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.