THE AMERICANS: U.S. riders Nicky Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team), Ben Spies (Longview, Texas, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Colin Edwards (Houston, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will compete in the MotoGP race.
Hayden is fifth in the MotoGP World Championship standings, with Spies seventh and Edwards 11th. Kenny Noyes (Borrego Springs, Calif., Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas) will compete in the Moto2 race. Noyes is tied for 20th in the Moto2 World Championship standings.
Nicky Hayden (after practice June 24) says: “The bike felt pretty good out of the gate today and we made a few changes that improved it, but the gap to the front is pretty big so we still have work to do. The track is very similar to Silverstone, with a lot of fast corners, so the bike isn’t so different. Having said that, we’re always trying new stuff, and today was no different.”
Ben Spies (after practice June 24) says: “It was a decent session, though we definitely need to make a couple of changes to the bike to make it a bit better in the longer turns. I had quite a good setup at Silverstone to make the bike more nimble, and we started with that setting here. But it wasn’t working that well, so we’ll go back to what we know works tomorrow and I’m confident it should be better. I worked a lot on the hard race tire, and I’m definitely happy with the performance and the balance of the bike. I just need to make the bike turn better when I’m on the throttle. Looking at my last eight laps I’m not far off at all, and I’m looking forward to another positive weekend.”
Colin Edwards (after practice June 24) says: “I really needed that after a tough start to the season, and thanks to my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3, who have been working really hard to improve my situation. I really like Assen, and the change they made on the back section made it feel a little bit more like the old circuit. My bike is quite a bit different to what it has been this season, and I’m running a front geometry setting that is a lot different to what I’ve ever run before.”
“I’m just trying to make the bike turn easier and feel a little more natural, and it is similar to the setting that Valentino (Rossi) and Jorge (Lorenzo) like. I’ve got a lot more confidence than Silverstone because that was not a positive weekend at all. This track is a lot more free-flowing and you have to keep a lot of momentum, and that suits my style. And I can just get the bike to turn better, and that’s where I’ve been lacking. Now the bike feels great, and I’m looking forward to a good weekend.”
THEY SAID IT: “My goal every race this year was to be in the top 10. Top fives would be a race win for me, so finishing on the podium was a big confidence booster. It leads into an important couple weeks of racing for us. And it came at a real good part of the season as far as going to tracks that I do know. I’m feeling pretty comfortable.” – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie rider Ben Spies, from Longview, Texas, about recording his first career MotoGP podium finish June 20 at the Grand Prix of Great Britain
FAST FACTS: American rookie phenom Ben Spies enters this event after recording the first podium finish of his MotoGP career by placing third at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Spies, from Longview, Texas, passed fellow American Nicky Hayden on the last lap for the final podium position. Spies recorded the first podium position for a non-factory rider since Alex De Angelis was second on a satellite Honda at the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Spies won a Superbike World Championship round in 2009 at Assen en route to the season championship
2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has finished fourth in all four races that he has finished this season on his Ducati Team machine. He crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix on June 6
Hayden finished fourth or better from 2005-08 at Assen, including a victory in 2006
Assen also is a good track for American Colin Edwards, who has two podium finishes there and was fourth last year
2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Jorge Lorenzo expanded his series lead to 37 points over Andrea Dovizioso after winning the British Grand Prix
Assen is the only venue which has played host to a Grand Prix every year since the World Championship started in 1949
Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa will replace the injured Valentino Rossi starting at the Grand Prix of Catalunya on July 4. Yoshikawa, from Japan, becomes the oldest rider on the MotoGP grid at 41
Just 16.161 seconds covered the top 15 finishers in the Moto2 race June 20 at Silverstone, the closest margin for the top 15 finishers in a World Championship race outside of the 125cc class since the series started in 1949.
MotoGP PREVIEW: TT ASSEN
EVENT: TT Assen (Grand Prix of The Netherlands)
WHERE: TT Circuit Assen, Assen, Netherlands. Circuit is 2.822 miles (4.542 km), with 18 turns. Race is 26 laps.
WHEN: Saturday, June 26. It is the sixth of 18 events this season.
2009 RACE WINNER: Valentino Rossi, by 5.368 seconds over Jorge Lorenzo
2009 POLE WINNER: Valentino Rossi, 1 minute, 36.025 seconds
U.S. TV: 9:30-10:30 a.m. (ET), Saturday, June 26, SPEED (live). Moto2: midnight-1 a.m. (ET), Sunday, June 27, SPEED. 125cc: Noon-1 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, June 29, SPEED.