The Motul TT Assen brought MotoGP back to one of the most renowned and prestigious circuits in Grand Prix racing. The ninth round of the 2021 world championship season at the TT Circuit Assen was the scene for Red Bull KTM Ajo to dominate the intermediate class once more with Raul Fernandez triumphant just ahead of teammate Remy Gardner.
The 22-lap Moto3 contest opened race day that dawned with warm but cloudy conditions in the Drenthe region of the Netherlands. CIP Green Power’s Kaito Toba was the lead KTM RC4 rider on the grid in 5th place but Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia was not far behind in 10th. The Spaniard’s teammate – teenage hotshot and Moto3 pacesetter Pedro Acosta was declared fit to race after his crash on Saturday that initially counted him out of Q2 and saw him start from 18th on the grid.
The rookie charged through to put himself into podium contention. With five laps to go the leading group consisted of nine riders and Acosta was at the tail end of the melee. He pushed up to 4th and was just 1.3 seconds away from winner Dennis Foggia. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was 15th while Masia ended the day 20th after having to take a ride-through penalty.
Acosta’s advantage in the Moto3 standings is still a hefty 48 points over Sergio Garcia.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez set off from Pole Position for the fourth time in the last five Grands Prix but had teammate, championship leader and winning of the previous three rounds Remy Gardner for company on the front row. The Spaniard and Australian filled positions inside a breakaway top-four as Fernandez impressively recovered from a mistake on the first circulation to burst through to the front with less than five laps remaining. He set a new lap record on the way to a one-second gap over Gardner by the finish line. Assen was the sixth occasion this year this year where both riders have taken to the podium together and the fourth time they have classified 1-2.
Remy has a 31-point margin over Fernandez and has only missed the top three once this season.
Raul Fernandez: “It was an amazing race. I’m a bit destroyed because I made two bad laps at the beginning and I had to really push to recover. It was a mentally difficult race but I want to say a big thanks to my team for giving me an incredible bike. At the end I was really strong.”
Now at the midway point of the season, MotoGP breaks for a five-week hiatus and resumes with back-to-back events at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria in the two first weekends of August.
Northern Talent Cup
Lorenz Luciano swept to victory in the first of two races (round four of seven) at the Motul TT Assen with a strong line exiting the Gert Timmer curve and claimed the checkered flag by a split second. For the second sprint in the Netherlands the Belgian was again part of the front-running pack but it was Rossi Moor who comfortably rode to the win for his second success in as many rounds.
Results Moto3 Motul TT Assen 2021
1. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda 37:35.287
2. Sergio Garcia (ESP) GASGAS +0.078
3. Romano Fenati (ITA) Husqvarna +0.207
4. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.352
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda +1.445
15. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +27.036
20. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +45.670
Results Moto2 Motul TT Assen 2021
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 39:01.832
2. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.066
3. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) +1.265