2013 Assen MotoGP Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen:


Yamaha Prepare for Historic TT Assen

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 25th June 2013

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 favourite 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.

Jorge Lorenzo

“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 favourite track ever. 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.”

Valentino Rossi

“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”.

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

“I hope Assen is giving us a little bit more than last year, the race was very short! We have to forget that now; last season at Assen we learnt that you might also need a bit of luck during races. This year we have to keep smooth and calm and I think we can possibly win three in a row although it is not easy as we know. Jorge likes Assen a lot and of course he has a special feeling there. I have the same feeling with the crowd because it is my country. Hopefully we can close the gap with Dani there and see another top fight at the front.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“Following the last two days of testing, where we really found good and interesting things, we are now going to approach the next race with a lot of enthusiasm and positivity. We were finally able to try the set up that at first we could not due to the short time available. Finally, in the two days of testing in Spain we could focus in the search for an optimal set-up and we had excellent feedback. In Assen we will try to start the weekend in the best way, from the first day and I think it will be a very interesting weekend for us.”


Repsol Honda Team head to Assen still leading the Championship after positive test in Aragon

Dani Pedrosa will arrive in Assen for this week's Dutch TT, leading the Championship after six rounds of the 2013 season. His teammate, Marc Marquez, is 3rd after another impressive podium finish in Catalunya just 9 days ago.

A favourite for the fans and for the riders, Assen is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. Both Repsol Honda riders have enjoyed good results in Assen with Dani taking seven podium finishes there including a victory in 2002 (125cc). Marc has a fantastic recent history at the circuit having won in 2012 (Moto2), 2011 (Moto2) and also in 2010 (125cc).

Last week, Honda Racing Corporation tested their new 2014 prototype machine in Aragon. The bike has been introduced earlier than normal due to the absence of the usual Brno post-race test after the Summer break. If the team had waited until the Misano test (16th September) it would be too late to make any big changes as a result of the feedback from factory riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

The test was positive and both Dani and Marc had similar comments about the 2014 RC213V, as did LCR's Stefan Bradl. As well as normal upgrades to the bike, HRC have had to target specific regulation changes such as a smaller fuel tank for 2014 (by 1 litre), in addition to other areas that the factory riders have requested be developed.

Both riders have chosen not to use this new evolution immediately, as they are happy with the current bike, leaving HRC some time to perfect the new prototype and allowing the riders to concentrate on their current programme and fight for the World Championship.

The race weekend in Assen begins on Thursday with Qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday, as it was originally frowned upon for the race to be hosted on Sunday for religious reasons.

Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 1st - 123 points

"After a good race in Catalunya and an important 20 points, I still lead the Championship and I am looking forward to Assen. I won my first ever race there and have very special memories. The weather can be temperamental so I hope we get some dry track time on Friday to find a good setting! It is a good track but it's important to have a good feeling with the tyres because there are several fast corners. I hope we can keep the momentum going and do a good race"

Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 3rd - 93 points

"I had a difficult weekend in Catalunya but in the race, riding behind Dani, I was able to learn many things. The Aragon test was useful and we were able to solve some problems we've experienced in the last few races and also get to know the Honda RC213V a lot better! I know the weather in Assen can be unpredictable so it will be important to make the most of the dry track time we have. I like the circuit and I am feeling really good at the moment so it will be interesting to get there on the MotoGP machine!"

Shuhei Nakamoto HRC Executive Vice President

"The test of the RC213V 2014 prototype has been very constructive. Dani, Marc and Stefan all gave us similar comments regarding the positive and negative aspects of the new bike and these will be very important in order to proceed with the development for next season. This test has also been very useful to work with the set up of the current bike and help Dani and Marc find something they both like. The fact that they are happy with the 2013 version of the RC213V puts no pressure on us to race with the new prototype, so we will continue with its development as planned, and will be back in Europe to the test after Misano or for the one after Valencia"


Ducati Team heads to the “Cathedral”

With the 2013 season having passed its one-third mark at the Catalan Grand Prix, the Ducati Team now travels to the Netherlands’ legendary TT Circuit Assen, the northernmost point on the MotoGP calendar. The championship’s longest-standing round and its only race to be held on a Saturday, Assen is a unique event that is rich in history. The circuit has undergone several modifications over the years, including a slight revision last year, but one thing that has never varied is the huge crowd of fanatical spectators that the event invariably draws.

Nicky Hayden has enjoyed the Assen TT since he started in MotoGP in 2003, and it played host to one of his three victories, in 2006 (his championship-winning year). Although Dovizioso has never been victorious at the Dutch track, he has a solid record of respectable results there, including premier-class podium finishes in each of his last two visits.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team

“First of all, the weather should certainly be a bit cooler in Holland than it was in Barcelona, and that can only be good for us. The Assen circuit isn’t like it used to be when it was one of the nicest tracks on the calendar, and it’s completely different from the last couple of tracks we’ve been to. I’m curious to see how the Desmosedici will go at Assen. We’ll use the same bike that we had at Barcelona, so without the updated frame. I must admit that I haven’t had much luck at Assen and that I’ve only had a pair of third-place finishes in the last two years, so we hope to go better this time!”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team

“It was nice to be home for a weekend for the first time in quite a while, but I certainly feel fresh and ready to come back strong and finish out this next little stretch of races before the summer break. The next three rounds are all at tracks that I like a lot, and Assen in particular is a great circuit with a great history. I really enjoy it, and I feel focused and ready. Hopefully we can use the information from the test in Barcelona to have a good race.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager

“Assen is a very technical track where it’s important to be able to find a setup that makes the bike manageable but that still has stability for the fast final part, which is the only section remaining from the old track. We’ll have to work a lot on the setup to avoid the problems that we had last year, so it’ll be important to have a good balance and manage good tyre life. Both of our riders have had some good results in the past at Assen: Nicky likes the track a lot, and although Andrea isn’t quite so fond of it, there are reasons to think we should have a good race.”


BAUTISTA CONFIDENT FOR ASSEN AFTER ARAGON TEST

For the 65th time in succession the MotoGP World Championship stops off at Assen this week for the legendary Dutch TT. The only circuit to have hosted a round of the series every year since its inception in 1949, Assen has undergone several modifications over the decades but it retains a sense of mystique and tradition. Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini head to Holland in high spirits following a positive recent test at the Aragon circuit. For Alvaro Bautista it was an important opportunity to put a disappointing Catalan Grand Prix behind him and now the Spanish rider is looking forward after working closely with the technicians from Showa and Nissin to find a setting for the RC213V that gives him the confidence to push it to the limit on track. After scoring his first championship points in Barcelona, Bryan Staring finally heads to a circuit he has prior experience of, hoping his track knowledge can help him make the most of the available track time.

Alvaro Bautista “The crash on the first lap of the race at the Catalan Grand Prix left a very bitter taste in my mouth. Psychologically it was a heavy blow for me because before the start of the race I felt we were in good shape. Myself and the team had done a great job during practice to find a setting for the bike that allowed me to set a good pace and then in qualifying we were able to secure an optim um starting position, in fourth place. Overall everything was in place for us to have a great race but unfortunately what happened at Montemelò is part of racing. It was just so disappointing because it was a home race and for it to happen in front of your own fans was tough to take, for me and the team. Now I want to forget all that and focus on the positives that we found over the weekend and in the test afterwards at Aragon. I am really determined to do a good job in Holland now and start to recover the points we have lost in the last two rounds. Last year at Assen we were competitive up until the start of the race, when I made a mistake. This year I will be more cautious and I think we can do a good job from the first session because this year we have the potential. It's a difficult track with a slow first section and then some faster sections in the second half. It's not easy to find a compromise with the setting to suit both halves of the track but we will try. Obviously t he weather is usually a factor here too and you can sometimes get damp sections and dry sections but that's Holland!”

Bryan Staring “After a positive result in the Catalan Grand Prix, where I scored my first World Championship points, I go to Holland with a different approach. I feel motivated and confident about this race especially because I finally won't have to spend time learning the track because I already know it. I really like Assen and I will be able to start work on the machine straight away. I am desperate to do well this weekend and get the most out of the bike so that I can show my potential.”

