Repsol Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo crashed heavily during FP1 and has been diagnosed with a fracture to his sixth and eighth thoracic vertebra and has been declared unfit to race for the remainder of the event at Assen.
MotoGP Race Lap Record: Marc Marquez, 1:33.617, 2015
MotoGP All Time Lap Record: Valentino Rossi, 1:32.627, 2015
2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship
TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands
June 28, 2019
Free Practice Two Results (all on Michelin tires):
1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:32.638
2. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:32.818
3. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.952
4. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:33.223
5. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:33.305
6. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), 1:33.355
7. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:33.413
8. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:33.415
9. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:33.517
10. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:33.727
11. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:33.815
12. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:33.854
13. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:33.874
14. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:33.963
15. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:33.971
16. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:34.040
17. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), 1:34.194
18. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:34.370
19. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:34.537
20. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:34.628
21. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), 1:35.250
22. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Honda), did not ride, declared unfit to race
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Intense opening day for Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo in Assen
Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin experienced an interesting first day for the Dutch Grand Prix today. While both went one second quicker in FP2 than in the morning, Oliveira completed Friday 0.901 seconds off the top 10. Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider Syahrin finished directly behind his teammate by the end of the first two Free Practice sessions at the historic circuit.
“The first day here was a good day of work. We lowered our lap time by one second from this morning, although it was a bit tough this afternoon as everyone was quicker than this morning and we were not improving enough to also climb up in terms of positions. For the first time, we got to try the carbon swingarm, which worked quite well, so it was really a nice present and surprise from KTM that we could use this part here on Friday. Now we need to change the balance of the bike a little bit as we have to adjust the setting to the new swingarm. Yet, we are optimistic for tomorrow.”
“Overall, I felt it was good today, but it’s a big shame, as our 1’34.6 on the last lap was cancelled because I touched the green a bit with the rear tyre and so it was over the track limit. Anyway, this can happen to everyone. We tried to find a little bit more to help the turning in the small corners like turn five and we obviously improved. I started to be close to the rest of the field, but finally the time didn’t count because of my mistake. Anyway, we are sure we can be quicker tomorrow morning. I just look forward to Saturday, after I felt quite comfortable today.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
ANDREA IANNONE FAST AND SIXTH AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE
A COURAGEOUS ALEIX ESPARGARÓ IS BACK IN THE SADDLE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER HIS ACCIDENT IN BARCELONA
The familiarity between Iannone and his Aprilia RS-GP is growing. On the first day of practice in Assen, Andrea finished sixth with a time of 1’33.355 about seven tenths behind the leader. It was Andrea’s best placement of the day on his RS-GP and it came at the end of two sessions where the Italian rider found a good feeling with his Aprilia straight away, a condition that allowed him to show a clear improvement compared to recent race weekends.
However, the best result, from a sporting point of view, was seeing Aleix Espargaró back in the saddle. The Spanish rider was back on the track less than two weeks after the accident in Barcelona that left him with two fractures to the left leg. Complicating matters was a crash in FP1. In these conditions, the time of 1’34.537 – which gives Aleix a provisional 19th place – should be considered more than positive and a true act of bravery.
“To be honest, I had hoped to feel a bit better. Instead, in the high-speed direction changes where you have to use your body, I am struggling. My knee is in pain and I am unable to apply the right force. The crash in FP1 was also due to this. On a left-hander I was unable to lean as much as I should have, and I lost the front end. Tomorrow, things should improve. The first day is always the one where you struggle the most. Now I need to rest and try to recover.”
“This was undoubtedly a positive day. I was able to find a good feeling straight away. It is an important result for me, for the team and for Aprilia. We did not change our approach, but we are continuing to work step by step. There is still margin for improvement. I am very fast in some sectors, whereas in acceleration from low speeds, we are still losing a few tenths. The crash at the end of the session kept us from improving further. With the soft rear tyre, the bike loses a bit of the good balance that we had with the hard. In any case, it is a nice way to start this weekend.”
More, from a press release issued by Mission Winnow Ducati:
Positive start for the Ducati Team at the Assen TT Circuit: Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso respectively third and fourth in Friday’s free practice
The Ducati Team took it back to the track today in Assen (Netherlands) at the historic TT Circuit, home of the eighth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. At the end of the first two free-practice sessions, held in progressively warmer weather conditions with temperatures reaching about 25 degrees in the atmosphere and 45 on the tarmac, Danilo Petrucci sits in third position, 0.314 seconds behind the provisional leader, and Andrea Dovizioso is fourth, 0.271 seconds behind his teammate.
Both Petrucci and Dovizioso worked on the pace ahead of Sunday’s race, trying several tyre options and making further evaluations, with positive feedback, on the technical upgrades introduced in the post-race tests at Montmeló. After taking third place in FP1 despite a crash (without physical consequences) early on in the session, Petrucci improved by 1.2 seconds in the afternoon. Dovizioso also made strides, taking 1.5 seconds off his best lap time during FP2.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:32.952 (3rd)
“I’m happy with our performance today because we’ve been fast since the early laps in the morning. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do a perfect lap, but our priority was to work on the race pace and understand which tyres to use on Sunday. We still have work to do since our rivals are competitive as well, but we’re among the frontrunners and ready to put up a fight. We still have room for improvement both in terms of chassis and electronics, but we’re already adopting some solutions we’ve found in the last tests, which makes me confident. Our goal for the race stays the same, we want to fight for podium positions.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:33.223 (4th)
“I’m quite satisfied with this opening day because we have made some small improvements compared with 2018, even though we were competitive and stayed constantly at the front also then. We’re fast and, despite losing some ground in changes of direction and in the fast corners, we can still post quick lap times. For sure we’ve started off on the right foot but it’s still early to make any predictions. Tyre wear proved to be the decisive factor last year, and we’ll focus on that. We’re competitive, but we need to make further improvements.”
