The Texan racetrack, one of the last added to the MotoGP calendar, is a technical track with some sprints that make it possible to fully exploit the engine's power, and features the championship's longest straight (1,200 m) where the motorcycles can reach speeds of around 340kmh. It's an atypical track because the direction of travel is counter clockwise, but the number of curves is balanced, with 9 right turns and 11 left turns.
The five races held here have always had the same winner – Marc Marquez – and Ducati hasn't had a lot of success. With the exception of the first race in 2015, where Dovizioso scored h is first podium on the Desmosedici GP, in subsequent editions the Texas circuit has been quite stingy with results for the red team.
As usual, for the American race Ducati riders will enjoy great support from the many local Ducati fans who will gather at Ducati Island, a village i n true Ducati style within the circuit, where, in addition to being able to watch the race from a privileged position, fans in red will be entertained by the many activities planned, including an autograph session with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.
Alvaro took top honours in his home race as well, fully dominating at Aragon. The Spanish rider's synergy with the new Panigale V4 R is impressive, and seeing him ride the 4-cylinder is a pleasure, also considering the fact that, for the moment, he has left his competitors in the dust.
As expected, in Aragon Chaz Davies managed to take another step forward in meshing better with the new motorcycle. The Welshman returned to the top of the standings winning two podiums. It's true that Assen isn't one of his favourite tracks, but the potential of the Panigale V4 R will allow h im to continue his growth.
Assen is a great classic on the Superbike calendar, and the circuit - renamed the Cathedral of Speed - has lately become a sort of taboo for the Italian team as Ducati has not triumphed in the Netherlands since 2012 (Guintoli on the 1098). But the beauty of motorcycle racing is the fact that unpredictability is just around the corner, and more importantly we are on a track where the rather fickle weather conditions can affect any choice. So watch out for the weather, as well as all the opponents, because at Assen it's often the elements that dictate the conditions.