CASEY STONER (Repsol Honda): “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”.
DANI PEDROSA (Repsol Honda): “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. I am really looking forward to this race and aiming to ride at my best”.
JORGE LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing): “Assen and Brno are the tracks I think I have won at the most. I feel very strong there and we are very focused this season so I’m confident. We haven’t made so many mistakes and are working well towards the championship title. Our target remains to be on the podium each race and if possible take a win. Assen is good for our bike and it suits my riding style so let’s see what happens”.
BEN SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m really looking forward to this race. I love riding the Assen track and have always had great results here, especially last year! The place of your first Grand Prix win will always be unique. We’ve had a tough start to the year but have made good steps forward so I’m confident that we can step up and be fighting for the podium this weekend”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (Ducati Team): “Assen is a great track. I like it a lot, and it brings to mind a bunch of nice memories. We’ll try to start off with a good feeling with the track in order to improve our results a bit. For the moment, we can only work on the setup to prepare the bike as we try to return to the level that we had attained prior to Silverstone, which was a very difficult race. We were a bit better at Barcelona and during the dry sessions at Le Mans, so we must at least regain that pace. If it should also happen to rain, we know that we can be more competitive”.
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Team): “Assen has changed a bit over the years, but it’s a track that I like. There are some nice, fast sections, like the last bit, coming back to the stadium. A couple of those corners with the banking are pretty fun. Assen is one of those places where you never know what the weather’s going to be like, so you just have to be prepared for anything on Saturday. If you look at the result of my last race, I can’t say that it was really positive, but we learned a couple of things. One of those is that we need to try to come up with something to be easier on the tyre, so we don’t destroy it as quickly. We’ll work on that in the Netherlands and try to get a good result”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Silverstone was definitely a very positive weekend for us. After the changes we made in Barcelona my feeling with the bike improved a lot and at Silverstone we were able to confirm it. I felt comfortable and safe on the bike from the start and I was able to have fun, which showed through with the pole position on Saturday, my first in MotoGP, and in the fact I ran with the front group throughout the race on Sunday. At Assen I will try to confirm my good form from Silverstone, run with the front pack again and continue making progress. The next objective is obviously the podium but we can’t become obsessed with chasing it because I am sure that if we continue working as we are then sooner or later it will come”.
MICHELE PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “At Silverstone we were able to confirm that we are on the right path. We made significant progress at the tests in Barcelona and Aragón and in England we were able to have a good race and run with the best of the CRTs. The work that the guys in the team are doing is so important and I think that if we can take another step than we can make a strong challenge to be the top CRT. We have some updates on the way that I think will help us move forward and I am very optimistic about the future”.
STEFAN BRADL (LCR Honda): “Hopefully we can have some better weather condition and improve our bike in Assen. The Assen race track is not one of my favourite race tracks, especially the first part is not really good for me, but I think it’s completely different with a MotoGP bike. After a first “taste” on day one we will put all the things together chasing the best overall package ahead the race”.
HECTOR BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team): “The good thing about having races so close together is that you don’t lose your rhythm and if things don’t go your way in one race you quickly have the opportunity to make things right. That is the case for us because Sunday at Silverstone was a bit of a disaster. Now we can keep working hard and I am sure that at Assen, one of my favourite circuits, I can be fast with my Ducati. I had my first podium here and I always like it. Assen has some fast corners like Silverstone and I can adapt well. We had a good feeling at Silverstone during the practices, so hopefully we can recreate that this weekend”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing): “I still can’t move my index finger completely. Partly because of the healing wound on the finger and partly because of the pain in the first finger joint. It´s getting better really fast, so I’m pretty sure that I´ll be able to be back on track on Thursday. I do like the TT Assen Circuit and I´ve been successful on it in the past. Last year I made seventh in qualifying but unfortunately didn’t finish the race after being pushed off the track by Aoyama. I must forget it now, the same as the beginning of this unlucky season. We still have two thirds of this season ahead to make some good results. Although I can’t catch up the riders in the championship standing, this season isn’t lost and we have twelve more opportunities to ride the perfect race”.
ALEIX ESPARAGRO (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am really looking forward to going to Assen, one of my favourite circuits after Catalunya. I can’t wait to get there and start having fun because last year we missed out a lot because of the rain. Hopefully we get good weather this time and are able to enjoy a positive weekend. Our objective is the same as every other Grand Prix, which is to work hard to improve the performance of the ART bike and be the fastest CRT rider again. Assen is a pretty long track with a slow section and a very fast section, with flowing corners, and I always enjoy riding there. I preferred the old circuit but the new one is a lot of fun too”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I love Assen, which is a pretty technical circuit. Even though it has undergone a lot of modifications over the years and is much shorter than it used to be it is still very interesting. There are no long straights so that should benefit us because we will be closer to the factory prototypes than at other circuits. At Silverstone we found a few things that should help us improve the bike and I am looking forward to trying them out here. I hope the weekend goes well and the weather is kind to us so that we can continue our recent run of good results”.
JAMES ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport): “We are hoping the improvements in mapping and traction control we made for the Silverstone race will carry on to Assen. We have had a run of really solid results but I know there is a lot more to come from both the settings and from myself. I need to get more out of the tyres when they are new to improve our grid position and also our position on the first couple of laps which are so critical. That’s what I will be focusing on this weekend as our race pace is strong after lap three. Assen was my first international win back in 2000 so I have fond memories and I can’t wait to get out on track!”
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús