The next stop on the fast-paced 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship calendar is Holland and the iconic track of Assen. This comes just days after the German Grand Prix held in Sachsenring, where Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders struggled to find the right feeling but managed to bring home useful points.
Joan Mir salvaged a ninth place finish last weekend and maintains his fifth spot in the standings. He comes to Assen with high hopes after he managed eighth in his rookie year, and it’s a track that the Mallorcan enjoys.
In Germany, Alex Rins made a strong comeback from his arm injury and rode well all weekend. He ended up 11th in the race and has a good relationship with the Dutch track, having achieved several top results here in the past, including three podiums.
The TT of Assen has been the longest standing of all GP circuits, hosting since the championship’s beginning in 1949, although last year the race was not held due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, don’t let the track’s short length and lack of long straights fool you – it often creates very exciting racing. The Gert Timmer chicane just before the finish line has seen lots of last-minute action over the years.
Curiosity – GP of Holland: The Dutch TT is the oldest Grand Prix in the championship, it was originally built in 1949 and changed to its current form in 1955. It’s the track with the shortest straight at just 487m, but it boasts the fastest corner on the calendar: Turn 13 at 244 km/h.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend! Germany was quite tough and I’m keen to get back on track and get better results. Assen is a good place for me to do that because, although I’ve never had really top results here, it’s somewhere I enjoy riding and I’ll be trying to be as fast as possible. This place is somewhere really special, it’s an old track and it has seen racing for many, many years, so it has an iconic feeling about it. In the past the races were super long on the TT circuit, and now it’s one of the shortest on the calendar but it’s one that everybody knows.”
“This is a good track for me and also for my bike. I’m still not at 100% with my injury, but I’ve been having some physio since Sachsenring and it’s getting better, although obviously it’s always tough with back-to-back races. Anyway, I’m really motivated to come here, this is a historic circuit and it has a really special atmosphere; I always remember how the races used to be held on Saturdays, and that was something really different in itself. I also have some great personal memories from here, with one of my favourites being 2018, where I got second after a race with a lot of fighting and a big group of riders.”
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader & Team Director:
“The last race in Germany wasn’t easy, but both riders did their best and scored points. We made some progress with the bike and we still strongly believe in our potential, so we’re looking forward to getting on track here in Holland and discovering what we can do. Assen suits our bike quite well, because it’s quite a tight and twisty circuit and cornering has always been one of our strengths. We have some good memories from here and we will be aiming to make more this weekend and hoping to have Joan and Alex at the front.”