Yamaha Factory Racing arrives in the Netherlands this week for the historic TT at the Assen circuit. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo arrives having won the last two consecutive races in Mugello and Catalunya and looking for a third victory as he closes in on Championship leader Dani Pedrosa.
The Dutch circuit is a favorite of his having taken a 125cc victory in 2004, 250cc wins in 2006 and 2007 and a premier class win in 2010.
Valentino Rossi arrives in the Netherlands for the Dutch TT in confident mood and keen to take advantage of positive results taken from the two days of recent testing in Barcelona and Aragon. With improved braking stability into corners and general set up Rossi is confident at making a step forward in the quick fire qualifying heat on Friday to challenge for the front of the grid. The nine-time champion can also claim wins in all three classes with a 125cc victory in 1997, a 250cc victory in 1998 and an incredible five premier class victories in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
The historic Dutch ‘Tourist Trophy’ race has been run since 1925, originally on the roads around Assen before being moved closer to a road racing circuit in 1955. The track experience a major re-design in 2006 however the finish line remains the original and is unchanged in position. The YZR-M1s of Lorenzo and Rossi will need to be set up to optimize performance on the ‘Cathedral’s’ fast sweeping corners.
Well, I’m quite happy after winning at Mugello and also Montmeló, two important victories for both me and the team for the Championship. We were in a very good shape these last two races and I feel stronger than ever and really hungry to win. I think in the last two races we made a quite big step on the bike to get the consistency on race pace. Assen has been my favorite track forever. I love the circuit, historic, quick and very flowing, but also I love the landscape, the ambience and I have always liked the country. I am very motivated to go there and try to keep this line of winning, even more after our good test at Barcelona and Aragon, when we achieved some improvements for the future.”
“I am very happy about the test in Aragon and I'm looking forward to going to Assen. The settings that we tested were positive and now I feel more feeling with the bike, especially when braking. For me it is an important step and I really want to try the new set-up in another track. I hope that this improvement will help me also to get a better starting position as it is so important to make the best qualification possible. Assen is a great track, I love it and it brings to mind a lot of good memories. We'll try to leave this good feeling with the track and the bike to improve our results”.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.