Marc Marquez 17th and Iker Lecuona 20th in Assen Sprint Race
Complications continued for Marc Marquez on Saturday as he saved himself for the key moments of the day. The eight-time World Champion had already identified Q1 as the first critical point of the day and prepared to go all out in the second half of the session. His chances of a transfer spot would be dashed when he and Enea Bastianini made contact in the final minutes of the session. Unharmed in the fall, Marquez lined up in 17th for the Sprint race.
A strong start to the shorter race quickly saw the #93 make up positions and close in on the top ten in the opening laps. As the race went on, the pain from his cracked second rib limited Marquez’s ability to ride as he would have liked and he ultimately finished in 17th.
Iker Lecuona continued to make great forward progress across his second day in the Netherlands. Ending Friday with a best time of 1’33.720, the 23-year-old would make improvements of almost 0.7s come Qualifying. A 1’33.088 saw him take 22nd on the grid, ahead of Jonas Folger and under a tenth from HRC Test Rider Stefan Bradl. Lecuona and team were pleased with the improvements made as they lined up for the 13-lap Sprint race.
Consistent laps from the start saw the Team HRC WorldSBK regular immediately move clear of Folger and hold his own to the end of the race. Earning 20th at the line, Lecuona is buoyed by the progress made and is eager for another run on Sunday.
“I made a really good start to the race; I was able to make up a lot of positions in the first lap. Then I settled down a bit and just found my pace, focusing on myself. I was suffering a bit more today with the rib, especially in regard to breathing and using the pectoral in the best way. The goal for tomorrow is to finish the race. I also want to apologies to Enea for this morning, it was my mistake.”
“I am really happy with how the day, and the weekend, has gone so far. We are improving with every run we do on the bike which is the goal. In Quali I found almost seventh tenths compared to Friday and I am getting closer and closer to the other Hondas. I’m happy with this. In the Sprint I made a good start but I played it safe in the opening corners. My pace improved over the race and I was able to overtake Bradl on the last lap. We need to check a few things tonight with the team, and hopefully I can make another step on Sunday.”