Assen: YZF Yamaha preview

THE DEVELOPMENT GOES ON After two good races in Phillip Island and Valencia, Shinichi Nakatomi is now ready for the famous Assen event in the Netherlands, on one of the oldest and most famous circuits in the world. Nakatomi is regularly ...

THE DEVELOPMENT GOES ON

After two good races in Phillip Island and Valencia, Shinichi Nakatomi is now ready for the famous Assen event in the Netherlands, on one of the oldest and most famous circuits in the world.

Nakatomi is regularly developing the R1 and he should be able to keep on finishing in the top 15, with the riders who earn points for the championship. The team keeps working on the bike and hopes a good result on the circuit van Drenthe of Assen.

Martial Garcia (team manager): "We keep on working on the Yamaha R1 to develop it. Our motorcycle is more and more consistent. Between Australia and Spain, we finished three times in a row in the top 15. Now our goal is to be regularly in the top 10."

Assen and the Circuit Van Drenthe

It's a very interesting track, which has great flowing corners. It often rains here but grip levels are very high even when it does rain. Circuit Van Drenthe is 2 km away from Assen and 110 km northeast of Amsterdam. Because England is but a short drive away, British fans flock to the circuit each year. The first Dutch TT was held in 1925 and racing has never stopped at the Dutch "cathedral", except during the two world wars. The current track is mainly used for motorcycle racing, with only a handful of car races organised here each year.

This track had good grip and good drainage. That makes it a great track when it rains because it doesn't "hold" water. The layout requires inch-perfect lines and that's why riders often take longer to adapt to Assen than other tracks. Races are often won or lost in the last chicane at Assen. Those willing to be brave on the brakes are hard to beat there but it takes great skill and balance to avoid running off the track and crashing or hitting another rider.

Assen requires a very smooth riding style. The smallest mistake can wreck a whole lap as the rider struggles to make up the time lost on those ultra-quick turns. On a Superbike, it's hard to keep the front wheel on the ground and that only means more problems for riders each time they exit a corner and get on the gas. The last right-left flick before the final chicane is one of the most difficult sections of the track. Riders are going so fast there that they find it very difficult to push the bike into making the change of direction from right to left, especially when it's windy.

-credit: yzf yamaha

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Shinichi Nakatomi , Phillip Island