Thursday, 23 June 2011 20:09
MotoGP preview quotes from the riders and team members ahead of the championship round in Holland at the Assen circuit.
"Assen is my favourite track where I've won in all categories and also last season. This year it is very special coming here because we celebrate the 50th Anniversary! Now we are in second position in the championship, we come here looking to put pressure on the leader. I need to do the same job as I’ve done before with maximum effort. The team is focused and I wish to come back to finish at least on the podium."
“I’ve really been looking forward to coming to Assen again. It’s a track I love and the Yamaha M1 seems to really work well here. It’s a fast track which I really enjoy, I have so many memories of watching the racing on TV here as a kid, it’s a privilege to race here now. I’m still pretty sore from Silverstone’s crash but I’m not going to let it stop me giving 100% as always and going for the best results possible. It’s also going to be really cool to go out on the track in the special livery in front of all the fans.”
“We’ve been looking forward to Assen because of our special livery, I love the bike in white and red. We are currently second in the championship which is not such a bad position; we will see if we can put some heat on the feet of Casey. We made a mistake at Silverstone and now with 18 points deficit it’s a different situation for Jorge compared to most of last season and this year where he’s always been in front. When you lead you can’t be better than that so we need to be on top of everything and I believe he is able to fight with Casey for victory. We were only two tenths behind the front in qualifying at Silverstone so we have proved that our package is getting better and better and closer to the front.”
“This is the first of our 50th anniversary race celebrations, I am proud to be part of this unique event and to be a part of Yamaha at this time. The team has worked really hard to prepare for this, we hope racing fans will be delighted with the special livery on not only the bikes but also our uniforms and pit garage. The Assen circuit should be good for us this weekend, our bike should be competitive thanks to the layout and characteristics of the track, it is also one of Ben’s best circuits to ride on. In dry conditions at Silverstone it was clear that the direction we are taking in development is working and we are confident here we can continue this improvement. I’m impatient for Thursday morning to get started.”
“I spent two or three days with my head down after Silverstone before I started to get over the disappointment. That torrid day in England is now firmly behind me though and I am looking forward to Assen with the sole objective of continuing to work in exactly the same way that we have done in recent Grands Prix but this time following it up with a result on race day. We are on the right lines and we remain confident that the results will come. I like the Assen circuit even though I have to say the old layout was more interesting. Anyway, apart from the twisty first sections it is still one of my favourite circuits so I am sure I can be running up front again this weekend.”
“I will most probably be contesting the Dutch TT at Assen on board a factory RC212V as part of the Repsol Honda Team. I would like to thank Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and HRC for offering me this great opportunity.”
“Obviously the race result at Silverstone was disappointing for Marco, who had been very fast in practice, but now we have to look ahead with confidence and go to Assen, a circuit that Ma rco likes and which suits him, with the same conviction that we have tackled the last few rounds. We don't want to talk about results because we don't want to tempt fate and make predictions that could then lead to disappointment. We know we can do well and if everything goes right for us we can be fighting for the best possible outcome. Hiroshi Aoyama will probably have the chance to race at Assen on the factory machine and we are very pleased with that. It is another sign of the close working relationship we have with HRC and we are sure that for Hiroshi Aoyama it will be a worthwhile experience.”
"It's been some days since the surgery and I feel much better. I don't feel the pain I had before the operation and the evolution has been very good. I've already begun the rehabilitation and I am very positive. Every day I notice an improvement and this is very good because I really wish to get back on the bike as soon as possible. To be honest it will be very difficult for me to make it to Assen, but I really believe I will be OK for Mugello, so now I'm focused on working to get better every day and see how far I get. I want to return as soon as possible, but I want to do the right thing."
