ASSEN: Spaniard Marc Marquez won a record-equalling eighth straight race on Saturday at the Dutch Motorcycle Grand Prix in changing weather conditions, ahead of Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. The runaway leader and defending champion grabbed the lead from Dovizioso with 10 laps to go, after both riders switched from wet tyres to slicks earlier in the race. Spanish veteran Dani Pedrosa and Marquez’s teammate, also on a Honda, was third. His victory saw Marquez become the first rider to win eight straight premier class races from the start of the season since Italian great Giacomo Augustini in 1971.
The Spaniard, whose younger brother Alex earlier won in the Moto3 class, stretched his substantial lead in the overall standings to 200 points. Marquez now stands 72 points ahead of second-placed Valentino Rossi, who rode a magnificent race from the back to eventually end in fifth place. Rossi, however, is now sharing second place with Pedrosa. The unpredictable Dutch weather made for a thrilling race, which saw Marquez, Dovizioso and many other racers coming into the pits to switch from wet to dry tyres.
A lightning change of bikes paid off for Marquez, who then went on to pass Dovizioso with 10 laps to go, staying ahead for the rest of the race. “It was incredible - actually it’s a race that nobody won, because it was so dangerous,” Marquez said. “It was difficult to know what the right strategy would be, but starting off with the wet tyres, later going to the slicks was the right choice,” he said.
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