MotoGP Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo
will be looking to extend his series lead and erase last year's Assen memories in this Saturday's Dutch TT.
The recently re-signed Yamaha star, winner of four of the six races this year - including the past three in succession - was taken down by Marco Simoncelli on the opening lap of last year's Dutch race.
The Spaniard remounted to ride from 14th to sixth in a race won by team-mate Ben Spies.
The incident marked a rare blot for Lorenzo at one of his favourite circuits, where he won on his way to MotoGP title glory in 2010, adding to his two victories in the 250cc class and a single 125cc victory.
Lorenzo returns having scored 140 out of a potential 150 points so far this season, handing him a 25 point advantage over Casey Stoner
“Assen and Brno are the tracks I think I have won at the most. I feel very strong there and we are very focused this season so I'm confident,” said Lorenzo. “We haven't made so many mistakes and are working well towards the Championship title.
“Our target remains to be on the podium each race and if possible take a win. Assen is good for our bike and it suits my riding style so let's see what happens.”
For Dutch team manager Wilco Zeelenberg the event also holds special significance.
“I'm really looking forward to the Dutch GP. I know from my years as a rider that it's a very hectic week but one of the most exciting. There are lots of people there from my years of racing and it's good to see them again in the paddock, a lot of memories!” he said.
“For the team it's also a good moment to recover our performance from last year where we had a difficult race. Jorge loves the track so we hope the weather is consistent and I'm sure we'll be there fighting with the top boys.”
Assen, the first of three back-to-back events, starts with free practice on Thursday.