"It was a tough race in Silverstone and to come away with three wins in a row and also the Championship lead is awesome, so it's been nice to have a break after such a good time! I'm really looking forward to going to Assen, it's a nice track, the first section is a little slow and doesn't do too much for me, but the last part is a lot of fun. I believe the RC212V will work well for us there as it has done at all circuits so far this season. We will work hard to get the set up right on the bike and hope to challenge for another win, but right now we need to go ahead doing our best each race. I'm really sorry to hear Dani had to undergo another operation, he really doesn't deserve all this bad luck and I hope he'll be OK soon."
“After the podium finish at Silverstone, I look forward to race in Assen. I really like the old track, now with the several modifications it has lost a bit his unique identity. We are on good form and feel that we will also be strong this weekend. In particular at Silverstone we did a very good strategy and a good race so I'm motivated to get another strong result for the Championship. It’s a circuit in two sections, the first part is quite slow while the second part, the old Assen, is technically more demanding. I’m really sorry that Dani had to have another surgery. I hope that he recovers soon and he comes back completely recovered."
"We arrive to Assen with a lot of motivation, as after the pole position in Silverstone we now that the bike works well and that we are able to be up front. It is a Grand Prix where the weather conditions are very changeable, so let's hope that it does not rain, to enjoy the three days to the max. I like Assen circuit, I have very good memories of it, but it is very technical and you need to know very well all the areas. I will work on my physical training until Wednesday and on Thursday both the team and I will start to work on track. I know that with effort and taking it step by step we can do things well."
“We will be looking to continue with the same progress we had at Silverstone when we get to Assen this week. We made big steps in England, because it was very cold all weekend and we were able to be competitive and went a long way forward from where we were last year. It was cold at Assen in 2010 and we struggled, so we are hoping that what happened last week will help us if the conditions are the same, I hope it’s a lot warmer though and that won’t be an issue! The two circuits are quite similar, they are very fast with some good corners and it will be like continuing our work from where we finished at Silverstone. I won at Assen in 2008 and although it will be tough to try and repeat that, I believe we now have the package to start to run nearer the front on a regular basis.”
Hiroshi Yamada Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The Dutch TT is one of motorcycle racing’s most historic, and although it has greatly changed over the years, it has a special place in the hearts of many, including the fans. The season is really taking shape now, and especially with this run of six races in eight weeks the momentum is really building. Casey arrives in Assen with the championship lead just ahead of Jorge who won there last year, and we also hope that the recoveries of Dani and Cal are going sufficiently well to see them return to action soon.”
Hirohide Hamashima Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“Assen is a smooth circuit that requires asymmetric tyres because of the high loads placed on the right shoulders of the rear tyres. Following its modification in 2006 there are two distinct types of tarmac; the new part is slippery whilst the old is abrasive, making it particularly tricky in the wet. The circuit was also changed slightly for last year’s race when the Ruskenhoek corner was smoothed out to reduce the total lap length by 13 metres. The tyres have to cope with a wide range of corners from very slow to high speed and shoulder grip is crucial. The first few corners are linked as one and gradually tighten, requiring good right shoulder durability, and corners such as the 200km/h+ Ramshoek demand absolute commitment and generate relatively high tyre temperature.”
Tech 3 Yamaha
“I am really looking forward to Assen because I love the track. It is not the old Assen of a few years back, but there are still plenty of sections of the track that are awesome on a MotoGP bike. It's fair to say I've got some history at Assen. I got a podium in 2005 and 2008, but don't remind me what happened in 2006. I couldn't be more confident going to Assen though than I am now. The Silverstone result was fantastic for the whole Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It gave everybody a boost and it was great coming so quickly after my collarbone injury. I've had a lot of time relaxing and resting up with my family at home and the shoulder has only got stronger. It was like brand new in Silverstone, so I'm not worried about that at all. My right side is still hurting because I separated the muscles from my ribs, so I'm expecting a bit of discomfort from that. The rib injury has improved but I still don't think I'll have my maximum strength. I'll be looking for another strong result in Assen to build on the momentum gained from Silverstone.”
