Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's race in Assen:
Quartararo and Navarro take on challenge of 'The Cathedral'
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 prepare for Round 8 of the Moto3 World Championship, which takes place at the legendary Assen TT circuit. Fabio Quartararo comes into the race 8th in the overall standings with 54 points, whilst Jorge Navarro is 12th with 31 points.
Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro head to the oldest circuit on the World Championship calendar after taking part in a private test last week at MotorLand Aragon.
Both riders concluded the test positively and were satisfied with the results of their work with the team, and thus arrive in the Netherlands highly motivated to take on an unfamiliar track. Neither have previously ridden at the notoriously technical Assen circuit.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 were on the podium at Assen last season, thanks to race winner Alex Marquez and runner-up Alex Rins. The experience for the Moto3 team will no doubt help Quartararo and Navarro to acclimatise to a circuit full of fast corners.
Unlike the rest of the Grands Prix in the World Championship, the Dutch TT race takes place on Saturday. The opening practice sessions also move forward a day and will be held on Thursday from 9am.
Team Estrella Galicia 00
Circuit TT Assen
Did you know...?
The TT Assen circuit is very technically complete. The first sector is slow and the second half of the circuit is faster. The weather conditions change continuously over the course of the weekend, so riders need to have a very balanced setup to adjust to rain or shine.
The circuit is 4.5km long and very flat, is very fast and features a number of flowing corners.
Assen has become known as the 'Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing.' The Dutch TT is the only round on the World Championship calendar to have been every season in the series' history since 1949. The current track was built in 1955 -previously the event was held on public roads.
The Dutch TT begins on Thursday and the race takes place on Saturday, traditionally for religious reasons.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
8th in the overall standings with 54 points
"I am very curious about riding at a flat, unfamiliar circuit"
"In the private tests we did last week at MotorLand Aragón I found a good feeling on the bike again. This has given me extra motivation to face the next race in the Netherlands. I am very curious about riding at a flat, unfamiliar circuit. Last year the team achieved very good results at this Grand Prix, so I am confident that if we work in a very focused way from the first day, we can compete for the best results."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
12th in the overall standings with 31 points
"We will continue working in the same way as at recent races and try to start strong from the first free practice."
"I'm very satisfied with our work in testing last week. I rode very fast and with a lot of confidence. I hope that the experience gained in previous Grands Prix, and the kilometres we did at MotorLand Aragon, mean that we can approach this Grand Prix calmly and very focused. We will continue working in the same way as at recent races and try to start strong from the first free practice, which this time takes place on Thursday. We will look to find a good setup that allows us to meet the challenge of the fast flowing corners that characterise this legendary circuit."
Confidence high as Rabat and Márquez head to the Dutch TT
Gosselies, Belgium – 22 June 2015: Reigning Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat heads into this weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen confident that he can fight for his second win of the season, after completing a successful two-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit last week.
Assen is one of only two tracks on the calendar – the other being Sachsenring – at which Rabat hasn’t stood on the podium since moving up to the Moto2 class in 2011. It is a situation that the Team Estrella 0,0 Marc VDS rider is keen to rectify this weekend, as he looks to close the gap to current championship leader, Johann Zarco, who he trails by 40 points.
Rabat will be hoping for a slightly less stressful Assen weekend than the one he endured 12 months ago when, after qualifying on pole position, he crashed on the sighting lap and only a delay due to rain allowed the team to get his bike repaired ready for the race, which he finished eighth.
Last year was a different story for Álex Márquez, who crossed the line almost three seconds ahead of his Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate to claim his second successive win of the season in the Moto3 class. This year the 19-year-old heads to Assen with his confidence buoyed by a strong showing in Barcelona, followed by a successful two-day test at Motorland Aragon and looking for a top ten finish in Saturday’s 24-lap Moto2 race.
With the Dutch TT traditionally held on the last Saturday in June, free practice for the Moto2 class gets underway at 10.55 on Thursday 25th June.
“The next two tracks on the calendar - Assen and Sachsenring - have never been amongst my favourite circuits, which is probably why they are the only two on the calendar at which I’ve never finished on the Moto2 podium. However, if I’m to retain the championship then I need to be just as fast at these tracks as I am at the others, so that is the aim this weekend. We put in the work during a successful test at Aragon, with very positive results, so I head to Assen feeling confident. Like always, we will work hard in every session this weekend, to ensure we’re in a position to fight for the win in the race on Saturday.”
