By Leslie Xavier
Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo is confident of maintaining the momentum from his back-to-back victories in the previous rounds at the Dutch TT, the seventh round of the 2013 MotoGP season, atAssen next Saturday (June 29).
Lorenzo had taken his Yamaha to victory in the last two races—in Catalunya and Italy—to cut short Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa’s lead to just seven points. Pedrosa has 123 points while fellow Spaniard Lorenzo has 116, and by the looks of it, things are likely to go down to the wire this season. The world champion from Mallorca knows that the team has to keep improving right through the season or risk losing the title to Honda.
“Well, I’m quite happy after winning at Mugello (Italy) and Montmeló (Catalunya)—two important victories for me and the team for the championship,” Lorenzo was quoted on MotoGP’s official website. “We were in a very good shape these last two races and I feel stronger than ever and really hungry to win. I think we made quite a big step on the bike at the last two races, to get the consistency on race pace.”
Lorenzo and his illustrious teammate Valentino Rossi had good mid-season tests in Aragón, where updates and changes in settings were made. The Italian nine-time world champion has scored 60 points so far and is placed sixth in the title race. Rossi was very happy with the new set-up of his bike and is confident of a good showing at Assen, a race steeped in history, as it was part of the calendar when Grand Prix racing began way back in 1949.
Assen, known as the “Cathedral of motorcycle racing”, is a quick flowing high-speed track, which suits Lorenzo’s riding style. So Honda boys—Pedrosa and Marc Márquez (93 points and third in the championship)—have their work cut out this weekend.