Riding Styles: Assen’s GT Chicane
Similar to the Grand Prix Circuit at Phillip Island, the TT Circuit at Assen has more than its fair share of interesting bits. The Geert Timmer (GT) Chicane is one of those, given that it’s a challenging section of track at a crucial location in the circuit’s layout. There are no sections of a track that you want to get wrong, but this chicane is certainly one that you want to get right. Year after year we’ve seen this chicane host a race’s dramatic climax, 2015 being no exception.
For these reasons, and because Assen’s race direction allows photographers great access to this spot, the GT Chicane is one of the most photographed sections of the circuit. We can see it well from both the inside and the outside of the track, and from the inside, there is a long section from which photographers can shoot, providing different perspectives on the two turns that compose the chicane.
As I continue to go through last weekend’s images, I’ve been noticing how differently riders in the various classes approach this section of track. I thought it would be interesting to look at some examples of those differences. As with our previous riding style comparisons, the images below are not offered as definitive representations of a given rider’s style, but rather as instances that suggest general trends.
Above, the three Aspar Mahindra Moto3 riders display, as if choreographed, the progress many of my images of Moto3 riders show over and over again. Moto3 riders regularly lift the front wheel in the middle of the chicane to some degree or other as part of their normal progress through the turns. Some do so more than others, and of course some laps a given rider may find that things are suddenly a bit too hot and then use this this lift to recover.
Fabio Quartararo’s technique here was not an uncommon sight, for example. Certain of the Moto3 riders achieved this much wheel lift only occasionally, while others seemed to make it part of their strategy for getting through the chicane.
Whether for speed of for style, Remy Gardner seemed to lift the wheel more than anyone else, and on nearly every lap. In the Moto3 race, after being taken out at this corner by Zulfahmi Khairuddin and then rejoining to circulate by himself, Gardner was pulling wheelies like this regularly.
A more typical style is shown here by race winner Miguel Oliveira.
Sometimes a rider would getting too deep even for a wheel lift and reset to save him, as demonstrated by Karel Hanika.
On the next page, Red Bull Rookies, Moto2, and MotoGP: