Marc Marquez & Dani Pedrosa qualify 4th and 16th at Assen
Saturday saw the second day of practice for the Dutch TT at Assen, and Repsol Honda Team riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both had their progress affected by rain. After a third Free Practice session in the dry, in which Marquez was second but Pedrosa failed to qualify for Q2 in thirteenth, rain began to fall before FP4. With the track wet, Marquez topped the timesheet and Pedrosa finished fourth –despite a fall in the final minutes.
Unfortunately for Pedrosa, he was unable to replicate his times in Q1, placing sixth in the session. A penalty for Andrea Iannone moves him up to row 5 of the grid.
Marquez did take part in Q2, but suffered a crash on his first flying lap. Commandeering a photographer’s scooter in order to make a hasty return to pits, he was back out on track a few minutes later with his second bike. The Spaniard eventually completed two flying laps and qualified fourth, behind only three riders who had run a mixed tyre compound to take advantage of a dry racing line late in the session.
“In free practice this morning we were able to do a good job in dry conditions. We managed to maintain a good pace and try out several things with the bike. We went back to the previous setup and it worked well. Later we had to deal with Assen’s typical ‘surprise factor’—we all know that it can rain at any time here—although FP4 went well for me. I made a mistake in qualifying and crashed on the second lap. The marshals were a bit far away, and I saw a scooter with key in it and nobody around. When I took it, I saw that it belonged to a photographer, but he let me go. I wanted to get back to the pit as soon as possible, so honestly I would’ve taken it even if he said no! Thanks to the great work done by the team, I was able to get back out on track for two laps and we managed to finish fourth. The important thing is that I feel comfortable in the dry, not superior to the others but at ease enough to fight. In case of rain it will be kind of a lottery, as always.”
“I had a good enough pace in FP4 in the wet, but I crashed in a very strange way. I don’t understand exactly why I fell. Anyway, that meant I couldn’t continue the session with the same bike, which had a different chassis than my number-two machine. I went out for Q1 with the same setup as the other bike, but with the other chassis, and I tried to get back on the pace. I managed to set almost the same time that I had in FP4, but whenever I tried to push a bit more I had the same scare at the same corner where I had crashed earlier. We’ll be starting far down on the grid tomorrow, but we’ll try to do our best, whether it rains or if it stays dry.”
Source: Repsol Media