Assen returns to the MotoGP calendar this year as the ninth round of the season and the last before the mid-year break after being scrapped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assen is getting everyone’s juices flowing as Sachsenring winner Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda Team gets set to put his fitness and RC213V to the test at a very different circuit.
The eight-time World Champion, Marquez, was joined in the Motul TT Assen Pre-Event Press Conference by World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) to preview the weekend ahead.
On Saturday, June 16, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. IST onwards, the MotoGP Motul TT Assen Qualifying race will be broadcast LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport HD and the Discovery+ app.
Back to Marc Marquez and Honda Racing Corporation’s “real situation” at Assen
Those were the words of Marc Marquez on Thursday, as a completely different challenge awaits in the Netherlands. An emotional return to victory hasn’t been forgotten about as it was much needed for Marc Marquez, his team and Honda. But it is back to business now at a circuit Marquez isn’t as dominant at, and the number 93 acknowledged his and Honda’s issues are far from over.
“It was an important victory on Sunday, one of the most important, or the hardest moment, of my career. This victory arrived in a very important moment because we were in a very deep situation, especially to me but also to the team and Honda. After all, it was a long time without a victory but I think here we will come back to our real situation,” said Marquez.
“But anyway it was important that victory before the summer break, we will try to pass Assen and then more than one month to continue our programme, our process, and let’s see if we can ride in a better way than Mugello and Montmelo, but I can’t expect to be on the same level as the Sachsenring.”
“Very difficult” for Valentino Rossi to ride for Aramco Racing Team VR46 in 2022
The big news on Thursday at the Dutch TT was Valentino Rossi’s VR46 outfit confirming their manufacturer for the next three years in the premier class. The brand-new Aramco Racing Team VR46 will race Ducatis from 2022-2024. The Doctor is yet to confirm his future beyond the end of the season.
On being asked whether he’s any closer to a decision regarding his future, this is what the nine-time World Champion said, “Yeah, I still haven’t decided because I will think more deeply during this break. I also have to speak with Yamaha and with the team, but you know we want to try for better performance and better results for sure so. The start of the season until this moment was not fantastic, so from this point of view, I think that will be very difficult that I will race next year. Always the Prince pushes me to race next year in my team with the Ducati, but at the moment I think that will be very difficult.”
Assen is called the Cathedral of Speed for a reason. As expected, the riders in the Press Conference were all looking forwards to tackling the tremendous 4.5 km layout before heading off on a five-week summer break.