Maverick lays it all on the line to take emphatic victory at Assen

Round Eight – Assen
MotoGP Race Results / Report

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took a stunning Grand Prix win at the Motul TT Assen, stalking the front before striking for the lead and stretching his legs to pull away from reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in the closing stages of what had been an exciting race.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Vinales Celebrate
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) followed up his record-breaking pole position on Saturday with another podium, impressing once again even as he continues to recover from arm pump surgery.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Podium Vinales Marquez Quartararo
2019 Assen TT Race results:
1 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) 40’55.415
2 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) +4.854
3 – Fabio Quartararo* (FRA – Yamaha) +9.738

MotoGP Race Report

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Start
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Alex Rins took the holeshot from third on the grid, the Suzuki man streaking away from the line and soon joined by impressive rookie teammate Joan Mir as he slotted into second with pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo in third follwed by Maverick Vinales. Marquez was next up, with Andrea Dovizioso and his Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci just behind.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Rins Mir Quartararo Marquez Vinales
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Alex Rins was leading the race and looking very strong before the Suzuki man made a mistake under brakes and slid out of the lead, and the race.  That left his team-mate Joan Mir in the lead of a MotoGP race for the first time ahead of fellow rookie Quartararo.

Mir ran a little wide while being pressured from behind which allowed Quartararo, Vinales and Marquez all through, demoting the #36 Suzuki back to fourth in one foul swoop.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Quartararo Vinales Marquez Mir Dovi
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Dovizioso had worked his way past Petrucci and then made short work of Joan Mir.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Mir Dovizioso Petrucci
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Vinales made a small mistake which allowed Marquez through to second place where the Honda man was tight on the back wheel of Quartararo. Marquez tried to attack, Quartararo resisted. After a slight lapse in momentum Viñales got back on their tail and it was a trio locked together in the lead.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Quartararo Marquez Vinales Trio
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

They all made their mistakes in the ensuing laps. Viñales overcooked Turn 1 but reeled them back in, Marquez attacked Quartararo a lap later after the Frenchman’s Yamaha had a few too many head-shakes at speed and forced Fabio to get out of the throttle. Then Marquez had his own moment and the rookie was back in the lead. The trio were once again line astern, uneasily holding station.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Quartararo Marquez Vinales
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

With 11 laps to go, Viñales broke the stalemate. He attacked Marquez and got through before then homing in on Quartararo, pouncing at the same spot that Marquez had earlier as the Frenchman struggled again with more head-shake at high speed.

Marquez then sneaked past Vinales for the lead but the Yamaha man was having none of it, Maverick was riding with maximum aggression and determined to make this day a mark of triumph.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Vinales Marquez
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

With six laps to go Vinales and Marquez were still both locked together and there was nothing in it, before gradually Viñales started to eke out a tenth here, and a tenth there. Vinales had finally broken Marquez and the Repsol Honda man was forced to relent as the risks became too high and the #93 looked to settle for second place and the 20-points that comes with it.

The top three all had their share of mini dramas during the race, but Viñales was then pitch perfect to the flag. Eventually, the gap was nearly five-seconds over the line and the Spaniard celebrated in style. It’s his first win since Phillip Island last year, Yamaha’s first of the season and one of his most impressive rides.

Quartararo took his second podium in succession in third after being in the heat of the battle for the first half of the race. The young Frenchman was clearly spent when he arrived in Parc Ferme, his recovery from recent arm pump surgery not yet quite complete.

Dovizioso had been locked in battle with Petrucci and Franco Morbidelli for much of the race before winning that war for fourth place.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Dovizioso Petrucci Morbidelli
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Morbidelli eventually just beat Petrucci to complete the top five and equal his best ever premier class result.

Cal Crutchlow recovered from a big moment to take P7 and overhaul Mir impressive performance as the rookie finished eighth.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Crutchlow
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Jack Miller crossed the line in ninth after a trying weekend for the Aussie while Andrea Iannone completed the top ten for his best result of the season so far and some valuable points and encouragement for the Aprilia squad.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Iannone Espargaro
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Pol Espargaro the first KTM home after escaping a battle behind that saw Aleix Espargaro best Miguel Oliveira with Francesco Bagnaia and Hafizh Syahrin also in the points, and all incredibly close all the way to the line.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Vinales Celebrate
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

There were a few names missing from the finishers along with Rins, the biggest of which was Valentino Rossi. The ‘Doctor’ had started from P14 on the grid and was making little headway before a mistake under brakes saw the #46 Yamaha go down, skittling LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami in the process.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Vinales Trophy
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

Next up is the Sachsenring and that’s one of Marquez’ signature venues, so there will be some ominous music as the reigning Champion makes the short trip south. But with Viñales on form, Quartararo ever-closer despite his recent surgery and the likes of Rins with speed if not always luck, the last race before the summer break will be unmissable. And we only have days to wait as MotoGP reconvenes this weekend in Germany, a race meeting that will also herald the debut of the new MotoE category.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Race Vinales Celebrate
MotoGP 2019 – Round Eight – Assen

MotoGP Results


Pikes Peak victory for Scaysbrook bittersweet after death of main rival

Tragic accident at Pikes Peak

Australian Rennie Scaysbrook took an incredible victory at Pikes Peak overnight on a factory backed Aprilia RSV4. Scaysbrook is only the second foreigner to win the infamous Pikes Peak Hill Climb, a race steeped in American racing folklore since its first running more than a century ago.

