MotoGP: Barcelona test sets up Marquez for Assen

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MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez says he’s expecting a strong weekend at the Dutch TT this weekend, coming off the back of a strong one-day test after the last round of the championship in Barcelona.

The reigning champion finished that race in second place behind a dominant Jorge Lorenzo, but says that he’s confident that they can take things up a notch despite the championship pressures.

“We’re coming off a good day of testing in Catalunya but Assen is a much different track compared to Montmeló, so it will be very interesting to see how we go there. So far we’ve been at a good level more or less everywhere and we’ve managed to get some good results at different circuits, so we’re also feeling positive going to Assen.

“I like the track, the ‘Cathedral’ of bike racing, and the fans are always very passionate there. It’s good to arrive with a little advantage in the Championship, but we’re very early in the season. There are several riders for whom the title is still possible, so we must just keep working and try to get the best result the situation allows.”

However, teammate Pedrosa is expecting less from the weekend, admitting that the Dutch circuit has never been particularly successful for him and that it could be a tougher weekend.

“Assen has been a difficult race for me in the past, though I’ve also had some good results there. The track is very fast, and the bike tends to wheelie and move a lot. You need to work on the setup well to get a bike that’s stable without losing in other areas. Of course the weather, which is typically quite unstable, can makes things even more challenging.

“That said, we worked well during the recent test in Catalunya, and we found some little setup modifications aimed at giving us better grip; now we’ll see how it goes in Assen. We’ll try and do things correctly beginning on Friday morning and be prepared for whatever kind of situation we find.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer