The 16-'strong' MotoGP field arrived at Assen on Wednesday in preparation for this weekend's sixth round of the 2010 world championship.

Many of them, including Silverstone winner and runaway title leader Jorge Lorenzo, took time out during the day to check recent modifications made to the Ruskenhoek corner.

The chicane - comprising of a right turn, then long left curve - is located at the end of the back straight and now has a much faster entry, with the previous 90-degree right having been significantly 'straightened' (pictured).

The track is now 13 metres shorter as a result and previous lap records, which had been in place since major modifications saw the removal of the North Loop for 2006, will no longer count.

"I went out on the scooter to have a look at Ruskenhoek, which is certainly much faster than it was before," said Lorenzo. "Having seen the modified corner on television during the World Superbike race it looked a little bit dangerous but, now I've seen it up close, the corner looks fine. I'm curious to ride it."

Unlike many of his rivals, Ducati's Casey Stoner didn't head out to take a look at the modifications, but the Australian did hold typically forthright views about the changes made to the track in 2006.

"It's a circuit I used to really enjoy," he said. "I think everyone is going to agree with me and things have changed since they changed the circuit [in 2006]. There is only a very small part of the old circuit left here now. It's doesn't really have the same kick that the old circuit did, or the same racing factor.

"It used to attract close races and close finishes and now personally it seems like the opposite. Every now and then there will be a close finish but most of the time the field spreads out a bit.

"I haven't been out to the new part of the circuit, the new [Ruskenhoek] turn. That was the one part I used to struggle with for the last three seasons, so it's nice that they've changed my bogey corner for this year."

Stoner won at Assen in 2008, while rookie Ben Spies - who took his first MotoGP podium with third at Silverstone - arrives at circuit where he qualified on pole for WSBK last season, then won the first race and crashed while leading the second.

"The last race was new for everybody and it good to come to a track I've been to before, and one that I like," said Spies. "I think the bike will be good here, but I know it will be tough to fight for a podium again this weekend. Maybe people will expect me to be on the podium every weekend now, but I'm more realistic because I know just how hard Silverstone was."

The last time Spies raced at a track he knew from WSBK was at round one in Qatar, where he finished fifth (in a race that still contained Valentino Rossi).


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