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Jun 26, 2013

More Previews Of This Coming Weekend's Assen TT MotoGP Event

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

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

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

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

More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

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

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

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

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

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:

Avintia Blusens MotoGP returns to action at the mythical circuit of Assen

Barberá is ready to achieve a good result at the Dutch track
Iván Silva is back in the World Championship replacing injured Aoyama

The ever mythical circuit of Assen welcomes this week the MotoGP World Championship to celebrate the 65th World Championship Dutch TT and the seventh round of the 2013 season. After his remodeling, the Dutch track has lost part of the layout and the charm that made it unique, but it is also true that it is still the same very special GP for riders and fans. The Avintia Blusens riders are excited about the Dutch race but they have different aims. Héctor Barberá wants to obtain a good result at a circuit that he likes and where he expects to shorten distances with the official Aprilia bikes. Héctor wants to fight face to face with them, score points and, why not, be back in top ten.

Iván Silva ?the reserve rider of the Avintia Blusens team- has other goals. He is back in MotoGP to replace Hiroshi Aoyama while the Japanese recovers from the injuries of his fall at Montmeló. Iván, who is currently competing in the CEV, knows that he will need some time to adapt to the category, in which he does not participate since last season. But he travels to The Netherlands with a lot of excitement given this new challenge and looking forward to contributing to the achievement of a good result as a team.

In any case, the Avintia Blusens members arrive in Assen with the conviction of being among the best CRTs and are in high spirits after the results obtained in the Barcelona test.

8 Héctor Barberá: I am looking forward to arriving in Assen after how the Barcelona test went. There we tried new electronics that worked better and this makes me be very motivated to face The Netherlands GP. I am in a good moment of form and the team always gives the maximum, so I hope to be able to do a good job that can be reflected in Saturday?s race. I like the kind of corners that this track has and I think that our bike can work well on it. The forecasts are predicting rain and in wet it is a little bit difficult for us to be as competitive as we are in dry conditions, but with the new electronics I think that we can improve a lot.

22 Iván Silva: I am excited about being back in the World Championship and doing it with the Avintia Blusens team, with the one I participated in MotoGP last season. I will have to get used to riding the CRT again, but I am happy to be back there and check how the bike has progressed. I am sure that it is more competitive and I am convinced that I will notice the change. Furthermore, I am lucky to "debut" at Assen, that it is a circuit that I know and that I like, so it could not be better. I would like that the reason for riding the Avintia Blusens bike was not Aoyama injury, but I know that he is recovering well and that soon he will be at the circuits again.

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

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

NGM Mobile Forward Racing rides head to the TT Assen Circuit for the seventh round of the championship. In MotoGP both riders will strive to stay in the points and in Moto2 all four riders aim to be in the Top 10.

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

Moto2 riders Simone Corsi, Alex De Angelis and Mattia Pasini look forward to racing at the historical TT Assen and prove that they are serious contented for the Top10. After having improved his feeling with his SpeedUp bike at Barcelona, Ricky Cardús believes that Assen will be the track at which things will turn around for him.

Colin Edwards

“I like Assen, it’s a good track! It would be great to be in the Top 10 again at Assen but the goal for this weekend is to be in the points and be as close as possible from the Aprilias and be best FTR – Kawasaki.”

Claudio Corti

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

Simone Corsi

“This weekend we ride at the historic TT Assen circuit. The team and I are ready for this race and I believe we can do well here. I enjoy this track a lot and I only hope that the SpeedUp adapts well to it too. The defining factor at Assen as always will be the weather, lets hope it will be favorable.”

Alex De Angelis

“Assen is a very complicated track with very fast and very slow alternating turns. After a the significant step made at Barcelona I want to make up for the lack of results obtained there and I believe at Assen I can do much better.”

Pattia Pasini

“We arrive at Assen more motivated than ever. In the last few races we have made considerable improvements in terms of the setting of the bike. We have been very unlucky with the Mugello crash and the tire problems in Barcelona that ended up affecting me towards the end of the race. We have to keep up the good work we have done so far to fight for the top positions and podium.”

Ricky Cardus

“I am really looking forward to this next race at TT Assen, can’t wait to get out on track! I will continue working following my own system and remaining concentrated. I believe that good results will come either at Assen or Sachsenring.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda riders Pedrosa and Marquez receive new Honda replica scooters

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have received new Repsol Honda replica scooters for use in the paddock at the European rounds of the MotoGP Championship.

The sporty new NSC50R 50cc scooter, has an extremely efficient four-stroke engine, CBS braking system and now features the same paint scheme as the Repsol Honda Team machines!

It's class-leading environmental performance, thanks to highly efficient fuel economy, means it can cover 50 kilometres on just one litre of fuel in normal use, giving a great range from the 5.5-litre fuel tank of up to 273km. Also a tri-metal catalyser is used in the exhaust system which reduces harmful gas emissions to levels comfortably below EURO 3 requirements. An extra layer of safety is added by Honda’s CBS (Combined Braking System), linking the front hydraulic disc brake to the drum rear.

Dani Pedrosa
"It's fun for me and the team to have the scooter replica of our MotoGP bikes to get around the paddock. They are essential to move from the motorhome, to the garage, to hospitality, especially at the homes races in Spain! My team also use it to move around the service road during sessions over the weekend to watch me at different parts of the track and give me feedback"

Marc Marquez
"Having two such different bikes in the paddock is something quite strange! We jump from the 50cc scooter onto a 1000cc MotoGP machine - you can't get much more different! We also use the scooter to do our track inspection on Thursdays before each GP"

More, from a press release issued by Gino Rea Racing:

Gino Rea back to business in Moto2 Wildcard at Assen Grand Prix

Gino Rea and his Gino Rea Race Team, otherwise known as GRR8T, are set to return to the Moto2 World Championship next weekend at the Dutch circuit of Assen for the seventh round of the 2013 season. This will be the second race in Gino’s Moto2 wildcard campaign, having made a positive start at the French Grand Prix in Le Mans four weeks ago onboard his FTR machine. Despite a technical issue forcing Rea to eventually pit in, his trademark ‘Speedy G’ start saw him rocket from 31st on the grid to 15th by the end of the first lap. Rea had reached 12th and was battling with former World Champions for a third of the race before retiring.

