It was indeed a bonkers Dutch Grand Prix in the 2018 MotoGP season last weekend which not only caught the fans by surprise but even the riders who said it was down to the wind direction helping with overtaking.
The officials had revealed that there were 175 overtaking moves completed in the 26-lap MotoGP race at Assen which was eventually won by Honda’s Marc Marquez from Suzuki’s Alex Rins by over two seconds after a late charge from Marquez.
When asked as to what resulted in such a thrilling race which had five lead changes and as many as eight riders in contention, the leading group of riders pinned it on the wind direction for them to be able to stay within touch of each other.
“The conditions, [then] the condition of the race track and [also] of the weather, especially the wind,” claimed Marquez. “I mean before the race I was speaking with the team and on paper I had better pace than everybody.
“But then I saw [in the race], it would [have] be difficult to open a gap because when you are behind somebody on this track plus the wind that was very strong, then it was easier. I mean in all the fast corners you have like gas and same speed.
“It was difficult to open a gap and then [at one point] Jorge Lorenzo was leading the race [and then someone else] – [so] for me the main reason was the wind.” Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales said he started to lose control of his M1 due to the wind when he was in lead.
“When you have some riders in the front, it is easier to make the laptime and the strong wind helped a lot because [in the MotoGP race] when you were behind,” he said. “It was much easier [as well].
“[Because] as soon as I [got] in the front, I started to go wide everywhere [on the race track in the corners] and the bike moved a lot [too], so the wind helped a lot [for] all the group [to] stay together.”