A jaw-dropping race saw maiden podiums, rare crashes and the title race blown wide open on a breathtaking day of action in the Netherlands
Prior to the summer break, the paddock descended on the Assen TT Circuit for Round 11 of the 2022 Championship, and what a way it was to sign off the first half of the year. The historic track played host to an absolute cracker, which had twists and turns at every corner.
MUST-SEE: Quartararo crash blows title race wide open!
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) started from pole position and bolted into in an early lead, with the Championship’s top two Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team) in hot pursuit, but, on the fifth lap, the Frenchman went down at Turn 5 which took the Aprilia rider with him into the gravel. Both riders rejoined the race, Espargaro in P15, and Quartararo at the back of the back.
Huge highside sees Quartararo crash again and DNF in Assen
As a result, Bagnaia held a comfortable advantage over rookie Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), with a four-way fight for third breaking out between Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing). At the back, and in quite sensational scenes, Quartararo had crashed again with a big highside that brought an end to his day.
Bagnaia punished the Yamaha rider to the max to take the win, with rookie Bezzecchi debuting on a MotoGP™ podium. Viñales came out on top of the scrap for third, breaking his duck with Aprilia at the scene of his last rostrum result, while further back, his teammate was doing his Championship hopes the world of good.
Aleix Espargaro had scythed his way through the field from P15 to P6 on the final lap, which culminated in a stunning last corner overtake on Miller and Binder to help him salvage 13 crucial Championship points. The Motul TT Assen delivered excitement and drama. By the bucketload, and will be easily remembered as one of the best races of 2022, regardless of what’s to come.
Motul TT Assen: MotoGP™ race highlights