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Assen is the only venue that has hosted a Grand Prix event every year since the motorcycle World Championship Grand Prix series started back in 1949 – so it certainly earns its legendary status! Here are some stats and facts to know ahead of this year’s Motul TT Assen:
- In 2016 the Dutch TT was held on Sunday for the first time; all previous Dutch TT events had taken place on Saturday. This year it’s also on Sunday!
- The original Assen circuit that was used up to 1954 measured 16.54 km. This was reduced to 7.7 km in 1955. In 1984, further modifications to the circuit reduced the length to 6.1 km. The current layout has been used since 2006, with a few minor adjustments.
- The 500cc race at the 1975 Dutch TT is the only premier-class Grand Prix race where the first two riders across the line have been credited with the same race time. Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini finished so close that the timekeepers of the day, using manual timing accurate to 0.1 sec, were unable to split them.
- Yamaha are the most successful manufacturer at the Dutch TT since the start of the four-stroke MotoGP™ era, with eight victories. Honda have had six MotoGP™ wins at the Dutch TT with six different riders: Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Marc Marquez and Jack Miller.
- Ducati’s single MotoGP™ win at the Dutch TT came in 2008 with Casey Stoner. Ducati has had just two podium finishers at Assen in the past six years: Andrea Dovizioso was second in 2014 and Scott Redding third last year.
- The last win by Suzuki at the Dutch TT was in the 500cc race in 1993 with Kevin Schwantz. The best results by Suzuki in the MotoGP™ era at the Dutch TT are 5th place finishes by John Hopkins in 2007 and Chris Vermeulen in 2009.
- Ben Spies took his one and only MotoGP™ win at the Dutch TT in 2011 riding a Yamaha.
- The rider with most GP victories at Assen is Angel Nieto with 15 wins in the 125cc and 50cc classes, followed by Giacomo Agostini who had 14 wins riding 500cc and 350cc machines.
- Among the current riders, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has been most successful at Assen with a total of nine victories - seven in MotoGP™ and one each in the 250cc and 125cc classes.
- Each of the three winners at the Dutch TT last year were first time winners in their particular class: MotoGP™ – Jack Miller, Moto2™ – Takaaki Nakagami, Moto3™ – Francesco Bagnaia.
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) has taken three wins in the last nine races: the same as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
- If Dovizioso wins the Dutch TT he will be the oldest rider to win three or more successive premier-class races since Mick Doohan in 1998.
- Last year at the Dutch TT Jack Miller took his first win in the MotoGP™ class; this was the first win by an Independent Team (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) since Toni Elias won in Portugal in 2006.
- Maverick Viñales leads the MotoGP™ Championship standings with a score of 111 points going into Assen. This is the lowest score for a rider leading the Championship after the opening seven races of the year since the current points scoring system was introduced in 1993; the previous lowest was in 1998 when Max Biaggi led the championship with 118 points after seven races.
- The second place finish by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in Catalunya was the 54th time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP™ class. This is the same number of premier-class podium finishes as Randy Mamola achieved during his years racing in the 500cc Grand Prix class.
- Valentino Rossi has a score of 83 points after the first seven races of the year; this is the lowest point score for Rossi at this stage of the season in the MotoGP™ era with the exception of 2010 - when he crashed in Mugello and missed the next three races - and in 2011 & 2012 when riding for Ducati.
- Rossi is fifth in the Championship with 83 points, just 28 points behind Championship leader Maverick Viñales. This is the smallest points margin covering the top five riders in the Championship after the first seven races since the current scoring system was introduced in 1993.
- Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) continued his great start to his rookie season in the MotoGP™ class with a fifth at Catalunya, taking him to a total of 75 points after the opening seven races of the year. This is the highest ever score after seven races in the MotoGP™ era by a rookie riding for an Independent Team.
- Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) finished fourth at the Catalan Grand Prix, but just 9.608 seconds behind race winner Dovizioso. This is the smallest gap he has had to the race winner since joining the Ducati factory team.
- Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) finished 6th in Catalunya to maintain his record of scoring in all seven appearances in his rookie year in MotoGP™. Folger has finished no lower than 13th in his first seven MotoGP™ starts, something only achieved by one other rookie in the MotoGP™ era – Hector Barbera in 2010.
- Folger set the fastest lap of the race at the Catalan Grand Prix, only the second German rider ever to set fastest race lap in the premier class. The other occasion was when Edmund Czihak set the fastest race lap on his way to winning the 500cc German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 1974, a race that was boycotted by the top riders due to safety concerns. Folger’s fastest lap in Catalunya was also a lap record – the first time ever that a German rider has set a lap record in the premier-class.
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