Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of Saturday's race at Assen:
Marc Márquez and Maverick Viñales leaders heading to the Netherlands
Repsol riders go to Assen with second and third in the MotoGP standings and lower cylinder class leadership to their name.
Maverick Viñales and Marc Márquez won at Assen last year.
All current Repsol riders —bar debutant Rins— have won in the Netherlands.
Maverick Viñales is on a run of 3 consecutive poles.
Repsol Media Service - Netherlands, Assen Circuit - Monday 25/06/2012
The MotoGP World Championship rolls up to the Netherlands this week, embarking on a three-race series on consecutive weekends. The Repsol riders arrive at round seven having taken a victory and three podiums last time out at Silverstone. The 4.542km Assen circuit, known as ‘The Cathedral,’ hosts the only race of the year held on a Saturday.
After returning to the podium at the most recent GP, Casey Stoner will be in action at a track where he holds a series of five consecutive podium —including victory in 2008. Second in the overall standings, the reigning MotoGP World Champion will chase his first win since the Portuguese Grand Prix. Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa is also looking for glory and is currently third in the standings. The Spaniard missed last year’s Dutch TT through injury.
A winner at Assen for the past two seasons is Marc Márquez. Victorious in 2010 in the 125cc class and again in 2011 in Moto2, the Repsol rider currently leads the standings in the intermediate category by six points from Pol Espargaró. Following a difficult weekend in Great Britain, Márquez is out to regain his good feeling onboard the Suter.
Maverick Viñales made an impact on his first visit to Assen last year, taking pole position, the fastest race lap and the victory. He also won a fortnight ago at Silverstone and leads the Moto3 classification. Fellow Repsol riders Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins are also optimistic about the event; the Portuguese won in the Netherlands in the 2008 Rookies Cup race, whilst Rins makes his Dutch debut.
“I wasn't there last year due to the injury, but it's a circuit we know well. Assen has changeable weather so I hope we can have some dry sessions to continue setting up the bike and making it more rideable. We need some more experience with the new front tyre and hopefully we can make another step forward this week. In Assen is important to have a good feeling with the tyres because there are several fast corners. I am really looking forward to this race and aiming to ride at my best”.
"We've had some great results in Assen, but also some pretty bad ones, so hopefully we can go there this weekend, be competitive and avoid any injury like last year when I hurt my neck, which followed us for the season and still causes me problems now. You spend a lot of the time on the edge of the tyre in Assen and unfortunately on our bike at the moment this is a weak point, so we will need to work on Thursday and Friday to improve before we can consider ourselves competitive there.
I really hope the weather is good for us, as we need as much track time as possible to work on various issues on the bike. With three races back to back, it's important to get some good results at Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello, so we need to remain focused”.
"Assen is a fast circuit which is similar to Silverstone in certain respects, but I think that it is a better track for me. We will be focusing on finding a good setting, because at the British GP we suffered a bit with that. We will be giving 100% and keeping calm over the weekend, as we may perhaps be facing unstable weather conditions again. Last year I felt very comfortable at the track; we had a wet race and I took the win. This year we have a completely different bike and will have to work hard".
"Assen is a circuit that suits my riding style very well, in addition to bringing back some fond memories. I won for the second time in the World Championship there, so I am excited about going back to Assen. The fast section is where I go best, but we will work on the engine and the chassis in order to go all-out in every part".
"I have very fond memories of Assen, as I won there in 2008 in the Rookies Cup. We will keep working with the same plan as at Silverstone and will focus on polishing up the small mistakes that we made last time out. We will be giving all to find a setting with which to go fast and improve upon our result from the British GP.
The track has a section of slow corners at the start and we can get away quicker with these four-strokes than with a 125cc. This is an advantage for us and will make it a much more fun race, because the rest of the circuit is very fast —especially the old section".
"Going to the Netherlands really excites me, because Assen is a classic circuit at which everyone wants to ride. I've been recovering over the past few days and will be motivated, although the crash at Silverstone means that I won't be at 100%. It's going to be a new track for me, which means a lot of work together with my team to earn a good result —leaving behind the bad luck of recent races. We have three consecutive race weekends coming up, and we are very motivated".
Redding confident of success at the Cathedral of Speed!
Gosselies, Belgium - 25 June 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team are looking to continue the form that saw Scott Redding finish an impressive second, and Mika Kallio a solid tenth, last time out at Silverstone during this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen.
Currently lying fifth in the Moto2 championship standings, Redding's second place at Silverstone, his second podium of the season, saw the 19-year-old Briton close the gap on both championship leader Marc Márquez and fourth placed Andrea Iannone.
