Dorna Press Release: Assen TT Moved To Sunday In 2016

Dorna have issued the following press release on the news that the Dutch round of MotoGP will be switching to Sunday from 2016:

From 2016 the TT Assen will be on Sunday

After carefully considering all the pros & cons, the TT Board has decided to move the race day from Saturday to Sunday, starting in 2016.

The TT Assen race day will be held on the last Sunday in June. This will have benefits for the future of the TT Racetrack, the preservation of the MotoGP and motorcycle racing in the Netherlands in general.

By changing to Sunday from 2016, it is expected that larger numbers of spectators will visit the track. In the current Dutch leisure pattern a top sporting event on a Sunday is more attractive than on a Saturday. On Sundays there is also more media exposure for these top sporting events, which is something the TT Assen will definitely benefit from. This has also proven to increase visitor numbers. By moving the training days to Friday and Saturday, the TT Assen becomes more attractive for a multi-day visit and therefore also for the purchase of all-in tickets.

The decision to move the race to Sunday was made out of sheer necessity. The number of motorcycle Grands Prix around the world is limited, and often there is more capital available elsewhere to obtain a MotoGP license. In this competitive environment, the TT Assen can only hold its own by increasing the number of visitors. With an increase in the number of visitors, the Board expects the turnover of the TT to increase by 5-10% in the medium-to-long term. This extra revenue will be used to continue to cover the increasing operational costs of the event and to secure the license in the long term, and to be able to guarantee financial cover for new investments in public facilities.

Moving the TT to Sunday is a better fit with the pattern of other events in motor and motorcycle racing and with the spirit of the times. Nearly all top sporting events around the world take place on a Sunday. They will be maintaining the tradition of the last weekend in June, so the move from the Saturday to the Sunday could be seen as an old tradition with a modern twist.

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The first time I traveled to Assen, I missed the race entirely due to this anomaly.
I rode to Amsterdam and hooked up with an Australian girl whom I'd known in London. Slept late Saturday morning, had lunch, and then we started planning our trip to the track the next day, before somebody in the house mentioned the race had just finished.
Felt pretty foolish, but the Aussie was luke-warm about bike racing and didn't seem to mind. It was raining anyway - so went back to bed.
Never even saw the race on TV, but I do have some pleasant memories of the weekend - Amsterdam's a great city.

So you still got to have a ride! :-)

re the move to sunday,
So much for tradition and history. Do they mean so little to anyone these days ?

Back when GP racing started the Assen TT was on a Saturday to placate the devout Calvanists in the area. You must not work on the sabbath. It is still on a Saturday because it is a tradition. Presumably when SBK started religion wasn't as important so they were able to race on a Sunday.

As a visitor to Assen last year I think this is a great move. We found the track very empty on the Thursday compared to Friday at other races we've attended.