“We did a good job in Montmeló, improving with every session and finding a clear direction in which to work with the bike and we confirmed this during the test in Aragon. In Moto2 qualifying has been difficult this season, because I haven’t been able to find the half-second or so I need on a new tyre. This was an area in which we also made progress during the Aragon test and I’m now feeling more confident about my qualifying performance. I like the Assen circuit; I won in Moto3 there last year and, while I’m sure it will feel different on a Moto2 bike, I’m looking forward to returning. If I can qualify on the front three rows on Friday then I think we could be in for a good race on Saturday.”
BASTIANINI AND LOCATELLI TRAVEL TO THE 'CATHEDRAL OF SPEED'
The historic Assen circuit, also known as the ‘Cathedral of speed’, is ready to host this weekend the eighth round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship. Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders, Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli, head to the Netherlands pushed by a great motivation. On the one hand, Bastianini will try to confirm himself at the top after missing the victory at Barcelona for only 35 milliseconds; on the other hand, his team mate Locatelli will try to make further progress after having hit the points both at Mugello and at Montmelò.
“I really like the Assen circuit: the layout of the track has several areas with slow corners compared to the tracks that we have faced recently, Mugello and Montmelò, so we need to verify the behaviour of our bike in these areas, where perhaps we are still missing something compared to our strongest rivals. However, I think that we can find a good set-up to be competitive: we can have another good race”.
“After Barcelona I talked a lot with my technicians, analyzing my feelings during the race to better evaluate which kind of set-up we need to adopt to return to the levels of competitiveness shown at the beginning of the championship. At Assen therefore we will be looking for a new base set-up that can allow me to ride faster. I’m convinced that we will succeed and I can’t wait to get back on track for the first free practice. Assen, in addition, has very particular characteristics, and already last year I found myself at ease on that track. We can make a nice weekend!”.
“Bastianini produced another great performance in Barcelona, missing the win by almost nothing and consolidating the second position in the overall standings: Enea is riding very very well and he just should continue to have fun, without any particular pressure, to continue his path of steady growth. At Assen we can be once again competitive with both riders: Locatelli seems very close to return to perform as he has already shown at the beginning of the season and his last two performances, at Mugello and Barcelona, where he hit the points, prove that we are on the right direction”.
SIMEON IN DETERMINED MOOD FOR HISTORIC TT ASSEN
The Moto2 paddock heads this weekend to the Netherlands to face the eighth round of the Championship, the historic Dutch TT at Assen. Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2, faultlessly put out of action in Barcelona on the very first lap of the race following a collision with another rider, will try to get back in the fight for the top positions encouraged by a positive day of test held last Tuesday, June 16th at Montmelò.
As usual, a hard-fought weekend is expected, with minimum gaps between the riders; an additional variable may be represented by the changing weather conditions, as happened last year.
“From a certain point of view, Assen can be considered my home Grand Prix, because is the track closest to Belgium! In addition, I like the track very much and last year we have been already really competitive. I have a great desire to return to fight for the podium and I think this could be the right opportunity: this season we have been fast in all tracks, even in those where we have been struggling during the 2014 campaign. It’s a good sign, that brings us to Holland confident and aware that we can fight again for the top positions. We will give our best, as always!”.
“Barcelona did not bring us luck, but we have already forgotten the unfortunate episode that forced Xavier to retire from the race after a few corners from the start, due to a collision by another rider. On the Tuesday after the race we had the opportunity to complete a positive day of testing at Montmelò, in which we could confirm our speed and also make some progress in terms of race pace. Therefore at Assen our goal remains the same, that’s fighting for the top positions, trying to be fast right from practice in order to get a good starting position during the qualifications, which this year in Moto2 are proving to be increasingly hard-fought”.
Zarco looking to keep podium streak going in Assen
Ajo Motorsport rider will aim for seventh consecutive rostrum this weekend at the Dutch TT.
06/23/2015 - TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands
Johann Zarco has started the season with a run of six podiums from seven races, and is the outright leader of the Moto2 World Championship going into the series’ eighth round. With victory in Catalonia a fortnight ago, the Ajo Motorsport rider heads to the Netherlands with a new opportunity to extend his personal record of consecutive podiums –and break his Dutch TT rostrum duck in the process. Although he holds a 40-point lead in the overall standings at the moment, Zarco is taking each race as it comes.
His second victory of the season at the last GP was the icing on the cake for a perfect weekend. The Frenchman wants to repeat the performance at a completely different track to the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, with its faster and more flowing nature. Fourth place last year is Zarco’s best result at Assen, although he has finished in the Top 8 on his last four visits.
