With its long racing history, the stage for hosting a motorcycle world championship race could hardly be bigger and more honorable than in the “Cathedral of Snelheid” in Assen, scene of the 11th round of the MotoGP™ 2022.
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.
On Sunday the Moto3™ had to plough their way through 22 laps 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.
#43 Xavier Artigas I P05
“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.”
#99 Carlos Tatay I P14
“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
Pictures by ©  RLekl