Redding now trails Iannone by just 14 points, a gap that the Marc VDS rider is keen to reduce even further with another top five finish in this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen, which is unique on the Moto2 calendar in that the race takes place on Saturday afternoon rather than the more usual Sunday.
Kallio's performance was hampered by a front suspension issue during practice and qualifying at Silverstone, which left him on the sixth row of the grid, but the Marc VDS rider bounced back to take a solid tenth place finish in the race, despite struggling for rear grip in the latter stages.
The 29-year-old Finn has shown repeatedly this season that he has the pace to run at the front of the race, but has been handicapped by poor qualifying performances. Kallio and his crew will focus this weekend on Friday afternoon's qualifying session, with the aim being to secure a position on the front two rows of the grid for Saturday's 24-lap Moto2 race.
The historic Circuit van Drenthe, or the Cathedral of Speed as it is often referred to, is the only track that has appeared on the Grand Prix calendar every year since the series started in its current form back in 1949. A former public roads circuit, Assen has been extensively modified in recent years, but has lost little of the unique character that makes it a favourite with riders in all classes.
Livio Loi joins the Marc VDS Racing Team once again at Assen, where the 15-year-old from Helchteren in Belgium will contest rounds six and seven of the Red Bull Rookies Cup. After a tough start to the season, Loi is hoping for a significant improvement this weekend at Assen, the first track on the calendar at which he's raced previously.
Scott Redding #45:
"Like Silverstone Assen is another old style circuit, where you can carry lots of speed through the turns, and that suits my riding style better than the more modern stop start style tracks we normally race on. The Silverstone result, and the fact that I was able to get the better of Marc Márquez in a straight fight, gives me some confidence going into this weekend. Our target will be the podium once again, but I wouldn't be too disappointed to come away from Assen with a top five finish and some solid championship points."
Mika Kallio #36:
"We had some problems at Silverstone, with the front fork causing issues in qualifying and a lack of rear grip in the latter stages of the race stopping me from making contact with the leading group. This weekend at Assen we will make some changes to the bike to conserve the rear tyre in the race. It's a set-up we tried in winter testing, so we know we'll be compromising how the bike turns in, but prolonging the rear tyre life is more important to the race results. We need to get the bike dialled in on the first day, so that we can start building towards qualifying. Silverstone aside, too often this year my race has been almost over before it began after qualifying so far down the grid, and this is something we still need to address. If I can qualify nearer the front then I'm confident I can be up there in the race."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Scott rode a great race at Silverstone to finish second. He conserved his tyres by being less aggressive with the bike during the middle part of the race and was able to use the grip at the end to get the better of Marc Márquez on the last lap. I hope he's learnt from this and, starting this weekend in Assen, we'll see him ride with the same intelligence for the remainder of the season. I have no doubt he can challenge for the podium once again at Assen, a track that should suit his riding style. The track should also suit Mika, as it rewards smooth riding, but he needs to improve his qualifying performance if he is to capitalise on his obvious pace in the races. If he can start from the front two rows of the grid this weekend, and it's a big if, then I'm confident he can finish Saturday's race inside the top five."
WILAIROT LOOKS TO BUILD ON SILVERSTONE FORM AT ASSEN
Ratthapark Wilairot is hoping that the good form he found in the recent British GP at Silverstone can be a springboard to another positive weekend at the Dutch TT. The Thai rider's improved confidence on board the new Suter machine enabled him to pick up a solitary point in England and he is now targeting a return to the top ten positions in the Moto2 category at Assen.
Ratthapark Wilairot “At Silverstone it was a good weekend, apart from the weather! We found many improvements on the bike but still need more. Anyway I was happy there to get one point and make the improvements that we did. Now it looks like summer is here and I am sure Assen will be sunshine. I have good memories of Assen from 2010, when I finished fourth, and I like the circuit. We were closer to the front at Silverstone that is positive for Assen. I want to make another race there like 2010. "
Fausto Gresini “Feem did a good job again at Silverstone even though his qualifying position wasn't the best. He made notable progress in the race and picked up an important point. He is making constant progress and the objective now is to close the gap to the front guys still further and start fighting for top ten finishes. I am sure he can do it because the determination is there.”
REA TARGETS POINTS FINISH AT ASSEN
Gino Rea heads to his first ever Dutch TT this week looking to finally pick up the result that his progress and improving confidence on board the new Suter machine deserves. The British rider's improved pace in practice has yet to be confirmed on race day but he and his team remain determined to join the battle at the front of the Moto2 pack in the near future.
