Marc Márquez, who started from twentieth position on the grid, made a great fightback at Assen, finishing seventh -less than two seconds behind the Top 5. On Friday he had suffered a crash that had left him in discomfort for the remainder of the weekend, but a great start on raceday allowed him to quickly move into the Top 15.
After picking up nine points, the Repsol Honda Team rider will have the entire month of July to continue with his recovery, and will face the second half of the season closer to full fitness.
Pol Espargaró finished the ninth round of the season in tenth position. The Spaniard began the Dutch Grand Prix race from eleventh and, after fighting to get close to the leading group throughout the 26 laps, finished in the Top 10.
There is now a run of five weekends of inactivity before the series returns. The Repsol Honda Team riders finish the first half of the season in tenth and twelfth place in the overall standings, respectively, with 50 points for Márquez and 41 for Espargarò. The MotoGP World Championship returns on the weekend of August 6-8th at the Spielberg circuit in Austria.
“I am very happy today, sure if you check the result and see seventh it’s not too impressive but when you start from 20th on the grid, it’s not too bad. I was pushing a lot in the opening lap and I was up to 12th. Then I made a mistake in the middle of the race and lost contact with the front group. From then I just focused on coming back and I was able to ride well until the end with a nice battle with Aleix Espargaro in the last laps as well. I was destroyed physically so could not challenge Pecco more. When I came back to the box I said thanks to the team and Honda because after Friday’s crash, they gave me the confidence again by changing some parameters with the TC and I was able to ride well. The potential of the bike was a podium if we had started in the front. Now the summer break, time to rest and recover and come back stronger for the second half of the season.”
“I knew it would be a difficult race, I am still unable to overtake at the start of the race with a full tank of fuel. If I am alone, I can run with a good pace, like in Warm Up, but as soon as I am in trouble with other riders around – I am too defensive and I stop riding how I want to and I make mistakes. Again, we need to improve our Saturday to be in a better position for Sunday so we are not starting behind. The job for after the summer break is to improve Qualifying, but now we head to the break. The start of the season hasn’t been how I wanted so I am looking forward to this time to rest and reset.”