Since Le Mans, the Moto2 World Championship went to Mugello and Catalunya with Rea unfortunately absent due to a lack of sponsorship. Having made the strategic decision to compete at tracks at which he is more familiar, Gino is very eager to be making his return at the TT Circuit of Assen.

Gino added: “Le Mans was a positive weekend for us, even with the issues we had we were still able to run inside the points come race day. I’m really looking forward to getting back on my FTR at Assen because the wait since the French GP has been way too long! After missing Mugello and CatalunyaIt’s it’s going to be hard to get back into race mode straight away but I’m eager to get back out on track in the Moto2 Championship. We’ve all been working hard to get things prepared and have even managed to squeeze in a couple of trackdays since Le Mans, so I can’t wait to get there and ride!”

Looking ahead, the Gino Rea Race Team have received official confirmation of their entry at the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring on the 14th July. With the gap considerably smaller this time until his next Moto2 appearance, Gino will be hoping to impress having qualified on the second row at the German circuit in the 2012 season. Beyond Sachsenring, Gino is seeking the support of sponsors to help him make the grid at Brno and Silverstone, circuits where the Londoner enjoyed a World Supersport Victory and podium finishes. Fans can help Gino by purchasing Gino Rea merchandise at . Gino will be selling updated photographs and t-shirts soon. Interested sponsors are urged to contact Gino Rea Race Team at .

More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Gosselies, Belgium: The Marc VDS Racing Team hop across the border from their base in Gosselies, Belgium to The Netherlands this weekend, for the Dutch TT at the historic Assen circuit, round seven of the FIM Moto2 World Championship.

Scott Redding heads to Assen with a 35 point lead in the championship standings, after a win in Mugello and a fourth place in Catalunya saw him collect 38 points at the two tracks on the calendar that punish his size and weight the most. The 20-year-old Briton ranks Assen as one of his favourite circuits and he heads to the North of Holland determined to repeat his podium success of last season.

Catalunya was a struggle for Mika Kallio, with set-up issues hampering his progress throughout free practice and qualifying, but the 30-year-old Finn overcame the issues in the race to take a top ten finish and keep his championship campaign on track. Kallio has won previously at Assen, aboard a 125cc machine back in 2006, and, like his teammate, has his sights set firmly on a return to the podium this weekend.

A big crash in Catalunya left Livio Loi battered and bruised, but the 16-year-old Belgian returns to action this weekend at a track he knows better than any other on the Moto3 calendar. Loi has won previously at Assen, in the closely contested Moriwaki Cup, and will be looking to take advantage of his previous experience at the 4.542km Assen track to close on the top ten in both qualifying and the 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 is also unique in that it is the only round where the races are held on Saturday, rather than the more usual Sunday.

Scott Redding #45:
"I'm looking forward to returning to Assen, as it's definitely one of my favourite tracks to race at. Fourth in Catalunya, a track that really punishes my size, was a good result in terms of the championship, but it was also a little disappointing to miss out on a fifth podium finish in Spain. I was third at Assen last season and I think a podium finish this time around is a realistic goal, but even more important is to try and extend my lead over Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat in the championship standings. If I can do that and stand on the podium this weekend in Assen then I'll be a happy man."

Mika Kallio #36:
"Catalunya was hard work, and a little disappointing because we didn't get the result we were looking for. We came away from Spain with some ideas about the set-up of the bike and that's something we need to discuss internally ahead of this weekend's race in Assen. While we are heading to Holland off the back of a difficult race weekend in Spain, confidence remains high, as the team is working well. I like the Assen track and it's been a good one for me in the past, but I need to be back in the top five, preferably on the podium, there this weekend if I'm to keep my championship campaign on track. If we get the set-up right from the start of practice then I think this is a realistic goal."

Livio Loi #11:
"I'm feeling confident heading to Assen, despite the problems in Mugello and the crash in Catalunya. Before the Catalunya crash everything was working well and I was inside the top ten in the race, but then a rider closed the door on me going into turn five and I was already on the limit with the brakes. I had no choice but to brake harder to avoid him and, as a result, I lost the front and crashed. I had a bit of a headache for a few days afterwards, but I'm back to full fitness now and I've been training hard for Assen. My goal, as always, is top 15 in qualifying and the race but, as we saw in Catalunya, when things are working well then top ten is a possibility."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Catalunya has always been a tough track for Scott, but he came away with 13 points and only a slight reduction in his lead at the top of the championship, which was a job well done. Now we head to Assen, a track that Scott likes and one where I'm confident he can repeat his podium success of last season. We need to find a solution to Mika's problems in practice and qualifying this weekend. His race pace is good, as he shows every weekend, but his starting position is robbing him of podium opportunities all too often. Livio has had two difficult rounds, with set-up issues in Mugello and a big crash last time out in Catalunya. This weekend at Assen, a track he knows very well, he needs to put the last two races behind him and regain his confidence on the bike. If he can do that then there's no reason why he shouldn't be pushing towards the top ten in both qualifying and the race."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

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

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

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

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

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

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

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

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

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