The Dutch TT is traditionally held on a Saturday, and thus free practice will be brought forward to Thursday. The Moto2 race takes place at 12:20pm.
Circuit information - Assen
Length: 4.542 m. / 2,822 miles
Width: 14 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 12
Longest straight: 487 m. / 0,303 miles
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"Assen is a completely different track to the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. There are some very fast corners, but not many, so we use much softer tyre compounds.
The setup of the bike will be different but I must keep relaxed. I have to understand where our weaknesses are and, with the experience that I have with the team, turn them into my advantage. The weather will also be important, because there is a good chance that at some point it will rain and we must be prepared.
The first goal will be to win, but we must be smart and read the situation in the race. I’m sure the pressure will be on right up to the last chicane."
Red Bull KTM Ajo head to historic Assen
The Cathedral of Motorcycling, Assen, hosts the eighth round of the Moto3 World Championship with Oliveira, Binder and Hanika confident of good results.
Red Bull and Ajo Motorsport: "A successful collaboration"
Two wins and a further two podiums from the last five visits to Assen are a clear example of the success of the collaboration between Red Bull and Ajo Motorsport. This partnership has provided two World Champions (Marc Marquez in 2010 and Sandro Cortese in 2012), one runner-up spot (Jack Miller) and a total of 59 podiums in the lower cylinder class. 44 of these were achieved with KTM bikes as the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team –the structure with the most wins in Moto3 (21).
This weekend sees the Red Bull Rookies Cup return to action at the Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing. The series is a stepping stone to the World Championship and, thanks to the collaboration between Red Bull and Ajo Motorsport, six riders have raced in the Grand Prix competition with the Finnish structure. The three current Red Bull KTM Ajo riders –Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika– took part in the developmental series.
06/23/2015 - TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands
With one win and two podiums in three years there in the Moto3 class, Assen is one of the most fruitful circuits for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team. With the intention of continuing this successful streak, Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika head to the eighth event of the year highly motivated. The layout of the "Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing" is particularly suited to the characteristics of the KTM bikes, and the objective for the weekend will be to close the gap to the series leader.
In the lottery of the last lap of the Catalan GP, Miguel Oliveira just missed out on a second consecutive podium. However, the Dutch TT is one of the GPs where he has achieved his best results, placing fourth in 2013 and third last year after climbing 10 places. Third in the overall standings, the Portuguese hopes to continue to boost his points tally in the chase for the title.
Assen is also liked by Brad Binder, who believes that the flat, fast and flowing track perfectly suits his riding style. Ninth last year, the South African hopes to take another step forward after two consecutive Top 10 finishes and return to the podium.
Karel Hanika won twice at Assen in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2013. Only a crash 5 laps from the end last year prevented the Czech from one of the best results of his debut World Championship season. Hanika wants to boost his points total after two consecutive DNFs, caused by collisions with other riders.
The Dutch TT is the only race held on a Saturday, at 11am local time. Practice is also brought forward a day to begin on Thursday.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"I am very confident about this weekend. I really like the track and I think we will go well, because it is perfectly suited to our bike.
Assen is not as bumpy a circuit as Barcelona-Catalunya, so this is something that favours us. It is also a very flat track, which has many cambers in the corners. This, together with the grip level of the asphalt, will help us with turning the bike in."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I think this weekend I can have another good performance at Assen, as it is particularly well suited to my riding style. It's a fast and flowing track –one of my favourites on the calendar. Last year we got a good result, entering the Top 10, but hopefully we can improve this year.
I feel confident about this round. We need to keep working, especially on the fast corners, because the last few races have not gone as well as we wanted and can be higher up the order. I can’t wait to get things underway."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It's my favourite track. I've raced there so many times and normally I enjoy it a lot. I hope we can do as well as last year, because we were in the front group and only a mistake at the end meant we didn't finish the race. We can definitely be really strong there.
It's a special circuit. It’s very flat with banked corners where you can get a lot of grip. There are also very fast corners you can take in sixth gear, so I really like this track.
I think we can get good results like I did in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, where I won a couple of races."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia at the TT Circuit Assen
Eighth round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship for Matteo Ferrari and Stefano Manzi.
Date with history for San Carlo Team Italia at the TT Circuit Assen, scenery of the eighth round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship, on a track that recalls fantastic memories to the team of the Italian Motorcycling Federation, which celebrates this year its 30th anniversary from its foundation ( #TeamItalia30anniversary). From the victories at the end of the 80's in 125cc with Luca Cadalora (1986) and Fausto Gresini (1987), San Carlo Team Italia will be at the "Cathedral of Speed" with the clear intention of improving its position in the standings, leaving behind a difficult period in terms of results.
