MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is confident the Repsol Honda is becoming a stronger package as the season progresses.

Marquez was encouraged by his runner-up finish behind Andrea Dovizioso at Catalunya in the last race and also feels he made more gains in the post-race test in Barcelona as he prepares for this weekend's round at Assen.

"Barcelona was a tricky weekend but in the end we finished in a good way, so very happy. Also in Monday's test we improved our pace and I was able to ride well on the bike and feel well," he said.

"Yes, we look forward to this weekend and try to be competitive from FP1 and try to be consistent - that is the most important - and try to find the stability, that at the moment at this part of the season is our weak point, but I believe we are coming better and better."

Marquez says Assen plays to his attributes as a rider but he is also mindful that the Yamaha has traditionally proven especially strong at the fast and flowing Dutch TT, while Dovizioso claimed pole last year on the Ducati.

"Assen is a circuit that I like and it's a good circuit for my style. Maybe in the past it was one of the circuits with the Honda where we struggled, but I believe with the character of this engine this year, we can be even closer.

"We will see during the weekend but we know that Yamaha here every year are always very strong and last year Ducati were very fast on the dry conditions," Marquez added.

"Here the weather is always a question mark and we must adapt in the conditions as quick as possible."

The Spaniard is famed for his all-action riding style and admits he enjoys the aggressive nature of the Assen circuit on a MotoGP bike.

"My riding style in some corners is a little bit different to some riders, in other corners it is quite similar. It doesn't mean it is the best one, just that it is different in some corners and also maybe it is the style of the Honda.

"Normally you try to brake late and keep the corner speed, try to open the gas earlier, but normally one of my strong points is the brake point. Also here in Assen the corner speed is really important so it's important to understand, but anyway here you spend a lot of time with the gas open full and this is a track where you must be aggressive on the tyre to open the gas as early as possible."

While Maverick Vinales and Dovizioso were non-committal when asked at the pre-race press conference if they felt the Michelin tyres would work best on their respective Yamaha and Ducati machines, Marquez made a confident prediction.

"It's impossible to say but I believe it will be good for Honda, so we will start with this mentality and then we will see."


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A confidant Marquez is always bad news for the rest.