2023 Dutch MotoGP News and Results
2023 Dutch MotoGP News—Friday
Miller clarifies comments
Jack Miller clarified some outspoken comments made after the German GP in which he implored certain riders not to be “a princess and complain about your bike.”
The Australian lamented the headlines his quotes caused, calling it “a lot of clickbait and bullshit… The majority of people weren’t there at the media debrief so they don’t even know what was actually said, then you clickbaited and put on spray like this. At the end of the day I just want the health of the championship to better, I want guys to get on with their job and that’s all it is.”
When it was put to Miller that it was all well and good that a rider who had competed for Ducati for four years and is now riding for the competitive KTM factory to make those comments, he countered:
“When jumped on the Ducati in 2018 it wasn’t the best bike. It’s more about having the right attitude. If you said in November last year, I would be in my position now, being the only ones to challenge the Ducatis, the majority would’ve laughed at you.”
Schedule change rebuked
A riders’ request to change the current schedule has been rebuked by Ducati and go on as is until the end of 2023. Riders that convened in the Safety Commission agreed Friday’s P1 should not count toward who qualifies for Q2, in an attempt to limit the intensity of the weekend.
This was then discussed among the manufacturers. Four – Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and KTM – were in favor of the change. One – Ducati – wasn’t, meaning both P1 and P2 will count toward who automatically qualifies for Q2 until the season’s end.
“In the Safety Commission all riders were pushing to change the Friday schedule, to make the practice one free, but looks Ducati does not agree. They vote against this,” said Aleix Espargaro. “We asked for this change. It was more a safety to avoid the crashes in practice one, to be a little more relaxed and to just stress everybody [in the last] 15 minutes on practice two.
“It’s strange because their riders, believe me, were in favour to change that. But the bosses of Ducati don’t, so it will stay like this for this season. I was very angry yesterday. I don’t understand why they need to vote. It’s a matter of safety and they didn’t respect the riders.”
When your luck’s out, it’s out. Fabio Quartararo rocked up at Assen with a broken big toe on his left foot after a running accident in Amsterdam in the days before the Dutch TT.
“I crashed running! I twisted my ankle, twisted my toe. I had a full crash! I was running and was just something like that and I hit,” he said.
Of how it’s affecting him on the bike, the Frenchman continued, “This morning I rode without painkillers. This afternoon I decided to take them because the problem it is painful but the other problem is that my leg is shaking when I am turning on the left so it making the bike and everything move. With the change of direction here I am making much more effort with my arm so I have the arms a little bit tired but I would say I have to survive.”
Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) catapulted himself to the top of the timesheets on Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen. After the two Practice sessions, the Italian’s 1:32.063 saw him maintain a firm hold on the top spot by the end of the day. The stage is set in Assen as the Italian is joined by some key rivals at the top: Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) put his GP23 into P2, with the Spaniard eager to continue his Sachsenring form, and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounds out the top three following a late time attack during Practice 2… just ahead of reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).
As Friday’s running drew closer to the end, the time attacks came flying in with the riders conscious of the importance of finishing inside the top 10 to bag a Q2 spot. Bezzecchi maintained a firm grip on the top spot though, with no one able to topple the Italian after he’d also topped P1 in the morning.
Martin had an eventful P2 session seeing him shortcutting the circuit on numerous occasions but put in a strong lap in the closing stages to finish the day 0.143s away from Bezzecchi.
Meanwhile, it was looking as Bagnaia was struggling to find a setup that worked for him around the Assen circuit, with the Italian showing visible signs of frustration during Practice 1. With the Champion sitting in P12 after the morning session, the Ducati garage worked away before P2 to give Bagnaia the feeling that he needed, and the bike was looking much more stable. Bagnaia blasted his way to the top three initially, but Miller had something to say about that.
The Aussie sandwiched himself between the title-fighting trio, pushing Bagnaia down to P4 in the closing stages. The job was done for both teams with secured Q2 spots in the bag ahead of Saturday’s qualifying action.
Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) finished the first Practice in a comfortable P2, and showed strong pace in the 2nd Practice to finish the day in fifth overall. The Spaniard will be looking for a return to the podium after taking 3rd place at Assen just one year ago, his first rostrum with Aprilia, and at a track where he boasts one of the best CVs on the grid.
Despite riding with that toe injury picked up when running, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP ) showed signs of progress aboard his Yamaha M1 after taking P6. The Frenchman will be relieved to be missing Q1 this time out, and will be hoping his smooth riding style will be able to put him right back in the mix at the fast, flowing Assen circuit.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) finished the day in P7 ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder, with both KTMs through this time round. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) showed flashes of brilliance throughout the day to secure P9, with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) snatching the final Q2 spot.
It was a bump in the road for three-in-a-row podium finisher Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) as the Frenchman failed to secure himself a place in Q2 by just 0.088s, and he’ll have to battle his way through Q1 after finishing in P11.
The Frenchman will be joined by the two CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team riders of Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira who finished 12th and 13th respectively.
Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) also failed to make the Q2 cut after finishing in 15th and 19th. Both riders made trips to the gravel trap, with Marquez hitting the deck just two corners into his only time attack of the day as P2 came to a close.
2023 Dutch MotoGP Results—Friday
Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) is the rider to beat in Moto2 at the Motul TT Assen as the Brit heads into Saturday’s action on top of the combined standings after setting a blistering 1:36.463. The Spanish Armada was in hot pursuit as Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) stayed within two-tenths of the GASGAS rider, however.
Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) is showing he’s returning to the form we know he’s capable of, bagging P4 after Friday practice, with Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) rounding out the top five ahead of Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P6
Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) takes seventh overall thanks to his best from P1, ahead of Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) and Championship leader Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) in P9. Home team Fieten Olie Racing GP had a good start with Barry Baltus completing the top ten.
2023 Dutch Moto2 Results—Friday
It’s advantage Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) as the Motul TT Assen kicks off the weekend with Moto3 Practice. The Spaniard put down a 1:41.579 to keep the field at arm’s length, with Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) 0.350s behind. Just 0.053s behind his fellow Italian was Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team) whose wide, swooping lines are playing perfectly to the fast, flowing characteristics of the Assen circuit.
As the clock counted down to the chequered flag a flurry of fast laps came flying in during Practice 2. David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) and Xavier Artigas (CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP) put the hammer down to secure 4th and 5th respectively, with rookie David Alonso (Valresa GASGAS Aspar M3) rounding out the top 6 ahead of Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse).
The intense rush for a time attack caught out Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets MSI) as the Brazilian crashed out with 3 minutes to go for the 2nd time in the afternoon. The youngster just managed enough to secure P8 on combined times. Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) is down in P9, just ahead of Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) who suffered a crash at Turn 16 with just under 30 minutes of P2 remaining.
2023 Dutch Moto3 Results—Friday
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