Michelin saw its range of MotoGP ™ tyres put through an intensive examination during today ’ s Motul TT Assen as the top ride rs in the world served up a masterclass of racing which culminated in victory for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
A weekend of near perfect weather led to the riders being able to assess all the different compo unds of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres that were available at the 4,54 2m Dutch circuit , which is known as the ‘ Cathedral of Speed ’ due to its historic significance and the reverence with which it is held in mo torcycle racing .
As the competitors lined up for the start, a flurry of activity saw many teams change tyres to ma ke sure they had the optimum pairing for their bike and rider , as the free practices leading to the race had demonstrated all compounds would be raceable and meant last – minute alteration s to the ir selection s were always likely . Pole – setter Marquez got the holeshot , but was passed on lap – one by the winner of the previous two races Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) .
There then followed one of the most intense and exciting races in rece nt history , as six different riders on bikes from four manufacturers and using four different configurations of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres led at various times throughout the 26 – lap race. Michelin ’ s tyres gave the riders the confidence to push to the limit this afternoon – despite a strong breeze blowing across the track – and the lead swapped numerous time between Marquez , Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso (Du cati Team), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha Moto GP ), Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha Moto GP ) .
The capacity crowd o f 105,000 at trackside were enthralled by the skill of all conc erned and with the grip generated by the MICHELIN Power Slicks as the race quickly became a classic, before Marquez eventually ma de the break with two – laps to go to take victory and cons olida t e his championship lead. He was followed home by Rins , with Viñales – who also set th e fastest lap of the race – in third. Dovizioso took fourth and Rossi was fifth , they were chased home by Cal Cru tchlow (LCR Honda) as he took sixth and the position of First Independent Rider. Lorenzo crossed the line in seventh , with Johann Zarco (Mo n ster Yamaha Tech 3) eighth.
Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) raced his Ducati to his third consec utive ninth place, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing ) rounding out the top – te n. The performance of the Michelin t yres was further enhanced in their ability to provide fast and close racing t hro ughout the whole field , as the event produced the closest ever top – 15 in history , as all the point – scoring riders we re only se parated by a fraction over 16 – seconds – the previous best was a 23 – second gap in Qatar this season. Michelin and the MotoGP field will now make the short journey across the border between The Netherlands and Germany, as the paddock heads to Sachsenring, when the eastern German circuit will stage roun d nine of this season’s enthralling championship on Sunday 15 th July.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team: “ Today was a really difficult race as everyone was trying to manage the tyres and it was very windy , but this created the conditions for the best race of the season. It was a great fight and this w as the first time that we had used the softest tyre , so I had to learn to manage that and in the end I gave everything and the tyre was there for me, so this was really important. I feel good with the bike , my package and the tyres, and I ’ m happy to be part of this great championship , because today I think everyone enjoyed it. ”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two – Wheel Manager: “ What an amazing race! It was an honour for us to be involved and to see our tyres pushed to the limit by the guys concerned , it was espec ially pleasing as it showed their trust and confidence in the performance of the rubber throughout the wh ole race . The weather has been consistent all weekend a nd this has enabled all the teams to get an optimum set – up for one of the season ’ s mos t complex tracks, and this ha s then been displa yed on race day with the top – 15 being so close. We again had different combinations of tyres being used on the front and rear , Marc and Maverick both chose a medium front and soft rear, wh ilst A lex went with a medium/hard mixture. Of the other leaders in the race, Valentino was also on a medium/soft pai ring, Andrea went with a medium/hard and Jorge made up a fourth different selection with a soft front and hard rear . This is again justification of the positive mix – and – match nature we are aiming to supply to all riders and teams to give them the best performance at all circuits . ”