MotoGP 21: Dutch Grand Prix setup guide – Assen guide, suspension, brakes & more
The Netherlands round of the championship is one of the most challenging on the calendar.
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Whether you go with “full or official calendar”, the Dutch Grand Prix will be the ninth race you compete in during your first season. The Dutch love MotoGP and TT Circuit Assen is a real old-school circuit and a fan favourite.
Assen has hosted the Dutch TT since the 1940s, but has gone through significant changes through the decades. The current track has been used since 2010 and here is our guide to being fast around it!
Assen doesn’t have many points on the lap which are hard on the tyres. This is one of the easiest circuits on the calendar in terms of tyre wear, so a soft on the front and a medium on the rear are enough to see you through a race distance.
Stability is important, but so is responsiveness of the steering and that’s the case in Holland too. The front pre-load value is down at 2 to aid stability, but the rest of the front suspension settings or at or above the default value of 4 to help turn-in.
Conversely, the rear pre-load value has to be all set up high at 6, with the rear spring hardness down at 3 to compensate. The shock absordbers also have to be on the high side, to help create a stable and therefore predictable ride.
To strike a good compromise, the vehicle geometry has to be around middle of the road for the Dutch TT. Steering head inclination is best at 4, with the trail down at 2. The steering plate position is optimal at 3, with the rear swingarm length at a slightly above average value of 5.
To aid overall top speed down the long back-straight, you need to have a high top gear. However, acceleration out of the slow-speed corners is, if anything, even more important. What you can’t afford though is too big of a gap between the gears though, so you’ll have to steadily increase the ratios as the gear number increases like what’s shown above.
The slipper clutch is best at 4 to strike an optimum balance between turn-in and stability.
As is usually the case, the brakes have to be on the strong side for the Netherlands. 340 mm high mass on the front and 220 mm on the rear is best and inspires confidence in the bike’s stopping power. There are some big braking zones here, but it’s the relatively quick-fire corners at the start and end of the lap where you’ll need good cooling.
Assen may be a difficult track, but the electronic aids don’t come in a lot of use around here. That said, you’re still best off having 3 for the traction control, engine braking and anti-wheel aid to help prevent mistakes and aid consistency.
Power mapping is best at 3 for a flying lap, but you’ll need to turn this around during some points in the race.
All of these can be adjusted out on track using the HUD in the bottom-right of the screen.