Consistency the key for Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo

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Fiat Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have both admitted that consistency is going to be crucial as the MotoGP world championship heads into arguably its most critical phase in Assen this weekend.

Assen is the first of four races in five weeks and Rossi and Lorenzo go to Holland tied on 106-points at the top of the championship with Ducat rival Casey Stoner.

With 100-points up for grabs before the end of July, Rossi and Lorenzo have both said it will be vital not to make any mistakes in the coming races.

Fresh from his epic victory over Lorenzo in an enthralling Catalunya MotoGP race earlier this month, 30-year-old Rossi is aware he can’t afford a similar blunder he made in Assen in 2008 in this Saturday’s race.

Rossi crashed on the opening lap in Holland a year ago but recovered to finish 11th and the Italian said: "Last year I had my worst point of the season there so I want to make up for that with a good performance, because the fans are very passionate and they deserve a good show."

"After Barcelona we know how strong we are but also our rivals are strong too so we can’t afford to relax, we have to keep pushing. Montmeló was fantastic, one of my best wins ever, but the championship is very close between the three of us and so we have to try to win again to take the lead. There is still a long way to go but we have to remain consistent."

Just how crucial consistency in the title race will be has also not been lost of in-form Lorenzo, who has already had one DNF in 2009 when he crashed out of fourth place in the Spanish GP in Jerez in early May.

The 22-year-old though is still amazed that he is right in title contention after his Jerez mistake.

"I could never have imagined after the crash in Jerez that I would have the opportunity to become leader again so quickly, but here we are at the front with Casey and Valentino. The last three races have been fantastic and almost unbelievable, and now for the three of us it’s almost like we’re starting the championship all over again."

"Assen is my favourite track and I am going there feeling very confident. Last year I was sixth so the most important thing is to improve on that, but of course I am aiming for another podium, because consistency is the way to remain close to the top of the standings, "said Lorenzo, who suffered heartache at the last round in Montmelo when Rossi passed him for the win at the last corner.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt