Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams previewing this weekend's races at Assen:
Marquez and Mir focus on podium charge in Assen
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir are aiming high heading to the historic TT Assen Circuit in Holland.
Alex Marquez is optimistic he can bolster his impressive title challenge this weekend when the Moto2 field tackle the famed TT Circuit Assen in round eight of the 2018 World Championship.
Four podium finishes in the opening seven races have put Marquez third in the standings and just 25-points adrift of World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.
And the Spanish rider is determined to keep the pressure on this weekend, as he bids to extend an eye-catching record at the TT Circuit Assen. In his five previous visits, Marquez has finished inside the top 10 on each occasion, which included victory in Moto3 during his title-winning campaign in 2014.
Joan Mir arrives in Holland fresh from a hugely productive two-day test at Motorland Aragon last week. And the rookie is determined to bounce back strongly from the first DNF of his outstanding debut season in Moto2 last time out in Barcelona.
Mir missed top three finishes at the TT Circuit Assen in 2016 and 2017 by less than a second, but he is determined to make a rapid return to the podium this weekend to add to his dazzling rides onto the rostrum in Le Mans and Mugello.
Marquez and Mir commence practice on Friday at 1055am and their 24-lap race is scheduled to start at 1220pm on Sunday afternoon.
Alex Marquez: 3rd / 94 points
“Assen is a fast and beautiful track. Everyone names it as ‘The Cathedral’, so it’s always great to race there. Last year I a good weekend, even if we had one more crash than expected. I really like the layout, as it demands fast and fluid lines and my riding style fits well on this track, so we’ll try and take advantage of it. The last round in Barcelona was a good weekend, as was the later test in Aragon too, so we’re now feeling very positive and I must keep pushing. We’re just 25-points behind the leader and our goal is to keep working hard to try and reduce that deficit.”
Joan Mir: 6th / 64 points
“I’m really excited to be going to Assen because it is a track that I really like. I’m looking forward to doing a great weekend because I was unlucky with the crash in Barcelona. After that my team and I need a good result to recover some points in the World Championship.”
Demanding TT Circuit awaits Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders take on one of the most emblematic events of the season at the Dutch TT, the eighth round of the campaign.
Aron Canet and Alonso López will be competiting at legendary TT Assen Circuit this weekend, as the historic venue continues a tradition of racing stretching back to 1925.
Having been taken out of the most recent race in Barcelona by a collision from another rider, Aron Canet is keen to make amends at the Dutch TT. He was the race winner in the 2017 Dutch TT, and starts the weekend as one of the favourites to repeat the feat. The Spaniard is currently fifth in the overall standings with 61 points.
Alonso Lopez faces an almost familiar difficulty once again, as he continues to ride at new tracks for the first time in his rookie season. As one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar, learning Assen will not be easy for him, but he has shown that he is always determined to get the best from each new experience. He is extra motivated after achieving a positive eighth place in Barcelona a fortnight ago. Lopez has regained ground in the overall standings and is fourteenth, with 31 points.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders will be on track from Friday at 9am for the first Free Practice session. The race is scheduled for Sunday at 11am local time.
NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR NAVARRO IN HOLLAND
The expectations for this early part of the season were a lot different for the Federal Oil Team Gresini Moto2 team and Jorge Navarro, who is at his second year aboard the Kalex machine #9 of the Italian squad. There are many rounds left, however, between now and the end of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship; this means there are more opportunities to turn this negative trend around, starting from this weekend’s Dutch GP at Assen.
The starting point would be the good feeling Navarro enjoyed with his 600cc machine during Montmeló’s warm up, in order to leave behind the latest of a long list of crash that eliminated the Spaniard from the Catalunian encounter – after a promising stard – last Sunday. Focus and hard work, as always, will be the key.
Moto2 action at Assen will begin on Friday at 10:55 local time (GMT +2) with the first free practice session for the middleweight class of MotoGP.
JORGE NAVARRO #9
“We struggled a lot in the last four races and it’s time to find a new energy. I decided to change my approach: I’m getting ready and training in a different way so that I can go to Assen with a different mind-set. This is a track that I like and one where I’ve done well in the past. I’m charged up and ready to aim at good results.”
MOTO3 GETS IN THE HEAT OF THE SEASON WITH ROUND 8 AT ASSEN
The Netherlands await Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 who at the ‘Cathedral’ will try to bring their colours back on the world championship podium of the quarter-litre class – something that was missed only in the two events on Spanish soil (and in France, due to penalty).
