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MotoGP World Championship, Dutch Grand Prix25.06.2017


Morbidelli makes his comeback

After extending his contract with Marc VDS Racing to start MotoGP, Franco Morbidelli took advantage of the Dutch Grand Prix to return to his winning ways and consolidate his lead in the Moto2 rankings.

The Races

It was his fifth win in eight races, but certainly the finest. To win on the Assen circuit, Franco Morbidelli had to attack like crazy but think very wisely. From the first to the last lap, the Italian rider had to go “toe to toe” with Lüthi, Pasini, Nakagami and Oliveira.

“I gave everything in the last lap to make sure nobody could overtake me when we braked for the last chicane,” said Franco.

“This victory tastes all the better because I hadn’t made it to the podium for the previous two races.”

For a long time among the lead group, Alex Marquez lost contact at the end of the race to take the chequered flag in sixth position. Last year, Jack Miller chalked up his first MotoGP win on the Assen circuit. It was raining cats and dogs. This year, he took the chequered flag in sixth position, his best result of the season. Only thirteenth on the grid, the Australian made a good comeback ignoring the raindrops that had decided to play with the nerves of the riders in the final laps. Tito Rabat saved a very complicated weekend by finishing twelfth after starting from the last row of the starting grid. Never at ease in the practice test sessions because of the cold and the rain, the Spaniard had great difficulty in gaining confidence on the fast, technical Dutch track. In Moto3, Kornfeil finished seventeenth and Pulkkinen fell.

The Championship

Thanks to his victory, the fifth in eight races, Morbidelli has gained a little breathing space in the overall standings. The leader of the championship is twelve points ahead of Lüthi. Marquez retains his third place thanks to the ten points he chalked up in Holland. In MotoGP, Miller won has gained places, and is now eleventh overall. Rabat hasn’t moved from his seventeenth place, nor has Kornfeil in Moto3. The Peugeot rider has kept his twenty-fourth position.

The Background

Next year, Franco Morbidelli will make his big debut in MotoGP with the team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. The leader of the Moto2 world championship has signed the contract offered him by the Belgian team allowing him to move up to the premier-class category during the weekend of the Dutch Grand Prix. A two-season contract with a third year on option should easily allow the Italian to find his feet in the premier-class category.

“I’m glad we’ve reached an agreement because I will now be able to concentrate on winning the Moto2 world championship title,” said Morbidelli, who is really pleased with the confidence shown in him, but also with the opportunity given him by Marc van der Straten and Michael Bartholemy. In less than two seasons, the Roman has succeeded in gaining the unanimous approval of the VDS staff. Last year, which marked his debut, he made it to the podium eight times before finishing the Moto2 World Championship in fourth place. This season, Morbidelli has been leading the dance since his victory in Qatar.