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Agostini on Yamaha's first win at Assen

Agostini on Yamaha's first win at Assen

Agostini on Yamaha's first win at Assen

This weekend will mark 31 years since Giacomo Agostini, the undisputed king of Assen, took an unequalled sixth 500cc victory in the Dutch TT in 1974. Agostini's second win for Yamaha after joining the factory at the start of that season was also Yamaha's first in the legendary event, and is remembered fondly by the Italian for precisely that reason.

"The 1974 victory at Assen was very special for me because it was the first there by any rider on a 500cc two-stroke, and the first win for Yamaha at the circuit.," remembers Agostini, who won 68 races and eight world titles in a remarkable 500cc career. "It was my first season with Yamaha after moving from MV Agusta and I was so pleased to win at Assen because Yamaha's European headquarters were based in Amsterdam. It was their home Grand Prix and they were like a family to me."

"I should have won it again in 1975 but I made a big mistake two corners from the end. I looked over my shoulder and saw Barry Sheene about 15 metres behind me so I relaxed too much. Somehow he passed me at the line."

After 75 years of Grand Prix the modern TT is a special event on the MotoGP calendar but according to Agostini that has always been the way – particularly thanks to its traditional place on the World Championship calendar.

"Going to Assen was always very nice for us because it came straight after the Isle of Man TT," he explains. "We went from an incredibly dangerous and difficult road circuit, where we had to be up at 4am for practice, to this beautiful facility that was perfect for motorcycle racing and in normal Grand Prix conditions. The track was safe, there were 150,000 people there… it was always a special emotion to ride at the Dutch TT. Why did I always win it? Because I am good!".


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