We are past the mathematical midway mark of the 2022 MotoGP season, and we are on the brink of the de facto midway mark. This weekend's race at Assen is the last before the long summer break – longer than originally planned, and a welcome break for pretty much everyone in the paddock. "I'm not going to touch a motorbike for two weeks!" Remy Gardner told us.
At least we are going into the summer break on a high. The Dutch TT Circuit at Assen is still one of the greatest motorcycling circuits in the world, despite the trackectomy which happened in 2005 and the old North Loop was removed. The fast, sweeping section was removed to sell the land and buoy up the circuit's ailing finances, and replaced with a little crochet hook of tarmac. But the rest of the circuit remained, the Southern Loop as glorious as ever.
After braking for the first corner and sweeping through the sequence of right handers that take them through to the Strubben hairpin, the riders fire out of Strubben and down the Veenslang, the snaking straight which leads to the first fast right-left combination and prime over taking spot. Through the Ruskenhoek and onto the Stekkenwal, then another short, snaking straight down to De Bult. A fast left, and then onto one of the best sequences of turns on the MotoGP calendar.
A crescendo of corners