MotoGP Assen: Memory Lane

Some history-based notes to read up on before the Dutch Grand Prix...
By Joseph Caron Dawe

There's a sense of prestige around this weekend's MotoGP at Assen.

The seventh round of the 2013 season is held at the famous Dutch track where much history has been made, and it's the only venue on this season's 18-round calendar which has hosted a Grand Prix every year since the World Championship GP series started in 1949.

Historic Assen

83 – This is the 83rd Dutch TT event. The first was before the World Championship series was event created, and took place in 1925. The event has been held every year since then, with only a hiatus from 1940-1945 due to World War II.

The Dutch TT was on the inaugural World Championship line-up in 1949 and has been a fixture ever since.

38 – British motorcycling is having a good time of it in the World Championship right now with the likes of Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Scott Redding all impressing, and on qualifying day at Assen this Friday it will be 38 years to the day since the last British World Champion Barry Sheene won his first-ever 500cc Grand Prix.

21 – Nobody needs any reminding of just how prosperous Spanish motorcycling is on the world stage, and on day one of practice at Assen on Thursday it will be 21 years to the day that the nation's first premier class World Champion Álex Criville became the first Spaniard to win a 500cc Grand Prix.

Since then Spanish riders have racked up a total of 79 wins in the elite category (including Criville's milestone 1992 Dutch success).

15 – Ángel Nieto is the most successful rider at Assen in terms of GP victories with 15 (in the 125cc and 50cc classes), narrowly beating Giacomo Agostini who had 14 (on 500cc and 350cc machinery).

Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider at Assen of the current crop with 7 wins (five in MotoGP and one each in 125cc and 250cc).

Statistics compiled by Dr Martin Raines.

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