After the latest battle in Germany, MotoGP celebrates its last appointment this weekend (June 24-26) ahead of a very long summer break. Following the holidays, the action will return on August 7 in England. But first, starting this Friday, the legendary Assen Circuit will host the Dutch MotoGP 2022 and eleventh stop of the season.
Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) arrives at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ with a very comfortable lead. At the Sachsenring, he claimed his second consecutive victory, continuing his outstanding streak which commenced with the arrival of the championship to Europe. In the six races since Portugal, ‘El Diablo’ has climbed up the podium on five occasions, and won in three (Portugal, Catalonia & Germany).
He has also extended his advantage in the standings to 34 points. On top of his great state of form, the Assen track layout is perfectly suited to his M1. The machine from Iwata took a 1-2 in 2021 led by Quartararo against his then-teammate Maverick Viñales. The defender of the crown now wants to go on holiday with the greatest advantage possible after the Dutch MotoGP 2022.
The Michelin MotoGP team is ready to return to the track in Assen for the #DutchGP before the summer break. With its 18 corners, the Assen TT circuit is more demanding for the rear tire than the front. Get ready for another exciting racing. #MichelinMotoGP pic.twitter.com/Z9TuDH21VR
— Michelin Motorsport (@Michelin_Sport) June 22, 2022
Aleix Espargaró: To get closer to Quartararo
Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), second in the standings, has lost some ground with the leader over the last two races. His bizarre mistake in Catalonia and his tire issues in Germany deprived him of two podiums and lost him some invaluable points. His consistency, however, makes him one of the top contenders for glory at the Dutch MotoGP 2022.
A step below in the table is an unexpected Johann Zarco (Pramac). The Frenchman is ecstatic after taking his second consecutive podium of the season, and fourth of 2022, in Germany. Carried by this positive inertia, he will fight for that elusive first Premier Class victory. It will not be easy.
Pecco Bagnaia needs to come out of his hole
The fight for the podium positions at each appointment is the only thing that is keeping a measure of suspense in a contest which has become increasingly stale. All other contenders have, in fact, already ruled themselves out of the bid for the crown.
Among those left behind in the title fight is Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati). The inconsistent campaign of the Torinese couldn’t have been any more disappointing. Five days ago, in Saxony, he suffered his second consecutive crash and third of the past four races. Despite having his contract renewed to become the new Ducati leader, his lack of confidence, has set off all the alarms in the team ahead of Dutch MotoGP 2022.
His teammate Jack Miller, on the other hand, pressure-free after learning of his dismissal for 2023, took his third podium of the season in Germany. It is the world upside down inside the red team.
The crisis in Honda
Things are even worse at Honda where they seem to have hit rock bottom. Their performance at the Sachsenring, where they dominated since 2013 with Marc Márquez, was dreadful. For the first time in the last forty years, no MotoGP gold wing rider took a single point. There is not a lot to add to describe the terrible crisis they are going through.
With Marc Márquez on indefinite leave as he recovers from his fourth humerus operation, the Japanese team must get its act together. The immediate future, however, and this weekend’s Dutch MotoGP 2022 are not looking very promising.
The team’s only active regular rider, Pol Espargaró, is recovering from the two very heavy crashes he suffered in practice at the Sachsenring. Those accidents forced him to retire the next day during the race. Meanwhile, the replacement of #93, Estefan Bradl, was last in his home appointment.
Images of Dutch MotoGP 2022: MotoGP.com