While the wait for technical progress continues, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez heads to Assen confident that his riding style is well suited to the Dutch track.
Marquez regained the title lead with a close second place to Valentino Rossi last time in Catalunya, then took part in the post-race test before moving on to Austria for some demo laps of the Red Bull Ring.
“We've had two weekends off after Catalunya, and it has been good to be able to disconnect a bit, spending a little time with my friends and enjoying the amazing experience of doing some laps on the RC213V-S [road bike] at the Red Bull Ring last Tuesday,” Marquez said.
“Anyway, I'm happy that the time to go racing at Assen has arrived, as it's a track I really enjoy and, importantly, the first in a series of circuits that suit my riding style quite well!”
Unfortunately for Marquez, the Catalunya test provided no breakthrough in terms of new parts to
help tame his RC213V.
“Step by step, we're making some small improvements to the bike, so in Assen we'll keep working hard from the first session to find a good setup and try and fight for the podium again,” he declared.
“The weather is particularly unpredictable there, so we'll keep an eye on that also and try to be fast from the beginning of the weekend.”
Marquez stalked Rossi for most of last year's Dutch TT, which climaxed in last-turn showdown when the Honda rider dived for the lead. Contact was made at the apex, with Rossi forced wide but able to keep his advantage after straight-lining the exit of the corner.
Race Direction ruled that no action should be taken against either rider - declaring that Marquez had every right to try and pass, but nonetheless had caused the contact, was never in front of Rossi and the Italian would otherwise have made the corner.
Marquez initially found the decision hard to accept, making a quip that he had learned some motocross
The tension between the pair would rocket later in the season at Sepang, but the pair finally shook hands again after finishing first (Rossi) and second (Marquez) last time in Catalunya.
Team-mate Dani Pedrosa completed the podium in Catalunya and heads to round eight holding fourth in the standings, 43 points from Marquez.
“It was nice to be able to put in some good laps at the last race in Catalunya, to enjoy a bit of fighting and to step back on the podium, but now we must focus on doing a good job in Assen as well.
“We'll see what feeling we'll have in different conditions: colder than recent races, and very high-speed. The chances of rain are always high there, so we hope to have enough dry sessions to do some good work, both for the race weekend and for the future.
“Last Tuesday I quite enjoyed taking part in a video shoot at the Red Bull Ring in Austria: it was my first time at that track, which looks really good, and I had fun with the RC213V-S, which is an awesome street bike.”