News 26 Jun 2023

Bagnaia extends into summer break with Dutch TT win

Breakthrough Moto2 victory for Dixon, Masia on the top step in Moto3.

Image: Supplied.

Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia extended his lead at the top of the 2023 MotoGP standings entering the European summer break, taking victory in the Dutch TT at Assen while Jake Dixon scored a breakthrough win in Moto2 and Jaume Masia stood on the top step for the first time this season in Moto3.

It was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who grabbed the holeshot in Sunday’s MotoGP race, leading for the opening two laps before Bagnaia pounced and took control at the front.

From that point, Bagnaia never lost control of the lead but was kept honest for the entire race by the chasing group behind, with Saturday’s sprint race winner Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) ultimately taking the chequered flag in P2, 1.223s from the defending champion.

It was heartbreak for Binder who crossed the line third, but was demoted to P4 due to exceeding track limits on the final lap, a near-carbon copy of the penalty he received in the late stages of Saturday’s sprint that cost him a shot at the top three. Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro benefited and rounded out the rostrum on Sunday.

Strong pace towards the end of the race by Jorge Martin brought the Prima Pramac Racing rider into contention, completing the top five just 1.934s from Bagnaia out front.

Positions six to 10 featured Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – who served a long lap penalty – Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and GasGas Factory Racing Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez.

Notably, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – who was third in Saturday’s sprint race – crashed out in the early stages of Sunday’s encounter, with Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) also falling in the incident with nowhere to go.

Quartararo has indicated he will undergo surgery today to commence the summer break. He was diagnosed with bruising on his left elbow and hand, but additionally injured his foot while running in preparation for the event.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) did not compete in Sunday’s grand prix, declared unfit due to a rib fracture, while Australia’s Jack Miller crashed out on lap two. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider finished 11th in Saturday’s sprint race.

Following Assen, Bagnaia holds a healthy 35-point lead over Martin, with Bezzecchi in third and just a single point further back as the 2023 MotoGP World Championship will resume at Silverstone between 4-6 August.

Image: Supplied.

It was a breakthrough Moto2 victory for Dixon (Inde GasGas Aspar Team) at Assen, edging Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) who showed promising signs of a return to form in P2.

Dixon made the decisive move on the penultimate lap, ultimately crossing the line 1.334s ahead of the Japanese rider, while championship contender Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top three – serving a long lap in the bout.

Right behind Acosta were Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUP) and Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40), while points leader Tony Arbolino finished P7, seeing his advantage to Acosta cut to eight points.

Image: Supplied.

Moto3 title contender Masia scored a crucial first victory of the season, maximising on a misfortunate weekend for leader Daniel Holgado that saw the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider bank zero points.

A late move from the number five proved decisive as he narrowly edged Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) for victory, with Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) and David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) completing the top five.

Australia’s Joel Kelso scored his third front row of the season and lined up second on the grid, later completing Sunday’s encounter in P9.

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup also competed at Assen, with Australian Jacob Roulstone scoring a podium in race two, notching 4-3 results in The Netherlands. Carter Thompson charged to 10th in the opening bout before completing the weekend with a 14th place in race two. Angel Piqueras notably wrapped up the championship at Assen.

 Detailed results