2017 Assen MotoGP Preview
The 2017 MotoGP Championship heads this weekend to the land of the Dutch at the legendary TT Circuit Assen. Following are the pre-race fast facts ahead of this weekend’s 26-lap Dutch TT at “the cathedral.”
1. Assen marks round eight of 18 during a tight battle for points. The top six, led by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, are separated by only 36 points:
- Vinales: 111 points
- Andrea Dovizioso: 104
- Marc Marquez: 88
- Dani Pedrosa: 84
- Valentino Rossi: 83
- Johann Zarco: 75
2. Heading into Assen, four riders have won: Vinales (Qatar, Argentina, France); the reigning MotoGP Champion Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (Texas); Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (Jerez); Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (Mugello, Catalunya).
3. “DesmoDovi” enters Assen after a two-race win streak, the first of his MotoGP career. But Ducati doesn’t have a strong history at Assen. Ducati only has one win at the Dutch TT (2008, Casey Stoner), and two other podiums (Dovizioso, Scott Redding).
4. Last year, Dovizioso claimed the pole at Assen, but crashed out on a restarted race that was red flagged due to heavy downpours.
5. The Australian Jack Miller (EG 0,0 March VDS Honda) capitalized on last year’s wet conditions, claiming his first MotoGP win during his sophomore year. It was also the first win for an Independent Team rider since Toni Elias in Portugal back in 2006. After the 2016 Assen MotoGP win, Miller famously said: “this makes it clear that we do know how to ride a motorbike and I’m not an idiot.”
6. Joining Miller on the Assen podium last season were Marquez and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Ducati), respectively.
7. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi has the most wins at the Dutch TT. The Nine-time Champion has nine victories at Assen: seven in MotoGP, and one each in the former 250cc and 125cc classes.
8. Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo has mixed results so far on the Ducati, claiming a best of third in Jerez. The five-time World Champion’s results are also mixed at Assen, where he claimed only one MotoGP win in 2010, but where he also famously rode to fifth with a broken collarbone back in 2013.
9. Three-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez only has three podiums so far this season: a win at Circuit of the Americas, and two second-place finishes at Jerez and Catalunya. In MotoGP, he has never finished off the podium at Assen, claiming runner-ups in all except for the 2014 victory.
10. Assen is the only circuit to host a MotoGP every year since the series begin in 1949. It was held on Saturdays every year until the 2016 Dutch TT.
2017 MotoGP Point Standings (after seven of 18 rounds):