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Angel Nieto: “Lorenzo is performing at a very high level”

Angel Nieto: “Lorenzo is performing at a very high level”

The most successful rider ever at Assen, with fifteen wins at the circuit, gives us his verdict on the Motul TT Assen.

Despite having retired from competition at the end of the 1986 season, MotoGP™ Legend Angel Nieto continues to maintain a strong link to the World Championships.

The Spaniard won the first of his 50cc titles in 1969, adding five more up until 1978, when he decided to focus solely on the 125cc class. He managed to win seven more world titles between 1971 and 1984 in the 125cc class, making him the second most successful rider in history in terms of World Championship titles, behind Giacomo Agostini. Nieto is also third on the list of all time GP victories with 90, behind Agostini (122) and Rossi (110).

Nieto’s 15 wins at the TT Circuit Assen is still a record, and he has many happy memories at the “Cathedral” of motorcycle racing: "At the time when I was riding at Assen, it was then the safest track on the calendar. It was the best for riders as there were no walls or trees along the track. That helped us to ride with less fear, something that didn’t happen at other circuits in those years. Besides, it was always a track that I got on with well. Now it's shorter, but much of it belongs to the original layout."

“Over the years some changes were made. For instance, the final chicane did not exist before; it was a very fast right and it was quite dangerous, as there was barely room to escape because of the proximity of the grandstand. It was an important area for the race, but also very dangerous.”

The Spanish rider was among the elite of riders in the small motorbike classes of the World Championship for more than two decades, and always showed himself a consummate strategist. His remains one of the most respected voices in the paddock and we could not pass up the opportunity to know his thoughts on the season so far: “I think the problem for everyone at the moment is that Lorenzo is performing at a very high level, while his bike is working very well in important aspects such as cornering, acceleration, has an engine that is very flexible and a good chassis. If he continues at this level, it will be very difficult for anyone to try and challenge him.”

"Valentino is also performing at a high level and Marc has encountered some changes in his bike that are not going well for the way he rides, but I still think that as long as there is a mathematical chance to fight for the title, he will keep fighting. No one can deny the talent of Marc. I think that the problem in Argentina with the tire might have affected him. Now he is in a tricky situation to try and put pressure on Lorenzo."

"Overall the season has been exciting! Pedrosa is recovering well and Ducati are stronger in almost every race. Even Suzuki are in the mix. Long ago such a beautiful and interesting season did not happen. "

"My favourite to win? Can I pick one after the qualifying session on Friday?"

MotoGP, 2015, MOTUL TT ASSEN, Angel Nieto

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