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Lorenzo maintaining same approach at Assen

Lorenzo maintaining same approach at Assen

Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies and Álvaro Bautista took questions in the official pre-event press conference for the TIM TT Assen, on the eve of round six of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship.

The battle for the 2010 MotoGP World Championship title continues apace this weekend with the TIM TT Assen coming just one week after the excitement of Silverstone, where victory for Jorge Lorenzo gave the Spaniard a 37-point advantage in the Championship standings.

Lorenzo will be looking to turn the screw on his rivals even further this weekend in the Netherlands, but the Fiat Yamaha rider was adamant that he would be approaching Saturday's race like any other.

"I arrive here after a great victory, but my approach will not change as a result," said Lorenzo during the pre-event press conference. “I have had three wins here in the past, one in 125 and two in 250, so I can say that this is one of my strongest tracks."

Lorenzo took time out ahead of the press conference to check the modifications to the Ruskenhoek corner, the only changes to the track since the current Championship leader finished second in the MotoGP race last year.

"I went out on the scooter to have a look at Ruskenhoek, which is certainly a lot faster than it was before. Having seen the modified corner on television during the superbike race here I had some concerns about the changes but, now I've seen it up close, the corner looks fine."

Andrea Dovizioso is in a rich vein of form at present having scored four podium finishes in five races, and his second place at Silverstone last time out moved the Italian up to second in the Championship. The Repsol Honda rider will be pushing hard for his first win of the 2010 campaign this weekend, as he looks to close the gap on Lorenzo in the Championship.

"The second place in Silverstone was good for motivation, both for myself and the team," declared Dovizioso. "At the beginning of the season we were fast, but now we're also consistent enough to run at the front regularly. Lorenzo and the Yamaha are really strong, but we've made big steps and we're confident we can push to catch him. Now we just need to fight!"

Ben Spies has been something of a revelation in his debut MotoGP season, with new circuits causing no problems for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider. Spies took his first podium finish last time out in Silverstone, but was quick to play down his chances of a repeat performance this weekend at Assen, despite this being one of the few circuits at which he has raced previously.

"It's good to come to a track I've been to before, and one that I like," said Spies in reference to his superbike experience. "I think the bike will be good here, but I know it will be tough to fight for a podium again this weekend. Maybe people will expect me to be on the podium every weekend now, but I'm more realistic because I know just how hard Silverstone was."

Ducati Team's Casey Stoner has had something of a difficult start to the season, but advanced up the Championship standings to eighth position, after fighting back from a disastrous start to eventually claim fifth place last time out at Silverstone. Unlike many of his rivals, Stoner did not head out to take a look at the modifications to the Ruskenhoek corner, but the Australian did have a comment to make on the circuit and its recent changes.

"Racing here now doesn't have the same kick as it did when we raced on the old circuit, of which there are only a few parts left. I've struggled at Ruskenhoek for the last three seasons, so it's nice that they've changed my bogey corner for this year!"

Álvaro Bautista is another rider who has had to contend with a difficult start to the season, after the Spaniard sustained a shoulder injury in a motocross crash ahead of the Le Mans round. The former 125cc World Champion now says he is fast approaching full fitness once again and is looking forward to continuing his debut season in MotoGP.

"In Mugello I was riding like someone on the street, because the injury meant I couldn't ride the way I wanted to,” explained the Rizla Suzuki rookie. “At Silverstone the injury was better and it was only at the end of the race that I started to feel pain and struggled to turn the bike. This weekend I don't know, but I think that for my home race in Barcelona it's possible the shoulder will be back to 100% again."

MotoGP, 2010, TIM TT ASSEN

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