Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Anticipate Action in Assen
Following a productive test in Barcelona a little more than a week ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team look forward to an action-packed race at the Motul TT Assen round, where Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are keen to feature at the front of the pack.
After a challenging weekend in his home country but a positive two track days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Viñales is set on making his return to the podium this weekend. He is on a mission of extending his seven-point lead in the championship at a track that he feels suits both the bike and his riding style.
The young Spaniard has enjoyed strong results at the TT circuit in his six years of Grand Prix racing. He has won twice at this circuit and stood on the podium four times in total, securing a 125cc win in 2011, a Moto3 win and second place in 2012 and 2013, and a Moto2 second place in 2014. His best score in the MotoGP class was ninth place in a difficult race last year that was influenced by dramatic rainfall.
Last years downpour at the TT Circuit Assen spoiled Rossis challenge for the win, leaving the nine-time World Champion determined to make amends. He plans to make a strong comeback at the Dutch track, which he particularly likes, and hes got the results to back up his ambitions.
The Italian holds a very impressive record at the track that is often referred to as "the cathedral" of motorcycling, having claimed seven wins in the premier class on Dutch soil in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015, as well as victories in the 250cc (1998) and 125cc class (1997). He aims to add another top step finish to his résumé this weekend to close the 28-point gap to his teammate and move up from fifth place in the championship standings.
The TT Assen Circuit was especially built for the Dutch GP in 1949 and has staged a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since. The current Assen track measures 4.5km and is a favourite amongst riders thanks to its rapid change in directions, attractive mixture of high-speed and low-speed corners (six left and twelve right), and the enthusiasm of the thousands of fans drawn to this prestigious event.
Championship: 1st - Points: 111
TT Assen is a good circuit for the YZR-M1 and also for my riding style its quite good. I've been doing really good races there in the past. I like it and I always enjoy riding here. After the difficult race in Catalunya we arrive in Assen extra motivated because we really need to be on the podium and take as many points as possible. We cant afford to struggle in the next races, so for sure we will give our 100%.
Championship: 5th - Points: 83
Im happy to go to Assen, especially after the two days of testing we did in Barcelona following such a bad race. During the test we have tried some interesting solutions and now I want to try them at another track to see if were going in the right direction. The Netherlands is always a great weekend, because the Assen circuit is very nice. I hope to be competitive in Assen because I would like to make it a good race.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
After an important and useful test in Catalunya, we arrive in Assen. Though the weather conditions are usually quite mixed here, we are excited to get back out on track and apply our learnings. The week of rest between the Catalan and Dutch Grand Prix was well-deserved for both Maverick and Valentino, after the back-to-back races followed by the extra track days. It gave them an opportunity to recharge before taking on the challenge at one of the most fascinating circuits in history. They are both in a good shape and they both enjoy riding in Assen, so we're feeling confident that we can do well this weekend.
Fired Up Tech3 Duo Ready for Motul TT Assen Challenge
Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger seek to continue their jaw-dropping performances in their rookie MotoGP seasons by seizing two strong results at the legendary Cathedral of Speed this weekend. The rapid French star, Johann Zarco, hopes to fight for a podium in front of the passionate festival crowd. Whilst Jonas Folger intends to extend his 100% point scoring record in 2017 with another top tier placement this Sunday. The action gets underway at 09:55 on Friday the 23rd of June.
Championship: 6th - Points: 75
Assen is a really impressive circuit, but the weather can complicate matters because it often rains. However, I know that the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and I will adapt to any situation as best as we can. The Catalunya week, including the test, was a very good experience for me and I want to use the knowledge that we gained to have a more rewarding weekend in the Netherlands. I can use this information to manage the practice sessions more effectively so that I can qualify well and then have a stronger chance in the race to get another podium. This is the target and I am excited to get back on the bike and I must say that its always fantastic to ride the Yamaha YZR-M1.
Championship: 8th - Points: 51
Im sure that the Assen circuit is going to be positive for us because the track suits the Yamahas style and it is very meandering and flowing. However, I hope that the weather stays clear because, in Assen, its always a bit tricky and unpredictable with the rain. Nevertheless, the team and I want to continue in the same way that we did in Barcelona. We made a good step, which allowed us to improve and be consistent throughout the weekend. We did some great work there, so we fully intend to prove that we can do the same in the Netherlands to close the weekend with a strong result before we head to my home race.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
After a short but well deserved rest, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is ready to get back into racing mode for the second pair of back to back races. Assen is always a very special event but especially because our sponsor Motul is the title backer for this round. In addition, the Netherlands is a place where several key motorcycle manufacturers have their European headquarters and we have a lot of top staff coming from Yamaha Europe but also from Yamaha Motor Corporation Japan. Its an important weekend and there will be many significant meetings for some teams but fortunately for us, we have managed to secure Johann and Jonas for 2018, which we are extremely happy and proud about. Anyway, the short break was well deserved for everybody after the hectic Mugello and Catalunya races, and the Monday test in Barcelona. Furthermore, we had an event at the Tech3 workshop last week with Stanley Black & Decker and there will be some interesting videos online soon where everyone will see that we have fun whilst working! Regarding the race, we know that Johann Zarco is in the second group that is chasing the two championship leaders at the moment, Viñales and Dovizioso. It will be very important to seize another high point scoring finish in order to go to Sachsenring with a lot of points in our pockets. Jonas Folger rode the best GP in his short premier class career in Catalunya, where he tried some interesting things and Im sure that he will push his teammate in the next few events. We are very excited to go to Assen, which is a historic circuit where the racing is always really entertaining and there are a lot of fans from Northern Europe. The temperature will be cooler compared to the last rounds, and there will be many fans and guests with us, and we are all really looking forward to seeing them and putting on a good show.