Fausto Gresini “We go to Assen in good spirits and with a lot of motivation. It is an important race for Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini and Alvaro because we need to confirm the work we did at Aragon and put the bad memories of Barcelona behind us. At Aragon there was a lot of important work done by both Showa and Nissin alongside the team to allow Alv aro to rebuild his confidence with the bike and be competitive again at the next race. Finally Bryan gets to go to a track he knows, which will help him show his real potential. He won't have to waste time learning the track and will be able to concentrate on finding a good set-up for the race.”


Assen – Round 7 of the 2013 season

After the long Spanish weekend, the MotoGP teams and riders now arrive at Assen, where the TT will be traditionally held on the Saturday.

Michele Pirro will again line up for the Ignite Pramac Racing Team in his usual role of tester and substitute-rider for American Ben Spies, who is still working on his shoulder rehab. The rider from San Giovanni Rotondo is aiming to bounce back after a disappointing race weekend at Barcelona and is determined to analyze all the possibilities in order to produce a good race and get important feedback relating to the development of the Desmosedici GP13 'lab' bike.

The circuit, long considered ‘The Cathedral’ especially created to host the Dutch TT in 1954, race that until then was organized along public roads, is particularly tight with many quick (rapid) changes in direction that will engage the three categories’ riders, during this new round of the 2013 World Championship.

Michele Pirro - Ignite Pramac Racing Team

"Assen is definitely a great track, even though I liked it better before the change. I'm happy to be able to continue racing, and at the same time the development of the ‘lab’ bike, as this allows me to get important data and information. I'm ready to do a good job during these three days, because in Barcelona I worked harder than expected. I’ll do my best, and I’d definitely really like to thank the team and Ducati for the opportunity and the trust placed in me.”


Assen – Round 7 of the 2013 season

After the long Spanish weekend, the MotoGP teams and riders now arrive at Assen, where the TT will be traditionally held on the Saturday.

Here in 2010, in the Moto2 World Championship, Andrea earned the top step of the podium; now, in the premier class, he arrives at the Dutch circuit determined to continue the excellent work carried out in Spain with the Energy TI Pramac Racing Team.

The circuit, long considered ‘The Cathedral’ especially created to host the Dutch TT in 1954, race that until then was organized along public roads, is particularly tight with many quick (rapid) changes in direction that will engage the three categories’ riders, during this new round of the 2013 World Championship.

Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

“Now it seems it's normal that I have some small pain, so everything’s normal because I've got it again this time! I’ll still use the same bike I rode starting from the Sepang 2 test, and although I would’ve liked to try the GP13 ‘lab’ bike, maybe that will happen shortly. I was able to try it in Barcelona for about ten laps and at Mugello for a whole morning; it’s not so much better, but I think there are some good points that I'd like to make better still. Now I’ll concentrate on having a good weekend, like we did in Barcelona—Sunday excluded—and on finding the best way to use the electronics, which are very important. Looking at the data, I’ve learned a lot so far: for example, getting the bike back up more quickly out of corners so that I can start accelerating earlier. The results aren’t yet satisfactory, as I expected much more from Mugello and especially Barcelona, but that’s how things went. At Catalunya, I felt good and wanted to push; I knew that the track had changed for the race, but I wanted to try. Now we go back to work, and we'll try again.”


BRADL AIMS TO CONTINUE HIS PROGRESSION AT ASSEN CIRCUIT

Assen, 26 June: the MotoGP contingent moved to the north of the Netherlands this weekend for the seventh round of the season at the legendary Assen TT Circuit which begins with practice on Thursday and ends with the 26-lap Grand Prix on Saturday. German former Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl’s season has regained momentum with a fourth and a fifth at the last two races; and the LCR Honda RC213V rider has gained ground also in the championship. More than a change of luck, he credits finding better machine settings, and aims to continue the improvement at Assen.

