This year, the Factory Yamaha teammates are again keen to feature at the front of the pack during an extra special eighth round as it will be the first time the Dutch GP is held on a Sunday instead of the traditional Saturday race.
Lorenzo is looking to bounce back on Dutch soil following an unlucky DNF in Catalunya at the last round. The Reigning champion holds second place in the championship and hopes to step on the top step of the rostrum in Assen for the fifth time in his Grand Prix racing career. He previously secured a win in 125cc (2004), 250cc (2006 and 2007) and MotoGP class (2010) and is eager to apply some of the findings from the post-Catalunya test to his set-up for this weekend. Rossi, meanwhile, holds the Fastest Lap and Best Pole record thanks to a 1:32.627 lap he set in qualifying last year. He has won nine times in front of his Dutch fans (125cc x 1 in 1997, 250cc x 1 in 1998, and MotoGP x 7 in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015) and counts Assen as one of his favorite tracks. His superb win from last year gives him an extra confidence boost for this weekend as he tried to move up from third place in the standings.
Marquez is able to take a two-week break after the last outing at Catalunya. He even took the RC213V-S for a spin at the Red Bull Ring during a private test session. “I really enjoy Assen TT and, importantly, the first in a series of circuits that suit my riding style quite well! Step by step, we’re making some small improvements to the bike, so in Assen we’ll keep working hard from the first session to find a good setup and try and fight for the podium again.”
Team mate Dani Pedrosa is eager to get back on the RCV after a two-week pause. Last week, Hhe joined Marquez at the Red Bull Ring to try out the RCV S. “We’ll see what feeling we’ll have in different conditions: colder than recent races, and very high-speed. The chances of rain are always high there, so we hope to have enough dry sessions to do some good work, both for the race weekend and for the future.”
Ducati Team have put the results of the Barcelona race behind them and have now arrived in the Netherlands. Andrea Dovizioso, who this weekend will remarkably notch up his 150th start in the premier category, does not see Assen as one of his favorite tracks, but he has stepped onto the podium three times in MotoGP with two thirds in 2011 and 2012 and a runner-up slot in 2014. Last year’s race was rather an unfortunate one, as he reached fifth place but was then slowed by a strange vibration in his GP15 machine and had to settle for an overall twelfth place.
Things were a bit different for Andrea Iannone, who really likes the Dutch circuit. The Italian scored a good result in the 2015 race, starting from row 2 and moving up into fourth, a position he held until the chequered flag.