Gino Rea “Silverstone wasn't quite the way I wanted to finish my debut home GP. After being inside the top fifteen all weekend and qualifying fourteenth, I would have liked to get in the points. I made a good start and got into eighth on the first lap then set my best lap time of the weekend but I was having some moments. I lost the front a few times and saved it on my elbow, I was struggling with grip. I couldn't maintain the pace and slipped back out of the points. But it is good to get a full dry race under my belt with the Suter chassis, so I hope we can continue to progress from there. I am looking forward to Assen because we found a better base setting on the bike at Silverstone. So I hope we can make some progress and continue to be in the top fifteen throughout the weekend. Assen is a tricky circuit to be very fast at but I like it. It is a circuit I've raced at before so like Silverstone, I can push from the start instead of learning the circuit first. At Silverstone we made good progress in practice and qualifying but not in the race. I hope we can change that at Assen to make progress on race day and get some more points.”
Fausto Gresini “It is disappointing that Gino has so far been unable to score the results that he has shown the potential of achieving. He is still not in perfect harmony with the bike or able to push it to the limit but we are giving him our full backing and working hard with him to find the solutions that will give him that confidence with the bike that will allow him to show his full potential.”
ANTONELLI HEADS TO FAMILIAR GROUND AT ASSEN
Niccolò Antonelli showed his character and courage in a tough weekend at Silverstone last time out, struggling through a variety of mechanical and physical setbacks to being home some important championship points. Niccolò is never satisfied, however, and that is the key to his constant progress and learning. His feeling with the bike is still not perfect but he is determined to improve again at Assen, a circuit he knows well after racing there in the Red Bull Rookies series for the past two years.
Niccolo’ Antonelli “Silverstone wasn't the easiest weekend for us, I had a crash on Friday and suffered a technical problem as a result, which set us back, then I had a fever on the Sunday. Even so I think I had a strong race and picked up some important experience for the future. At Assen I will be working hard to improve my feeling with the bike, which is still not perfect. I like the track and I know it well because of the Red Bull Rookies Cup. It is a technical circuit and I really love the fast corners.”
Fausto Gresini “Silverstone proved to be a difficult weekend for Niccolò but he showed his character and resilience. He picked up some important points and now he goes to Holland to try and continue the learning process that has so far been very productive. At Assen he will try and improve his confidence still further by working hard together with the guys from the team.”
MAPFRE ASPAR PAIR AIM TO CONTINUE IMPROVING AT ASSEN
Toni Elías and Nico Terol look to draw on positive Dutch TT experiences in round seven
Motorcycle fans all over the world only have to look at the calendar to know that the Dutch TT is around the corner. The most historic race on the calendar maintains its unique date on the final Saturday in June, as it has done since the first year of the championship back in 1949. The layout has been butchered and shortened since then but it still retains its aura and its fast and flowing nature, which makes it a popular venue for fans and riders alike. For the intermediate category it promises to provide another example of why Moto2 racing is so popular right now, with Marc Márquez looking to continue his battle with Thomas Luthi and Pol Espargaró at the top of the closest championship yet since the start of the new series three years ago.
The two MAPFRE Aspar Team riders have written their own chapters in Assen's rich history and they will look to do so again this weekend. Toni Elías has bittersweet memories of the Dutch TT, where he celebrated his first ever Grand Prix win back in 2001 in the 125cc class but where he has also suffered some of his worst injuries. Nico Terol took second place in the 125cc race in 2010, setting a circuit record (1'42.428) and top speed (220.093 km/h) that will never be bettered in the now defunct minor category.
Toni Elías: "I used to love the old circuit at Assen and even though it has changed a lot the essence is still the same. I have mixed memories of the track because I have had some great results over the years, including my first win back in 2001, and a bunch of other podiums as well as some big crashes and some bad injuries. Hopefully this weekend we can have a positive few days and continue to improve. Also I hope we can get through the weekend without crashing like at Silverstone and qualify well to set us up for the race. We have improved a lot over the season but it is not being reflected in the results so I hope that can change this weekend."
Nico Terol: "We have made good progress over the last few races and now we have three races in a row. I was a bit disappointed at Silverstone because the weekend didn't end as I would have liked but I will use that energy in a positive way at Assen and try to get the best out of myself. I love the circuit and I have always been fast there. I am determined to make the most of every session and to keep working as we have done up to now. I am calm and confident that all the hard work will pay off soon. I have got a great team around me and I know that with patience we will achieve top results. You need a good set-up to be fast at Assen so the goal will be to achieve that during practice."
