MotoGP Grand Prix of Netherlands 2018 Results: Marc Marquez Wins Classic Race

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

ASSEN, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 30:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team heads down a straight during the Qualifying practice during the MotoGP Netherlands - Qualifying on June 30, 2018 in Assen, Netherlands.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Honda's Marc Marquez made a huge statement in the race for the 2018 MotoGP title on Sunday, as he won a Grand Prix for the ages in the Netherlands.

In a race that saw numerous changes of the lead between some huge names, eventually it was the Honda man who clinched the victory with a late surge. Alex Rins produced a brilliant performance to finish second for Suzuki, whereas Yamaha's Maverick Vinales was third.

The result means that after leading the world championship by 27 points ahead of the showdown at Assen, Marquez's advantage to Valentino Rossi stands at 41 points.

Despite winning the previous two races, Jorge Lorenzo found himself down in 10th off the grid at the start of this one. He appeared intent on making up on lost time.

As noted by Fox Sports' Mark Gottlieb, the Spaniard scythed through the field in spectacular fashion and was suddenly in a recently familiar position:

Mark Gottlieb @MarkGottliebFOX

Ridiculously awesome start from Jorge Lorenzo in Assen. From 10th to 2nd by the first corner. Takes the race lead by the end of the first lap #MotoGP #AssenGP

While Lorenzo was able to take the lead, the chasing pack were in such close proximity, with Marquez, who started on pole, all over him like a rash. After the two exchanged positions a couple of times, the world champion found himself with Rossi on his toes.

As we can see here, as the Italian moved into second spot, you could toss a blanket over the top 10:

MotoGP™🇳🇱🏁 @MotoGP

And here comes @ValeYellow46 👊 He's through 2nd! What a battle! #DutchGP https://t.co/cDL4sxZKwF

But none of the early moves were sticking given how tight the race was, the result was some thrilling pieces of overtaking and even some contact between Rossi and Lorenzo. Thankfully for the pair, it wasn't enough to knock either off their bikes.

At the halfway point, there was still little to choose between the top six on track, but Lorenzo was still in front, ahead of compatriots Marquez and Rins.

The men in second and third actually came extremely close to taking each other out as Rins made a move on the Honda man, as this clip illustrates:

The MotoGP Memes account was loving the frenetic action in the Netherlands:

MotoGP Memes @MemesMotogp

Trying to keep up with the #DutchGP like.. #MotoGP https://t.co/e4Du6thPH3

The twists kept on coming. Andrea Dovizioso had made his way through the pack and produced some brilliant overtakes to move up into first place. As Rins fell back, a steady Marquez, a slowing Lorenzo and an improving Vinales were all in contention.

The latter of that quartet then had a turn at the front before Marquez restored some sense of order to proceedings, taking the lead of the race with six laps remaining and for the first time since the first lap.

Motorsport.com's Pablo Elizalde summed up what continued to be a race to remember:

Pablo Elizalde @EliGP

This MotoGP race is 25 last laps long.

After a temporary stint at the front for Rossi, Marquez was able to snatch back the lead with three laps remaining, with Vinales and Rins now providing the stiffest competition as they entered the final stages.

But finally a leader was able to get away from the chasing pack, as Marquez found the kind of form that's seen him pull clear in the race for the world championship this season, taking the chequered flag with some room to spare.

Further back, Rins was able to clinch Suzuki's best finish ever in MotoGP, pipping Vinales for second spot. Meanwhile, Rossi slipped back to fifth as the laps ticked down, meaning he has plenty of ground to make up on Marquez between now and the end of the season.