MotoGP heads for legendary Assen
DRIVE M7 Aspar riders looking to build on strong Barcelona weekend with more progress in Holland
The MotoGP World Championship this week heads to its oldest venue as the legendary TT Assen Circuit maintains its incredible run of hosting a round of the series every season since its inception back in 1949. Even though it has been reformed and remodelled many times since then it retains the magical atmosphere it became famous for worldwide and on the final Saturday of every June it attracts fans from across the continent. This year it hosts the eighth round of the season with Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa all looking to break Marc Marquez's 100% winning streak so far this season.
Nicky Hayden arrives in Holland lying twelfth in the current MotoGP standings and second in the 'Open' classification despite missing two races through injury. The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider produced heroics in Catalunya to ride just days after undergoing surgery on his wrist and he was rewarded for his efforts with twelfth place in the race. The American is hoping Assen will present a relatively easier challenge than Barcelona and he is motivated to ride at a circuit that saw him take a famous victory back in 2006. His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama has scored points in every race so far this season despite suffering a technical problem in the race at Catalunya, where he struggled over the line in fifteenth place. The Japanese rider is hoping for a better result this weekend.
Nicky Hayden: “We had a tough weekend at Catalunya but we still managed to have a good race. Hopefully this weekend at Assen is less of struggle – I like the circuit a lot and I have a lot of good memories after some good results in the past. I am looking forward to getting there and seeing how I feel – hopefully I will be stronger than last time. I am sure that the team will continue to work hard and the chemistry between us will continue to build as it has been doing all year. On paper we should be more competitive at Assen than we were in Barcelona because the straights are shorter and the layout should suit our bike. The weather is always changeable in Holland but I am looking forward to getting there and riding and hopefully challenging for a better result than Barcelona.”
Hiroshi Aoyama: “The last race in Catalunya wasn't an easy one for us because we had a technical problem. Fortunately we were able to make it to the finish and score points but the result wasn't what I had hoped for. I am sure we will have better luck at Assen and we'll be able to spend the weekend working on the bike. Assen is a relatively small and technical circuit and I am sure we can be more competitive there. The weather tends to be quite unstable so we will have to keep an eye on that. Our bike handles very well, that's its strongest point, so Assen should be on the of the circuits that suits it the best. We will work very hard to be competitive and achieve the best possible result.”