Marc Marquez triumphs in Assen Moto2
It was very hard work but Marc Marquez eventually triumphed brilliantly over Andrea Iannone to win his 3rd Grand Prix of the season at Assen on Saturday. The 19 year old Red Bull athlete set off from pole position but knew that after having crashed twice on his way to setting the best time it was unlikely to be an easy race.
It was a fight all the way and Marques, though in the front group, could not get away in the lead. His life was simplified when arch-rival Pol Espargaro crashed out of the lead on lap two of the 24 but he still needed to capitalise on the situation and that meant dealing with the likes of Iannone, Scott Redding, Esteve Rabat, Alex De Angelis and Dominique Aegerter.
In all, there were some 10 riders in the lead battle and for many laps no-one could could get away. Eventually it was Iannone who was the one to cut out from the group and establish a lead. By the time Marquez had fought his way to the front of the chasing horde the Italian had a three-second advantage with 11 laps remaining.
The ex-125 world champion settled to the task and with six laps to go had cut Iannone's advantage to 1.5 seconds. He closed rapidly from there and for the last couple of laps it was a superb scrap between them.
Iannone lost it on the last lap with a missed gear change that gave Marquez the breathing space to avoid any last corner challenge at the chicane and he flew across the line unopposed.
Victory extends his championship lead and Marquez now stands on 127 points with Iannone moving into 2nd on 104 while Espargaro slips to 3rd with 96, tied with Thomas Luthi who slid out on lap 1.
Vinales, from Cortese, Kent and Salom in Moto3 thriller
Maveric Vinales scored an incredible victory over Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent and Luis Salom that was only decided at the final chicane and by a photo finish.
For much of the race there were more than 10 riders battling for the lead but in the closing stages those 4 and French Grand Prix winner Louis Rossi pulled away from the chasing pack.
Right from the start the Red Bull KTMs of Cortese and Kent were at the front having qualified 1st and 2nd. They were joined by Vinales and ex-Rookie Salom who has had success at Assen before, finishing second last year when he scored his first Grand Prix podium.
It was dramatic and aggressive riding that almost boiled over in the last four laps and a couple of times it was hottest between Cortese and Kent as the German bumped into Kent twice, using all the road and finding the British rider still occupying the outside edge. Both were lucky to get away without a crash.
With Rossi watching in fifth, Cortese, Kent, Vinales and Salom set about the last lap with a vengeance. After some wonderful high-speed moves it was Salom who had the advantage coming down to the final chicane by a couple of bike lengths.
He probably thought it was closer, braked too late and ran wide. Vinales darted through and Salom came back on line to join Cortese and Kent side-by-side across the line ahead of Rossi.
It was so close behind winner Vinales that the timing screen was confused. The photo finish gave the verdict for second to Cortese with Kent third and Salom the unlucky one to be deposed from the podium. Vinales has the championship lead but by just seven points over Cortese with Salom a more distant third.
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