Fabio Di Giannantonio gets to Assen as the first chaser of the current championship leader. Still looking for his maiden win in the series, he has been so far the most consistent of the two Gresini Moto3 standard bearers, as he always scored points so far and finished no lower than seventh.
Jorge Martin will try to leave Montmeló’s behind in order to focus on the Dutch GP, where last year he scored pole position and narrowly missed out on a podium finish. With three wins in 2018 already, the goal will be to make it to the chequered flag with more consistency.
Moto3 proceedings will begin on Friday morning with the usual Free Practice 1 session at 9am local time (GMT +2).
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“Assen is among my favourite tracks, I like it a lot. I have always been quite fast there, more or less, so after the good performance in Montmeló and given our second place in the standings, we get there with fresh confidence. KMTs will be tough to beat again, but we will bring our A game.”
JORGE MARTIN #88
“Assen is a track where I feel comfortable. Last year I scored pole position on the wet and then during the race, with dry conditions, I was doing well but due to a collision towards the end I only finished fourth. We need to come up with a good strategy for the race, choose tyres well and keep working the way did so far.”
THE UNIVERSITY OF TWO WHEELS WELCOMES THE FORWARD RACING TEAM
Leaving behind the disappointing weekend in Barcelona, the Forward Racing Team is ready to throw its strength and resources in the eighth round of the season in Holland, at the TT circuit of Assen.
The track is one of the most challenging of the entire World Championship, it alternates between slow and fast sections, with very high average speeds: for this reason it is called the "University of two wheels".
Both the Team's riders, Stefano Manzi and Eric Granado, arrive full motivated and with a great desire for revenge: both greatly appreciates the track and wanted to do well, starting from Friday's practice, so as to arrive ready and competitive for Saturday's qualifying and the following race on Sunday.
The Dutch weekend, which will see our riders run in the intermediate class of the World Championship, will start on Friday and will take place as follows:
FP1 - Friday 29 June - 10:55 a.m.
FP2 - Friday 29 June - 3:05 p.m.
FP3 - Saturday 30 June - 10:55 a.m.
QUALIFYING - Saturday 30th June - 3:05 p.m.
RACE (24 laps) - Sunday 01 July - 12:20 p.m.
Stefano Manzi - Rider
“Assen is a very fast track, I like it so much. We would like to try to redeem ourselves from the weekend in Barcelona, certainly not positive, already from the day of Friday. We will try to do better in Saturday's qualifying session as well, to be a bit quicker and more competitive on Sunday: we will certainly be doing our best again this weekend."
Eric Granado - Rider
“We arrive at Assen where we find a rather technical circuit, with a fairly slow part and a very fast one: we must be good in understanding immediately in which part the bike works best, hopefully both! As always, I am very enthusiast to make a good weekend, hoping to really take an important step forward, with the help of the whole team, which deserves a positive result.”
Milena Koerner - Team Manager
“Finally we leave for Holland, where we can't wait to recover for what was a suffered Weekend in Barcelona. Assen is a very fast circuit, always crowded with fans, the Dutch ones, who have always had the culture of the two wheels, and that will certainly give much charge to our two guys. We have worked hard to understand every difficulty encountered during the Catalunya GP and we will do, therefore, our best to start in a positive way the three days of racing, already starting from Friday, where we want to show what is the true potential of the team and of our riders .”
Red Bull KTM Ajo look to stay on top in Assen
The Moto2 World Championship hits the TT Circuit Assen for the eighth round of the season, with Miguel Oliveira just a point off the lead of the overall standings. Brad Binder will look to get on the podium in the Netherlands for the first time.
06/27/2018 - TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands
The Moto2 class takes on one of the most legendary tracks on the calendar, Assen, this weekend. A part of the Motorcycle World Championship since 1949, the venue is known as the 'Cathedral' of motorcycle racing, and the trip to the Netherlands is always a special occasion. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder hope to provide a great result for Red Bull KTM Ajo this time around.
Oliveira made a great comeback in Barcelona, finishing the race in second position, and the Portuguese is now just one point off the series leader. Oliveira will look for his third consecutive podium, after rostrums at Mugello and Barcelona, at a circuit where he has previously won. Victorious in Moto3 for Red Bull KTM Ajo in 2015 at the Dutch track, he also holds a podium from 2014 and was on pole in 2013, all in Moto3. In the intermediate class, last year's Dutch GP was the first time he had fought for the win with a KTM -a bike new to the grid in 2017.
