Preview press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin:
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.
Ducati Team arrive in the Netherlands for the Dutch TT at Assen
After two splendid wins by Andrea Dovizioso at Mugello and Barcelona, the Ducati Team have now arrived in the Netherlands for the eighth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled to take place this weekend at the Assen TT Circuit.
The Dutch race is the oldest one on the calendar (the first edition was in fact held in 1949), and even though the track has undergone a series of modifications over the years, what has remained unchanged is the incredible number of spectators who pack the grandstands and grassy banks of Assen every year.
Andrea Dovizioso does not consider Assen to be one of his favourite circuits but he has been on the podium three times in MotoGP, with two thirds in 2011 and 2012 and a second place in the 2014 race. Last year’s race was unfortunate for the Italian as he set pole and led the first part in the rain but then crashed out from second place after the restart.
Jorge Lorenzo scored a win at Assen in 2010, as well as a second place in 2009 and a third in 2015, but he will always remember the 2013 race, when after crashing in Friday free practice and breaking his collarbone, the Spanish rider returned to Barcelona for surgery and was then back on track on Sunday morning for the warm-up before finishing the race in fifth.
The TT Assen schedule gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 26-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 13.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (104 points)
“After two wins on the run in Italy and Spain, it’s been a fantastic week for me! Even though I’m second overall in the standings I’m not thinking too much of the championship because there are still a lot of races left and we must continue to work to improve some aspects of our bike. It’s true that we have dominated the last two GP and that the Desmosedici GP has gone really well but these were peculiar races, in particular Barcelona. In any case I’m pretty relaxed about everything and also at Assen I’ll be trying to get the best result I can.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (59 points)
“The race at Montmelò proved once again that this Ducati can win and I’m really happy for Dovizioso and for the entire team. We’ll be starting from scratch again at Assen, but I’m positive and I think that the Desmosedici can adapt well to the track. As for me, in the Netherlands I’ve always scored good results, especially the unforgettable memory of what happened in 2013, and it’s always a great place to race. The most important thing is to continue to work in the same way and improve every weekend as we have in the latest races."
The Assen TT Circuit
Assen is the only circuit to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. It was purpose built for the Dutch TT in 1955, with previous events having been held on public roads. The track is narrow, with rapid changes in direction, and is surrounded by grass banks and grandstands, providing excellent viewing for the massive number of fans drawn to this prestigious event every year. Modifications to the circuit in 2005/6 saw the length of the championship’s longest serving track cut from over 6 km down to its current lap of 4.5 km.
Fastest Lap: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.627 (176.5 km/h) – 2015
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 1’33.617 (174.6 km/h) – 2015
Best Pole: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.627 (176.5 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 319.8 km/h – 2015
Track Length: 4.5 km
Race Distance: 26 laps (118.1 km)
Corners: 18 (6 left, 12 right)
Race Start: 13.00 CET
Marquez and Pedrosa ready for Assen, round 8 of one of the closest Championships ever
The Repsol Honda Team is ready to return to action for two back-to-back races, the TT Assen on 25 June and the German GP on 2 July, which will be followed by a four-week summer break.
Approaching the TT Assen, the World Championship standings see Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in third and fourth places, respectively, just 23 and 27 points off the leader Maverick Viñales. With Andrea Dovizioso second at -7 from the lead and fifth-place Valentino Rossi at -28, this is the closest top-five spread, after seven races, since current points system was introduced in 1993.
Both Repsol Honda riders have good memories from Assen, with Dani having taken his first Grand Prix win (2002 – 125cc) and Marc having celebrated victories in all classes.
At the TT Assen:
Marc Marquez has 4 wins, 1×125 (2010), 2xMoto2 (2011 and 2012) and 1xMotoGP (2014), plus an additional 3 podiums and 2 pole positions.
Dani Pedrosa has 1 win, 1×125 (2002), plus an additional 7 podiums and 2 pole positions.
Marc and Dani stood together on the Assen podium in 2014 (Marc 1st and Dani 3rd).
“We’re coming off a positive race and a promising day of testing in Catalunya, so we’re looking forward to getting back on the bike and to continuing on the same level in the next race. I like Assen. We’ve had some exciting races there, and many good memories. Of course the weather is always unpredictable and makes things change very quickly, so we must be ready to adapt as we did in 2014 and last year. That, coupled with the fact that every race this season also seems quite unpredictable, means we’ll have to keep totally focused and work particularly hard beginning Friday morning to find a good setup for our bike and tyres, with the target of fighting for the podium in the race.”
“This weekend we head to the Dutch TT fresh from a podium in Catalunya. This is a race which usually requires great concentration in order to be prepared and deal with every situation the weekend may throw at us! You never know how much dry-track time you’ll get there and having to try several tyres during the weekend you must fully exploit every session. It’s a fast track that I like and we’ll push from Friday morning ready to make our best to be able to fight again at the front on Sunday”.
THE CATHEDRAL AWAITS ALEX RINS RETURN TO RACING
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 21.
It’s nearly time for the eighth round of the season and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is heading to Assen (The Netherlands) for what is expected to be an emotional weekend, as Factory rider Alex Rins is rejoining the team after a long hiatus caused by injury.
Rins suffered a fracture to his left arm at the GP of The Americas, in Texas, that took him away from racing since April. The surgery and following rehab process took about eight weeks, and the TT Circuit Assen is the designated race for his comeback.
The TT Circuit Assen will be the first of a back-to-back GP, together with the German GP in Sachsenring, on July 2nd. Andrea Iannone is seeking a further push for improvements after the last test in Barcelona that followed the race gave him a good feeling about the development of the bike.
The circuit, known as “The Cathedral of Motorcycling,” because of its historic significance to Motorcycle World Championship racing, is the only circuit to have hosted a race every year since its creation in 1949. Assen is quite a technical track, very narrow with rapid successive changes of direction that could be favourable to the handling capabilities of the GSX-RR machines. With a total length of 4.555 km (2.82 miles), it has a very short straight (only 487m – 1597.77ft) and a majority of right corners: 12 versus six left-handers.
“After the test we did in Barcelona, I’m arriving in Assen with more confidence. We got to grips with some important things and gained a better understanding of some weaknesses we had. This will allow us to start immediately in Assen on the work to compensate for them. The TT circuit seems suitable for our machine; there are few hard braking points and rewards cornering speed and agility in the change of direction, which are some of the strengths of our GSX-RR. I hope we can get back in the fight for the top positions soon.”
"The recovery from injury has been long and tough, but finally I will rejoin the team and again be able to race my GSX-RR. I can’t wait to get back to the feeling of racing and be reunited with my team again. Last week we tested in Barcelona and my feelings were positive. I’m recovering well and made a lot of progress. We worked without any pressure, but yet we were able to make improvements. Assen is a magical circuit; I can’t wait to ride there on a MotoGP machine.”
APRILIA EXPECTED AT FINAL EXAMS
TIME TO RACE AT ASSEN, HISTORIC AND DEMANDING ASPHALT
MotoGP returns to the 4,967 yards of the TT Circuit Assen, the penultimate race before the summer break. A historic track, the only one to have hosted a Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing round every year since 1949, modified several times over the years but always capable of providing an exciting show.
Aprilia heads there with high enthusiasm and a few points less than they should have been able to earn. Just over a year from the project début, the RS-GP has made visible and consistent progress since the season start, but up to now, circumstances have penalized the Italian team in the races. Team and riders have certainly not lowered their expectations. In the Barcelona tests, Aleix Espargaró and Sam Lowes once again worked in view of the (substantially continuous) development of the V4 prototype, confirming the overall quality of the technical package they have available to them.
Therefore, for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, the Dutch round promises to be a very important race. There are still many unknowns, especially on a demanding and complex track like the one in Drenthe, with the possibility of rain always looming at these latitudes.
"After three races with zero points, we deserve to show the true potential of the Aprilia RS-GP and I hope I am able to bring home a good result at Assen. I like the circuit a lot. After the tests at Montmelò, we confirmed that we have a great pace in race simulation, so now it's time to demonstrate that with a great Sunday."
"I like the Assen circuit. I can't wait to get on the track, have fun and show my progress. For myself and for the team. Hopefully I'll do my best race of the season."
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"We are heading to Holland with high expectations. Assen is one of the best suited tracks to the characteristics of the RS-GP. The track requires stability in the fast sections, despite the fact that the last part with the chicane also demands a certain dose of agility. One of the fundamental issues will be the weather, which we hope remains stable (one way or the other) throughout the weekend."
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"We are consistently demonstrating that we have great potential, but for one reason or another, the final result has eluded us. Personally, I am pleased with how competitive the RS-GP is. We are at a very high level and unfortunately a hiccough or two are expected during our growth path. We are going to Assen comforted by a lot of positive signs and well-aware that we still have a long way to go, but we are not afraid of hard work."
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.
Miller ready for Assen return
This weekend Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head to Assen and the Dutch TT, a circuit that will bring back happy memories for Jack Miller, who took his first win in the MotoGP class there one year ago.
The Australian's victory in a weather-affected race was the first by a non-factory team in the premier class for a decade, but it opened the floodgates and the 2016 season ended with the two independent Honda teams securing three race wins between them.
Miller heads to the Netherlands off the back of a disappointing result in Barcelona, where he crashed out of the race and dropped out of the top ten in the championship standings after what had initially promised to be a good weekend.
But the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider's confidence was boosted by a positive post race test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which included evaluating set up options for the fast and flowing nature of the 4.5km Assen circuit.
The weather played an important part in Miller's victory at Assen 12 months ago, and it looks certain to be a factor this weekend, with rain showers forecast on two of the three days, including race day.
Tito Rabat heads into the Assen weekend after once again scoring points last time out in Barcelona. The former Moto2 World Champion has scored points in every race he's finished this season, a trend he's determined to continue this weekend at the Circuit van Drenthe.
"Obviously I've got some decent memories of Assen, after standing on the top step of a MotoGP podium for the first time there last year, and I'm looking forward to this year's race. We go to the Netherlands after a solid weekend in Barcelona that was spoilt only by the crash in the race. I like the Assen track and I think we can do a good job there, we just need to keep working in the same way we've done since the start of the season. Conditions will be cooler than the last two races, but I don't think that will make a big difference, but rain could shake things up a bit. It might be summer, but this is Assen we're talking about, so the weather can change in an instant. We're ready whatever it throws at us."
"Last year Assen was a disaster for me, but we go there this season in much better shape. My feeling with the bike and the Michelin tyres has improved as the season has progressed and we also enjoyed a very positive test in Barcelona immediately after the last race. I've scored points in every race I've finished so far this season but, while I'm strong towards the end, I still need to improve at the start. I need to be more aggressive from the start, to make up places early rather than having to pick people off as the race enters the final stages. Like always I will be giving it 100% this weekend and I hope I can continue my run of points scoring finishes in Assen."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"As you can imagine, Assen holds some special memories for us. Jack's win there last season was the first for a non-factory team in ten years, which was a big achievement for a team in only their second year racing in the premier class. We head there this year with realistic expectations, but with one eye on the weather. Jack is one of the best riders on the grid when conditions are mixed, as we saw last year and, as we also saw last year, the Assen weather can be somewhat unpredictable. If it rains this weekend then we need to be ready to take advantage again. Tito has shown how strong he is at the end of races, making up places to score points in every race he's finished, but we need to work with him this weekend to improve his pace at the start and at midrace distance, as this is where he's losing the most time at the moment."
Reale Avintia Racing riders head the Cathedral of Motorcycling
After a break of ten days, Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz head to the historic circuit of Assen this weekend for the eighth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. The Dutch Grand Prix is the first of two consecutive race weekends that will mark the end of the first half of the season in Germany. But before heading to Sachsenring, Barbera and Baz will take part in the famous ‘Dutch TT’ at Assen on Sunday.
The 4.5km circuit is one of the favorites of the Reale Avintia riders and both hope to be fighting for a ‘Top 10’ result in the “Cathedral of Motorcycling”. Last year, the race was interrupted due to rain showers after 14 laps and in the second 12-lap-race, Hector Barbera managed to secure sixth place.
For Loris Baz, this will be his first time in Assen with Ducati. Last year, he did not take part in the race due to an injury, but now he is back eager to fight for a good result.
“After the good weekend in Barcelona, I have been training very hard and with more motivation than ever. I come to Assen looking forward to improve what we did in the last race and to leave the first part of the season behind with a great result. I like the circuit and we have to work hard from Friday to get the most out of the tyres and to choose the right ones for the race on Sunday. It will be important to do well in Assen and in Germany so we can say good-bye to the first part of the season with good feelings.”
“I am happy to go to Assen because it’s a circuit that I love. I was a bit tired after Mugello and Barcelona, so it was great to have a weekend to rest and re-charge the batteries. I’ve also been training hard, because I want to be strong for the race on one of my favorite circuits. Last year I was injured and I couldn’t race. Now, I’m even keener to ride my Ducati at Assen. We will have to wait and see how the weather develops, because even though the forecast is not bad, it can always rain at Assen. I want to finish the first half of the season in a positive mood, so I’ll give my best in the next two races.”
Assen awaits the Pull&Bear Aspar Team
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:06
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham arrive at Dutch TT in good spirits after recent results
The Grand Prix of Qatar already seems like a distant memory as the 2017 MotoGP World Championship heads full speed towards the halfway point of the season, with back-to-back races in the Netherlands and Germany. For the second successive season the TT Circuit Assen, also known as the “Cathedral of Speed,” opens its gates on a Sunday rather than the traditional last Saturday in June, with Jack Miller's debut win in last year's crazy race still fresh in the memory. This year's championship has been no less unpredictable, with four winners already from the opening seven rounds and with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso the man on form thanks to consecutive victories in Mugello and Barcelona. The quest to become the fifth winner gets underway an hour earlier than usual at 1pm local time on Sunday.
