In a race which started after a delay due to wet conditions Marquez judged the 26-lap challenge to perfection, running with Dovizioso at the front in the early stages and asserting his authority as the riders changed to dry set-up machines on the seventh lap.
Marquez eventually clinched the win by 6.7s seconds to become the first rider since the great Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to win the first eight premier-class races of the year.
Marc Marquez: “It was a tough day because this was a race where I could have lost many points, but we were still able to extend our lead in the Championship so I’m very pleased with how it has gone and how we dealt with the flag-to-flag. It was our first experience of a race like this, with both wet and dry conditions, and we even had a little scare after the bike change. We are very happy with this victory and to have got a very important 25 points on a weekend we had circled on the calendar.”
Dovizioso stepped onto the rostrum for the second time in 2014, with Pedrosa completing the podium after holding off the pursuing Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) for several laps. Espargaro rode well to hold fourth, having started on pole on the ‘Open’ Forward Yamaha.
Andrea Dovizioso: “At the begining we undersood where it was wet and dry, so we could push very hard. And we made the same strategy as Marc, it was the best moment I feel. In the first lap on the slicks Marc pushed a little too much and had a moment of the left hand side of the tyre that was cold. I knew his pace was quicker so I stayed with him as long as I could.”
“It was a very hard race from beginning to end. It was important to understand the track, the colour at Assen is quite strange so it can be hard to see the wet and dry spots.”
Dani Pedrosa: “It was a very difficult race and was even a bit chaotic at first, when it came to having to decide which tyres to put on the bike. I kept a cool head and chose the option of wets, because at first the track was a little damp. I should have pushed more in the opening laps – but I chose not to incase it rained again – as the track began to dry out. The rain didn’t come and I had a good fight with Aleix for the podium in the dry. I am happy to have taken the rostrum finish, because you never know how races like today’s might go, but this one went well for us and we are now focusing on doing a good job in Germany”
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took fifth having shown great pace in the second half of the race, his problem being a late decision to swap back from slicks to wets at the start. Rossi started from pit lane on wets, therefore, and recovered considerable ground before and after eventually the swap back to slicks.
Valentino Rossi: “You know, I took a risk because the conditions looked good but unfortunately one minute before the start it started to rain again so I had to change bike and start from last. It’s a shame because if I had started with the wets I could stay in front with the top guys. Anyway it’s something about luck today and unfortunately this time it ended like this. I’m quite satisfied with the rest of the race because I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. Also here in Assen I was quite fast.”
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) completed the top ten.
Broc Parkes (Paul Bird Motorsport), rode superbly to 11th having started from pit lane following a problem on the warm up lap. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) retired with six laps to go after crashes on slicks and then wet tyres.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 29.954s
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 43m 36.668s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 40.745s
4. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 49.153s
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 43m 55.767s
6. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 58.957s
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 44m 0.836s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 44m 0.939s
9. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 44m 13.985s
10. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 44m 18.616s
11. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* 44m 21.817s
12. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* 44m 30.283s
13. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 44m 34.595s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 44m 35.934s
15. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 44m 47.565s
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 49.707s
17. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 57.584s
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 44m 58.096s
19. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 43m 41.754s
20. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 43m 58.159s
21. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 44m 49.966s
22. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 43m 33.704s
Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* DNF