Jake Dixon secured a long-awaited first Moto2 race win at Assen after chasing down and passing Ai Ogura in the closing stages of the Dutch TT.
The GasGas rider had work to do off the start after dropping from second on the grid to third behind Ogura, the Brit electing to save his rubber in the early laps as the duo tried to close down pole-man and early leader Alonso Lopez.
The Speed Up racer soon began to struggle to match his pursuers performance though and fell back into the clutches of the pair, as well as KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta who had managed to dispatch several riders en-route to fourth in the opening few circulations.
Now hurried on by the approaching Spaniard, Dixon managed to make his way past Ogura just past a thirds-distance before quickly arriving on the rear of Lopez – Dixon subsequently taking the leadership at Turn 1 just after half-distance.
Keen not to let him escape, Ogura and Acosta soon followed through on Lopez to make it a three-way battle for the lead – though Dixon dropped to the back of the trio with a costly mistake at Turn 5.
His recovery started with a pass on Acosta after he very nearly lost the front at the final bend, before then being faced with a one second gap to make up to Ogura up ahead with just over half-a-dozen laps left to run.
Dixon got to work though and posted several consecutive fastest laps as he flew towards the leader, leaving him just two-tenths behind the Honda Team Asia pilot with a couple laps remaining.
He then managed to take profit of a better exit from the final corner to move into the lead at Turn 1 – albeit with a bit of contact that forced Ogura wide – to escape to a 1.3 second victory by the time he took the chequered flag for his first ever intermediate class success.
Ogura held onto second for his first rostrum of the year, while Acosta fended off Fermin Aldeguer for the final podium placing.
The Spaniard dropped out of the victory conversation after receiving a long-lap penalty for his earlier final chicane transgression, Aldeguer getting another bite of the cherry having also received a long-lap for the same mistake.
The Speed Up racer pushed hard to snatch away third on the final lap but ultimately came up short in fourth just ahead of Pons’ Aron Canet, who charged towards the podium tussle in the closing stages.
Lopez ended up fading to sixth just ahead of Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino – who sees his points advantage reduced to just eight over Acosta heading into the summer break – with Manuel Gonzalez claiming eighth.
Albert Arenas ran well in the top five early on before later slipping back to ninth, while Celestino Vietti rounded off the top ten on his Fantic VR46 entry.
Sam Lowes had a tough race en-route to 11th on the sister Marc VDS machine, while Sergio Garcia salvaged points for 13th despite having to take a double long-lap in the early goings.