Fixed presence in the MotoGP calendar since 1949 if we exclude the cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Dutch circuit of Assen has earned the nickname of Cathedral both for the technical characteristics of its layout and for the spectacular races that take place. place there. An eleventh important day that arrives just before the summer holidays.
Per Aleix Espargaro, the goal is to return to the podium, which has become a pleasant habit in this year 2022. A new situation for him and for Aprilia, but which has matured thanks to the great evolution of the technical package and the extraordinary speed and regularity demonstrated. by the driver of Granollers. The 32-year-old Catalan driver is currently in 2nd place in the championship, at 34 points. Fabio Quartararo, but in 17 participations in the Dutch Grand Prix, the Spaniard has never won, recording his best results in 2009 (4th in 250cc) and 2014 (pole position and 4th place in the Yamaha Forward). Will he be able to record a second success at the Cathedral Grand Prix this Sunday?
You can count on this (since the two men work together) in a Maverick Viñales which proved to be increasingly solid in the saddle of the RS-GP at the Sachsenring, before having to resign after the sinking of its tall device. Unlike his teammate, the Spaniard has already made very good stats at the TT Circuit in Assen, mainly in 125cc and during his last two participations: So count on the “Top Gun”!
– Maverick Viñales finished first or second in his four appearances in Dutch TT in the small categories.
– He won the 125cc race in his debut season in 2011, won the Moto3 ™ race in 2012 and was second in Moto3 ™ in 2013.
– In 2014 he was second in Moto2 ™, just 0.318 seconds behind race winner Anthony West.
– He rode Assen in MotoGP ™ for the first time in 2015; he placed ninth and finished 10th, less than a second behind his teammate Aleix Espargaró.
– In 2016, Viñales fought in humid conditions. He started 11th and finished 9th.
– In 2017 he placed 11th and fell from fifth to lap 12 in the final chicane.
– In 2018 he completed the second row of the grid and finished the race in third place after fighting with Alex Rins for second place, which was his second podium at this stage of the season with Austin.
– In 2019, he placed second behind Fabio Quartararo and got his first victory of 2019 as well as Yamaha’s first victory of the season after a big battle with Marc Márquez and Quartararo.
– In 2021 he finished in pole position, his most recent, and finished second for his most recent podium and his 24th victory with Yamaha.
Finally, Aprilia will be presented at the Assen Grand Prix with a full line-up, given the presence of the test driver on the track. Lorenzo Savadori which will, as always, have the task of continuing the development of the RS-GP.
Aleix Espargaro: “ Assen is a mythical circuit, with a spectacular layout. I’m a little worried about the weather, which is always a mystery here, and I’m sure we’ll find lower temperatures than at the Sachsenring. Obviously I would like to find a dry weekend, but the important thing will be to get to the summer holidays with a positive result and a moral situation. »
Maverick Viñales: “ The first goal here at Assen will be to continue at the level shown last week. I am convinced that we can be competitive on all circuits, but even more so on a track that has always adapted to my driving style. The fact that we are immediately pursuing Germany is also something that helps me. We’ve seen that starting ahead makes life a lot easier for us in racing, and if we get at least the second row we can really show our potential. »
Lorenzo Savadori: ” For me, it’s always great to get back on track, especially when it comes to an iconic event like Assen. The technicians have already told me that we will have a lot of solutions to work with, so our goal is still to put the miles on the clock and continue to develop the RS-GP. And maybe also to try something that can help Aleix and Maverick in the second half of the championship. »