DUTCH TT MARKS START OF SEASON'S FIRST TRIPLE-HEADER
BANKIA Aspar riders Moncayo and Faubel aiming for strong start to summer races
The MotoGP 2012 calendar enters its busiest summer period with the first triple-header of the season taking in races in Holland, Germany and Italy over the next three weekends. The European mainland road trip begins at Assen and in accordance with tradition the oldest race in the championship takes place on the final Saturday in June. 'The Cathedral' of motorcycle racing is the most historic circuit on the calendar and it remains one of the fastest. Round six saw a change in leader of the Moto3 World Championship but round seven promises to be another unpredictable chapter in a seesaw inaugural season for the exciting new category.
The BANKIA Aspar Team tackle the Dutch TT with motivation and optimism still high despite a struggle for results over the past few races. Alberto Moncayo and Héctor Faubel are determined that hard work will out over misfortune, with the Spanish pair both enjoying the switch to a new chassis for their Kalex/KTM machines and looking forward to working on it again this weekend. Both riders enjoy racing at Assen and Faubel in particular has good memories of it, having finished second there in 2005 and 2007 in the 125cc class.
Alberto Moncayo: "We go to Assen in high spirits. It is a circuit I love, because of the layout and also the history. My first visit here was very satisfactory and this year we arrive on the back of some bad luck in the last couple of races. Now we need to be a little better organised and prepared to change a few things. We are working hard but just still haven't channeled our energy properly. Now I am looking forward to this weekend, the chassis we used at the last round felt good and I am looking forward to working on it again. Our situation hasn't been as positive as we might like over the last few rounds but we remain optimistic. We know that the result depends a lot on qualification so we will work hard again to get the best possible position on the grid."
Héctor Faubel: "We're on our way to a circuit I love. I have been feeling good on the bike for the last few races now but we still don't have the result to show for it. At Silverstone we had a good race but paid the price for starting so far back on the grid. We have to keep working hard in practice and make sure we qualify as high up the grid as possible because we have seen how important it is in this category. Despite the changes to the track I still really enjoy racing at Assen and I hope that on Saturday we can at least be in the top five or even fighting for the podium."
Dunlop heads to Assen with new pairing
Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres head to the only location to have been on the MotoGP calendar since its beginnings in 1949; Assen in the Netherlands for the seventh round of the Moto2 World Championship - the Iveco TT Assen - on June 28-30.
Flats and Camber
The Assen location offers an interesting challenge. Its flat location, around 60km from the coast often delivers wet or cooler conditions. In contrast to the surrounding countryside, the track layout itself makes significant use of cambered corners to add a different element for the riders and tyre engineers to consider.
For 2012, Dunlop will bring a new allocation pairing of the 3854 soft and the 3855 medium rear compounds. This is the first time that this selection has been combined for an event and its selection follows favourable feedback for the newer 3855 compound which was used at Qatar and Silverstone.
3854 is the softer option core compound, offering very consistent performance and usable at many circuits as a soft or hard option, depending on circuit severity. For Assen, it acts as the softer tyre allocation. 3855 is a new compound for this season in Moto2 which was debuted successfully in Qatar at the season opener, and used subsequently at Silverstone. The season-familiar front allocation of the 717 and 302 compounds will join their rear brethren.
Dunlop’s Moto2 Operations Manager, Clinton Howe:
“You need a tyre with good stability for Assen. It is both a tight and technical track but it is also fast and flowing. The changes in recent years to the first corners have altered the feeling of the circuit so that the tyres are worked more on their right side now, as the first corners are four parts of a continuous arc. We do see high abrasion from the circuit surface in cool conditions, and flat surroundings of the location lend themselves to cooler temperatures. On the track itself however, there is a lot of positive camber in the turns. This assists with cornering speeds and also the flow of the track. When it’s wet it also assists with water drainage. It’s not a small amount of angle to the corners either, it seems like there’s as much camber as a NASCAR track in places!”
Moto2: Toni Elias, Mapfre Aspar Team:
"Assen is one of my favourite tracks. It is very fast and it has many corners with banking which makes things interesting. I would have to say that I preferred the old circuit, but the current version does have a good style. It is really fast, and the variety of corners is interesting. Some are flat, some have banking, so it is always changing between the two. The weather is also a factor, as it’s often either cold or wet. Dunlop’s tyres do give me good confidence. They have to be able to deliver their performance straight away, especially at a track like Assen. Good warm-up is important and I don’t have any problems at all with the Dunlop tyres delivering this."