“Hopefully we can have a better result this year in Assen. Last season I took fourth on the grid, but crashed out on lap two in the race. Probably I was a bit too aggressive, but now I am more experienced, and after the last positive results (fourth in Mugello and fifth in Catalunya) I arrive with high motivation. Honestly Assen is not one of my favourite race tracks … especially the first part is not really good for me … but we aim to continue our progression. The testing days in Catalunya and Aragon were pretty productive for us. We could work on the front-end issues and find some good adjustments for the following rounds.”


NGM Mobile Forward riders head to Assen for 7th GP of the season

NGM Mobile Forward Racing rides head to the TT Assen Circuit for the seventh round of the championship. In MotoGP both riders will strive to stay in the points and in Moto2 all four riders aim to be in the Top10.

After obtaining fantastic results at Montmelo, Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti want to stay in the points for the Dutch GP and become top FTR – Kawasaki bikes this weekend at Assen.

Colin Edwards:

“I like Assen, it’s a good track! It would be great to be in the Top10 again at Assen but the goal for this weekend is to be in the points and be as close as possible from the Aprilias and be best FTR – Kawasaki.”

Claudio Corti:

“We get to Assen after the good result obtained at Barcelona. I like this track; I have always done well here, it’s always great to ride here because of the circuit’s history. The goal once again is to be in the points and reduce the gap with both the front group and the top CRTs.”


Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 7: Assen

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Assen, the venue for round seven of the 2013 MotoGP™ season has one of the fastest average speeds on the calendar and its diverse, technical layout makes it a rider and fan favourite.

The Assen circuit is not particularly demanding for front tyres so softer rubber compounds are offered in the front slicks to provide better grip and warm-up performance. The rear tyres are put under comparatively more stress and it is the right shoulders of the rear slicks that take the most punishment, especially in the sequence of corners from Mandeveen to Hoge Heide. As a result, asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder a must at this circuit.

Following a partial resurfacing of the track in 2006, grip levels vary in different parts of the Assen circuit and so Bridgestone will provide tyres with rubber compounds towards the softer end of its range to ensure maximum rider safety.

Assen has always been harsh on rear tyres due to its high average speed and numerous high-camber corners. However, the introduction of the 1000cc MotoGP machines and the corresponding increase in power output, performance and bike weight means this circuit is now classified as particularly severe for tyres. As a result, all rear slicks supplied for this race will be in the same heat-resistant construction used at Mugello, though in softer compound options to suit the layout of this circuit. CRT riders will be allocated the soft and medium-soft rear slick options, while the works riders will be able to choose from the medium-soft and medium compound rear slicks.

The main wet tyre for the Dutch TT will be the soft compound though riders will be able to select up to two front and rear wet tyres in the alternative hard compound if required.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“The Dutch TT at Assen is often an intriguing race as the circuit is fast and presents many overtaking opportunities. The weather often plays its part at this event and in recent years we have experienced a lot of variability in weather conditions, ranging from cold and wet to very warm and dry. The variety of corners at this circuit make it very important for teams to find a good setup as the bikes have to work well through slow and fast corners, while being nimble in the numerous changes of direction. For the first time this year we are bringing heat-resistant rear slicks to Assen and I believe that using this specification of tyre combined with the softer rubber compound options we are offering for this race will provide the best combination of safety and performance.”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Assen is a fast and technical circuit that requires asymmetric tyres because of the high loads placed on the right shoulder of the rear tyres. Following its modification in 2006 there are two distinct types of tarmac, with the newer tarmac having less grip and also being less abrasive than the older surface. This difference in surface grip can also make the circuit tricky in wet conditions. The tyres at this circuit have to cope with a wide range of corners from slow to high speed, and the layout means high grip levels on the shoulder and edges of the tyre is crucial. The first few corners are linked as one and gradually tighten, requiring good right shoulder durability, and corners such as Ramshoek demand absolute commitment and generate high tyre temperature. Since the heavier, more powerful 1000cc machines have been introduced to MotoGP we have had to reclassify Assen as a severe circuit for tyres, so for the first time this year all rear slicks supplied for the Dutch TT are in our heat-resistant Special Construction specification.”


 

Round Number: 
7
Year: 
2013

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