Marquez hunts eighth consecutive MotoGP win in Assen

Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team greets the fans during the MotoGP of Netherlands - Qualifying at TT circuit on June 27, 2014 in Assen, Netherlands.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Marc Marquez will be "very difficult" to beat as he chases an eighth consecutive race win in the Dutch TT at Assen, which will be shown on FOX Sports 1 at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday 28 June.

That’s the race eve confession six-time Assen winner Valentino Rossi, who says Marquez’s speed and precision gives him an edge from his front row starting spot.

Rossi and Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo have conceded the early advantage to Honda rival Marquez who is so far unbeaten in the 2014 MotoGP season.

A mixture of bad luck and not gambling enough in a rain-hit qualifying sees Rossi starting 12th on the fourth row with Lorenzo just three spots ahead in ninth.

Marquez, from second on the front row, will have a clear view as he hunts down an eighth consecutive race win.

If he wins the Dutch TT, Marquez will be within reach of the ten consecutive wins scored by Giacomo Agostini (1970) and Mick Doohan (1997).

Rossi puts high price on Assen victory

"Anything can happen but, for the victory, the biggest problem is Marquez because in the dry he has a very good pace," Rossi said.

"I am very close to Jorge on pace and also a bit faster than Dani Pedrosa and also Aleix Espargaro. 

"Jorge is starting on the third row so, like for me, it will be tricky at the beginning of the race, but with Marquez on the front row it will be difficult.

"If it rains, nobody knows what will happen, but in the wet it could be easier for me to recover from my start position."

Rossi had the pace in practice sessions to be a front row qualifier but a fluky rain shower destabilized his qualifying ambitions.

"Starting from the fourth row is a big shame because I was capable of fighting for the front row," Rossi said.

"I was fast in practice and was second behind Marquez and thought I could fight for a good place in qualifying but the rain arrived in the wrong moment," Rossi said.

Marquez, as ever the risk taker, dashed and splashed his way to second fastest time on his second flying lap.

Pedrosa will start third, on the outside of the front row and, as Rossi predicts, the Honda riders will set a challenging front-running pace that will be difficult to overcome.