Francesco Bagnaia’s various tattoos include one of the layout of the Assen track that will host the ninth GP round as of tomorrow. The Italian has great memories of the track from his Moto2 days and admits: “I really like the layout, it’s one of my top three favourite tracks. I hope for, and want a great weekend”.

Hopes are high, with one eye on the weather

Looking back, the Ducati rider comments: “I scored my first ever win here and had the best weekend of my career in Moto2, when I was first in every session and the race too”.

Pecco is coming from a fairly tough German round but is confident he can do well in Holland: “I knew it would be tough at the Sachsenring and in the end we were actually quick, at a track where our bike struggles. Assen is different and I’m really excited, but we have to hope the weather conditions are at least stable”. As for his rivals, he adds: Yamaha and Suzuki will be very strong, but we can hold our own”.

 The Austrian manufacturer is in the mix

One pairing that shouldn’t be underestimated is that of Miguel Oliveira and KTM, coming off the back of three consecutive podiums: “It’s clear that KTM has taken a step forward and that Miguel is riding really well, he's very clean. I think they make a winning combination, one to watch”.

 Valentino back to Ducati?

Following the Aramco Racing Team VR46 announcement, there is now the issue of whether or not Valentino Rossi will be one of its riders. Bagnaia comments: “I don’t talk to colleagues about our future, I don’t know what Vale wants to do. I thought he wanted to finish his career with Yamaha, I don’t know what he’ll decide to do. If he decides to race with Ducati for a year, it’ll be because he feels it’s the right thing”.

Translated by Heather Watson

MotoGP: Garrett Gerloff to replace Franco Morbidelli at Assen