From Assen to Austin: for Ducati a weekend of racing

The 2018 racing season is definitely back in full swing and next weekend will be quite challenging, with both MotoGP and Superbike on the track.
Having shelved its weekend in Argentina, the Ducati Team is preparing for the race that will take place in Austin on the Circuit of the Americas.

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 four races held here have always had the same winner (Marc Marquez), but nonetheless Ducati has always been able to do well on the 5,500 m American track. For Dovizioso it's the track where he was able to take his first podium with Ducati in 2014, then repeating in the 2015 edition. In the last two years things have not gone so well. In 2016 he was eliminated from the competition due to an accident, and last year he rode more defensively, reaching sixth place. Lorenzo, on the other hand, could only manage a ninth place finish during the American stage.

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 in true Ducati style within the circuit, where, in addition to being able to watch the race from a privileged position on turn 15, fans in red will be entertained by the many activities planned, including an autograph session with Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
There wasn't even enough time to let the bikes cool down after the two races in Aragon as the whole Superbike circus had to pack up and move hastily on to Assen for the next stage of the championship.

The Spanish race confirmed the excellent form of the Davies - Melandri duo, so they will be competing in the Dutch round from the top of the standings. For Chaz a victory and a second place keep him in close contact with the leader, and Melandri is not far behind.

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). Davies has been successful in Supersport but never in SBK, while Melandri has yet to reach the podium. 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.

We are facing two races in the same week-end. For your convenience below you can find the complete timetable for WorldSBK and MotoGP,
Day/Category
Session
Local time
Friday 20
SBK
FP1
9.45 - 10.25
SBK
FP2
12.30 - 13.10
SBK
FP3
16.05 - 16.45
MotoGP
FP1
9.55 - 10.40
MotoGP
FP2
14.05 - 14.50
Saturday 21
SBK
FP4
8.45- 9.05
SBK
SuperPole 1
11.30 - 11.45
SBK
SuperPole 2
11.55 - 12.10
SBK
Race1
13.00
MotoGP
FP3
9.00 -9.40
MotoGP
FP4
13.30 - 14 .00
MotoGP
Q1
14.10 - 14.25
MotoGP
Q2
14.35 - 14.50
Sunday 22
SBK
Warm Up
9.35 - 9.50
SBK
Race2
13.00
MotoGP
Warm Up
9.40 - 10 .00
MotoGP
Race
14.00
All Ducatisti can follow the live updates from the track and post comments on the races with us on Twitter and on our official Facebook and Instagram and don't forget to use the hashtag #forzaducati