Ducati Marlboro will be hoping that having three former Assen race winners in the team can help break its 2010 MotoGP podium drought this weekend.

Nicky Hayden won at Assen during his title winning 2006 campaign, team-mate Casey Stoner took victory in 2008 - while team manager Vittoriano Guareschi claimed his final World Supersport win at the legendary Dutch circuit in 1998.

Hayden may not have claimed a 2010 podium, but he lost out to Ben Spies by just 0.217sec at Silverstone last weekend and looks set to take fourth in the world championship from the absent Valentino Rossi on Saturday.

"Assen is a unique and special circuit and I have had some of my best races there," said Hayden, whose 2006 victory came after a dramatic last-turn showdown with Colin Edwards.

"It has been changed a lot over the years - some sections are better and some are worse - but there are a lot of long sweeping corners and the grip is good so you can use it to generate speed. The best part of the track is the last "left-right" switch, a place where you can make a decisive pass on the brakes if you get it right.

"I'm not happy with the result from Silverstone and at Assen I'd love to be able to take advantage of our recent progress with the set-up of the bike to get a better result."

Stoner was forced into a comeback ride at Silverstone after a bad start left him at the tail of the 15 rider field.

The Australian charged up to fifth, less than half a second behind Hayden, and is sure that if he and the team can put everything together this weekend they will be a force to be reckoned with.

"I have made some mistakes at times this year and at other times we have struggled to find the right set-up but for one reason or another things have not worked out as they should done despite the fact we have had opportunities to do well and even win races," said Stoner, who is only eighth in the world championship after two falls, two fifths and a fourth.

"We have the pace, we have a competitive technical package and the whole team is doing a great job, as always, so hopefully we can put everything together at Assen.

"We found a good set-up in the warm-up last Sunday - we could have maybe done with a little more grip but in general I was happy with the bike so in theory we should be on the pace in Holland too. I don't want to make any predictions, just keep working well with my team and see if together we can turn this situation around," declared Stoner, who has finished on the podium for the last three years at Assen.

"Whenever I think of Assen I smile because it was the track I made my final World Supersport win at as a rider and because both our riders have won there in MotoGP!" said Guareschi.

"Joking aside, even though the latest modifications have taken a little of the excitement away it is still a nice track, similar to Silverstone in the way the corners link together but without the bumps and with good grip.

"Since we found a good set-up for the British track we hope we can start practice well on Thursday and make the most of the potential we know we have for the race."