2019 Dutch TT (MotoGP) – Preview

The 2019 Catalan Grand Prix was a championship-defining race in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship after Jorge Lorenzo, who showed much improved form at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, took out Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi, and Andrea Dovizioso like a bowling ball on Lap Two of the race, while Marc Márquez managed to just avoid the incident and took the lead on his way to his 74th Grand Prix victory across all classes, and his 48th in the premier class to move into outright fourth for most premier class wins ahead of Lorenzo, and is now just two wins away from moving to equal-fourth alongside Mike Hailwood for most race victories across all classes.

However, most importantly, Márquez extends his lead in the championship to 37 points over Dovizioso as MotoGP heads to Assen for the 2019 Dutch TT, Round Eight of the 2019 season.

Márquez (140 points) leads the way for the Repsol Honda Team over Dovizioso (103 points) for Mission Winnow Ducati, and right now, given the way Márquez is riding right now, Dovizioso (and others) are firmly out of championship contention, unless Márquez has two or probably three retirements, or misses two or three races, or has a combination of each, and although Márquez does have a tendency for taking a few risks, the possibility of others getting back into world championship appears highly unlikely.

And, what’s worse for the rivals of Márquez is that it could have been a lot worse if the defending world champion had not crashed out of the Grand Prix of the Americas, a race where Márquez was previously undefeated at. It is going take a miracle, perhaps beyond that, for someone other than Márquez to win the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Álex Rins (101 points) is third in the championship for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR after finishing fourth in Barcelona, and remains just ahead of Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (98 points) who finished third.

Valentino Rossi (72 points) is fifth in the world championship for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP after a second-straight retirement, the first time that has happened since the final three completed races of 2011 when he was at Ducati (NOTE: Does not include the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix), while Jack Miller (53 points) leads the battle from behind for Alma Pramac Racing after his fourth points finish of 2019 (all Top Fives).

Fabio Quartararo (51 points) moves up into seventh in the championship for Petronas Yamaha SRT after claiming his first premier class podium in Barcelona, finishing second, and looks likely to challenge for a race victory before the season comes to an end.

Behind him, Takaaki Nakagami (48 points) is eighth for LCR Honda, and Pol Espargaró (47 points) is ninth for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing after strong points finishes, while Cal Crutchlow (42 points) slips to 10th in the standings for LCR Honda after failing to finish for the second time in 2019.

So, who will win the 2019 Dutch TT?

The race at Assen is always a good race that always tends to suit most bikes on the grid, and is loved by all of the riders. I am going to tip Marc Márquez to continue to extend his championship lead, ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller in what will be a thrilling race!

2017 MotoGP Dutch TT – Preview

This weekend, the 2017 Dutch TT, the eighth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship will take place this weekend from the TT Circuit Assen in Assen in the Netherlands, and the championship battle is starting to heat up!

Maverick Viñales leads the world championship on his factory Movistar Yamaha on 111 points, which is incidentally the lowest points-score after the first seven rounds for a rider leading a premier class world championship since the current points-scoring system was introduced back in 1993, despite achieving three race victories in the opening seven rounds.

Viñales is ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who claimed his first dry race victory in MotoGP at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, and then backed it up a week later by claiming his second dry-weather win at the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona in Spain to take his career race wins total in the premier class to four.

Dovizioso’s previous race victories in MotoGP came in wet conditions at Donington Park in the United Kingdom in 2009, and at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia last year.

This leaves the Italian just seven points behind the Spaniard on 104 points on his factory Ducati, raising the question as to whether Dovizioso can win his first MotoGP World Championship in 2017?

Marc Márquez is third in the world championship on his factory Repsol Honda on 88 points, 23 points behind the championship leader, after taking just a single victory so far in 2017, winning the Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, as well as two pole positions.

However, Márquez hasn’t got a pole position in the last four races, which is his longest streak without a pole position since joining the premier class back in 2013.

However, the next two races of the championship at Assen, where he has finished inside the top two in his last seven races there, and at the Sachsenring, where he has won his last seven races there, should be a chance for Márquez to close the championship deficit to Viñales.

Márquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, sits fourth in the world championship on 84 points, 27 points behind Viñales after taking one race victory in the first seven rounds of the season at Jerez at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season, and finishing inside the top five in all of the races that he has finished, although crashing out in two of the seven races so far in 2017.

However, it was at this point of the season last year where Pedrosa started to struggle, only finishing inside the top five once in the last 11 races of 2016, including missing three of those races after breaking his collarbone (clavicle) in a massive practice crash at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, so Pedrosa will be looking to maintain his current speed and form heading towards the second half of the season to maintain a strong championship challenge.

Valentino Rossi is fifth in the world championship on 83 points, 28 points behind his teammate Maverick Viñales in the championship battle after taking just three podiums in the opening seven rounds.

Other than his two years at Ducati in 2011 and 2012, and 2010, where he broke his leg at Mugello in Italy during practice for the Italian Grand Prix, this is the least amount of points that he has had at this point of a season in the MotoGP era, and the premier class since his rookie season in 2000, where he had scored 57 points in the opening seven rounds, and will be looking to grab his first victory of 2017 in Assen this weekend.

Johann Zarco is sixth in the world championship after the first seven rounds of his rookie season in the premier class on 75 points, 36 points behind the championship leader, claiming a podium finish at his home race at Le Mans in France, and showing the world that he could be a future replacement for Rossi at the factory Yamaha team.

Jorge Lorenzo is seventh in his first season with the factory Ducati Team after the first seven rounds of 2017 on 59 points, 52 points behind his replacement at Movistar Yamaha Viñales after claiming a third-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

With Lorenzo’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso only seven points behind championship leader in the world championship, the question is whether Lorenzo can overturn a 52 point deficit in the last 11 rounds of the season?

If Lorenzo is to comeback and claim his fourth MotoGP World Championship, it must start with a win this weekend at Assen.

And what about Jack Miller?

The winner of the Dutch TT last year sits 13th in the world championship on 30 points, well and truly out of championship contention, but will be looking to match his performance from last year to claim his second race win in the premier class this weekend.

The weather for Assen this weekend looks good for Friday and Sunday, but wet for Saturday, so it could be crucial to be inside the top 10 after practice on Friday. Maximum ambient temperatures are set to be around 20 to 23 degrees Celsius.

Overall, I think there could be eight to 10 riders who can win this weekend, and I am not willing to pick a winner, but I think it is going to be a memorable race.

 

MotoGP Practice on Friday at 9:55am, and 2:05pm local time (5:55pm, and 10:05pm AEST). MotoGP FP3 on Saturday at 9:55am local time (5:55pm AEST), FP4 on Saturday at 1:30pm local time (9:30pm AEST), Q1 and Q2 on Saturday at 2:10pm and 2:35pm local time (10:10pm and 10:35pm AEST). MotoGP Warm Up on Sunday at 9:10am local time (5:10pm AEST), and MotoGP race on Sunday at 1:00pm local time (9:00pm AEST).