This weekend in Assen: Confidence runs high

After Marquez's practice crash, some thought we might finally see another winner in a MotoGP race. Not so!

This weekend, the MotoGP circus heads to the Netherlands for the Assen race; everyone is full of confident talk, but who will come out on top? This season’s top two racers say the forecast might be the ultimate determining factor.

This season’s point leader Marc Marquez said his Repsol team had momentum on their side, but the elements could work against them.

“The weather is always unpredictable there so we will, as always, work hard from the first session to find a good setup,” he said.

Valentino Rossi (second in the points race, for Yamaha) agreed.

“Assen is a great track and a good track for Yamaha,” he said. “The weather will be very important here. You never know if it will be hot or cold or dry or wet. Last year’s race was unforgettable but honestly this year I feel I am strong almost everywhere so we have to try hard to beat the competition.”

Similar words came from his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo (“I look forward to racing in Assen, it’s maybe my favorite circuit”), and his other competitors. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa said “I’m looking forward to going to Assen and hope I’m one step fitter again as last year I didn’t really have a good race, so I hope to improve. The weather is usually tricky so you must make the most of any dry track time.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso echoed their lines, saying “Assen is a strange track because of the layout and also because of the weather conditions that we normally find during the race weekend … after the result we obtained in Barcelona, where we cut the gap to the leaders by half from 2013, we hope to continue this positive trend in the Netherlands.”

All those riders have seen decent results this season, but one rider who’s really hoping to turn things around is Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow. Crutchlow has had a miserable season, with crashes and mechanical failures galore. He had some success at Assen in 2013, though, and he’s hoping he can see his season improve from here on out.

““Assen is definitely one of the tracks in the championship that I like the most,” he said. “I had a great race there last year, taking the pole and sharing the podium with Rossi and Marquez. There’s no doubt my championship so far has been difficult, but I’m going to Assen with confidence, and we’ll all give 100%, you can be sure of that.”

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