Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal says he’s expecting a good weekend in Assen for his duo of Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin, with both of the pair looking to bounce back after average results last time out in Barcelona.
“Johann did his very first pole position in Assen last year and the race was good until some
drops came and then he decided to pit in because he thought that the big shower was coming, but it never came, which meant the end of podium charge. I believe he likes Assen and the Yamaha M1 likes Assen too. Altogether, I hope he can be a bit closer to the top five group and even to the rostrum.
“Hafizh did an exceptional race in Catalunya until five laps to go, which still in my mind. I can’t help thinking how great it would have been ending in ninth, but this is just a part of the learning process as a rookie. He told me he didn’t enjoy Assen on the Moto2 bike, but I said to him that this was the same for Johann on some tracks, but on the M1 he just loves it. Let’s see the positive side and hopefully we have Hafizh back on track like he was in Catalunya. We hope for him, that he can stay inside top 10, which is his target.”
More than anything, though, the passionate Frenchman says he’s looking forward to returning to one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar and an event with passionate fans.
“Assen is a very special and important race. Especially, because it’s the first European race in the northern part of Europe, which even though I love the south, but once we’ve done Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona, you really enjoy the Assen paddock, the temperature is a bit lower and this is better to keep the energy. Of course, it will be busy as well, but for sure less difficult to handle the whole weekend there in terms of paddock life, everything is just a bit cooler.
“I think this is much appreciated by entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team, including the riders. Regarding the race, Assen has a beautiful layout and offers very often exciting races. Everybody knows how many incidents had happened in last chicane, which is Assen’s trademark. This is an exciting venue!"