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Races of the Year: 1st – Dutch TT

Published: 31 December 2018

After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP Reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike Reporter) sat down to discuss what races entertained them the most to establish MCN’s top five races across the classes they cover.

And with some cracking racing across MotoGP, World Superbikes, British Superbikes and road racing, it wasn’t an easy call to decide which races deserved what spot in our top five of the year. Here’s what we think -  but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!

First: Dutch TT

Every so often, there comes along the sort of MotoGP race that goes down in legend. Normally happening at one of a small, select group of circuits and making for incredible action, we were fortunate to get one of those this year when the series headed to the Netherlands for the Dutch TT at the iconic Assen circuit.

Marc Marquez took the holeshot from pole, with Cal Crutchlow initially on his tail from second on the grid until Jorge Lorenzo sliced through from tenth to second after another awe-inspiring launch. He didn’t wait long to strike for the lead either, attacking Marquez and the two side-by-side in a war of wills until Lorenzo edged ahead. Marquez hit back a lap later at turn 15, before Lorenzo repaid the favour once more. The duel was the first of many; an early taste of what was to come.

Marquez took Rossi, Viñales took Crutchlow, Dovizioso took Rossi, Dovizioso took Marquez, Marquez struck back, Rins took Rossi and then Dovizioso…but Lorenzo held firm at the front. With eight riders within a second, from Lorenzo down to Johann Zarco at the back of the train, the touch paper was well and truly lit on an absolute classic.

The war continued before another bout of bigger drama with 15 laps to go as Rins attacked Marquez and the two were only a hair’s breadth apart – minimal contact, but the reigning champion suffered a big moment as he got back on the gas. That dropped him back off the lead, with Lorenzo chased by Rins and Dovizioso.

Four wide at times, Marquez then made his way back into the lead… and that was all she wrote, for the lead at least. After one of the closest, most spectacular races in the history of the world’s oldest motorsport Championship, the reigning Champion was able to pull clear to take a stunning fourth win of the year.

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