Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez experienced a return to form after a strong another performance at Assen at the Dutch TT.
A resurgent Marquez is clearly getting to grips with the hybrid 2015/2014 race bike and had a good start to the race, moving up to second place behind Valentino Rossi on the first lap. The Spaniard then shadowed Rossi for 19 laps, looking a lot more comfortable and composed on the mongrel bike and even set a new fastest lap record on lap four of 1’33.617 (Beating Dani’s 2012 time of 1’34.548) before making his move with seven laps remaining, taking the lead.
The fight for the lead exploded into life with just three laps to go, a small mistake in the last chicane allowed Rossi to pass Marquez and try to open up a gap. Marquez wouldn’t be denied and dug deep to recover four tenths of a second in the last lap to Rossi and made a hard move into the last chicane on the final lap. The two riders touched Rossi was able to pick the bike up, riding through the gravel trap, beating Marquez to the finish line.
Marquez said: “I am very happy that I’m back on the podium and I had a good race, fighting for victory until the end. I think it was a moral victory for us, but we were riding at the limit on the last chicane. We have worked very well all weekend and I have to thank the team, because you regain confidence when you’re with the best team in the World. They are helping me a lot and this was shown by the fact that, at a track where we are usually not so strong, we fought for the win until the last corner. We’ll see if we can take another step forward in the coming races. We rode a last lap to win the race, especially on the last chicane. I had studied things well and knew where I had to brake in order to be able to overtake Vale, and so I did that but didn’t end like I wanted….”
After the official post-race press conference, Marquez and Valentino were called into race direction for a rider hearing and to review the video footage. It was agreed this was a racing incident and no appeal has been lodged.