With four wins in the last three years at Assen, Jonathan Rea and his Pata Honda have been the WSB benchmark at the Dutch track.
But heading into this year’s race at the weekend, Rea’s sense of anticipation for success has been muted by the epically frustrating start he has had to the 2013 season.
A fourth at Aragon was the only positive Rea and while the intense Assen track has always suited Rea, he accepts that this year’s race could be different.
“I feel Assen is a great circuit for me and it used to be my test track but we have not had our 2013 bike around there yet. We have to wait and see on Friday but I’m feeling more optimistic now than I did in Aragon. I think Assen may suit our bike a little bit better.”
For Rea there are still a number of development areas to work in before the best can be brought out of the 2013 spec Honda.
“We need to improve the initial throttle control and response. That is an area we are working on but all throughout testing we have suffered with track time with the new electronics.
“We completed a teat at Alcarras and we made a lot of steps forward and the guys are working pretty well; they understand the system better and I understand what I want from it. It is just a whole different software package from we had last year.
While we gathered some data at the Aragon race, we have a long way to go to improve. The frustrating thing is that the team and Honda are really putting the effort in and it is starting to come together, but despite all the efforts we are still a little behind the eight ball.”