Motoette -in forward motion

MotoGP riders rally to get closer to god at the Cathedral of Motorcycling

MotoGP Assen Pre Race Review:

Iveco TT Assen’s “Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing” in the Netherlands will be the host to this weekend’s 7th round for the GP roster. The long and narrow 2.8 mile circuit houses 12 right corners and only 6 lefts for the premier riders and is one of the original venues to present the Motorcycle World Championships dating back to 1949. The Holland based historic track is a favorite for both spectator and riders alike; with its surrounding grassy knolls and grandstands for some of the best views from the sidelines and its quick and sudden change in direction from a racing perspective while on the tarmac.

Its been a bittersweet experience for the Honda teams as of late with Casey Stoner acing his 3rd consecutive win and 4th for the season and leading the Championship with an 18 point lead over the World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo after the fans witnessed a rare crash at the water logged Silverstone several weeks ago. Stoner’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, on the opposite spectrum, will sit out another round as he continues to recover from his plaguing collar bone injury, placing him in a fifth position as a result of his absences. But, Dani looks to be recovering nicely and should be good to go in Mugello the first week of July. San Carlo Grisini’s Hiroshi Aoyama will have the honor of representing the healing Spaniard by piloting his RC212V over the race weekend, while HRC test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will step in to take Aoyama’s spot. The final Honda Factory rider, Andrea Dovizioso is now third in standing after his second place podium win at Silverstone. The talented Italian enjoys the challenges of the circuit of old, with its two distinct styles, a slow portion transitioning into a fast, more technical side.

Aoyama’s teammate, Marco Simoncelli, better known as “Super Sic” to his fans, took it hard after his overachieving 5th failure to reach the podium at the recent slick Silverstone circuit. But the crazy haired Italian is poising his head high for this weekend by putting his past behind him and staying on track in his racing objective—to win! Fond of the TT track from before it was renovated in 2006, Marco still finds the Dutch circuit to be one of his favorites.

The TT Assen will hold a special meaning to the Yamaha team this weekend in the celebration of 50 years of Grand Prix racing for the Japanese manufacturer. To kick off an ongoing celebration, the Factory teams will by sporting a new red and white livery that will be revealed to the media (and the rest of the world) on Wednesday, launching the Yamaha Expo for the race weekend.

Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will literally be looking to brighter days for Assen after both crashing out at the very wet Silverstone just a few weeks ago, breaking Lorenzo’s 25 successive run of top four finishes that originated back in 2009. The Dutch circuit is a favorite for the Yamaha duo, Lorenzo, having a history of winning in all three GP classes and his teammate, Spies making pole and scoring a win in the 2009 WSBK race. The all American heart throb also finished fourth as a GP rookie last year.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards has certainly been living up to his well deserved nick name “ The Texas Tornado” by remarkably beating the odds and the elements for a first podium win for the season at Silverstone! The American rider didn’t let a little old collar bone injury and muscle damage keep him from eying the prize at the end of the day; by ignoring the pain and the rain, he concentrated on the goal at hand and achieved a well earned third place win. With some extra recovery time at home in Texas and two podiums in 2005 and 2008 in Assen, Edwards looks forward to a successful weekend, despite some forgettable times at the Dutch track in 2006.

Teammate, Cal Crutchlow is also recovering from a similar collar bone surgery, after breaking it in 5 places in front of his homeland crowd at Silverstone. The British rider is undecided whether he will ride in this weekend’s race, but the 25 year old has been diligently working to strengthen his form and plans on making an appearance for Thursday’s practice round.

It’s back to the drawing board for the Factory Ducati team with a development process that will be allowing the visibly frustrated Valentino Rossi aboard the next generation GP ll.1. The formal Italian frontrunner has been a standard presence at the head of any race pack up until this season, after his controversial departure from Yamaha and new contract with Ducati. It’s not difficult to observe the lack of alignment that takes place between rider and the machine with Rossi and its clear the team needs to make some changes and fast! The Champion rider is now on the longest winless streak since entering into the GP class back in 2000.

The design for the GP11.1 began after the Sepang tests at the beginning of the season and went into production after the riders approved the GP12’s chasis inJerez, several months later. Because the team cannot use the GP12’s higher cc engine, they will install the GP11.1 into the chasis of the GP12, with a new and improved DST (Ducati Seamless Transmission).

The deserving dynamic rider still retains great promise for his Italian test team and feels there will be two tasks to achieve; making basic adjustments to the newly installed technical parts and finding a general set up for the race on Saturday.

Teammate Nicky Hayden has had similar frustrations with the Desmosedici and has exhausted four engines already this season. The 6th position American rider will be piloting the GP11 equipped with a step-2 frame, a modified step-1 that was tested and first introduced at Estoril. Hayden plans on having his turn on the GP11.1 on American soil at Laguna Seca at the end of July.

Cardion ab Motoracing rookie, Karel Abraham will be making his 100th GP start and continues to make strides in his performance as a premiere rider after taking his best pole at Silverstone representing the Ducati brand. The young Czech rider looks to continue his progression at the popular Dutch circuit, hopefully with dryer weather conditions. Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera has put up some good fights on the tarmac but the podium still evades the Spanish rider. He hopes to at least break the top ten this weekend and remove himself from the bottom 3 in race results.

Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista has one of his best races to date this season finishing with an impressive 5th position from Silverstone. The solo Suzuki rider has fond memories of the Holland based track with a 250cc GP victory in 2008. He hopes to expand on his good fortune from his last race and to continue to push his GSV-R closer to the front of the pack.

LCR Honda rider Toni Elias scored his highest results this season coming in 8th at the brutal British circuit. He and his team are optimistic about this weekend in advancing further up the line. The Pramatic Racing pair Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet share in the same sediment after a less than favorable season so far.

Don’t forget to start your racing adventure this Thursday, one day earlier than the customary Friday race weekend kick off. The TT Assen is the only GP venue to host the premiere race day on a Saturday, meaning the first free practice round will commence on Thursday, June 23rd at10:10amlocal time.

In addition; follow @girlracerlive @girlracerWSBK and @girlracerMotoGP on Twitter for all your racing news updates, we will have our very own Wendy, reporting from the sidelines all weekend long. And for racing information in its entirety, check out Girlracer.co.uk and our fan based blog on Girlracerlive.com

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 116
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 98
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 83
4 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 68
5 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 61
6 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 60
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 43
8 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 37
9 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 36
10 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 33
11 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 32
12 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 31
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 30
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 28
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 22
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 10
18        
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June 22, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Assen, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Estoril, girlracer, Hector Barbera, history of MotoGP, Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo, Laguna Seca, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Silverstone, Valentino Rossi

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