Motul TT Assen, Friday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) struck back after a tough Catalan GP to top Day 1 at the ‘Cathedral’ – the TT Circuit Assen – by over three tenths after a leap forward in FP2. The weather threatened in the afternoon after a fully dry FP1, but track conditions remained good enough for the field to improve in the afternoon.
The rider from Roses was followed by Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha tech 3) on the combined timesheets as the German rookie impressed once again, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) shooting back up the order in FP2 to complete the top three overall on Friday.
The day began with drama in FP1 as Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) suffered a problem that subsequently brought out the Red Flag, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Folger both crashing out in the incident but both ok. Mugello and Barcelona winner ‘DesmoDovi’ nevertheless kept his momentum and form in fine order to go fourth by the end of action, ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Team) completing the top five despite a run off in the afternoon.
The most successful rider on the grid at the TT Circuit Assen, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), was sixth quickest on Day 1, with FP1’s fastest Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) for close company in P7.
Rookie sensation Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was eighth quickest as Independent Team riders populated a lot of the top ten, ahead of Pull&Bear Aspar’s Alvaro Bautista. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa completed the top ten.
Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) was in the top ten in FP1 and ended the day only one place lower in eleventh, just pipping 2016 Dutch GP winner Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) locked out Friday’s top fifteen.
With weather more of a question mark for Saturday and qualifying, Friday could prove decisive in the grid for the Motul TT Assen. Find out who makes the final cut to Q2 on Saturday morning, with track action from 9:55 (GMT +2) and Q1 at 14:10.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli struck first at the TT Circuit Assen, in the top five in FP1 before moving up the timesheets in the afternoon to end the day as Friday’s fastest. 2016 Assen winner Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) had an impressive opening day in P2, with fellow title hopeful Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) fastest in first practice and completing the top three overall.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was a high profile crasher on Day 1 but was unhurt, going down at the final chicane during a hot lap in FP1. The rider from Cervera and winner last time out nevertheless completed the top four on Day 1, edging out compatriot Axel Pons (RW Racing GP).
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had another good day on track in P6 for the new KTM chassis, ahead of fastest Suter Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) in seventh. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) got his form back after recent injury in eighth, only 0.010 off the GP winner ahead of him.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) was ninth quickest, with Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) putting in a solid day’s pace to end Friday in tenth.
Dynavolt Intact GP rider Marcel Schrötter’s fastest FP1 effort put him in P11, just ahead of Mugello winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team). Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) – a crasher in FP1 – and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) completed the top fifteen.
Moto2™ qualify on Saturday at 15:05 (GMT +2).
He’s made a habit of taking pole positions in 2017, and Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) was the fastest man in Moto3™ once again after the first two practice sessions at Assen. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was second quickest overall on Friday, ahead of Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing).
Conditions were much cooler than the Catalan GP and some very light rain also began to fall towards the end of FP2, although nothing to significantly affect track conditions.
Fourth fastest was Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) leading the Italian charge, ahead of another Spaniard in the form of Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the top five.
Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) showed good pace in both sessions and was P6, ahead of a stunning opening day for fastest rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team). Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completed the top eight.
Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was ninth on the opening day with his time set during FP1, ahead of a solid Friday performance from Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) to lock out the top ten.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) began his home GP in a promising P11, ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing), Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), who completed the fastest fifteen on Friday.
The lightweight runners head out to decide the grid at 12:35 (GMT +2) on Saturday.