Binder also enjoyed a good weekend in Catalonia. The South African rider equalled his best grid result and claimed another valuable sixth place a fortnight ago, and will look to take a step forward at Assen following a consistent run of results. He is targetting a podium at a track where his previous best result is a seventh place in 2015.
The eighth Moto2 race of 2018, which will be held over 24 laps, will start on Sunday, July 1st at 12:20pm local time.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"We had two very positive results at Mugello and Barcelona, which allowed us to get closer to the lead in the overall standings, but it is still very early days and we have to take things race by race. The idea is to continue in the same way this weekend, although there is an important point to improve, which is qualifying. We can't start from so far back on Sundays because it is a risk that we can ill afford to take. We must improve our work on Fridays and Saturdays to come into Sundays as prepared as possible.
Assen is much narrower and very flowing compared to the most recent tracks that we've been at, but last year went really well for us there on our first time with the KTM. It was there that we fought for the victory for the first time, but in the end we were at the back of the lead group. I hope I can get back on the podium and take as many points as possible for the overall standings."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I've really enjoyed this last week preparing for round eight of the season. I've ridden a bike two days as well, so I'm in top shape. In recent races we've suffered from the same issue, which doesn't allow us to turn our good work over a weekend into a result better than sixth. We've finished a lot of races in that position! The main aim this week is to put that issue behind us in order to improve our results, making Assen a turning point for the season. I want to fight for places as high up as possible."
Darryn Binder looks for redemption at Assen
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will aim to fight at the front in the Dutch GP, following a Catalan GP plagued by misfortune.
06/27/2018 - TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands
Darryn Binder is looking to put the recent Catalan Grand Prix behind him and focus on achieving a good result at the TT Circuit Assen, the oldest track on the current calendar, this weekend. Whilst he was unable to claim points in Barcelona a fortnight ago, after contact from a fellow rider eliminated him from the race, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider still has the confidence of previous Grands Prix to fall back on as he targets a strong result at the Dutch GP.
Results for the South African at Assen -which has held a race every year since 1949- have steadily improved since he joined the Moto3 World Championship. Last season he managed to finish in the points, starting from the ninth row of the grid and crossing the finish line in 13th place. The objective this time around is to continue scaling positions in the overall standings. To do this, he must stay in the large head group typical of the Dutch GP, and finish as high up as possible.
For the third consecutive year the race will be held on Sunday, and not on Saturday as had previously been tradition. The 22-lap Moto3 contest will start at 11am local time. The last Red Bull KTM Ajo victory in the class at Assen was in 2015, with current Moto2 star Miguel Oliveira.
40 DARRYN BINDER
"I'm really looking forward to Assen; I love this track. It has areas where fast curves and strong braking combines; for example on the last sector, which is my favourite part. I have been training very hard in Spain throughout this week and I feel strong ahead of this eighth GP of the year. My goal is clear: Keep in the lead group and fight to take as many points as possible.
My best memory of Assen is from my first year in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, I had never ridden there and in the first Free Practice session I achieved the best time. It's something curious that I will always remember."
THE CATHEDRAL OF MOTORCYCLING TURNS 70!
Enea Bastianini comes to the Netherlands after his extraordinary victory at Montmelo. His teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta determined to ride at his best, aiming to recover points in the standing and climb back to the top positions.
After 2 weeks of rest, the MotoGP circus is set to march to the heart of Europe, next stop: the Dutch Grand Prix, eighth round of the 2018 season. The stage of this event is the historical Assen “TT Circuit”, permanent appointment on the World Championship calendar since its inception in 1949: this weekend it’s blowing out 70 candles!
Until 1955, the races were held on a city track, after which they started running on what has since been known as the "TT Circuit". The last modifications in 2006 reduced the distance from the original 6 km to the current 4.5 km, with 6 curves on the left and 12 on the right. Since 2016 season, the races were held on a Sunday.
The Leopard Racing team arrives at the "Cathedral of Motorcycling" with its morale as high as the stars, the team’s excitement barely fading since Enea Bastianini’s nail biting win in Catalunya, obtained in the last lap: the first win of the season for Bestia, who reduced the gap of the lead in the riders’ standings. On the Dutch TT, the 20 years old from Rimini took 2 consecutive pole positions (2015-2016), closing in 6th overall: this year Bestia will aim to improve his place even further.
