Of his 104 SBK victories, Johnny Rea has scored twelve at Assen. Which means that the number 1 rider likes the Van Drenthe circuit and is keen to return for the first time since 2019. The Northern Irishman and team Provec KRT head to the University with the aim of closing the gap to Toprak Razgatlioglu and Yamaha, the green bike’s main rival right now.
So how will the six-time champion go about curbing the Turk’s fury? Firstly, by harnessing his significant experience of the Dutch track. “I can’t wait to race at Assen”, comments the Cannibal, “It is a really unique layout, a high-speed circuit with fast corners and quick changes of direction".
For Johnny, the ‘cathedral of speed’ is one of the best: "It’s one of the nicest and most flowing circuits on the calendar. I have great memories there and the fact that there will be lots of fans is a huge bonus because Assen and the fans go together perfectly! I had some nice battles there in 2019 and I am looking forward to more this year. I hope we can capitalise on it being a good circuit for me and the Ninja”.
Johnny’s goal? To win of course. Alex Lowes thinks ahead to 2022
And as for Rea's goal, we already know what the answer will be: "The target is to win but we need to work smartly and calmly to put us in the best possible shape to compete come the races.”
Alex Lowes is hoping for a contract renewal, which means he needs to do as well at the Van Drenthe track as he has in recent races: “Assen is a fantastic track and one of my favourites on the calendar. My first experiences of it were from my time in BSB. It is also a place I claimed my first WorldSBK podium at in 2014”.
But it’s 2021 now and the Lincolnshire rider has his mind firmly focused on this season: "As we didn’t race there last year this will be my first experience of Assen on the Ninja ZX-10RR. The target for this weekend is to fight for the podium - and have a lot of fun doing it with my ‘Team 22'".
Translated by Heather Watson