DRIVE M7 Aspar riders have tough race at Assen
Hiroshi Aoyama and Nicky Hayden place 16th and 17th at Dutch TT, riding well in the wet before change of bikes
The MotoGP race suffered the same fate as the Moto2 contest. In the moments before the start, the rain intensified, disrupting plans. Firstly because it was necessary to postpone the race start and secondly because, as in Moto2, the race was truly wild. The premier class riders started the Dutch TT in wet conditions, with plenty of doubts. Márquez and Dovizioso battled for most of the race at the front, but things were swiftly levelled out by a series of bike changes. The entire field had switched machines to their second bikes by Lap 7, and on a dry surface Dovizioso led the way. Márquez eventually hunted him down, passed him and took an eighth successive victory of the season. Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaró had an entertaining duel for the final podium spot, with Pedrosa winning out for third.
The DRIVE M7 Aspar riders had a very eventful race, defined by two distinct parts. Hiroshi Aoyama and Nicky Hayden started from fourteenth and twenty-second positions, respectively, but had the wet weather pace to move up the field. Before the change of bikes, the two were up into the Top 10, having passed several riders. Unfortunately, their feeling changed considerably on the dry asphalt and they progressively lost touch. They nevertheless managed to complete the race near the points. Hiroshi Aoyama was sixteenth and Nicky Hayden seventeenth.
16th Hiroshi Aoyama: "Today we had a very tough race, especially from the moment that we had to swap bikes. I felt very comfortable with the wet setup at the start, we were been able to push hard and gain positions as we closed in on the frontrunners. I felt so comfortable in the wet, that when the track dried out I found it hard to change bikes. When I went to the bike with the dry setup my feeling was worse and I was not as fast as yesterday. I lost many positions as a result. This weekend I had a new front fork available that has allowed me to ride faster, and although the result was not what we had hoped for I am happy with the way I felt at this Grand Prix. I hope that in Germany we can get a better result."
17th Nicky Hayden: "The conditions for today's race were quite tough. Even so, I started pretty well in the wet; the bike worked perfectly at the start of the race, which allowed me to enjoy riding and overtake several riders. Unfortunately for us it continued raining and the track dried out, so we had to change bikes. Leaving the pits I noticed something strange in the acceleration of the bike. I also had some problems with the front end that prevented me from pushing hard. During the two laps after changing bikes I lost a lot of time and positions. Also, in the dry I did not manage to go as fast as I had expected. This weekend has been quite frustrating for us. Now it is time to focus on Germany and a good result there to take the bad taste from this round away."