One of the most recognisable circuits on the WorldSBK calendar, the Dutch track is well-known for the “flip-flop” chicane onto the main straight that has seen so many spectacular last lap battles in its 30-year history as part of the series.
Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli are certainly familiar with the layout, having both ridden here in their formative years – and the regular April date means riders and the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad are prepared to be ready for all weather conditions – from icy rain to warm spring sunshine.
Crew Chief for the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK and its pilot Andrea Locatelli, Andrew Pitt is intimately acquainted with Assen himself as a race-winning rider and now in his senior technical role. Pitt says the keys to perform include tyre choice for the abrasive surface along with a bike set-up that is stable at high speeds and able to change direction. He expects the latest 2023 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK race machine set-up used in Mandalika to also work well in Assen, shored up with a solid Assen base setting that saw “Loka” step onto the podium in both 2021 and 2022.
Teammate Razgatlıoğlu is no stranger to the Assen podium either, with four top-three results at the Dutch venue since he joined Yamaha, but a race win in the premier category has so far proven elusive. The team, and Yamaha’s engineers, will do everything they can to change the stats sheet for both riders from Free Practice 1 starting on Friday morning at 10:30 local time (CEST) and the second, 45-minute Free Practice 2 at 15:00.