The TT Circuit of Assen (Netherlands) welcomes the WorldSBK paddock to Europe. After the first two rounds staged in Australia and Indonesia, the iconic “Cathedral of Speed” will open the long European segment of the 2023 WorldSBK season, which includes nine races before the grand finale in Argentina.
Alvaro Bautista has been the big protagonist overseas with 5 wins in the 6 races held, allowing him to arrive in Europe with 112 points, 37 ahead of Razgatlioglu. The Spanish rider’s objective is to defend his leadership on a circuit where his main rivals have always proved to be extremely competitive.
Michael Rinaldi wants to find continuity after a start to the season in which, despite a couple of mistakes, he proved to be very fast. The Italian rider (twice on the podium in Australia) is currently fifth in the standings with 47 points.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It was a long break but we had a test session in Barcelona that helped us to keep up the feeling with the bike. We arrive in Assen with a strong desire to race and to find back the good sensations of the first two rounds and the test. Assen is always a very peculiar track, with so many changes of direction that make it hard also from a physical point of view. our focus must be high, also considering that the weather conditions could be mixed. We are very motivated and I hope it can be a good weekend for me and the team”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“The first race in Europe always has a special flavor. Assen is a circuit that I like a lot even if obviously the rain could change things. The tests in Barcelona gave us positive indications, providing us with higher awareness. If we were to race in dry conditions the goal would be to get on the podium, but I think we can achieve good results in wet conditions, too”.
Niccolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team landed in Europe with the leadership of the World Supersport Championship. Thanks to two wins and a third place in the first two rounds, Bulega (77 points) heads into the first European round with an 18-point advantage over Manzi (Yamaha).
Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am happy to race on this track that I have always liked a lot. I hope to continue to be as competitive as I was in the first two races. Hopefully, the weather won’t bring any last-minute surprises, even though we know that it is always very uncertain at this time of year. There is a lot of confidence and we have all the makings of a good weekend”.