2013 Assen MotoGP | Dutch TT Press Conference

2013 Assen MotoGP | Dutch TT Press Conference

2013 Assen MotoGP | Dutch TT Press Conference

2013 Assen MotoGP Pre-Race Press Conference

The traditional pre-race press conference occurred Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday for this weekend’s round of MotoGP at Assen.

The reason is the Dutch TT will occur on Saturday instead of the usual Sunday, so everything was bumped back a day.

Attending the conference for round seven of 2013 MotoGP was the current points leader, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard, who has never won a premier-class race at the “Cathedral,” was joined by teammate Marc Marquez; the man who trails him by seven points, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo; Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith.

Pedrosa gained the championship lead at round three after winning Jerez, but has finished second behind Lorenzo at the last two rounds in Mugello and Catalunya. But this weekend Pedrosa, who holds the Circuit Record at Assen, will be looking to reach the top of the podium here.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I have raced here many times. My win here was my first ever and I have very good memories from that day. The championship is now closer but there is still a long way to go; we must keep going with the points. It looks like the weather will be a big thing and we’ll just have to adapt to the situation.”

Lorenzo has been in dominating form in the last two rounds, and holds four wins at Assen, though lately his luck there wasn’t so good.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Of course the last two years here have been bad for me. In 2011 I crashed on the first lap, and last year in the first corner. But Assen has been my favorite track always and it’s a pleasure to race here. I feel strong at the moment, I’m in the best shape of my career and the Yamahas have improved a lot this year.”

Marquez trails Pedrosa by 30 points, and has been looking to overtake his teammate Pedrosa at the last two rounds. The rookie has won back-to-back victories over the last three years in the former 125cc class and Moto2.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “This is a track I like. It will be interesting to see how it is on a MotoGP bike and we’ll pay attention to the weather because that will be the biggest problem this weekend, but anyway we will try to be ready. Some circuits are more difficult and others easier. The first laps might be difficult, but we’ll already know the best lines and be working on setup by the end of FP1.”

As for Ducati Team’s Dovizioso, the Italian and his teammate Nicky Hayden were looking forward to running the new GP13 “Lab Bike,” but didn’t make too much progress on the new machine during the Catalunya testing last Monday.

For Catalunya, Dovi will compete on the standard GP13.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team GP13 MotoGP) says: “It was nice for me to do a podium with Yamaha last year, but it’s a difficult track for me. But this year [with Ducati] it’s not easy; I’m trying to get the best results but it’s not possible. We’ve not improved as much as we want. Ducati is working a lot at home, but what we have now is not enough, so we need to work in a different way.”

LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl has been quick lately, and is still seeking his first 2013 podium aboard the satellite Honda.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V MotoGP says: “The last two races were not so bad for us as we were close to the podium. The first three were definitely not what we expected, but now we have found our speed and resolved the issue with the front. My qualifying was good last year, now I just need to improve on the race result [having crashed].”

As for Smith, the satellite Yamaha rider will be girding up following surgery on the finger he damaged during a crash at Mugello.

Bradley Smith (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I went to Dr. Mir after the last GP and had a skin graft and a screw in my scaphoid. Surgery is not the ideal thing during a season, but I don’t want recurring issues throughout the year. MotoGP is a really tough challenge; more than I thought it would be – but fun as well! In Barcelona I started putting things together and got a good result, and hope to keep improving throughout the season.”

The MotoGP riders will be on the Assen TT circuit Thursday for the first free practices. For a preview of the round, including complete point standings, click here.

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