Ahead of the Dutch GP, there was some action in the centre of Assen as Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Moto2™ man of the moment Fabio Quartararo (Lightech-Speed Up Racing), local hero Bo Bendsneyder (Tech 3 Racing), Catalan GP winner Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) and Moto3™ Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox Prüstel GP) headed for the town square for a different kind of fight – taking part in a martial arts clinic run by Dutch kickboxing ace Sarel de Jong and pro boxer Ben Tingen.
Split into two groups, the riders got chance to get schooled in both disciplines. Syahrin, Quartararo and Bezzecchi tried out kickboxing first as Redding, Bendsneyder and Bastianini got some boxing tips from Tingen, before the two then switched over for another session.
Once they’d worked up a sweat and got in gear for what is sure to be another stunning fight this weekend in the Motul TT Assen, the riders then received some gifts from the mayor of the town, and presented coaches de Jong and Tingen with a memento of the event, too. With photos taken and cool down complete, it’s now back to the track – with FP1 kicking off the action on Friday morning from 9:00 (GMT +2)!
“I did it in the past so I knew a bit, but not a lot,” says Scott Redding of the experience. “But it was a nice event in general to be here with the fans…it was different to what we normally do so it was interesting to get a bit of adrenaline before the race weekend. In the past two years I did a lot of boxing and kickboxing but this year I started to move away from it because I was trying to drop my weight, so I changed my training program a bit, but I have a lot of passion for contact sports.
“The training side of it is really good because you have to think about breathing, concentrate, your reactions…there’s a lot you can take from it to use in racing.”
“This was a nice experience for me,” adds Syahrin, who also had a bit of experience in something similar: “I did this a few years ago with my friend, some muay thai, and it makes you sharper. It’s good for focus, your arms and your body, like interval training working all your body. I enjoyed it a lot and thanks for inviting me!”