Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Carries Title Chase Forward to the Cathedral
After a perfect one-two in Catalunya two weeks ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team heads to TT Circuit Assen for the eighth round of the MotoGP championship held this Saturday.
After a brilliant weekend in Catalunya a fortnight ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team arrives in the Netherlands for the prestigious TT Assen.
The team is in high spirits after Jorge Lorenzo continued his dominating form in Montmeló and claimed his fourth victory in a row, signing off the weekend by breaking the record for the amount of consecutive laps led by a racer.
Teammate Valentino Rossi also gave a stunning performance, having started from seventh on the grid, and rode to a well-deserved second place. He is keen on another chance to extend his championship lead at the TT Assen this Saturday.
The Doctor's main goal is to cross the finish line ahead of his teammate and will be a force to be reckoned with. He holds a very impressive track record at what is considered to be "the cathedral" of motorcycling, having claimed six wins in the premier class on Dutch soil (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013) as well as a 250cc (1998) and a 125cc class victory (1997).
Lorenzo has also enjoyed numerous successes at the TT circuit. He has won at this circuit four times in total; securing a 125cc win in 2004, 250cc wins in 2006 and 2007 and a MotoGP win in 2010. The Dutch track is listed as one of his favorites, despite him not being a fan of its unpredictable climate.
He aims to close the one point gap to his teammate and take over the lead in the championship. The previous four rounds have been proof that Lorenzo and his YZR-M1 are in top shape and the Spaniard is eager to continue his winning streak this weekend and claim his fifth victory in a row.
The TT Assen is a special event for all motorcycle enthusiasts. The circuit was especially built for the Dutch GP and is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. The current Assen track counts 4.555 meters and its narrow tarmac, rapid change in directions and mixture of high-speed and low-speed corners make it a favorite amongst riders and the thousands of fans who are drawn to this prestigious event. They will assemble on grass banks and grandstands surrounding the circuit, creating a great atmosphere that makes this race a 'must be at' event.
Championship: 1st, 138 points
"Assen will be another very intense weekend. After seven races the difference between me and Jorge is just one point and to keep the first place I have to finish in front of him. It won't be easy because Jorge is in a great shape, but so am I. I'm very happy about the last race in Barcelona, the victory was very close. Jorge's and my potential are very similar. I like Assen, it's a nice circuit. I did some good races there in the past and usually our bike is working really well, so it will be another important race. I'm sure our rivals will do everything they can to fight for the victory and we have to keep our eyes out for them. First we must improve our qualifying and we will work on making a better start to the race in Assen."
Championship: 2nd, 137 points
"Assen is maybe one of my two or three favorite tracks. I have good feelings there and also a few bad memories. Overall it's a place I love to race at. First of all because it is a track especially designed for motorbikes so the layout is amazing. The circuit is so fast and I love some of the high-speed corners there. I arrive in a very good shape after achieving four wins in a row and I look forward to racing in Assen! The last race in Barcelona was very tight at the end and Vale showed that he is also in a great shape. The bike is performing really well and I think Assen will suit us perfectly, but you never know. The forecast in Holland is always unpredictable so we need to wait and see if it's going to rain as usual or not."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Assen is a really difficult track but both our riders like it and it suits the bike very well. We are looking forward to starting the first free practice session with the intention to continue the positive trend we have experienced over the last four rounds, especially after Barcelona and the very positive Aragon test. In Assen you never know what the weather is going to be like, it's very unpredictable, but we will try to be ready, whatever the circumstances will be."
Tech3 pair ready to hit Cathedral of speed at full power
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro head to the legendary Assen circuit this week for round 8 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship optimistic of clinching success. The venue, which has a deep history, is the only event on the MotoGP race calendar to have held a Grand Prix every year since it's creation in 1949. In terms of layout, the narrow 4.5 kilometre circuit features many rapid corners and the Geert Timmer chicane always provides an exiting close to the lap for the thousands of ecstatic fans who flock to the track to witness the action.
Bradley Smith will be aiming to follow up his two consistent 5th place finishes at Catalunya and Mugello with another notable result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the Motul TT Assen. The young British rider, who concluded the rain affected post Catalunya GP test at the head of the pack, will take the positives from Spain as he intends to meet the chequered flag inside the top six in Saturday's race. Meanwhile Pol Espargaro is fully confident of jumping straight back to a high scoring position at Assen after luck went against him at his home Grand Prix in Catalunya. The young Spaniard, who won from pole position in his title winning year of 2013 in the Moto2 class, will look to battle as closely as possible with the factory MotoGP bikes and complete the eighth round with a strong result.
Championship: 6th, 68 points
"The Motul TT Assen is a race that we all look forward to due to the track itself and also because of the festival atmosphere of the crowd who are always so excited about the MotoGP paddock coming to their country! The first half of the circuit is quite slow, but the second is much faster so it really is a mix of two halves and a good challenge for the riders. Plus, it has a very short straight, which means that we don't get much of a break during this race. I've ridden to two podiums in the lower classes here, so I will be going all out for another top result in order to continue my form this season. At the post race Catalunya test we found some useful settings that should certainly aid us, so we will put these to use and get on the pace as soon as practice begins on Thursday. It will be vital to have a strong free practice run so that we can get into Q2 and then do our best in the race, which I am pumped for!"
Championship: 9th, 45 points
"I'm really looking forward to attacking the cathedral of speed on my Yamaha and I fully intend to close the weekend with a notable result. After my home Grand Prix, which didn't go to plan, I am more determined than ever to finish as close as possible to the factory bikes, especially as I've had some good results here in the previous years. Unfortunately, the test on Monday after the Catalunya race was disrupted by the weather, but nevertheless, we have a few settings that we must try at Assen so it's important that we make the most of the available track time in order to be ready for the race. It rained last year right before the start of the GP, therefore we must be aware that this could happen again. Yet, I am much more confident about riding in the wet this year, so if it happens, I'll be ready. Rain or sunshine, I'm going to give it my best and my intention is to battle with teammate to the finish line so the Dutch fans can watch a great fight on the track!"
Going to Assen for the eighth round of the season
After the test on the Barcelona circuit, it's time to get back on track for the riders of the Athinà Forward Racing team who this week will be competing in the eighth race of the 2015 season at the historic Assen TT Circuit. The riders of the Swiss team will get back on their bikes on Thursday to repeat the positive results obtained in Catalunya almost two weeks ago.
In MotoGP, Stefan Bradl, who scored his first Open win in Barcelona, is motivated to lead the pack again with the goal of reaching the points and close the gap in the standings to his rivals. Loris Baz is looking forward to get back on his Yamaha Forward, he is currently second in the Open class only behind Barbera. The Frenchman is well suited for the characteristics of the Dutch track and is convinced he can do well.
As usual, the race at the historic Assen circuit will be on Saturday instead of Sunday.
Championship: 16th, 13 points
"It was not an easy race in Barcelona, nevertheless I ended up 13th overall. I picked up three important points in Catalunya and I am very close to the leader of the class. Assen is a track that I like and that I think suits the Yamaha Forward well. In Superbike I always went well here, I hope to repeat myself in MotoGP."
Championship: 19th, 9 points
"I'm very motivated to go to Assen. In Barcelona I had a really good race, not only did I win in the Open class, but I also hit the Top10 managing to fight throughout the race with the factory riders. It will be important to continue in this direction at Assen with the aim of getting more points and get closer to the head of the Open standings."