2019 Assen MotoGP PreviewLast year, the Assen TT circuit celebrated its 70th year of Grand Prix motorcycle racing – and the race was truly a crowd pleaser.Before over 100,000 fans, eight riders had made over 100 overtakes at the Assen TT circuit – the only one to be featured on the Grand Prix calendar every year since the series began in 1949.
Winning from pole after all those overtakes was no other than Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the Spaniard finishing ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales.The 2018 Dutch TT in the Netherlands allowed Marquez to collect more points en route to his fifth MotoGP title.The RC213V pilot will look to repeat last year’s performance during this Sunday’s round eight of 19. He enters with a 37-point lead over Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, and 39 ahead of Rins.Heading into “The Cathedral,” Marquez has finished second of better at ever round except for Austin MotoGP, where he crashed out. His finishes so far in 2019 MotoGP include four wins, the latest arriving in Catalunya two weeks ago.In the Netherlands, Marquez has finished on the podium across all classes for nine-consecutive years. This includes five wins – but only two in MotoGP: 2014 and 2018.“Assen is a circuit where you need to be very precise and it’s difficult to be consistent there,” Marc Marquez says of Dutch TT, which since 2016 has been held on Sundays instead of Saturdays. “To be consistent and precise in the fast change of directions is really important to go well at Assen.“I’m looking forward to racing there again as we have had some good battles in the past and have put on a great show for the fans. I am sure we will have a great race on Sunday. The weather is also looking good so I am confident we can have a strong weekend.”Marquez’s biggest threats are Dovizioso, Rins and Rossi. Dovizioso was one of the many – including Rossi – who crashed out of the Catalunya GP and lost some points. Since joining the premier MotoGP class in 2008, Dovizioso has finished on the Assen TT podium only three times, his best of second arriving in 2014 with Ducati.As for Rins, he has garnered points in 16-consecutive races and scored a win this season at Circuit of the Americas – a race that dethroned Marquez of seven-straight wins in Texas.Rossi is currently fifth in points, 68 behind. Though this far back, he is the winningest rider in Assen. He has 10 victories there – including eight in MotoGP. Last season he finished fifth, just behind Dovizioso.Practice for the 2019 Dutch TT begins Friday, followed by Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s 26-lap GP. For television times, visit 2019 MotoGP USA TV Schedule.
2019 MotoGP Point Standings (after 7 of 19 rounds):