World SBK Report
The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team is preparing for the Dutch round with renewed confidence following rider James Toseland’s first podium of the year last week in Valencia and a second Superpole of the season by Cal Crutchlow.
Toseland’s SBK podium in particular was key in moving him several places up the championship table, he arrives in Assen now sixth in the standings and looking to go higher this weekend.
James Toseland says: "I’ve always loved racing at Assen," said James Toseland. "I’ve had some good results and always gone well there. I’ve won on the Ducati and on the Honda so it would be great to get a win on the Yamaha as well. The bike has come on again from Portugal to Valencia and we knew from the last round what we needed to improve for Assen. We’ve had to do a lot of work to get competitive but on the positive side there’s still room for more and we’re not far from the front."
"We can improve quite a lot more and we’re going to be a strong package. On a personal side I always try hard, after the Australia crash where I broke my hand, then my mistake in qualifying in Portugal and missing out on the last Superpole session in Valencia by a thousandth of a second I thought I was going to have one of those seasons. But to go from ninth to third and be up there fighting at the front was a massive boost of confidence for me and the garage so it was good to reward the hard work of the team with a result."
Cal Crutchlow says: "I had a good race in Assen last year in Supersport," said Cal Crutchlow, "but it’s going to be difficult this weekend as a couple of other teams have tested there already with the new circuit changes including the new faster section at the back. Hopefully in the first free practice we’ll get to grips with it. There are some new changes coming this weekend with the bike so let’s hope we’ve made some progress and see how we get on."
Massimo Meregalli (Team manager) says: "I think Assen can be a good weekend for us, the characteristics of the track are well suited to our bikes, which is an advantage we have to make the most of. The developments focussed on our electronics areas from the last two races have been steadily progressing forwards which gives me a confidence that we can achieve some good results with both James and Cal. The step forwards with our mapping means we should be able to deliver better corner exits for both riders, and the new clutch we’ll be trying this weekend will hopefully mean we can get them off the line quicker to stay at the front in the crucial first corner."