The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team is gearing up for its visit to the iconic TT Circuit Assen this week as riders Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes take on the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ for Round Four of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Guintoli has good memories of the Dutch circuit, having achieved two victories and two further podiums there in previous years. The Frenchman is looking to capitalise on the impressive pace shown with his YZF-R1 at Aragón last-time-out thanks to his second position qualification in Superpole, to continue the development around the 4,542m track this weekend.
The scene of his very first WorldSBK podium, Assen is one of Lowes’ favourite stops on the calendar and the Briton is eager to test his YZF-R1 at the famous high-speed layout. Enjoying both the circuit itself and the event’s overall atmosphere Lowes is looking forward to getting down to work on Friday morning, for the first hour-long free practice at 10:15 local time, after his encouraging and determined performance in the final race in Spain a fortnight ago.
The Assen TT Circuit is located to the north east of The Netherlands – approximately 170kms from Amsterdam – and remains a firm favourite amongst the WorldSBK Championship’s riders and fans alike. Its high-octane nature mixes 17 corners with mid-length straights providing breath-taking racing around its clockwise layout, with the final chicane the scene of many memorable last-lap battles. The Prosecco DOC Dutch Round’s main event will take place at 13:00 local time on both Saturday and Sunday as Lowes and Guintoli take to the track for the two 21-lap races.
Championship: 6th / 53 points
“In Aragón we made a step forward with the YZF-R1’s raw speed. This showed in Superpole by securing second place with a lap that was faster than the existing lap record and in race one I was able to stay with the leader for a few laps so the raw lap times are good. Consistency and tyre wear management will be our priority in Assen, a track I very much enjoy and where I have been successful in the past, so I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Championship: 12th / 27 points
“Assen is a track that is so much fun to ride! I am optimistic that it will suit the Yamaha and we can start to get the results we deserve! Everything has been improving over the last few races, from my and the teams’ understanding of the YZF-R1 to the bike and the whole team’s development. I really hope for a solid weekend and a good performance in the races where we can fight a lot closer to the front.”