"Assen is another track that I know from my time in World Superbikes, but I will have to see how my shoulder is doing on the bike and go from there. It is Yamaha's 50th anniversary and I will do my best to be there and support them."
Randy De Puniet
“I need to turn my season around. Sure, it’s difficult, but it’s possible to do better. I hope that with the help of my team, I’ll be able to solve the problems with the bike’s front end. Otherwise I’m fine; I just want to erase the last race from my mind, as it was the worst of my career.”
“My morale certainly isn’t over the moon, as it’s hard to forget the disastrous outing at Silverstone. We need some positive results, for me and for the whole team. I like the Assen circuit a lot, but the unknown is once again the weather; they’re predicting rain here too, although it shouldn’t be as cold as Silverstone. We need to do well to be prepared for the next Grand Prix, at Mugello.”
Fabio Sterlacchini Pramac Racing Technical Director
“We want to forget the bad outing at Silverstone. It won’t be easy, because the problems we’ve been experiencing for some time can’t be erased in just one race, but it’s possible to improve. At Assen, the weather conditions could shuffle the deck again. Although our riders are currently more likely to do well in the wet, we must work well at preparing a suitable bike.”
“Assen is one of my tracks, one of those that I like most and where I’ve had some nice races in all the classes. We’ll try to take advantage of that good feeling and of our experience at this circuit because Thursday morning we’ll debut some updates to my bike that are very promising but also very fresh. Filippo [Preziosi], the guys at Ducati and the Test Team have worked really hard, and that has enabled us to make this new step with the development of our bike. We haven’t had the chance to test the 800 since Estoril, so we’ll do it during the race weekends, being aware that despite having very limited time, we’ll have to focus on two jobs: making basic adjustments to the new technical parts, and finding a general set-up for the race on Saturday. We’ll have to do a good job on the track in order to get the most out of the work done at the factory. It will be hard, and we know it might take some time before we can completely reach the potential of the whole package, but we’re happy and motivated by the work we’re doing.”
“There was no GP this past weekend, but the time went by pretty quickly, as I had a test at Mugello and a couple of PR appearances. Now it’s time for Assen, which is an awesome race. I have some good memories there, including a win, and it’s a place I really like, with a lot of history and tradition. The track has changed over the years, but I like the new section. We’ve had a big gap to the front lately, but now we have another new step with the chassis. The first step helped with the feeling, and hopefully this one will also help with the lap time. It’s clear that Ducati is working hard, and that’s motivating for me, for the team, and for all of our Ducati supporters. I look forward to getting my hands on a GP11.1 as soon as possible as well.”
Filippo Preziosi - Ducati Technical Director
“We decided to make the GP11.1, which is an 800cc engine in a GP12 chassis, in order to accelerate development on next year’s bike, and also to provide our riders with a potentially better base for the current championship. Considering that Valentino still hasn’t ever ridden the GP11.1, this decision could require some races for the team to completely take advantage of its potential, but we decided to move forward with it because we believe it’s an important step for our development process. The next generation gearbox, on the other hand, is a solution that we think will be an immediate improvement. The Ducati Corse Department will continue studying further innovations, both for this year and for 2012. At the same time, we have developed an additional step for the frame for Nicky, and he’ll receive the GP11.1 at Laguna Seca.”
“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 put things right. That is the case for us because Sunday at Silverstone was a bit of a disaster. We tried a couple of things for the wet conditions but they didn't work out. Now we can keep working hard and I am sure that at Assen, one of my favourite circuits, I can be fast with the Ducati. I had my first podium there and I always like it. Assen has some fast corners like Silverstone and I can adapt well. We had a good feeling at Silverstone in the dry so hopefully we can recreate that this weekend.”
"When I look at my rivals and see that some of them collected more podium finishes that I completed races, I have big respect for them. 100 races is a very nice number, but I believe that my career just beginning. Assen is an interesting circuit, including a lot of fast corners. Last year I finished ninth there and now I would like to manage another good result.“
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