The 4.452 meters of the TT Circuit Assen adapt well with the characteristics of the Mahindra MGP3O Moto3, offering to Matteo Ferrari and Stefano Manzi an opportunity to get closer to their reference target: the points. This goal was reached here at Assen last year by Matteo Ferrari with San Carlo Team Italia, he was 13th on the finish line after a remarkable comeback.
Impressive results on this track also for Stefano Manzi, who was fighting for the victory at the TT Circuit Assen in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2013 and 2014, conquering two podiums which highlight his excellent feeling with the Dutch track.
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"After such a difficult weekend in Catalunya, we can only improve. For us, the race in Montmelò was a big 'beating', with Manzi touched by another rider at the start and Ferrari far from the positions in line with our potential. Assen must represent an opportunity of improvement, in order to reach convincing levels. Moreover, compared with the previous races, it's essential to understand the conditions of the weather, since the variable of rain must be considered. The possibility of wet race can be an advantage for our riders, who are traditionally competitive in conditions of lack of adherence.".
The Sky Racing Team VR46 heading for the
University of motorcycling
Fenati gets ready to celebrate his career milestone of 60 GPs. Migno set to continue on his path of improvement
The Sky Racing Team VR46 adventure in 2015 World Championship continues on one of the tracks with the longest motorsport history and tradition: the TT Circuit Assen. The track which has always been considered one of the toughest in the championship thus earning the nickname of “University of Motorcycling”, also this year will play host to the Dutch GP.
An important testing ground for the Sky Racing Team VR46 riders as well as a special occasion for Romano Fenati, who at Assen is going to hit the prestigious milestone of 60 GPs in his career in the World Championship. Since his debut in Losail back in 2012, Fenati has established himself as the most successful Italian rider in the Moto3 ™ class with 6 wins (5 on the Sky Racing Team VR46) and other six podium finishes. In his career, the rider from Ascoli Piceno has been in the lead for 107 laps so far, has got 460 points and five fastest laps, including the official record achieved in 2014 right on the TT Circuit Assen in 1'42 "914. After his eighth-place finish in Catalunya (sixth consecutive race in points), rider number 5 is ready to return to fight with the front group.
Also for Andrea Migno, the TT Circuit Assen represents a new challenge. Steadily rising as of recently, despite the unfortunate setback in the race at Montmelo caused by a collision with Karel Hanika, in the Netherlands the rookie from Cattolica will continue on his path of improvement on a track that he knows. In 2011, in fact, he had finished 10th in the second race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, a 125 cc class of KTM motorcycles that joins the World Championship in the main European rounds, pulling off a remarkable comeback from twenty-first spot on the grid.
The Sky Racing Team VR46 is the most social team of Moto 3 class, leading Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rankings with over 90,000 followers.
On top of that, also for the Dutch GP, it will be possible to view in real time the Race Control dedicated to Moto 3. The section, accessible from the home page, will display race positions in real time, lap times, gaps and intermediate results.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
The Motul TT Assen GP is one of the most anticipated races of the season. We're coming off a decent result in Catalunya, but the whole team is aware that we can do even better. I think this race is very important for Romano as it comes at a time of the season when it is vital to prove consinstent in one’s performances. I think Andrea is ready to stay within the top 15 group, both during free practice sessions and in the race. We can’t wait to get back on track.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
The Catalunya GP cannot be considered among our brightest performances of the season but it offered much food for thought. I was able to keep a good race pace but an early collision made me lose ground away from the lead pack. Now we’ll go into Assen GP with an extra motivation: it is the Cathedral of Speed, a very tough but at the same time enthralling and technical track. If the whole team manages to work in the right way, from the very first free practice session, we will definitely be able to do well.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
Assen is an amazing track even if I don’t know it very well. It will be key to try and adapt as soon as possible to start working at the right set-up for the race. We have to show our potential. Too bad for that collision with Hanika in Catalunya, but this is racing.
LEOPARD RACING PREPARE FOR THE CATHEDRAL OF SPEED
Leopard Racing’s rider line up with series leader Danny Kent, Efren Vazquez and Hiroki Ono looks forward to a challenging weekend in the northern part of Europe as the historical TT Circuit in Assen welcomes the FIM Moto3™ World Championship for round eight this weekend.
