Casey Stoner claims he will need a change of luck and some improvement to his bike if he is to win Saturday's MotoGP in Assen.

Although the reigning world champion finished second at the 2011 Dutch MotoGP - his fifth straight podium result at the TT Circuit Assen - Stoner considers it one of his least favourite races after crashing during practice last year.

"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," Stoner said.

The 26-year-old Australian had to retire in his first 125cc race in Assen and has won only once in 10 races there, claiming victory in 2008.

Stoner has also identified a weakness with his Honda, which could be a problem in the Netherlands.

"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," Stoner said.

"So we will need to work on Thursday and Friday to improve before we can consider ourselves competitive there.

"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."

Assen is the first of three races over consecutive weekends with the German and Italian MotoGPs to follow.

Stoner sits second on the overall standings with 115 points heading into the busy three weeks, 25 points behind Jorge Lorenzo.

"With three races back to back, it's important to get some good results at Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello," Stoner said.

Lorenzo's record at Assen is brilliant compared to Stoner's, with the 25-year-old Spaniard having won four times at the TT Circuit Assen from 10 starts across 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP.

"Assen and Brno (in the Czech Republic) are the tracks I think I have won at the most," Lorenzo said.

"I feel very strong there and we are very focused this season so I'm confident."

The Dutch GP suits the Yamaha Factory team with Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies having won the race last year.

It was the 27-year-old American's first MotoGP victory.

"I'm really looking forward to this race," Spies said.

"I love riding the Assen track and have always had great results here, especially last year."


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