Due to its proximity with its own headquarters in Luxembourg, Assen is also the “Home Race” for the Leopard Racing Team; the unit led by Christian Lundberg will do anything to support Lorenzo Dalla Porta, unlucky protagonist of this first part of the season so far. The Tuscan talent, will be called to redeem himself after the last race where he inculpably ended out, with no possibility to express all his potential. After his 21th birthday celebration on last week, Lore is ready to return the love and affection to his fans and will aim to give them and the whole team a nice result.
Reale Avintia Academy ready to race in Holland
Reale Avintia Academy – Dutch GP –Assen TT Circuit
Reale Avintia Academy team and Livio Loi are ready for the Moto3 Dutch Grand Prix this weekend in the historic Assen TT Circuit.
After a difficult weekend in Catalunya, where he was 15th and scored one point, Loi and his crew head the Netherlands determined to improve and be more competitive.
For Livio, Assen is like his home Grand Prix, Belgium is very close and the trck is one of his favourites, so he expects to be fast from Friday and get a good result on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to start my home race. I hope to get a good result this weekend and I’ll give my best with my team to get the maximum. We will work hard from Friday to be there and have something to cheer about with the Belgian fans.”
NEXT STOP THE NETHERLANDS FOR GAVIOTA ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM
Spanish Moto3 team return to the scene of Andrea Migno’s first podium aiming to continue recent good form
The MotoGP World Championship is approaching a short summer break but not before two more crucial rounds that will define realistic objectives for the second half of the season. The next target is Assen, where KTM’s Italian youngster Marco Bezzecchi arrives with a nineteen-point advantage over compatriot Fabio di Giannantonio at the top of the championship. The pair made the most of their weekend last time out in Catalunya, where title rivals Jorge Martín, Aron Canet and Andrea Migno all crashed out.
The Gaviota Ángel Nieto Team heads to the Netherlands looking to continue their recent good form at a circuit where Andrea Migno finished third in 2016. The team’s Italian rider is hoping to continue his improvement this season, especially in qualifying, because a better grid position would reduce the pressure on a Sunday and the need to fight through the pack. Albert Arenas, who was also unable to finish the race in Barcelona after running in the front group, has unfinished business this weekend as he looks to consolidate his position in the top ten before setting higher targets.
Andrea Migno: “I scored my first World Championship podium at Assen in 2016, in one of the most exciting and fun races ever in Moto3. Now we go there on the back of a DNF in Barcelona with the aiming of improving our performance in qualifying, where we have not been so competitive. We have to improve so that we are starting races nearer the front and don’t have to think about coming through the pack, just on racing with the best.”
Albert Arenas: “I am looking forward to getting back on track and finishing what we started in Barcelona. If we look at the last three races, overall it is positive because we have been inside the top ten in all three and even fought for the win in two of them. We can’t forget that we won the race in France and now we are going to keep working in the same way to get back amongst the front guys at Assen”.
The Cathedral awaits NTS RW Racing GP for their biggest challenge of the calendar
Steven Odendaal and Joe Roberts are primed to head into the team’s home race backed after positive findings from a two-day testing at Spain’s Aragón circuit last week.
Racing at Assen’s «Cathedral of Speed» own the longest history since the introduction of the FIM World Championship back in 1949. Since then, the last weekend in June is the traditional date for the Dutch round in the series’ calendar. Beside these considerable facts, NTS RW Racing GP faces the greatest event of the year for them, to race in front of its home crowd this weekend.
Meanwhile, the team arrived in the northern part of the Netherlands in positive mood, changing things inside the garage as well making progress with testing several new parts at MotorLand Aragón mid of last week. So, both Steven Odendaal and Joe Roberts are looking forward to shine on the team’s home soil this weekend, aiming for another milestone with the still new Japanese NTS machine.
The historic TT Circuit is the most visited place in history of motorcycle racing. However, the 4.5 kilometres long circuit also attracts attention due to its probably unique track layout with many quick changes of direction and its banked corners. Assen is also known for changeable weather though this weekend, stable conditions with hot summer temperatures are forecasted.
#4 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing RG, NTS):
"Going into this race weekend I’m very excited because we had an amazing test in Aragón last week. Therefore, I think that we can do a really good job here even if I start working with Hans Spaan as my new crew chief for the first time. I’m confident that we will work well together and find some new things that we’re still missing. Unfortunately, I suffered a slight crack to my left scaphoid in a motocross accident last weekend. But apart from that, I’m looking forward to giving full gas, particularly as Assen is the team’s home race."