Assen is the most traditional grand prix in history of motorcycle racing with a World Championship round held every year since its introduction back in 1949. But not only due to that fact the former Dutch TT owns several unique facts at the same time as it is the one and only weekend with race day on Saturday and beyond that due to its unique fast and flowing changes of direction throughout a lap of the 4,5 km long track.
Leopard Racing’s young Briton Danny Kent arrived in the Netherlands with a huge lead in points after he won for the fourth time this season in Barcelona two weeks' time ago. In doing so the Honda rider underlined once again how dominating he is in this year’s championship and he counts the TT Circuit in Assen as one of his favourite tracks, not only due to his first ever grand prix rostrum finish achieved back in 2012.
Meanwhile Efren Vazquez tries to carry on momentum after crossing the line in third position at his home race in Barcelona last time, but the Basque rider knows the Cathedral of Speed in Assen very well from race starts throughout many years while series rookie Hiroki Ono faces a new challenge at the super rapid race track in the Netherlands.
Time schedule is usual to most of the 18 events in the race calendar with just one but most important exception, because the race gets underway already on Saturday coming from historical reasons. So race start is on Saturday 11 am (GMT+2) with a distance of 22 laps.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - World Championship position 4 (76 points):
“I think we go to Assen with a strong result for our mentality achieved in Barcelona last time out. So of course we would like to continue in the same way of working this weekend where the track’s layout is really awesome. Anyway, we try to keep the feeling with the bike as well as the confidence and consistency during the race. Our target of course is to fight for the podium again and I think we are in a good shape do to so. I look forward to this race weekend in the northern part of Europe.”
#52 Danny KENT - World Championship leader (149 points):
“I’m really looking forward to Assen as it is one of my favourite circuits of the year and it’s also where I got my first ever grand prix podium. It’s a track I really enjoy riding and I’m pretty sure that it will suit me and my Honda very well. The weather forecast doesn’t look so good but either way I am prepared for any conditions.”
#76 Hiroki ONO - World Championship position 19 (13 points):
“It is the very first visit for me in Assen and the only thing I can say thus far is that I’m impressed about the TT Circuit. The layout with that much fast and flowing changes of direction is really very unique. But I’m quick in learning new circuits so I look forward to master this new challenge well. The target is simple said as I want to build on my performance shown last time in Barcelona with a fourth row starting position at least and hopefully to finish the race in the top ten for the first time. I experienced a relaxed weekend visiting some Japanese friends at the Barcelona circuit when they were racing in the CEV Moto3 and Moto2 series there. It was hard just to watch racing action on track but at the same time it was a nice experience for me to help them with my experience gained one week before at the Catalan Grand Prix.”
RW Racing GP ready to roll in home race
On the eve of the Dutch TT, both RW Racing GP and Livio Loi are ready for their home race. For the team it literally is a home race: Dwingeloo, where RW Racing GP is based, is less than 30 kms from the famous TT-circuit in Assen.
Also Livio Loi considers the Dutch Grand Prix his home race, as it is the closest to his home town in Belgium – just a few hours drive – and he raced the track quite a lot in his years riding the NSF100- and Moriwaki Cup.
A home race gives both extra pressure and extra motivation. “Of course, because a home race is much more than just the practices and the race,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen explains. Janssen is one of the four team members of RW Racing GP, next to Gerald Perdon, Thomas van Leeuwen and Hans Spaan – who won his home race once in 1989 – who raced in the Dutch TT himself and therefore knows by experience what it takes. “I never liked it as a rider, because of the extra pressure,” Janssen recalls, “but I also know the fabulous feeling when you achieve success in front of your home crowd. Well, Livio has shown already in several occasions what he is capable of. He has been riding top 10 times in almost every race so far this year, so if there is one occasion to have all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, it is here.”
“I’m very much looking forward to this event. Knowing there will be so many Dutch and Belgian supporters here gives me a real boost. As far as racing is concerned it isn’t much different: I want to perform at my best wherever we are but of course this is a special event. We’ve tested here for a few hours a while ago and everything is looking good so far. We’ll do our best, like always.
I’ve been around the track together with my mechanic Thomas van Leeuwen, who was one of my rivals in the Dutch TT last year.
I have been a bit sick the last few days and still suffer a bit from a cold, but that shouldn’t be of much influence.”
Today the second issue of RW Magazine was published. The digital version of the magazine can be found, read and downloaded from Issuu. A wide selection of images from the magazine are free for use and can be found on our Flickr page. The magazine is in Dutch, but a few of the stories will be issued in English as well on our website.