MotoGP Assen 2015 Scenes Volume 1
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The TT Circuit at Assen calls itself The Cathedral of Speed, proclaimed by a large sign above the paddock entrance. It’s certainly a special place among the tracks on the MotoGP calendar, both for the layout of the circuit and the atmosphere.
The former comprises instance after instance of interesting situations for the riders. There are slow turns, but also some of the fastest turns they see all season. Though it appears a flat circuit on TV, in person there are subtle elevation changes that complicate things for a rider.
The atmosphere is one that changes dramatically from Thursday to Saturday. Given the TT’s traditional Saturday race, many locals are unwilling to take off from work for the first two days of practice and qualifying. So Thursday is very quiet in the stands. Friday picks up quite a bit. Saturday is packed. For this reason, this is the final year we will see the main event on Saturday. In 2016 Assen joins all other MotoGP events with a standard Friday-Sunday schedule.
This year the stories on track are many, and here are some images to go with them. Above, Dani Pedrosa is back, but is he back? It sure looked like it on Thursday, Pedrosa going fastest with a lap of 1’33.450, which broke the record Casey Stoner set in 2012 when he claimed Pole Position with a 1’33.713.
In the Wednesday press conference, Jorge Lorenzo was full of confidence from having won the previous four races in a row, saying he’s as fit as he’s ever been. If he can win five in a row, that will be quite an accomplishment, especially since it would mean beating his teammate here at Assen.
His teammate, Valentino Rossi, is still leading the championship, though just barely (138 points to 137). Rossi loves this circuit, however, and of all the tracks where he might pull something special out of his sleeve, Assen is high on the list.
The travails of Marc Marquez continue. He has half as many points as Rossi, with 68 so far this season. His Honda RC213V is difficult to control so Marquez has returned to last season’s chassis, but is still fighting the aggressive Honda engine. Will he be able to make it through race distance without a mistake that puts him on the deck? That’s going to be a challenge.
Bradley Smith was pleased when recognized for his performance so far in the 2015 season. In sixth place, he’s only a single point behind Marc Marquez and more importantly, three spots ahead of his teammate, Pol Espargaro. Only the two Yamaha factory riders, the two Ducati factory riders, and one of the two Honda factory riders have more points.
Andrea Migno crashed Thursday morning and in such a way as to remove the fairing. The rider was ok and returned to the track, while we enjoyed a look at the KTM’s internal organs.
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