After two splendid wins by Andrea Dovizioso at Mugello and Barcelona, the Ducati Team have now arrived in the Netherlands for the eighth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled to take place this weekend at the Assen TT Circuit.
The Dutch race is the oldest one on the calendar (the first edition was in fact held in 1949), and even though the track has undergone a series of modifications over the years, what has remained unchanged is the incredible number of spectators who pack the grandstands and grassy banks of Assen every year.
Andrea Dovizioso does not consider Assen to be one of his favourite circuits but he has been on the podium three times in MotoGP, with two thirds in 2011 and 2012 and a second place in the 2014 race. Last year’s race was unfortunate for the Italian as he set pole and led the first part in the rain but then crashed out from second place after the restart.
Jorge Lorenzo scored a win at Assen in 2010, as well as a second place in 2009 and a third in 2015, but he will always remember the 2013 race, when after crashing in Friday free practice and breaking his collarbone, the Spanish rider returned to Barcelona for surgery and was then back on track on Sunday morning for the warm-up before finishing the race in fifth.
The TT Assen schedule gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 26-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 13.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (104 points)
“After two wins on the run in Italy and Spain, it’s been a fantastic week for me! Even though I’m second overall in the standings I’m not thinking too much of the championship because there are still a lot of races left and we must continue to work to improve some aspects of our bike. It’s true that we have dominated the last two GP and that the Desmosedici GP has gone really well but these were peculiar races, in particular Barcelona. In any case I’m pretty relaxed about everything and also at Assen I’ll be trying to get the best result I can.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (59 points)
“The race at Montmelò proved once again that this Ducati can win and I’m really happy for Dovizioso and for the entire team. We’ll be starting from scratch again at Assen, but I’m positive and I think that the Desmosedici can adapt well to the track. As for me, in the Netherlands I’ve always scored good results, especially the unforgettable memory of what happened in 2013, and it’s always a great place to race. The most important thing is to continue to work in the same way and improve every weekend as we have in the latest races.”
The Assen TT Circuit
Assen is the only circuit to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. It was purpose built for the Dutch TT in 1955, with previous events having been held on public roads. The track is narrow, with rapid changes in direction, and is surrounded by grass banks and grandstands, providing excellent viewing for the massive number of fans drawn to this prestigious event every year. Modifications to the circuit in 2005/6 saw the length of the championship’s longest serving track cut from over 6 km down to its current lap of 4.5 km.
Fastest Lap: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.627 (176.5 km/h) – 2015
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 1’33.617 (174.6 km/h) – 2015
Best Pole: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’32.627 (176.5 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 319.8 km/h – 2015
Track Length: 4.5 km
Race Distance: 26 laps (118.1 km)
Corners: 18 (6 left, 12 right)
Race Start: 13.00 CET
Podium: 1st Miller (Honda), 2nd Marquez (Honda), 3rd Redding (Ducati)
Pole Position: Dovizioso (Ducati), 1’45.246 (155.361 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’49.485 (149.346 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 30 (born on May 4th 1987 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 257 (163 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 65 (44 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 65 (39 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 31 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 265 (167 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 13 (4 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 18 (5 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
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