Infront Motor Sports press release:
Several top World Superbike riders had a chance to try out Solex bicycles for size today in the centre of Assen in the run-up to the Dutch Round of the championship taking place at the TT Circuit this weekend.
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Ruben Xaus (BMW Motorrad), together with Dutch World Supersport contenders Barry Veneman (Hoegee Suzuki) and Arie Vos (Veidec Racing RES Software Honda) were the riders chosen for the pre-race media event for the fourth round.
Following a greeting from the Mayor of Assen, the riders went around town for a couple of hundred metres on the 49 cc machines before posing for photographs and conducting interviews with the national and international media present.
Noriyuki Haga: “My history at Assen has been rocky, up and down to say the least but I’m looking forward to riding this track on the 1198, it should be interesting. We know that the Ducati performs there as Troy won both races last year, we had a good fight in Race 2 I recall, and so it should be another good weekend; Checa and Neukirchner went well there last year and they, as well as Spies and I, are likely to be running at the front, so we should see more great racing.”
Ben Spies: “Assen looks good, I’ve played it a bit on Playstation last week so I got some good seat time in! I’ve always wanted to ride here, the changes aren’t probably as rider-friendly as they used to be because everyone seemed to like the old circuit more but for me it’s a little bit easier to learn. It’s got a couple of tricky spots and seems like a nice flowing track. We’ve just got to get up to speed.”
Jonathan Rea: “It’s one of my favourites, only about 45 minutes up the road from the team’s workshop. To be honest, we’re not happy as the whole team at the start of the season, but we did a bit of testing at an oval track near the workshop and went back to zero again on the engine management. The bike seems to be more user-friendly now, so unlike Valencia I’m coming here really confident.”
Ruben Xaus: “Assen has always been a good place for me and this weekend looks great. I like this track but this weekend it’s special with a new team and a new project. We’re working hard, it’s not easy, but everyone knew that. Sometimes I’m biting my lips because I want to be in the front part of the grid always, and right now I’m not there yet, so I need to work harder on this situation.”
The Dutch Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship takes place from Friday 24 thru Sunday 26 April. World Superbike free practice and qualifying are held on the first two days, with Superpole scheduled for Saturday at 15.00. The two 22-lap (100.210 km) Superbike races are scheduled to run on Saturday at 12.00 and 15.30, with the 21-lap (95.655 km) Supersport race at 13.25 local time.