Rossi and Stoner awaiting Thursday answers in Assen
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner are eager to see how they will shape up in practice for the A-Style TT Assen.
Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi were side-by-side on the podium last Sunday in Donington Park, and were once again sharing a stage in the press conference for the A-Style TT Assen. Both were on amazing form at last year´s visit to the Netherlands, battling for the duration of the race in an epic duel eventually won by Rossi.
Whilst both are currently on a strong run of success –Rossi leads the World Championship whilst Stoner´s Donington triumph elevated him to third in the standings- there will still be plenty of anticipation as to how some differences in their respective bikes will change their situations on Thursday morning. Stoner is confident that measures to minimise the effect of wind and early season problems on his Ducati Desmosedici GP8 will aide his cause, whilst Rossi as ever has to adapt the Yamaha M1 to Bridgestone tyres.
`It´s a good part of the season for me, with lot of circuits that I like and where I have had good results. Assen last year was my best race of 2007,´ Rossi recalled fondly.
`We expect a good feeling from the bike, because this has always been a good track for Yamaha. We have to work in a different way and with different settings for the Bridgestone tyres, but I´m curious about this.´
Bridgestone are chasing their first victory at Assen, although with the current World Championship leader and 2007 titlist in their ranks the Japanese tyre manufacturer have reason to expect a turnaround this Saturday. Stoner is not worried about rubber, more interested in seeing how Ducati´s Catalunya test/Donington race changes will help him to be competitive from the get-go.
`It would be nice to think that we can do something similar (to Donington) again, or at least be fighting for the lead. We’ve come to this race with a bit more confidence than we had last year,´ notes Stoner.
`We were struggling a little with the wind last year, but now we’ve got a smaller fairing. The last test in Catalunya and Donington proved that this system is really working well.
`If things don´t work straight away, we´ll keep looking for different solutions. We´ve had to fight hard for solutions quite a few times this year; in Donington it all came together, in wet and dry.´
Both riders will have a better idea of what lies ahead this Saturday when they take to the track in the opening Thursday practice sessions.