Valentino Rossi says it is anyone's guess who could emerge out front ahead of a 'very open and uncertain' Assen MotoGP race as he looks to build on the momentum of his victory last time out in Barcelona.
The Yamaha Movistar rider gave the perfect response to his heart-braking Mugello engine failure by winning in Catalunya and clawing his way back within one race victory of new title leader Marc Marquez.
Heading to the iconic Dutch venue facing down a 22 point deficit to the championship leader, Rossi is looking forward to returning to Assen but says the competitiveness of the field makes it difficult to pick a favourite.
“I used this short break to rest a bit and now I'm ready for the next race. I love Assen, it is one of my favourite tracks, but that doesn't mean anything because every race this year is very open and very uncertain. We just have to stay focused, try to work in the best way possible and see what happens.
“In Barcelona we had a good race and also the test went well. I really want to get back on track and prepare for the upcoming race with my team.
The Doctor beat Marquez after a dramatic last-turn clash at Assen last season. The Honda rider lunged for the lead at the final chicane, bumping Rossi, who straight-lined the exit of the corner and rode to victory.
Race Direction declared Rossi would have made the corner without the contact and that Marquez was never in front, meaning the result was unchanged.
The Assen incident was nothing compared to the furore that was to follow at the end of last season, but they shook hands for the first time in 2016 after Rossi's close victory in Catalunya.
Both Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will have a new Yamaha chassis
to try this weekend, having given the development the green light during post-race testing in Catalunya.