Ducati’s Carlin Dunne had taken pole position for the famous event and it was shaping up to be an epic battle betwee Dunne and Scaysbrook come race day over the 156-turn, 20-kilometre Pikes Peak course.

Ride Pikes Peak with Rennie
Remember Rennie had no idea of Dunne’s death at this point

Scaysbrook took the win while Dunne, on a prototype factory backed Ducati V4 Streetfighter, crashed just metres from the finish line.

Dunne had been the favourite as he raced for his fifth Pikes Peak title, a race that Ducati has put massive resources behind in what is one of the most high profile events for the Italian brand in North America.

Bystanders at first thought that Dunne was going to be okay and it was not until later that the collective hearts of the Colorado Springs community and the Board of Directors of The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb sank to share the grief and pain of Carlin Dunne’s family, friends and fans over his untimely death at 36-years of age.

Dunne is the seventh death which has been attributed to participation in the 97-year running of the event.

Pikes Peak Official Statement

“Throughout the 97 years that this unique race has been conducted on America’s Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in victory, the disappointment of failure and now, the unexpected heartbreak of the loss of a competitor, whose love of the race brought him to Pikes Peak. We mourn the tragic death of Carlin and he will remain in our hearts forever as part of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb family. Carlin will be remembered as a warm hearted mentor with a competitive spirit. He was a gentle and thoughtful man who touched everyone who met him. We will always remember his contagious smile and genuine love for sport”. The Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

“There are no words to describe our shock and sadness. Carlin was part of our family and one of the most genuine and kind men we have ever known. His spirit for this event and love of motorcycling will be remembered forever as his passing leaves a hole in our hearts,” said Jason Chinnock, CEO Ducati North America.

With our deepest condolence.

Carlin Dunne on Streetfighter V
Carlin Dunne on the Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype at Pikes Peak


Harley-Davidson Electra Glide review

When the mercury plummeted to -2C it was the only time I wished I’d been on the Harley-Davidson Street Glide instead of its striped down stalemate, the new Electra Glide Standard.

The return of the famous Electra Glide name from the ’60s when the iconic batwing fairing was introduced is marked by this stripped-down version of the top-selling Street Glide.

Harley has stripped $1500 off the price of the Street Glide by deleting the music infotainment system, heel shifter, pillion seat, USB output, windscreen vent button and those grip warmers.

It is only available in “Vivid Black” and costs $34,495 ride-away ($NZ37,995) which compares with the Street Glide at $36,995.

Cold as iceHarley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

I didn’t know it was -2C until my mates told me later because ambient temperature info is only available on the infotainment system. However, my fingers certainly told me.

We were on the second day of our five-day ride through NSW and we had just left Glen Innes, heading south into even colder climes.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

The batwing fairing was providing reasonable protection and my winter gloves were only just coping, but I had forgotten to put in a set of of hand warmers I had bought for just $10 at a servo. They were still in my panniers!

After stopping to warm up with a coffee at Guyra, the ambient temperature had rocketed to about zero, so I didn’t bother inserting the hand warmers in my gloves. I found the fairing offered enough protection, anyway.

So if, like me, you rarely ride in such freezing conditions, you probably don’t need grip warmers on this bike.

If you find music distracting while riding or use a helmet intercom, like me, then you also won’t need the infotainment system. I find they are pointless for music over 80km/h anyway.

So with the $1500 saved, I would invest in better rear shocks to improve and lift the rear ride. The hand-adjustable emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers are ok, but a bit too short for NSW’s bumpy country back roads.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

Yes, I know the idea is to provide a “slammed” rear end for that hot-rod look, but it lowers clearance to 120mm, which is 5mm less than the Street Glide and 15mm less than the plush-riding Road King.

On some of the terrible northern NSW roads, it hit the bump stops on many occasions with the shock waves pounding through my already bad back.

I also didn’t miss the heel shifter, USB output and the button that closes the backdraft vent. It didn’t allow rain in as I’d expected.

However, it would be handy to have a lockable door on the gaping hole where the infotainment system was. It would be useful as a secure glove compartment.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

Creature features

Despite the stripped-down “unnecessary” features, the Electra Glide still has a lot of bling.

For example, chrome has been added to the rocker, cam and derby covers to emphasise the V-Twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine.

There are also practical features such as electronic cruise control, 49mm front forks with dual bending valve suspension and Reflex Linked Brembo Brakes with ABS.

