Our ugly souvenir photo from the Assen Grand Prix 2019, shortly before the start of the premier class. Although there was a half-empty garbage can under the flag on the right of the picture, countless visitors apparently did not think it necessary to throw their garbage in there, which is really not a good reflection of a frighteningly high proportion of so-called fans. Shortly before this photo was taken, a carelessly discarded drinks bottle almost hit us, which is why we have been avoiding this event as much as possible since then. 5 years later, there was a sporting fiasco here, which is what the following article is about.

Catastrophic decisions in Mugello and Assen

A clear majority of critical observers and paddock members have long agreed that those responsible at Dorna are only interested in maximum profit. Fans of two-wheel racing have also been aware for some time that the FIM has not had enough of demonstrations of power for generations. After Mugello, sports-loving fans and spectators were once again painfully reminded in Assen of what the unfortunate alliance between these two institutions can lead to. On the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix, the Moto2 race was downgraded to a sprint race due to a delay in the Moto3, just to avoid shortening the break before the MotoGP premier class by even a few minutes. Because hundreds of VIP guests spend huge sums on their tickets, which means that the organizers and Dorna make the most profit, the middle category is obviously an absolute side issue for these people. Of course, the FIM joined in and shortened the Moto2 GP to a ridiculous twelve laps, which is exactly the same distance as the Tissot Sprint Race in MotoGP. A full seven laps less than usual and the sporting spirit was completely lost. Such an approach would have been acceptable due to weather conditions or safety problems, but instead teams and riders were shamefully relegated to supporting roles.

Our photo in Mugello at the Curva Luco in the year before the Covid pandemic on the MotoGP weekend. Unfortunately, we made similar observations then and in 2018 at the beautifully situated track north of Florence and numerous toilets were dirty to the point of being unusable. Because the Italian organizers in particular usually save on staff, it was a catastrophic experience, especially for women. In contrast, we found Spain and Asia to be exemplary in this respect, with cleaning staff on duty all the time.

Moto2 decision from Assen distorted by the FIM commissioners

In the Grand Prix of the middle class, the sceptics of the track limit regulation introduced in 2019 were confirmed in their position, and not for the first time. After the Moto2 race in Mugello, which was downgraded to a sprint race, Assen was once again the victim of some power-obsessed officials. It was in the twenty-second minute that the safe leader Fermin Aldeguer (Folladore SpeedUp Boscoscuro) was given a so-called long-lap penalty by the race management, which is highly unpopular with many drivers. As expected, this cost the Spaniard the lead and with a lot of fighting he was able to at least work his way up to P2, while Ai Ogura (MT Helmets MSI Boscoscuro) inherited the victory for Japan. Because the FIM commissioners have been proven to often turn a blind eye to some drivers in such cases, they act arbitrarily far too often and thus repeatedly falsify results. In doing so, they damage the reputation of two-wheeled sport as well as the teams and riders who suffer as they are often cheated out of the fruits of their efforts by one-sided decisions.

Start of the 125 cc GP of Assen 1954 – not actually the sixth year of the motorcycle world championship as officially claimed, but in principle only the third real season. The reason for this is the difficult to understand fact that for political reasons, riders and factories from Germany were not allowed by the FIM in the first three years of the world championship. Without the most successful heroes of the last pre-war years, with more than half of all victories in the European championship, it was a true sporting farce. NSU promptly dominated 1954 almost at will – for more information, see our richly illustrated reports on the first post-war years on this page.

The next FIM victim in Assen – Superstar Marc Marquez

Because the exceptional talent’s tire pressure deviated from the newly prescribed green zone by a mere 0.01 bar during just one lap, according to his own statement, the Catalan was subsequently given a time penalty of an unbelievably brutal 16 seconds. Instead of 13 points for fourth place, this corresponded to a relegation to P10 with only 6 points. From a sporting perspective, such a rule and, especially in such a close case, its implementation is a bad joke. Hopefully Marc Marquez can give his answer to this a week later at the Sachsenring. He accepted the punishment in a completely sporting manner, without taking a swipe at the FIM, as Francesco Bagnaia recently observed in another case in Le Mans. It is perfectly understandable that the fans of number 93 naturally have their own opinion on this, and such rules and their interpretation are damaging to two-wheeled sport in the long term. Even neutral visitors increasingly feel like they are being duped by the FIM when, as has recently been observed at MotoGP and WorldSBK, results are “corrected” by officials for reasons that are far too often difficult to understand.

The young Marc Marquez in the Red Bull Rookies Cup (right) with his compatriot Esteve “Tito” Rabat. The careers of the son of a truck driver and the descendant of a wealthy jeweler family from Barcelona were very different. Today, the man with the number 93 is considered by the majority of experts to be the best driver of all time, despite currently having one less world championship title than MotoGP icon Valentino Rossi. This is another reason why one should not make senseless comparisons with Marquez of Pedro Acosta, who stumbled again with a fall at the Assen GP.

Number 93 and its balance for the next routes

If you read or hear Jorge Martin’s statement shortly after the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen, doubts arise about his memory. The Spaniard is aiming to repeat his double victory from last year at the Sachsenring. Marquez, who was absent due to injury in 2021 and 2022, had won all 8 races in which he competed from 2019 to 2021. In this respect, there can only be one favorite for the German GP, ​​which Jorge should take note of. In Silverstone, Marc only won once, also came second twice, and in Spielberg at the Red Bull Ring (only on the calendar since 2016) he has never won at all, but has been waved off in P2 three times. In Motorland Aragon, Marc’s record is 5 wins and one second place, and Misano is also obviously one of his favorite tracks with 4 wins and 2 second places. The statistics for the No. 93 also read quite well in Japan (three wins and second places, as well as one P4), Australia (three firsts and one second), Thailand (two wins) and Malaysia (2 GP wins, 2 second places and one fourth place). At the season finale in Valencia, two triumphs and 4 podium finishes have been recorded so far. It will be interesting to see how the exceptional talent fares on these tracks in the following rounds.

Our 2020 photo of the Phillip Island (Australia) track with turn 4 on the right and the ocean in the background. Despite three wins and a second place due to four retirements so far, similar to Sepang (Malaysia), one of the more difficult courses on the calendar for Marc Marquez in the past. But as soon as the man from Cervera (near the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona) is back on one of the best factory motorcycles from 2025, his opponents should brace themselves.

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