2008 Dutch TT winner Casey Stoner loves the challenge of Assen - the only circuit remaining from the original 1949 world championship - but feels there is a clear difference between the new and old parts of the circuit.
Assen's North Loop was taken out in 2006 to reduce the lap length to 4.555km and make room for infrastructure changes. It was replaced with a new 'modern' section, which then rejoins the old layout.
“I really enjoyed the old circuit, the same opinion as I think all the riders,” said Stoner, who starts the 2009 event tied at the top of the world championship standings with Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
“The last [old] part of the circuit is still a lot of fun, it flows really well and has some of the banked turns,” he continued. “The main disappointment is that all the new corners they put in have no banking, there is no flow with the land. They are very flat.
“That makes it a little dull and there is not a lot of overtaking on the first part of the track either, it is all done on the [old] part of the track.”
Stoner won last year's race by over eleven seconds for Ducati, but is taking nothing for granted.
“We had a fantastic race last year, the bike was working well, but we have a new bike this year so we'll have to wait and see on Thursday,” he said.
The 1949 Dutch TT at Assen had a 16.536km lap.