Rizla Suzuki is on its way to ‘The Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing’ as it heads to the Netherlands for the Dutch TT in Assen, and round seven of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
Álvaro Bautista is in a positive mood as he travels to the 4,542m Dutch circuit – a track that he tasted 250cc GP victory at in 2008 – following a confidence-building display last time out at Silverstone. Bautista performed well in the cold and wet conditions at the English circuit and he is convinced the Suzuki package has made a major step forward, which will enable him to push forward and get the GSV-R a lot nearer the front of the pack.
Assen is the only venue that has staged a Grand Prix every season since the start of the championship in 1949 and is unique in being the only race staged on a Saturday. The track is located in the north of The Netherlands, near the town of Groningen, and although the circuit has undergone some changes to make it safer in recent years, it is still a very technical, twisty layout with little room for error and one that riders really enjoy racing at. The Assen circuit was originally constructed in 1955 – previous to that the races were run on the open roads around the area – and it is the only road-racing circuit in the MotoGP series that was specifically designed for motorcycle racing. It is commonly known as ‘The Cathedral’ of motorcycling to fans and racers alike as it is held in such high esteem by both.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will take to track on Thursday this week for two free practice sessions, followed by another practice and qualifying on Friday. The 26-lap race gets underway at 15.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) On Saturday 25th June.
“We will be looking to continue with the same progress we had at Silverstone when we get to Assen this week. We made big steps in England, because it was very cold all weekend and we were able to be competitive and went a long way forward from where we were last year. It was cold at Assen in 2010 and we struggled, so we are hoping that what happened last week will help us if the conditions are the same – I hope it’s a lot warmer though and that won’t be an issue! The two circuits are quite similar, they are very fast with some good corners and it will be like continuing our work from where we finished at Silverstone. I won at Assen in 2008 and although it will be tough to try and repeat that, I believe we now have the package to start to run nearer the front on a regular basis.”