Stoner eyes set-up progress at Assen


World champion Casey Stoner says he needs to make progress with the set-up of his HRC Honda RC213V if he is to make inroads into Jorge Lorenzo's points advantage at this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen.

The Australian, who finished second to the Spaniard at Silverstone, is currently 25 points behind the Yamaha rider in the standings.

"You spend a lot of the time on the edge of the tyre in Assen and unfortunately on our bike at the moment this is a weak point, so we will need to work on Thursday and Friday to improve before we can consider ourselves competitive there," he said.

"I really hope the weather is good for us, as we need as much track time as possible to work on various issues on the bike.

"With three races back to back, it's important to get some good results at Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello, so we need to remain focused."

Stoner has only finished off the podium on one occasion in six visits to the famous Dutch venue in the top class, and won the race for Ducati in 2008, though he damaged his neck in a practice crash last year before going on to finish second in the race.

"We've had some great results in Assen, but also some pretty bad ones, so hopefully we can go there this weekend, be competitive and avoid any injury like last year when I hurt my neck, which followed us for the season and still causes me problems now," he said.

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who missed last year's race through injury, is hoping to make more progress with Bridgestone's new front tyre after he finished third with it last time out in Britain.

"Assen has changeable weather so I hope we can have some dry sessions to continue setting up the bike and making it more rideable," he said. "We need some more experience with the new front tyre and hopefully we can make another step forward this week."

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