After such a torrid time in the run-up to Assen, Ben Spies said he would almost feel 'pissed off' if everything suddenly fell perfectly into place, enabling him to repeat last year's dominant victory.
“Taking a victory this weekend after the way the season has been going, it would be... I'd almost be a little bit pissed off if it happened!” he smiled. “Became it hasn't been happening recently.”
Spies starts the Dutch round just eleventh in the championship and ahead of only Kael Abraham in terms of the manufacturer riders.
The Texan's best finish was a fifth last time out at Silverstone, when he also led the early laps, but his title chances have long since disappeared due to a string of race day incidents, accidents and bad luck.
“It's not just bad luck, there's been a lot of itty-bitty things going on. That's the way it goes. You gotta remind yourself of the last ten years you've been racing and what you've done,” he said.
“Things don't always go to plan. Sometimes you have a bad season or a bad three races.
“It's definitely been a rough start to the season, but the past four or five weeks we've been going a lot better and getting some confidence. Last race at Silverstone was pretty good, we faded a bit in the end, but the beginning was good and I felt good on the bike.
“Now we've back at Assen. One of my favourite tracks obviously, after last year and in World Superbikes. It's one of the most historical tracks we go to and I'm looking forward to this weekend.
“It's an important part of the season, you can make up for a lot of lost ground. It's really important to attack the three weekends and get the most out of them.”
Spies added that speculation over whether he will keep his factory M1 ride for 2013 is not a major distraction.
“It's normal. That's racing,” he said of the paddock rumours. “As soon as Jorge signed everybody is in a big scramble and that's how it works.
“Right now all I can do is worry about me - my bike and my results. Whatever happens, happens. I'm calm about that. We go about our business, get everything done and let the cards fall where they fall.”
Spies' team-mate Jorge Lorenzo leads the championship by 25 points from Honda's Casey Stoner.