MotoGP: Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez Wins Dutch Thriller at Assen
The high-adrenaline race saw more than five different leaders and over a dozen lead changes.
Marc Marquez emerged victorious at the 2018 Dutch Grand Prix, which is already being touted as the most exciting MotoGP race of the current season and of recent times. Suzuki's Alex Rins followed in second place and Yamaha factory rider Maverick Vinales came in third.
The lights went off at the TT Assen circuit with Marquez, Crutchlow, and Rossi in the front row of the grid, but the moment was seized by Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo who catapulted past half a dozen riders at the start. By the time the first lap of the race was in the books, Lorenzo was solidly leading the field in first place, leaving the rest of his competitors speechless.
The opening stage of the race saw Lorenzo, Marquez, Rossi, and Dovizioso battle it out for the top spots of the field, with as many as three lead-changes happening every lap. Just as one of the top riders made it to the front, another would challenge them, clash with them, and force them back down the field, only to redo the carefully-choreographed dance all over again. It was during one of these interactions that saw the Yamaha of Vinales come in contact with Marquez, prompting the Honda rider to nearly fall off his motorcycle at well over 160 miles per hour.
After one of the biggest saves of the year courtesy of Marquez, it was Dovizioso who rocketed to lead for a good chunk of the race as Rossi, Vinales, and Marquez fought amongst each other and developed their own tire-saving strategies.
As the laps counted down, Rossi was able to pass Dovizioso for a short-lived lead, but the Italian simply didn't have the pace to contain his competitors. However, Marquez had another close call with Vinales, which caused several riders including Rossi to lift off the throttle in order to avoid a collision.
At the end of the day, none of these close calls and even downright scary moments could keep Marquez from putting the hammer down, as he quickly built a 1.3-second lead after inheriting the lead with just three laps go.
After today's race, it's Marquez in first place of the championship with 140 points, Valentino Rossi in second with 99 points, and fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales in third with 93. MotoGP now heads to the Sachsenring for the Grand Prix of Germany on July 15.