitors. With an increase in the number of visitors, the Board expects the turnover of the TT to increase by 5-10% in the medium-to-long term. This extra revenue will be used to continue to cover the increasing operational costs of the event and to secure the license in the long term, and to be able to guarantee financial cover for new investments in public facilities.

"Moving the TT to Sunday is a better fit with the pattern of other events in motor and motorcycle racing and with the spirit of the times. Nearly all top sporting events around the world take place on a Sunday. They will be maintaining the tradition of the last weekend in June, so the move from the Saturday to the Sunday could be seen as an old tradition with a modern twist."

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