Rizla Suzuki looking to bounce back at the Dutch TT
MotoGP World Championship
Rizla Suzuki has set up camp in the Assen paddock for the second race in a tough mid-season schedule as it prepares its attack on the Dutch TT.
Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista are heading to the race with positive attitudes, despite a difficult weekend last time out at Silverstone. Capirossi had a strong race at Assen in 2009 and was battling for a top-five position before another rider forced him off the track on the last corner, causing the Italian racer to finish ninth after fighting to stay onboard.
Bautista has a proud history at the Dutch TT in the smaller classes, with victory and pole position in 2008 on a 250cc machine, as well as a further podium finish and front row start in 2007 - also on a 250 - this feat mirrored what he achieved in 2006 as he also secured a front-row start and a top-three finish in the 125cc class.
The Dutch TT is traditionally held on the final Saturday of June and this year's event is in a run of five races in six weekends for the MotoGP circus, which started in England last Sunday before culminating at Laguna Seca in America at the end of July. The Assen circuit has had a small alteration to the layout for this year's race that sees the lap distance decrease by a few metres to 4,542m. A favourite with many fans and riders alike, the Assen circuit is the only venue to have held a motorcycle Grand Prix since the beginning of the championship in 1949; it is also the 80th anniversary of the running of the Dutch TT. Since its inaugural race in 1925, the event has been run every year since then with the exception of the period 1940 to 1945.
Rizla Suzuki takes to the track for the first time on Thursday afternoon for an hour of practice; this is followed by a further hour on Friday morning. Qualifying will take place in the afternoon and the riders will line-up for round six of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Saturday 26th June.
"We need to re-group and come out strong at Assen, we know that we can perform so much better than we did at Silverstone and we need to show it. The whole team is working so hard and we are always trying to find the best solution, maybe we just need a bit of luck to go our way. I have had a couple of unlucky races at Assen in Rizla Suzuki colours, I was injured in 2008 and couldn't race and then I was knocked off the track at the end of last year's race when I was going for a top-five position, hopefully I can get that bit of luck on my side here and it will make a difference!"
"I really like the second half of the Assen track, it is very complicated and it flows nicely so it makes for some good racing. The first part is not so good since it was changed, but it is still quite demanding and physical to ride. I am feeling stronger every time I get on the bike now and during the race at Silverstone I felt like I was able to ride the bike how I wanted for the first time since my injury. That is a good sign coming here and if I can continue with that then I am sure we can have a good race."
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