After yet another thrilling race in Catalunya a fortnight ago the team Movistar Yamaha MotoGP arrive in Assen. The last round saw Valentino Rossi fight a hard battle for a well-deserved second place and Jorge Lorenzo displayed his trademark ‘Por Fuera’ pass for the delighted Spanish crowd. Both riders are keen on another chance to show their fighting spirit at the TT Assen this Saturday.
Rossi looks forward to continuing his battles during the eighth round of the championship staged at one of his most successful circuits. The Italian, who currently holds second place in the championship standings, has won at the TT Circuit Assen a total of eight times, six of these victories being in the MotoGP class.
Teammate Lorenzo also has a good track record at the TT circuit, which is considered to be "the cathedral" of motorcycling. The Spaniard has won at this circuit four times in total across all MotoGP Championship classes (125cc, 250cc and MotoGP). Lorenzo will try to push this total up to five with some help of the small set up changes made during the post-Catalunya IRTA Test and subsequent private Aragon test to improve the acceleration and the stability of his bike.
The TT-Assen is a special event as it is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. The original circuit was over 6km and a favourite among riders, but track modifications over the winter of 2005/6 caused the length of the track to be cut down. The current Assen track is 4,542 meters long, but the circuit managed to keep its character thanks to its narrow tarmac, rapid change in directions, and its mixture of high-speed and low-speed corners. The TT-circuit is surrounded by grass banks and grandstands filled with thousands of supporters who are drawn to this prestigious event.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is feeling confident for 8th round. Pol Espargaro aims to hunt down the leading factory bikes during his first visit to Assen on a MotoGP bike. Teammate Bradley Smith had a very positive test after the Catalunya Grand Prix. The British rider finished the practice session in second position, giving him extra motivation for this weekend.
NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro arrives after a strong performance at the home GP. The Spaniard is determined to get a good result at the Dutch track, which is one of his favorite circuits. Teammate Colin Edwards also looks forward to racing at the TT Circuit again, where he previously finished on the podium in 2005 (Superbike) and 2008 (MotoGP).
"Assen is a great track and a good track for Yamaha. The weather will be very important here. You never know if it will be hot or cold or dry or wet. Last year's race was unforgettable but honestly this year I feel I am strong almost everywhere so we have to try hard to beat the competition."
"After a bit of a disappointing weekend in Barcelona where I gave my best even when some circumstances didn’t help us, we travel to Holland with plenty of optimism. In Barcelona we struggled a bit with the acceleration, especially in the last part of the track where we used to be so strong in the past. This year that issue didn’t allow me to fight in front for the victory. Afterwards during two test days we found some solutions to solve that problem and we tested new things to try to cut off the distance with our main rivals. I look forward to racing in Assen, it’s maybe my favorite circuit. It’s a nice layout defined by some quick corners and a short straight that looks good for us, and especially for the Yamaha. In recent years I couldn’t got so many good results but instead I always could find a good set up and ride in my best way. Last season I finished fifth after a surgery on my collarbone and I suffered a lot but finally I could conclude a very special race. Anyway, looking into the future it is the best opportunity to do my best and try to get my first win. We will see!"
"I am looking forward to getting the racing underway at this special circuit in the Netherlands this week. We had a really positive test day after the Catalunya Grand Prix which has given me a further confidence boost ahead of this round and for sure I am very keen to see the results of our experiments at the test in action. Last year the Dutch TT was a really strong event for me where I won the Moto2 race from pole position and although it may be hard to emulate that this year, I still aim to get close to the leading riders. Realistically, I am targeting to be in the top 5 again as I know this is fully achievable and even though the weather can be a bit tricky, I am ready to race in Assen."
"It’s safe to say that the past five rounds really haven’t been how I would have imagined them. My lack of luck in the past races has made things challenging but after the truly productive test, I am certain my fortunes will turn around this week in Assen. I‘ve ridden well here in the past having collected a podium in the 125cc class as well as in Moto2 during my first year aboard the Tech3 Racing Moto2 bike. Moreover the track certainly suits the style of the Yamaha, which I aim to utilize fully to ensure that we have a positive weekend especially in front of the Dutch and English fans who are brilliant and truly love our sport coming to their country."
"I'm looking forward to going to Assen, it’s my favorite track after Barcelona. I love the circuit, quick and very flowing, but also I love the ambience. I am very motivated to go there and try to confirm another strong performance. In Barcelona we had a very good pace and I’m confident that we can do even better at Assen."
"Assen is a great track, I love it and it brings to mind a lot of good memories both in World Superbike and in MotoGP. We had a good test at Barcelona, I was more comfortable on the bike and I look forward to confirm this feeling next Saturday."