The stage for motorcycle racing doesn’t get bigger, more prestigious or more revered than the TT Circuit Assen and CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP played their part in round eleven of 2022 MotoGP for the Motul TT Assen as Xavier Artigas rode to Moto3 glory with a top five finish.
Newsworthy take-aways from the TT Circuit Assen:
-Artigas gets back up to podium pace with 5th after qualifying in 9th position
-Tatay, restricted by penalties, takes 14th watched by a full capacity circuit
-Another special ‘first’ for CFMOTO as the brand debuts around the historic and spectacularly flowing TT Circuit Assen; one of the oldest and most appealing racetracks in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
-MotoGP now enters a five-week summer break but returns at fantastic speed with visits to some of the quickest circuits on the calendar – Silverstone in the UK and Red Bull Ring in Austria – on the schedule for August
The TT Circuit Assen is fast approaching a 75th anniversary of hosting FIM Grand Prix events. Only the recent pandemic stopped the quick, flat course in the northern region of the Netherlands from being the sole venue to have entertained the world championship every year since the inception of the series in 1949. 2020 is an empty slot in the story of the track but Assen returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2021 and welcomed the 73rd Grand Prix last weekend, as a full complement of fans also travelled to one of the many ‘unmissable’ fixtures in MotoGP.
The Dutch weather was notoriously fickle for the eleventh round of the 2022 campaign and CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP had to negotiate wet and damp conditions for the first Moto3 Free practice sessions on Friday. Despite the trickiness of the grip, Carlos Tatay and Xavi Artigas were both hovering around the top ten. On combined times Tatay ended the day in 6th place and just half a second from the best lap-time.
Saturday was dry and humid and Artigas was the protagonist on his #43 CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP machine as he blasted to 9th in Q2 qualification for the final spot on the third row of the start grid. Tatay refined the set-up of his bike to gain more speed and also work hard on the demanding braking and turning points of the Assen trajectory but couldn’t qualify higher than 23rd.
Come Sunday and Moto3 had to plough their way through 22 laps (just under 100km or 62 miles) of the 4.5km layout, featuring 18 corners, even though some of those were nothing more than super-fast kinks. A leading group of nine racers were the main protagonists at the front and Artigas was part of the fray. The thrusts and parries went down to the final circulation and Artigas managed 5th at the chequered flag – just over half a second from the winner - which equals his best result of 2022. Tatay, having to complete a double Long Lap penalty for his part in the first corner crash in Germany last week, was banished to the back of the field but pushed all the way to score 2 points for 14th.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP continue to help their riders build up Moto3 Grand Prix points and Tatay is 9th in the standings while Artigas is 10th. CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP are 6th from the grand total of fifteen in the Teams championship.
The rush around the TT Circuit Assen brought the first busy half of the MotoGP agenda to a close. The cancellation of the inaugural Finnish Grand Prix at Kymiring means that the series can breathe, recover, test and look towards the second phase of the competition that will consist of trips to: UK, Austria, Italy, Spain, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia.
Xavi Artigas: “I’m happy with the race because the pace was really fast, all the laps were in the 1min 41s. I’m also happy because we worked hard with the team to improve my feeling with the bike and we made some good progress. We are developing it well. We will not stop working and will be even more ready after the summer break.”
Carlos Tatay: “Today was tough because of the double Long Lap and the starting position so I just pushed to my maximum. We had a few issues yesterday but we managed to sort them for the race and I was able to be really consistent with my pace, which was similar to the leaders. So, I’m not happy but at least we saw again that we have the speed. I need to work better in qualifying. Now it is time to take a small break, reset our minds and return stronger for Silverstone.”
Results Moto3 Motul TT Assen
1. Ayumu Sasaki, (JPN), Husqvarna 37:28.371
2. Izan Guevara, (ESP), GASGAS +0.314
3. Sergio Garcia, (ESP), GASGAS +0.392
4. Tatsuki Suzuki, (JPN), Honda +0.399
5. Xavier Artigas (ESP), CFMOTO +0.661
14. Carlos Tatay (ESP), CFMOTO +17.903