Tag Archives: Assen

A massive rivalry is growing between Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies

Jonathan Rea is dominating the 2017 World Superbike Championship but his results don’t tell the full story. There have been 8 races this year and in 5 of them Rea has fought wheel-to-wheel against Chaz Davies in the final laps. The entertaining rivalry between the two riders is starting to get nasty and tensions boiled over at Assen last weekend.

As per the summary below, the large 84 point gap between Rea and Davies in the championship doesn’t reflect how close their battle has really been. The winning margin in the first two races of 2017 was just a few hundredths of a second!

  • Race 1 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by just 0.04 seconds.
  • Race 2 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by just 0.02 seconds.
  • Race 3 : Rea wins. Davies 2nd place by 6 seconds.
  • Race 4 : Rea wins. Davies crashes whilst fighting for the lead.
  • Race 5 : Rea wins. Davies crashes from the lead near the finish.
  • Race 6 : Davies wins. Rea 2nd place by just 0.4 seconds.
  • Race 7 : Rea wins. Davies breaks down whilst fighting for the lead at the finish.
  • Race 8 : Rea wins. Davies 3rd place.

Davies has only taken one victory but has been in contention for six. He sits third in the championship right now but will seemingly be Rea’s closest challenger for the 2017 title. Chaz will be well aware that it’s gradually slipping out of reach.

An incident during qualifying at Assen has added plenty of heat into the rivalry. Davies was held up by Rea on his hot lap and proceeded to physically remonstrate on the track. That was very surprising. The two continued the argument in parc-ferme afterwards and both moments are captured in the videos below.

In a 1400 word statement published after the weekend (and not in the heat of the moment) Davies made his feelings very clear. He suggested that Rea had been waiting for the opportunity to baulk him and “took it way too far”. Davies, who never referred to Rea by name, said “#65 was looking over his shoulder with intent from early in his in lap … it was clear for all of us to see. #65 knew I was coming and endangered both of us with his underhand games. Of course he will deny this, but the facts, video and Race Direction penalty prove otherwise.”

For his part, Rea said the incident was completely unintentional and Davies had no business “punching” him on track. Rea also explained that he was trying to diffuse the situation afterwards. He could probably try harder next time by being less defensive, but he did offer a hand of apology. In his personal column for Motorcycle News, Rea said “I prefer to keep my opinions about Chaz to myself” so there is clearly bad blood on both sides.

The top two riders in the championship are consistently fighting each other in last-lap thrillers and now there is plenty of personal aggro between them as well. It’s compelling to watch.

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MotoGP: Jack Miller would’ve enjoyed beating Marc Marquez

Aussie Jack Miller has scored his first MotoGP victory and would’ve taken extra delight at overtaking Marc Marquez for the win. In 2014, Miller was caught in a bitter Moto3 rivalry with Marc’s younger brother, Alex, and said “the Marquez family, they like to think that they are the bosses and they try to make you their, um I won’t say it, lower companion… we’ll try to take the fight to them”.

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MotoGP: A controversial skirmish has taken the Rossi-Marquez rivalry to a new level

This incident has caused plenty of debate over the last few days so have a go playing the role of race steward and judge for yourself.

Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez came together on the last corner of the Dutch MotoGP during their spectacular fight for victory. Rossi skated across the gravel and won the race but Marquez believes Valentino should’ve been penalised for cutting the corner.

Here’s what both riders had to say.

Marc Marquez: “I feel that we won the race. I don’t think anybody wanted the contact but I think what I did was the perfect last chicane. When we had the contact we were already in the same position. I was not back. I think he already saw me. What I know is I did the correct way because I didn’t go outside the track.”

Valentino Rossi: “Maybe it’s better that we see the images another time as everybody has his own idea. My idea is that I was completely in front. I braked hard, I stayed in the centre, and I was already into the first part when he came onto me. I just saw the tyre and he touched me on the elbow. I wanted to make the chicane and I was on the line. Unfortunately his touch put me on the outside and I didn’t have a chance to stay on the line. When I went into the gravel my first reaction was to open the throttle because I didn’t know if it was deep. I was lucky to control the bike. This is my version. We know his version.”

Race stewards took no action because they deemed the clash to be a racing incident but plenty of observers (including Marquez) have questioned what they might’ve done if Valentino Rossi wasn’t the beneficiary. Did Rossi gain an unfair advantage, or was he the victim of a desperate lunge from Marquez? Either way, this epic rivalry has escalated another notch.

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Moto3: This is one of the strangest finishes to a motorcycle race that you’re ever likely to see

Niklas Ajo came off his bike at the final corner of the Dutch ‪‎Moto3‬ Grand Prix and, not only did he manage to avoid the wall, he ended up reaching the chequered flag on his knees. Nice work!

Ajo’s heroics have made it onto every sports highlights show over the last few days, but what makes his side-saddle moment even more remarkable is that he has actually done it before. Check out the below clip for an earlier episode of the Niklas Ajo stunt show.

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