Álvaro Bautista arrives at Assen looking to repeat his recent performances in Italy and Catalunya. The Pull&Bear Aspar rider has two targets in mind: to rack up more points finishes and put his early season no-scores behind him, whilst returning to the battle for top five positions. His team-mate Karel Abraham heads into the eight round of the season feeling positive about the progress made alongside his technical staff during the last two rounds, which have seen him set a competitive pace and pick up two more important points for his season tally.
Álvaro Bautista:“In the Netherlands you always have to keep one eye on the track and one eye on the sky because the weather is very changeable and it can rain at any moment. The last two races have given the team a boost in morale, having finished fifth at Mugello and seventh in Barcelona after fighting at the front. It was important for us after the start of the season we have had. Let's see if we can keep this level of performance up this weekend and fight, as I set out to do at the start of the season, for a top five finish, which would be a great result. Assen was one of my favourite circuits up until they made the change and made the first section so tight. After that there is a fast section, where you need an agile motorcycle for all the changes of direction. Now we have back-to-back races where we need to maintain our level and keep picking up points.”
Karel Abraham: “I have good memories of Assen, from the old layout and the current one. It is a track I like, with flowing, fast corners. We go there feeling good after the two races in Mugello and Barcelona, where I think we took a big step forward, and now I feel even better on the bike, especially in terms of the front end. Everything is going well and I am determined to continue in the same way this weekend.”
CRUTCHLOW BOOSTED BY NEW CONTRACT AT ASSEN
PRESS RELEASE: 22 June 2017 | Assen GP Preview
Cal Crutchlow has arrived at Assen in high spirits after agreeing a new contract to remain with the LCR Honda team, but is targeting an improved result after a disappointing couple of rounds in the MotoGP World Championship. Following an encouraging start to the season, the Briton was left frustrated after collecting just five points from the last two races in Mugello and Barcelona where a combination of bad luck and bike issues hampered his progress.
However, the 31-year-old is looking to put that behind him this weekend at one of the most iconic venues on the calendar. He will attempt to do so with the added confidence of having signed a new two-year factory Honda deal that sees him contracted directly to HRC until the end of the 2019 season. Crutchlow will continue to represent the Japanese manufacturer while racing for Lucio Cecchinello’s team with whom he has been since the start of the 2015 campaign.
The Briton expressed his delight at the opportunity to extend his stay with LCR and is looking to celebrate by securing a positive result at a circuit where he has not finished outside the top 10 since 2011.
"Obviously I’m really pleased with the support we’ve always got from Honda. I’ve had three years here now (with LCR) so I might as well make it two more! This is my longest time in any team, I’m really happy and HRC have made me a fantastic contract. I have to thank LCR for putting the team together and getting us to race week in and week out – Lucio does a great job and I’m really looking forward to the next two seasons.
“The support we get from HRC is already very good, our bike is competitive enough and I’m pleased with the way it’s gone so far. Of course having a direct contract with a manufacturer makes things different in your personal life; but here at the track, being at a satellite team with a factory contract, I don’t think it changes too much and it doesn’t change anything for me as I always give 100 percent.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I love this place (Assen), it’s a great track, although I’ve always said I’m really disappointed I didn’t get to ride the old track here – everyone told me it was spectacular and I think it was a year before I started the World Championship. We always have a great crowd here, a lot of UK fans come over as it’s close to home and I’ll try and put on a show for them. The goal is always to win, but I’d be happy to come away with a top-five.”
MICHELIN HEADS NORTH FOR THE HISTORIC DUTCH TT
Michelin and the 2017 MotoGP™ World Championship is on the way to the most northerly event of the season as the racing series heads to Assen in The Netherlands for the Motul TT Assen and the eighth race of the year.
The 4,542m long circuit is also known as ‘The Cathedral of Speed’ and is a favourite with fans and racers alike and has produced some great races in the past in-front of a knowledgeable and festive crowd that descends from all over Europe. This year will see the 87th Edition of the famous Dutch TT after it was first staged in 1925 and has taken place every year since then, apart from 1940 to 1945 due to the hostilities of the Second World War. When the Motorcycle World Championship was formed in 1949 Assen was one of the original venues and has remained on the calendar every year since then and is the only circuit to have this accolade.
