Having finished within one-second of third at the last three rounds, then taken a modified RC212V chassis to the top of the Catalunya test timesheets, Andrea Dovizioso heads for Assen determined to claim his first Repsol Honda podium ASAP.

"I've been really looking forward to getting back on the bike since we left Catalunya last week," admitted the Repsol Honda rider. "We had a positive test on the Monday after the Barcelona race and that, combined with the constant improvement we've been making race after race, means I'm very confident.

"So I'm look forward to getting back in the garage with the team, continuing to work on our machine package and to getting a good result in Assen. I've been really close the podium in the last three rounds and at the same time closing the time gap to the race winner, so I'm determined to get into the top three as soon as possible - hopefully this weekend.

"Assen is not actually one of my favourite tracks though. Since the layout modifications, the fascination of the circuit has been lost a little, but still I have good memories of last year's race where I finished fifth after qualifying eleventh.

"It's a circuit of two sections - the first part is quite slow while the second part is more technically demanding - and the weather can also play its part in the Netherlands too. But whatever happens, I'm looking forward to another strong weekend for me and the team."

Dovizioso has now taken fourth in the world championship by two points from injured team-mate Dani Pedrosa.


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