News 26 Jun 2016

Miller stuns with thrilling Assen MotoGP race victory

Australian splashes to career-first MotoGP win in Dutch TT.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Australia’s Jack Miller has won his first-career MotoGP World Championship race at Assen’s Dutch TT, fending off multiple world champion Marc Marquez in a nail-biting race.

In a two-part race contested in mixed conditions, Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS 0,0’s Miller emerged the eventual winner in a stunning result for the 21-year-old.

“I don’t know what to feel,” an emotional Miller said in parc ferme. “A lot of people said this wouldn’t work… I’ve just showed that I’m not an idiot. Thanks to Honda for taking this risk on me. I can’t talk…”

The race initially started in wet, but drying, conditions, with Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Ducati) at the front, however once the rain came again he crashed at turn one on lap 11.

Things then really tightened up at the front, before the red flags came out due to the rain on lap 14 with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) in front from Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha).

All hell broke loose upon the restarted 12-lap affair as Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), early leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and Rossi all went down early.

Rossi’s fall was particularly frustrating as he’d consistently been up front throughout both races, leading when he crashed out on the third lap of the restart.

That saw Marquez (Repsol Honda) inherit the lead, before Miller pounced on the following lap and he was never headed – going on to become the first non-factory rider to take victory since 2006.

Miller, who just renewed with his current squad for 2017, was able to cross the finish line 1.991s ahead of an elated Marquez, with Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) completing the podium in third.

World champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) had a terrible time in both races, unable to find any speed in the wet. He picked up six more points than his teammate, but there’s a lot of work to do still in the championship.

Michele Pirro (Avintia Racing) and Tito Rabat (Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS 0,0) also suffered falls. Several were able to remount, solid points on offer due to all the crashes in the difficult, unpredictable conditions.

In Moto2 Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) blitzed the field for victory, leading home new title leader Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) and Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). Australian Remy Gardner (Tasca Racing Scuderia) was 20th.

The Moto3 race was packed with action as Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) took victory for Mahindra ahead of Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3).