Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Assen: where stuff happens is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Assen: where stuff happens

MotoGP’s most historic venue has a habit of dramatically affecting the title chase, but never more so than in 1992

The Dutch TT (it’s the only non-Manx motorcycle race licenced to use the Tourist Trophy moniker) has a long habit of throwing a spanner in the works of ambitious racers.

Just ask reigning MotoGP champ Jorge Lorenzo. Assen helped derail both his previous title defences – in 2011 he was taken out by Marco Simoncelli and in 2013 he fell in practice and broke a collarbone. Hopefully he’s not the superstitious kind who believes that bad luck comes in threes.

Valentino Rossi has also known Assen’s cruelty. In 2006 he fell during practice and broke a wrist and an ankle. It was the beginning of the end for his hopes for a sixth consecutive title.

There are plenty more tales of cruel luck at the Circuit van Drenthe (to give the track its official name), but none more so than the story of what happened at Assen in June 1992, when the Dutch TT turned into some kind of surreal MotoGP disaster movie. And then something happened at the end of the weekend that signalled the start of a transformation of the GP landscape.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


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... that came from Assen 92 was that Dorna/Clinica Mobile / et al took the medical matters into their own hands and completely changed how they managed injured riders.  Thought I heard that somewhere, previous to that they just got taken to whatever local abatoir was handy, whereas afterward Clinica Mobile took overall responsibility and sourced proper local care or evacuated them to somewhere good.  I do definitely recall reading that Costa had to actually forcibly remove Doohan and Schwantz from that Dutch chop-shop himself before they could do any more damage.  The medical side of racing would make for an interesting investigative piece during the off season.

  The ascendency of European riders in the premier class was indeed remarkable, but probably nothing has had a greater effect on racing than the way riders can be mended so incredibly quickly these days.

It's amazing to think that Doohan would almost certainly have had 7 championships on the trot if not for the poor medical attention he received (pity the poor locals!).

I have read an interview of Dr Costa where he mentioned the exit/abduction from the Dutch hospital, i think it was in an english magazine propably Motorcycle racer