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of the World
June 23, 2014 | By MotoGP
From the sweltering heat of Barcelona the MotoGP™ World Championship heads north to the Netherlands for round eight at Assen, with Repsol Honda’s remarkable young World Champion Marc Marquez still undefeated in 2014.
Marquez may have seen his run of successful pole position qualifying results come to an end at the Barcelona-Catalunya with a Q2 crash – his first of the season – but come race day the 21 year-old delivered the goods again as he won a brilliant battle at the front over Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.
Spaniard Marquez is now 58 points clear at the top of the standings following his seven race winning streak, with his nearest rival Rossi perhaps looking the most likely to be capable of ending his victorious run.
Last year at Assen Rossi returned to winning ways with his first victory since 2010, delighting the Dutch crowd with a great ride from fourth on the grid. Marquez finished second that day by just over two seconds and he has a good record at The Cathderal of motorcycle racing having notched up three wins at the historic venue in the 125 and Moto2™ categories.
In third place in the standings going into the Iveco Daily TT Assen is Dani Pedrosa, who was in hunt for victory at Catalunya until a last lap error which saw him touch the rear wheel of Marquez. Pedrosa appeared more comfortable and competitive again after arm pump hindrances earlier this season and along with Marquez he will strive to win at Assen for Honda, at what is considered to be a good track for Yamaha.
Last year’s visit to the TT was one to forget for Jorge Lorenzo who battled through the pain barrier to finish fifth, from 12th on the grid, having broken his collarbone in Thursday practice and having flown back to Barcelona for surgery in order to be ready to race. Lorenzo won at Assen in 2010 but has since struggled at the Dutch venue.
Fifth in the current World Championship standings is Andrea Dovizioso who has been in the top ten at every race so far, in contrast to his Ducati Team colleague Cal Crutchlow who will go in search of a good result at round eight, having had a difficult time since his arrival with the Italian factory.
The likes of the Espargaro brothers, Pol (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Aleix (NGM Forward Racing), will be hunt for more crucial championship points, whilst Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) are riding to secure their racing contracts for 2015 and potentially beyond.
Bradl returned to form at Catalunya with a solid ride to fifth and his aim is to stay ahead of the likes of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and climb higher up the standings in the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo IodaRacing Project) will attempt to return from injury at the eighth round of the season, having traveled to Barcelona but having been unable to ride as his fractured left wrist had not recovered sufficiently from his Jerez Warm Up crash earlier this year.