The 2018 Assen TT had a lot of expectations pinned to it – especially with Valentino Rossi looking for his eleventh win at the circuit. But it was Marc Marquez who pulled off a brilliant qualifying to take P1 with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi sharing the front row. However, nothing during the bulk of the race would have lead to an inkling of the podium positions, with Marquez taking the race from Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales while the race gave us the closest top 15 riders in history.

The start saw Marquez get the hole shot with first Crutchlow on his LCR Honda and Lorenzo on his Ducati bringing up a brilliant charge. Lorenzo grabbed the lead, only to have Marquez charge ahead on the next lap – with Lorenzo taking the lead almost immediately.

And it wasn’t as if the three managed to pull away and have a battle among themselves. Dovizioso, Rossi, Rins and Viñales stayed bunched up with them and the battle for the lead became far more complicated. It was only Johann Zarco on his Tech 3 Yamaha who stayed out of the battle but close enough to challenge if required.

The melee ensured that there was errors and contact between riders, with Rossi and Marquez losing leads by going off track. For a brief moment it looked like the battle would settle on Rossi and Dovizioso but then Marquez came charging back, using his characteristic charge to grab the lead with less than half the race to go. That’s when the Repsol Honda began to open out the typical Marquez lead, while the contest for second and third remained alive almost all the way to the flag.

Rins on his Suzuki Ecstar managed a last lap overtake of Viñales, with Dovizioso holding on to fourth from a late Rossi challenge with Crutchlow and Lorenzo making up the top eight.

Marc Marquez leads the Assen TT 2018 MotoGP

After the race, Marquez said, “It was a crazy race, full of adrenaline—this feeling is one of the reasons we do this sport! Yesterday, I was expecting something like this, but nothing like it actually was! We were a wild bunch, everyone fighting against everyone; I think all of us made contact with somebody else at some point. We had to attack and defend, attack and defend. We had so many ‘big moments’ and risked crashing. It was crazy! It was impossible to define the best strategy, impossible to make plans, so eventually I decided to just fight and see what we could do in the end. In the last three laps, I gave it everything, no matter the tyres, no matter the Championship. I had been trying to reduce the group because when you’re fighting for the title, you just want the fewest riders possible at the front, but it was difficult. Only when I saw I had more than one and a half seconds of advantage before the last lap did I think, Okay, we’ve got it, let’s just finish this lap. It was an important win and 25 very important points, but we need to keep going, keep pushing, and keep this same level.”

2018 MotoGP Riders

Bike NoNameTeam2018 season2017 season
93Marc MarquezRepsol Honda246298
4Andrea DoviziosoDucati174261
46Valentino RossiMovistar Yamaha159208
99Jorge LorenzoDucati130137
25Maverick ViñalesMovistar Yamaha130230
35Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda119112
9Danilo PetrucciAlma Pramac119124
5Johann ZarcoMonster Yamaha Tech3112174
29Andrea IannoneSuzuki Ecstar10870
42Alex RinsSuzuki Ecstar9259
26Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda87210
43Jack MillerAlma Pramac6882
19Alvaro BautistaAngel Nieto6475
53Tito RabatReale Avintia3535
44Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM3255
21Franco MorbidelliEG 0,0 Marc VDS31 
41Aleix EspargaroAprilia2962
55Hafizh SyahrinMonster Yamaha Tech324 
38Bradley SmithRed Bull KTM1829
30Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda18 
45Scott ReddingAprilia1264
36Mika KallioRed Bull KTM6
17Karel AbrahamAngel Nieto532
51Michele PirroDucati Test team1
12Thomas LuthiEG 0,0 Marc VDS0 
10Xavier SimeonReale Avintia0 

2018 MotoGP Teams

Team2018 season2017 season
Repsol Honda333508
Movistar Yamaha289438
Suzuki Ecstar200130
Alma Pramac187188
LCR Honda137112
Monster Yamaha Tech3136258
Angel Nieto69107
Red Bull KTM5084
Reale Avintia3573
EG 0,0 Marc VDS31117

2018 MotoGP Races

Spain (Aragon)23-SepMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoAndrea Iannone
Italy9-SepAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezCal Crutchlow
Austria12-AugJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezAndrea Dovizioso
Czech Republic5-AugAndrea DoviziosoJorge LorenzoMarc Marquez
Germany15-JulMarc MarquezValentino RossiMaverick Viñales
Netherlands1-JulMarc MarquezAlex RinsMaverick Viñales
Spain (Catalunya)17-JunJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Italy3-JunJorge LorenzoAndrea DoviziosoValentino Rossi
France20-MayMarc MarquezDanilo PetrucciValentino Rossi
Spain (Jerez)6-MayMarc MarquezJohann ZarcoAndrea Iannone
United States22-AprMarc MarquezMaverick ViñalesAndrea Iannone
Argentina8-AprCal CrutchlowJohann ZarcoAlex Rins
Qatar18-MarAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Spain (Valencia)18-Nov   

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