It was an act of pure brilliance from runaway victor Marc Marquez after he passed the chequered flag at Assen, when he stretched his arms and legs wide and lay across the fuel tank of his machine to mimic the swimming breast-stroke. It was the most spectacular victory celebration ever seen on the circuit. Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was second and Marquez’s Honda Repsol team-mate Dani Pedrosa was third.
Earlier during qualifications, Marquez failed to snatch the pole for his second successive race. He finished second to Forward Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro, for whom it was the maiden pole claim this season. Conditions during qualification rounds were terrible on the TT Assen track and every rider found it tough to negotiate the wet path. Espargaro chose to drop back behind the pack of riders in front and utilized the advantage of riding in clean air. His staggeringly quick lap time of 1 minute 38.789 seconds was lower by 1.405 seconds to the second placed Marc Marquez. With the third place on the pole, Dani Pedrosa was also in the front row with Marquez while Andrea Iannone and Cal Crutchlow finished fourth and fifth in that order.
The main race was also affected by the unpredictable Dutch weather and the start was delayed for allowing the track condition to improve. When the race finally got underway, Marquez took hardly any time in going ahead of the pole winner Espargaro. An expert in wet weather, Dovizioso joined Marquez and before the opening lap could be completed, Marquez and Dovizioso had swapped the 1-2 position as many as four times. Both leaders went to pits early for having their slick-shod bikes attended. The wet track forced many other riders to pit early for the same reason.
After the riders came back from pits, Marquez lost his lead to Dovizioso. The Ducati rider kept on his front position and at one time, Marquez was four seconds behind. But the champion rider raced closer and closer as time went by and with 10 laps remaining, he was back where he belongs. Dovizioso was still hot on Marquez’s trail but couldn’t overtake him. Meanwhile Dani Pedrosa, who was still running behind Aleix Espargaro, passed the pole winner to the third place after Dovizioso. In the end, Marquez was able to cope with the inclement weather at Assen and despite few errors and a challenge thrown by the relentless Dovizioso, finished with his eighth-straight MotoGP win. Dovizioso was second and he ended the Ducati’s win drought. Dani Pedrosa was third ahead of Espargaro, who had a great race himself. Valentino Rossi finished fifth and it was the best he could do under such terrible conditions.
Marc Marquez had a 6.7 seconds lead over Dovizioso and he became the first rider since the great Giacomo Agostini, who had won eight premier-class races in 1971. But in the end, it was one of the most trying and dangerous races of the 2014 season. Pedrosa said later that it was like riding your bike that had flat tyres. Riders, including Marquez kept going on the chicane from time to time and the smallest careless move could have sent a rider tumbling out of the race.