Morbidelli and Lüthi ready to tackle historic Assen
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders head to the legendary ‘Cathedral of Speed’ with a double top 15 challenge firmly in their sights
Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Lüthi take their quest for MotoGP World Championship points to the iconic Assen track this weekend when they race in the world renowned Dutch TT.
Franco Morbidelli is keen to capitalise on a successful test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya earlier this month to strengthen his challenge to win the coveted Rookie of the Year prize in 2018. The Italian made big gains in improving rear grip on his Honda RC213V machine and Morbidelli is confident he can notch a fifth consecutive points-scoring finish in Sunday’s 26-lap race.
Morbidelli has fond memories of the TT Circuit Assen after taking a stunning victory from pole position in last year’s enthralling Moto2 battle. And the celebrated circuit was also the scene of Morbidelli’s first podium finish for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in 2016.
Thomas Lüthi gained precious confidence from a mammoth stint of 82-laps in the recent Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya test and he is motivated to use Assen’s rich heritage as the inspiration to take his first MotoGP points on Sunday
The Swiss rider finished second to Morbidelli last season and the pair will kick off this weekend’s action at 955am on Friday, with the race getting underway at 2pm on Sunday.
Franco Morbidelli: 16th / 19 points
“I’m really looking forward to going to Assen this weekend. I’m curious to see if the improvements we found with rear grip and anti-wheelie control at the test after the race in Barcelona will also work on a different track like Assen. The big challenge like in most races this year will be to learn the track as quickly as possible on a MotoGP bike. But I’m confident we can continue the positive work of the last few races to fight for the top 15 again.”
Thomas Lüthi: 24th
“I am looking forward to trying a MotoGP bike for the first time in Assen. The weather forecast looks very nice, which is not usual for Assen, so that should be one less thing to worry about. It will be good to begin working again on track after a good test in Barcelona where we understood some interesting things. I did some consistent laps and in Assen we will continue working to try and find a better feeling with the front. And I hope to achieve a better result after some of the crashes in recent races.”
MotoGP: Characteristics / TT Circuit (Assen, Holland)
Length: 2.82 miles
Width: 45.93 ft.
Corners: 6 (left) + 12 (right)
Longest straight: 1597.77 ft.
MotoGP race: 26 laps (73.3 miles)
Best pole position: Valentino Rossi (1:32.627 – 2015)
Circuit record: Marc Márquez (1:33.617 – 2015)
Top speed: Andrea Iannone (319 km/h – 2015)
2017 race winner: Valentino Rossi (41'41.149)