What a weekend it turned out to be for young 17 year old Moto3 rider, Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who not only had his contracted extended with his Moto3 team which keeps him in the 250cc class until 2018, he only went and won the Motul TT Assen Moto3 round too.
Dramatic race saw 11 fighting for the podium
In what proved to be yet another dramatic race in the 250cc class, Canet was the first of a line of nine riders who crossed the line in one second in a nail-biting finish. It would have been 11 crossing the line within that time had Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) not crashed out with corners to go, and had local rider Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) not crashed after coming into contact with another rider, and fell before the flag; he was not awarded the position as he was not in contact with his bike when it passed the line.
Great race from young winner Canet
Canet was one of many riders who worked hard to place themselves at the front of the pack throughout the 24 lap race. After starting from sixth on the grid, the Spaniard worked his way forward on several occasions but made mistakes that saw him go to the back of the large group of 11 at one point, and have to battle his way back.
Fenati second from 15th on the grid
Second place in Assen was Italian rider, Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) who collected a second podium on the bounce. Another strong contender he also found himself fighting off others who wanted his lead but in the end had to settle for second place after starting from way down on the grid in 15th.
McPhee completes podium after starting from down in 19th
Just that little bit more impressive however was John McPhee who finished his debut race in Assen with the British Talent team from 19th on the grid after a tough Qualifying in the wet. Making it into the three top Hondas that crossed the line out of the five that did, he was 0.117 seconds after Canet with a magnificent ride that saw him first pursue the lead group and then work his way through them to finish on the podium.
No champagne for the race winner
Unfortunately for Canet, his age meant that although he won, he was unable to participate in the champagne celebrations on the podium. Still, he stood there beaming with his achievements. His win means he is second in the championship on 110 points, 30 behind championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing).
Claiming that Assen has always been one of his “favourites” Canet was made up to finally be able to “finish that feeling with a victory” after what he described as being “the best race of [his] life”. He found that “at first [he] was a little behind” as was McPhee, and then he was “able to reach the first group” and then able to follow his “strategy from start to finish”.
Race win more significant to Canet
He felt he ran well on the last lap, and although Fenati had “advanced” on him, he “followed his slipstream” and was able to “overtake him again in the last chicane and win”. He highlighted that in Jerez he “achieved the 100th victory in GP out of the Valencian pilots” and that in Assen it was win number 44 “of the Spanish pilots in a legendary layout like Assen”; he also highlighted that that matched his race number.
He went on to thank his team “for their hard work over the weekend” as he felt that “everything seemed very complicated” but together he felt they “gave their bet to finish with celebrating the victory”.
Fenati tough on himself despite great result
Fenati, who was old enough to celebrate with a bottle of champagne described the eighth round of the season as a “fantastic race” and was happy to collect his “first podium [here] in Assen”. He explained how in the last laps they “battled without sparing”. He explained how “eventually McPhee, Canet and Mir bolted bothered before the long straight” and that left him “the best free trajectory”.
It was from there that he “tried to get in front”. He knew that he “did not have to go out from first from the last curve” but he thought he “had enough of a margin to try”. However, he “did not take into account the opposite wind” and although there was a “bit of distance, thanks to the wake, Canet managed to overcome”. He said, “Well, I tried!”
He still left Assen feeling “very happy” especially that they have picked up important points on Mir”. The Italian is third in the championship on 108 points, 32 behind leader, Mir and just two behind Assen race winner, Canet. He now looks forward to Sachsenring.
Fantastic comeback for McPhee
McPhee’s incredible comeback at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ means he is fifth in the championship on 83 points, six behind pole position man, Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) on 89. It was a tough weekend for the Scot who crashed out on several occasions throughout the weekend.
McPhee explained how “after the weekend [they’d] had” that he was left feeling “absolutely delighted to be on the podium”. He was “so happy” for himself and the team to “pull this result out after such a tough weekend.”
He described the race as being “great fun” and mentioned how “starting from nineteenth was quite difficult” however they found that they “had the rhythm and the pace” and so they “kept chipping away”.
He spoke of how he “realised” that he was “catching the second group” and that the “second group were catching the leaders”, So, he explained how he “kept on fighting away” and found that with approximately five laps to go, that he “could even win the race"; he felt that they “had a real good chance”.
He then described how they “timed everything perfectly going into the last lap in turn nine and 10”. This is when he mentioned how he “tried to pass Canet” and then both “Canet and Mir ran wide”. Still he felt said that “to claim the last step on the podium” left him feeling “really happy”.