Moto2: Xavier Simeon, Tech 3 Racing:
“The Assen track is mixture of slow and fast corners, a track with lots of double corners. Last year was a good race for me, until I crashed. This year I am hoping that it will be better for me even though my hand is still injured, but the Silverstone race proved that I can do okay with it like it is. I am hoping for a good race in Assen as it is near to my home and I would like to please my fans. Over the last two years Dunlop’s tyres have improved and are more constant throughout the race. This means a rider has good confidence to make good lap time towards the last laps of the race. I saw this in Silverstone and hope for the same in Assen.”
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia FMI ready for the Assen test
The seventh GP of the Moto3 season will take place in Assen on Saturday. Fenati and Tonucci are hungry for points at the historic Dutch track.
Team Italia FMI riders and crew have reached the Dutch town this morning to prepare this week-end's race and extend their positive streak.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), who was 9th in Barcelona and 7th in Silverstone, wants to climb more positions in the standings: the points he scored and the maturity he's shown while dealing with the first hurdles of his maiden season (in Estoril and Le Mans, where he retired) are a good sign ahead of the next races. The young Italian talent faces an important test in the 'University of two wheels'.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) is also eager to improve. The rider did not have much luck early on this season, but always put much effort into the races, fighting until the end and bringing useful data to the team.
"We are hopeful about the upcoming round – said Massimo Vergini, Team Italia FMI's team manager – Romano showed great talent in understanding new tracks quickly and he's fascinated by this GP. Alessandro just needs to stay positive, the results will come for him as well."
Looking for success in RW Racing GP home race
Luis Salom is looking forward to success in the home race of his team. RW Racing GP is literally based around the corner of the famous Dutch TT circuit. Team owner Roelof Waninge lives at just a fifteen minute drive away from the track.
Last year, in the first season from the only Dutch team, Salom made it to his first podium in the Dutch round of the Grand Prix. In mixed wet and dry circumstances the Spanish ace took the right decisions at the right moment and got second in the race.
Thi s season Salom already made it to the podium in three out of six races. Only in France (crashed out while leading the race), Barcelona (10th) and Qatar (4th) ‘Mexicano’ was not on the rostrum.
Coming to Assen as third in the championship the pressure is on for Salom. Last race, on the British Silverstone circuit, Salom was already close to his first victory. He – and the whole team off course – hopes to fulfill this assignment ‘home’ in Assen.
Salom and his team mate Brad Binder will ride a special livery in the green colors of TVM. The Dutch insurance company sponsors RW Racing GP for this event.
Brad Binder ran into a lot of bad luck in his rookie season so far. In four out of six races he was taken out of the race by another rider. Therefore the South African tried to take it easy last race (Great Britain) to simply finish the race. Only in Portugal Binder scored some points after finis hing 11th.
Nevertheless he has high hopes for the Dutch TT as well. The least he is hoping for is taking some valuable championship points Binder knows the track: he rode in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Last year in difficult circumstances he had some problems, finishing 10th and 20th.
The team received a new chassis from Kalex last week for Binder as well. Salom already has it for two races.
Binder ready to make a noise at The Cathedral of Speed
After a tough race at Silverstone, Brad Binder is ready and “amped” for the Iveco Dutch TT, which will take place on the circuit of Assen in Holland.
The Hertz British Grand Prix was a difficult one for the young South African, who, for the first time in his career, hoped it would rain on race day. In the end Brad and his Team found a solution to their problems, and Brad finished the race, just missing out on Championship Points.
Brad is now 100% recovered from the injury to his ribs, caused by a fall at the Grand Prix of Catalunya, and believes he will have a good race on a track he's already raced during his Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup experience. He will also be trying KALEX's new chassis which he is confident will get him to where he wants to be.
Most riders love this track, which is considered "The Cathedral" of motorcycle racing, and Brad is no exception. Assen is the only circuit to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. Itwas fundamentally redesigned in 1955 and again in 2006, so only one section of the circuit is original nowadays.
Brad Binder : " I'm really looking forward to racing in Assen, not only because it's a track I like and its atmosphere is great, but also because it's my Team's home race, so I really hope to make them proud. Some of my South African friends are coming to watch me race and my brother is coming, which is really cool! I am feeling totally fit and I have been training really hard; hopefully we'll find the right path straight from the beginning, and my KALEX-KTM will be even faster now that I received the new chassis and parts!"
RW Racing GP is literally based around the corner of the famous Dutch TT circuit. Team owner – Roelof Waninge lives just 15 minutes from the track. Brad and Team Mate – Luis Salom – will ride in special livery – the green colours of TVM. TVM is a Dutch Insurance Company that sponsors RW Racing GP for their home race.
Stop Rhino Poaching
Brad is a supporter of Stop Rhino Poaching, R5 from each of his Bradical 2012 Designer Shirts sold goes to helping Save our Rhinos.