#16 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS):
"I was racing at Assen two, three times before. The last time, it was a good race for me when I finished fourth. So, honestly, I like this track but obviously with the Moto2 everything is going to be a bit different. But as seen all this season long, I have no further issues with learning new tracks. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it as it is the home grand prix for the team, that going to be something special of course. A lot of guests are expected in our nice hospitality which offers a nice track view. All together provides a nice feeling this weekend, so hopefully we can do deliver some good results."
Dutch Grand Prix: Preview
Round 8, Assen. After the Spanish Grand Prix, where both the riders of the Marinelli Snipers team arrived in not perfect physical conditions (for Tony a wrist injured during a training session while Romano has been fighting for several Gp’s against a muscle inflammation at his right forearm which is causing him difficulties in riding) it’s time to restart from one of the best track of the calendar. Tight and fast track, the TT Circuit Assen presents 18 corners, just 3 slow ones, interrupted by short straight lines. It’s a very technical and guided track where the rider makes the difference and, after Barcelona 0, both Romano and Tony want to get a good result.
Romano Fenati: "In the last week I did some medical examination to improve the problem at the forearm and to arrive here in better physical conditions. I didn't finish my last two races but now I really need a good result".
Tony Arbolino: "I am feeling better as in the last 10 days at home I did some specific treatments. Now I can do any movement with my right wrist and I regained the strenght. I also trained a lot in this week and I am feeling ready now and motivated to face this round".
THE CATHEDRAL OF SPEED SAYS WELCOME TO THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46
The historic Dutch circuit hosts the eighth race of the 2018 season. At the start Francesco Bagnaia, leader in Moto2, together with Luca Marini closer and closer to the leading group. In Moto3, a newfound feeling for Nicolò Bulega and Dennis Foggia on their KTM.
Assen (Netherlands), June 28th 2018 - Cathedral of Speed, University of the two wheels, Tourist Trophy there are many names for referring to the historical and legendary Assen track, which this week welcomes the Sky Racing Team VR46 and the entire circus of the World Championship for the eighth race of the 2018 season.
In Moto2, after shown strength and consistency throughout the weekend in Barcelona, in the race, we have acheived less than we expected, a further reason for Bagnaia and Marini to stay focused on their work and back immediately to the Top positions from the first free practices. Pecco will be on his Kalex as leader in the standings on a special track for him. In fact, in 2016 in Moto3, here he scored his first victory in the World Championship. Motivated to forget the Catalan GP also Luca, with the Top10 always in the viewfinder.
From Montmelo with a lot of positive feelings also the riders of the Moto3 Team. Nicolò, finally returned to battle with the strongest guys, is looking for confirmation. At the debut at Assen Dennis who can not wait to test the fast and technical layout of the Dutch circuit.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
We arrive in Assen, perhaps one of the favorite track for the riders. Legendary, fast, beautiful, but, at the same time, difficult, technical and demanding. We will face one of those weekends where we have to be ready to handle all kinds of weather conditions. There will be many unknowns: time can change, even several times during the same session. As a team we have to be prepared and remain focused. Pecco has collected a lot on this track in Moto3 and, last year, he hit the Top10. Luca was often competitive, but in the race he never managed to achieve a great result. Nicolò has always been fast here and has a great desire to back on his KTM after Barcelona. For Dennis, however, this unique circuit it will be a discovery.
In Catalunya we were strong and competitive during all the weekend, from the free practices to the warm up, but in the race, the result was not the one we expected. We arrive in Assen motivated to do our best and back to work. A technical track, very difficult and perhaps, for this reason, beautiful! It is easier to say that the only point I don’t like is the turn 6. Here I hit my first victory in the World Championship, it will be always a special place.
In Barcelona, we did a great job, but in the race, we struggled more than we expected and we were not able to hit the points. A pity, because we were competitive. The goal is to make a step forward in Assen, one of the fastest tracks: difficult, very technical - pure adrenaline.
If we do not consider the crash on Sunday, the weekend in Barcelona, it was the best since the start of the season. We are back to fight for the Top positions, in the race, I was at the head of the leading group for a few laps. I had fun and I'm happy to get back on track at Assen, a truly incredible track and I like it very much, especially the final sectors.
In Barcelona, we hit the best result of the season so far. A ninth place after a weekend not easy for us and a qualifying where we have struggled. I will debut at Assen, one of the most legendary tracks of the Championship, which I have heard so much about from my team mates. The Cathedral of Speed! The name is cool.