Sam Lowes was able to put his past experiences at Assen to good use in the opening practice for this weekend Dutch TT.

A productive test at Aragon gave Lowes plenty of reasons to feel confident of a strong weekend at Assen and in the opening session he set the third fastest time, just 0.150s slower than Jonas Folger.

Lowes has pinpointed Assen as a key race throughout the season as it is one of the few circuits that the reigning World Supersport champion has previously raced at. The Speed Up rider will have a series of upgrades available to him this weekend with new fuel tanks, swingarms, forks and riding position having all been tested in Aragon:

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"At the Aragon test the bike was mint straight away and I was on the pace straight away," said Lowes. "We have a different tank now. We changed the degree of the handlebars from 8 to 12 because I know that I need to lean off the bike more. The tank is a little bit shorter now as well and with all these little bits I felt a lot better on the bike and was fast and consistent. We've got new forks as well which in the corner don't make a big difference but that under braking are much more stable. We're definitely getting better and better and I think coming to tracks that I know I think that it can be even better.

"A lot of tracks are very different but, like I found last year with the Yamaha, once you find a base setup it doesn't matter if the tracks are totally different you won't actually change all that much. At the minute until now I've not had a base setup and the bike has been so different from race to race. That's been hard but now we're all working in the same way and we've found that base setup so we won't be making massive changes now. It's only corners and straights at the end of the day but having that base setup will help me a lot. We're coming to tracks that I know as well so that helps because it won't be FP3 or Qualifying I'll be able to work straight away."

Lowes, who won in Assen last year in WSS, admitted that being able to start the weekend with track knowledge will be an important advantage for him this weekend. Having raced at new tracks for the majority of the season so far, Lowes had only raced at Jerez, being able to roll out in FP1 with knowledge of what to expect will make this weekend much easier:

"I reckon that knowing what the bike should feel like around here is a big advantage. I know the parts of the track that you need to be good on and then the ones that you can sacrifice, at other tracks I don't know that yet. There's been so many weekends where we've gone around in circles - me and the team where maybe my experience of not knowing tracks - and even though we've done alright we haven't gotten the best out of ourselves. I know that we can do a lot more."

When asked what the key areas of Assen are, Lowes said:

"You've got to get onto the straights well and on the last left (turn 9) before the right handers start to build up the bike has to be working well there so that you can get into the right, if you're too far out on the left it slows you down on the right.

"Obviously as well the last chicane is important because every battle here, whether it's for first or 15th, comes down to there. You need a bike can that stop good and if you have that it means that you can get out well onto the straight. The bike needs to turn well on the gas here as well and that's been a problem for us but hopefully the new heavier swingarm can help that."