Those forks are much better for sorting out the NSW country road bumps than the rear shock.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

They keep the front wheel on the ground and provide good feel and traction which was handy in the wet conditions we encountered over the Thunderbolts Way.

I had a few slippery moments thanks to the slick combination of cold and wet, yet the big, black Hog was miles ahead of my BMW-riding colleagues by the end of the road.

Most of those “moments” came from the rear, anyway, on account of my over-exuberant right hand. It surprises me that Harley hasn’t added traction control yet.

I suspect it will come in their next round of Touring updates as they already have it on their Trikes.

Milwaukee Eight2017 Harley-Davidson 107 Milwaukee Eight engine in a Road King Classic millennials electra glide

The biggest delight on my five-day tour and subsequent rides around a warmer South East Queensland over the past couple of weeks has been the Milwaukee Eight engine.

I’ve been a big fan ever since I first fired one up at the 2016 world launch in Tacoma and noticed the lack of thump and bluster.

The ninth-generation “big twin” has become more sophisticate with eight valves — hence the name — yet has returned to the old single overhead cam design. It is also now double counterbalanced.

This all results in a much more refined, smoother, more powerful, flexible, responsive and economical engine. Despite giving it a handful, it returned just over 5L/100km.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

The transmission has also been updated. There is less clunk in the gears, neutral is easier to find and sixth is no longer only for illegal speeds on the highway.

Roll-on acceleration is effortless at any revs, although there is a sweet spot around 3000 revs that pulls your cheeks apart in a big wide smile.

Despite having massive pistons throbbing around in this 107-cube (1745cc) unit, it feels polished and civilised.


If you don’t need the infotainment system, grip warmers, heel shifter, USB port or pillion seat, then save yourself some money and try the Electra Glide Standard.Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

  • Price: $A34,495  ($NZ37,995)
  • Engine: Milwaukee-Eight 107, 1745cc, SOHC, eight-valve
  • Power: Not available
  • Torque: 315Nm
  • Bore x stroke: 100 x 111mm
  • Compression: 10:1
  • Transmission: six-speed, belt drive
  • Length: 2400mm
  • Seat: 680mm
  • Clearance: 120mm
  • Wheelbase: 1625mm
  • Tyres: 130/80B17 65H; 180/65B16 81H
  • Tank: 22.7 litres
  • Wet weight: 372kg
  • Lean angles: 31 degrees (right), 29 (left)Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard


Dovizioso frustrated despite “taking the maximum” from Assen

“It just confirms our negative parts: we struggle on the change of direction, we couldn’t keep the same speed in the middle of the corner, we have to use the tyre so the tyre drops, which is normal. The consequence of this is the 14 second gap, which is too much, so we can’t be happy about that but it’s the reality.”

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Quartararo: “It was the best moment of my life”

“I think it was the best moment of my life, even better than my first podium,” explained ‘El Diablo’. “I was thinking when I was a kid, I was looking at this racer and watching the top guys and then today I was leading my first race in MotoGP. And it was more than one lap, I think I was leading eight or nine laps, maybe more, but for me it was a really special feeling and also to be here on the podium.”

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Viñales win ensures Yamaha enjoy a dominant Dutch GP

“Yes it was important to finish the race today. And moreover, we finished in a good position, we equalled out best result with fifth so I’m happy about that. It was a strange race because in the beginning, I didn’t feel I had the speed necessary to stay with the top group. But then towards the end of the race I was, the feeling was getting better and better and compared to the other guys I was able to be a bit faster. I recovered some more positions and I finished 5th, very happy about this result, thanks to my team and thanks to my crew.”

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Viñales unstoppable as he strides to Assen victory

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) earned his and Yamaha’s first win of the season after a magnificent ride on Sunday afternoon at the Motul TT Assen, the Spaniard beats second place Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and polesitter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) after the trio treated us to a fantastic scrap in the Netherlands…

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Dramatic debut win for Fernandez in awesome Assen contest

The race was beginning to resemble a Moto3™ scrap with no fewer than nine riders forming a lead group, with moves being made at every possible opportunity. Ten laps ticked by and the poleman Gardner made a big mistake at Turn 4 to slip down to twelfth before his race would come to a sudden end, on the same lap at the Geert Timmer Chicane, when the front end folded on him. Just two laps later, another contender went down after Lowes got tangled up with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin, cutting short the Brit’s charge. After a disappointing weekend, title protagonist Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) then also crashed out on the same lap. Then, Martin would crash out as well, in what was turning into a race of attrition.

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Dramatic debut win for Fernandez in best Moto2™ race of 2019

Then, with two laps remaining, the race defining moment would unfold. With Binder already having been usurped as the race leader by Marquez, fellow Championship contender Baldassarri tried to squeeze past into Turn 4 but the front end folded, and the pair would go down. A livid Marquez would berate the Italian in the gravel trap, meanwhile Fernandez fortuitously accepted the lead. The 21-year-old would take the chequered flag and a debut victory. He was joine on the podium by the battling Binder, for the the first time this season, and SKY Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini.

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