Opinion: Hernandez has reason to be proud of Assen ride, despite bad luck

Yonny Hernandez, the independent Ducati rider, was at one point leading the Assen MotoGP, and extending his lead, on a two year old machine in the pouring down rain. Despite luck not being on his side he achieved what some of the 'greatest' where unable to.

Opinion: Hernandez has reason to be proud of Assen ride, despite bad luck
Hernandez crashing out during the race at TT Circuit Assen - Getty Images

Yonny Hernandez, the poor fellow. All eyes were on him weeks ago for the Argentinian round; he was present at the pre-race press conference as this was considered to be like his home GP.  Again he would have well-deservedly been the talk of the MotoGP paddock, and he would have certainly deserved it, if he had just calmed down a little.

Hernandez shone in the rain

Who would have thought the Aspar Team MotoGP rider would have been contending for a podium on his two year old Ducati, never mind leading the race! That is what rain does, it makes everything equal between factory and independent team riders and makes exposes the skill these riders have. It lashed it down, and where most riders would take it easy, Hernandez didn’t! In fact he pushed harder, overtook champions and factory riders to not only become the leading independent rider, but the leader of the MotoGP. He then even went on to extend his lead even further and the soft rear tyre plus his determination seemed to be what was giving him the advantage, that is when it all went wrong!

Hernandez had just come down the start-finish straight to end lap nine and begin lap one, but then at turn one the front tucked under and he was thrown into the gravel. It was despairing to see it go wrong for an ‘underdog’ like that. He got the bike going again and returned to the pits where he was able to switch bikes. Usually riders are unable to do this in these conditions unless they had changed tyres but there was no way he could return to the track on anything but the same soft compound full wet Michelin tyres.

His luck went from bad to worse

He returned to the track where he tried to earn back the points that had just gone from his grasp. But unfortunately his bad luck continued and the overzealous Ducati rider came off again with twelve laps remaining. That was it for Hernandez, it was race over. The rain storm that helped him to gain his lead had become so heavy that the race had to be red-flagged. As he had just crashed prior to the red-flag Hernandez was not able to participate in the race when it restarted after a long delay.

Hernandez said, “I felt sure I could win the race!” Despite looking like he was pushing harder than anyone else he claimed, “I didn’t feel like I was on the limit and thought I had everything under control.” As Hernandez entered turn one on lap ten he said that he “felt the front tuck a little” and despite his attempts to “try and save it on my knee” that unfortunately for the independent rider it “wasn’t to be”.

The Ducati rider said that he and his team’s main objective for the race day at the Assen GP was just to “finish the race” and he was disappointed saying, “We didn’t manage it.” He said, “It was a great race for us up until that point”, a point we can do nothing but agree with. Despite the result he was “happy” to have “led nine laps of a MotoGP World Championship race”, and so he should be.