Round 8 at the “Cathedral of Speed” with the Dutch GP
As so often in the past, MotoGP comes to Assen a week after the German Grand Prix. Unfortunately, the prices are steep and a ticket for 3 days costs 135 EUR for standing room. Grandstand seats are of course even more expensive and some are already sold out, but at least not as expensive as 2 laps earlier in Mugello. At MotoGP it is often a dubious pleasure for some due to the large crowds, especially on Sunday you can hardly get through behind some grandstands during the breaks. Also because it is simply too narrow there. Unfortunately, it is also difficult to observe how many visitors deal with their waste. Apparently, most just throw everything in the grass. After all, one can rarely complain about the hospitality in the Netherlands. However, in Assen on a GP weekend you often have to turn a blind eye. Not everyone understands picking up the beer in paper cups from the hotel bar yourself. As far as the race track is concerned, there is at least nothing to complain about. Many riders from MotoGP and WorldSBK count the TT Circuit among their absolute favourites.
The balance of the MotoGP stars and the statistics of previous years
The dates highlighted in blue mean that it rained at Assen for the corresponding Grand Prix, which has been the case for almost half of all races in recent decades. As on many other circuits, the 6-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez still has the best record here, looking back to 2015. However, with the exception of 2018, Marc has never won in the last five races in this period. Very many of the current MotoGP riders only rarely competed in the premier class in Assen. As Fabio Quartararo already mentioned in the interview after the Sachsenring GP 2022, Assen is one of his favorite tracks and according to him it also suits his Yamaha well. The statistics underline this and in 2019 Maverick Viñales won once. In addition, Yamaha icon Valentino Rossi twice in 2015 and 2017, who is also the record winner in the Cathedral of Speed with 8 victories. If you include the smaller classes, the doyen even managed to win 10 there in his career so far.
Many favorites for the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix
The fact that Ducati won only twice, with Casey Stoner in 2008 and “Pecco” Bagnaia in 2022, means little. Currently, the latter and brand colleague Jorge Martin are hard to beat. But the Ducati aces Zarco, Marini and Bezzecchi should also be considered. Jack Miller may now ride for KTM, but on Honda he previously won at Assen in 2016, albeit in a race in chaotic conditions with one stop and in the rain. In addition to old master Rossi, his Yamaha brand colleagues have all already shown very good performances in the Cathedral of Speed and Aprilia must also be reckoned with there. With Marc Marquez, on the other hand, since his debacle at the Sachsenring, it is currently completely unclear whether he can recover. The same applies to Fabio Quartararo and the two Aprilia aces Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales. On the other hand, the Dutch GP would be the perfect opportunity for the latter to finally turn the tables once again and beat the Ducatis.
The TT Circuit and its characteristics
The route, built in 1955, was shortened for the last time in 2006 and has since measured 4,555 kilometers. With six left and twice as many right turns, it is the favorite track of many drivers. With 6 left and 12 right turns, it goes clockwise again after the Sachsenring. The longest straight is only 487 meters and therefore, like in Jerez and on the Sachsenring in MotoGP, there is hardly a breather between many corners, some of which are quite tight, but some of which are driven very quickly. For visitors, Assen offers the advantage, in contrast to the Sachsenring or Mugello, that you can walk all around to choose the best spot yourself, unless you just want to be stuck in a grandstand. However, this is usually only the case at MotoGP events. There you usually have the disadvantage that heavy traffic jams have to be expected when driving to and from by car or motorcycle. There are also very few hotels nearby, so you have to make do with a longer journey if you don’t want to camp.
The World Championship standings in MotoGP before round 8
The schedule for the GP weekend in Assen
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