PETRONAS Yamaha SRT primed for trip to “Cathedral of Speed”
TT Circuit Assen hosts final round ahead of summer break for Morbidelli and Rossi this weekend
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi are eagerly anticipating the return of the DutchGP this weekend; with Assen hosting the final round before the MotoGP summer break.
Morbidelli is looking forward to the return of Assen, after the global pandemic forced its cancellation last year, as it is somewhere that he has enjoyed success in the past. In 2017, when competing in Moto2, the Italian secured pole position, the race win and posted the fastest lap. Feeling ready to tackle its fast and flowing lines, Franco goes into the DutchGP hoping to move back into the top-ten of the world championship standings, as he currently sits 11th with 40 points.
Team-mate Rossi also has a long list of previous success around the 4.5km long TT Circuit Assen – eight wins, ten podiums, five pole positions and seven fastest laps in the premier class. Although the GermanGP did not reflect the Italian’s pace from earlier in the weekend, Valentino goes into this weekend eager to return to the scene of his most recent MotoGP victory and enjoy the final race before the championship’s summer break. Rossi currently has 17 world championship points and sits 19th in the riders’ standings.
Morbidelli and Rossi will be on track at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) Friday for Free Practice 1, with Sunday’s 26-lap MotoGP race due to get underway at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).
I’m feeling positive about heading to Assen as it is a track that is very flowing, a lot more so than Sachsenring. It’s another historical track, like Mugello, and a circuit that is great to ride. It is tricky, with the changes of direction at high speed, but it is a lot of fun at the same time. It is somewhere that maybe I can find and exploit some advantages of my bike. I won there in 2017, so it’s somewhere that I also have good memories at. I hope that we can have a good race there this weekend.
We need to figure out what happened in Germany and work well to make some improvements before we are back on track this weekend. Assen is a great track for me though and I like the layout a lot, it is very flowing. It is somewhere I really enjoy and you always feel some great emotion when riding there. So we need to stay positive, concentrate on the final round before the summer break and achieve a good result in Assen.