Assen Grand Prix 1963 in the 50cc called shot glass class with Hugh Anderson on Suzuki number 2 in front of his pursuers. At the back of the picture on the left is the German Ernst Degner and the number 1, also on a Suzuki. In the end, the man who had fled East Germany to West Germany two years earlier won in front of the New Zealander. For more on Degner and Anderson see our richly illustrated history on this page.

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 British Superbike (BSB) has also often been a guest in the “Cathedral of Speed” – here is our photo from the start in 2019 with former MotoGP rider Scott Redding (Ducati Panigale V4%) in the foreground on pole position. A year later, the Englishman came to WorldSBK for Ducati and immediately became runner-up there.
Garbage and dirt as far as you can see – photographed by us 20 minutes before the MotoGP race 2019 in Assen and to the right under the flag there was a huge and not yet full garbage can. Unfortunately, this is one of the ugly sides of the Dutch Grand Prix, although it looks similar in Mugello and even most of the toilets there are hopelessly dirty.

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 view from the Haarbocht Lounge to start-finish and the main grandstand on the right edge of the picture photographed by us in 2019. Unfortunately, this pleasure is not cheap and most of the grandstand seats on the right-hand side of the picture are already fully booked for 2023.
Photographed by us from the Haarbocht Lounge in the other direction – with the first corner of Assen in the foreground. In 2019 we could hardly count how many drivers got into the green area on the left of the picture, which is now declared a forbidden zone. Track limit penalties will therefore rain down again at the Dutch Grand Prix. Not only the fans and commentators get their hair on end at this thought, but also the teams and drivers.

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 track in Assen as it currently presents itself. The area from Stekkenwal to Ramshoek is unfortunately closed to the WSBK event and only open to MotoGP. What is very pleasant for visitors here is that the organization is exemplary and those who find accommodation in Assen can confidently walk to the route, or, like many of the locals, cycle here.

The World Championship standings in MotoGP before round 8

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) ran past all his competitors in both races at the Sachsenring. Along with Marco Bezzecchi, he could be the man who can pose the most threat to reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia this season. In 2018, the Moto3 World Champion of that year won the Dutch GP in the junior class.

The schedule for the GP weekend in Assen · Calendar – 2023 Netherlands

Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati) set a new lap record in the race over the full distance at the German Grand Prix with his tour de force from P8 to 3rd place. Already portrayed by some hasty journalists as a victim of Ducati’s future MotoGP personnel policy, the company from Borgo Panigale near Bologna is unlikely to want to do without the man from Cannes in the king’s class. In 2015, the two-time Moto2 World Champion won the Dutch Grand Prix in this category.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).