The track is a very technical affair with corners varying from slow turns to high-speed bends. This layout demands good rear grip – especially on the side of the tyre – through the track’s six left-hand and twelve right-hand corners. The design of the Assen circuit has no hard-braking zones and the track is not very demanding on the front tyres – unlike some recently visited circuits – so with these considerations the allocation of MICHELIN Power Slicks for the front will all be a symmetrical design, available in soft, medium and hard compounds.
The rear tyres will all be asymmetric to manage the stresses that are placed upon them, with the right-hand-side of the tyre having a harder compound to give better durability and optimum grip through the extra right turns, whilst the left side will be a softer compound designed to warm up quicker and give rapid temperature to the rubber after the sustained periods on the right shoulder. The rear will be available in soft (white band) medium (no band) and hard (yellow band), with the compounds designed to cover the medium severity of abrasion that the track is expected to offer. Last year saw the wettest race of the season on the MotoGP calendar at Assen and although no-one wants a repeat of those conditions the allocation will be prepared with the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres in soft and medium should the wet weather re-appear.
The Dutch TT had been traditionally staged on a Saturday until that changed last year with the first Sunday running, which will continue this year, but with a revised race-time. Michelin and the MotoGP field will take to the track on Friday 23rd June for the first day of practice, followed by further practice sessions and qualifying on the Saturday. Sunday’s 26-lap race will get underway at an earlier than usual start time of 13.00hrs CEST (12.00hrs BST, 11.00hrs GMT/UTC).
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“Assen is always a difficult race to gauge for because you never know what the weather will be like there. We have had very cold and extremely hot, and last year it was so wet the race had to be stopped – so we must be ready for any eventuality, because Assen is one of motorcycle racing’s most historic tracks and it is always a big event. The surface is inconsistent and the mix of newer and older asphalt offers differing levels of grip and abrasion. The new sections are slippery and the older parts abrasive, this makes it hard for riders to get a consistent feeling throughout a lap, and very tricky in the wet. The track is still a favourite with the riders, despite the changes over the past years, but even with those alterations it still retains its unique feel. The layout has fast bends and slow corners, so the tyres are forced to cope with all different stresses. It is also a track that sees riders use different lines and this can make for some very exciting racing. We have tyres that provide effective grip and durability in dry conditions and wet as well and we are looking forward to an exciting weekend.”
Dutch GP (Assen) - Good things come in threes…
Did you know…?
- With the triumphs at Mugello and Barcelona, it’s the first time that Ducati has had back to back victories since 2010 with Stoner in Aragon and Japan.
- Dovizioso is now part of an exclusive club of riders who have won two consecutive races with Ducati, as did Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner.
- There are only seven points separating Dovizioso from the championship lead. It’s the closest that Ducati has been to the lead after the first third of the championship since Stoner won the title in 2007.
- Dovizioso took pole position in last year's race. The Ducati dominated 5 of the 6 practice sessions during the weekend.
- Dovizioso led the race last year until heavy rain caused it to be stopped for safety reasons.
- In 2008, Stoner won on the Ducati, took pole position and had the fastest race lap.
- Four different Ducati riders managed to lead last year's race. At the start, Redding led the group, a position that later would be held by the Colombian rider Hernandez, then Dovizioso, and finally Petrucci.
- Jorge Lorenzo has not won at Assen since 2010. He has suffered bad luck at the Dutch circuit since then: in 2011 Simoncelli caused him to crash and in 2012 Bautista took Lorenzo out of the race on the opening lap. In 2013, he crashed during FP2 and broke his collarbone. In an heroic move, he had an emergency operation that same day and was able to participate in the race, ending in an astonishing 5th place just 36 hours after being operated on.
- Lorenzo has managed to win at Assen in every category: in 2004 with 125cc; 2006 and 2007 in 250cc; and 2010 in MotoGP. He has 6 podiums and 4 pole positions in addition to his victories.
- Assen is the only circuit that has been on the calendar since the first World Championship race held in 1949. For this reason, and because of the large number of fans who come to this GP annually, it is known as the Cathedral.
- For the second year in a row the Dutch race will not take place on the Saturday. Since last year, the Dutch Grand Prix has been held on Sunday as the other races are.
- In 2006, the track layout was subjected to a major remodeling which cut its length by 1442 meters, eliminating the first sector between Turn 1 to the current Turn 4.
- The most notable part of the Dutch track is the chicane at the start of the front straight. Many races have been decided here and some of them were quite controversial.
- The famous Assen chicane is entered at up to 260 km/h and slows to 126 km/h over a distance of 159 meters over 3.8 seconds.
- At last year's Grand Prix, Dovizioso clocked a top speed of 318 km/h. The maximum speed recorded at Assen was in 2015 by Iannone on the Ducati who reached a peak speed of 319.8 km/h.