The Ducati Team will resume action tomorrow, June 29th, at 09:55 (CET) for the third free-practice session, while qualifying practice will start after FP4 at 14:10.
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Mixed fortunes on Friday at Assen for the Repsol Honda Team
A conservative Marc Marquez ended the opening day in Assen in seventh, after suffering a heavy fall in FP1 Jorge Lorenzo has been forced to withdraw from the Dutch GP.
Cool morning proceedings gave way to warm running in the afternoon at the 2019 Dutch GP. Marc Marquez started the day with sixth place in Free Practice 1. Improving his time by over a second, the reigning MotoGP World Champion finished the day seventh overall. Once again, the pace of the top ten was within a second and Marquez remains confident in his approach come Sunday.
Jorge Lorenzo’s Dutch GP was unfortunately cut short by a crash at Turn 7 during Free Practice 1. The five-time World Champion fell heavily and suffered a stable fracture to the T6 vertebra. An MRI was performed after, revealing a trabecular fracture in the T8 vertebra as well confirming the T6 fracture. He will soon travel to his home in Lugano, Switzerland.
Running resumes in Assen for the MotoGP class at 09:55 Saturday, June 29, with Free Practice 3.
“Seventh on Friday isn’t a panic, we are working for the race and looking to analyse everything. Different tyres and all of these things, working for Sunday. There are four or five riders with a similar pace at the moment but we are there, that’s important. We keep working. It was also very special today to be alongside some of Honda’s legends to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Honda Racing. I’m very sorry for Lorenzo and wish him a speedy recovery.”
“Due to the fall I fractured both my T6 and T8 vertebrae. The injury does not allow me to race here in Assen or at the Sachsenring. Tomorrow morning I will fly to Lugano and do all the possible treatments to get ready to go to Brno.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
TOP 10 FOR BOTH SUZUKI RIDERS ON DAY 1 OF THE DUTCH TT
Alex Rins: 5th – 1:33.305 (+ 0.667)
Joan Mir: 8th – 1:33.415 (+ 0.777)
• Alex Rins showing good early form in Holland.
•Joan Mir sticks close to his team-mate.
•Satisfactory Day 1 leaves Team ready for more.
Round 8 at the classic Assen track got underway in a positive mood for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR today as both Alex Rins and Joan Mir felt confident and ready for action.
A cool FP1 session saw Rins top the time sheets early on, and the Spaniard stayed among the top positions for the remainder of the track time. Rins ran a consistent pace and closed the session in 4th place, +0.514 from the top. Meanwhile, Mir didn’t take long to get a feel for the technically tricky track, he closed FP1 in 16th.
It was a similar story in FP2 as Alex was quick out of the blocks once again. As usual, he used a portion of the session to try different tyre combinations and bike settings, before dropping into the 1 minute 33 second lap-time bracket. He completed Friday with a 1:33.305, +0.667 from the top. Joan stayed within the Top 10 for the vast majority of the session, feeling comfortable and confident in most sections of the track. He finished 8th across the line, very close to his team-mate with a 1:33.415.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It’s been a good start to the weekend, both Alex and Joan got into the Top 10 provisionally. Alex tried different tyres and different settings and his pace was good throughout. Joan also tried a few different things and he found a good set-up towards the end of the day. We want to continue like this and hold onto these Top 10 positions.”
“Today I focused on trying different tyres, as I often do on a Friday. We learnt a lot from that, so it was useful to spend time doing that today. This track suits our bike quite well, the long corners are great for us. At the moment we still need to work a bit on the anti-wheelie but in general my rhythm and feeling were good today.”
“I’m pretty happy with today, I’m in the Top 10 and the team are working really well, I was building up my confidence every time I went out on track. I still have a margin to improve but I’m really happy with my lap times today and I hope to stay close to the top tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
#DutchGP FP. The first day of activity at TT Circuit came to an end with Pecco and Jack placed respectively in P11 and P13
After a quite difficult FP1, Francesco Bagnaia has the merit to stay focused and takes a very important step forward in FP2 thanks to the work on the set up made by his team. Jack Miller seems to be able to stay easily inside the Top 10 and the race pace is very good. In FP2’s time attack, however, he can not take full advantage of the soft tyre.
FP1 (Practice conditions: Dry. Air 17°. Ground 23°)
P10 Jack Miller (1’34.674, +0.765 from P1)
Jack starts well on the TT Circuit and finishes in TOP 10 using the same medium tyre at the rear for the whole session.
P21 Francesco Bagnaia (1’36.168, +2.259 from P1)
Pecco cannot find the best feeling with the bike and finishes rather far from the Top 10
FP2 (Practice conditions: Dry. Air 23°. Ground 43°)
P11 Francesco Bagnaia (1’33.815, + 1.177 from P1)
Big step forward for Pecco who lowers his FP1 lap time by almost three seconds.
P13 Jack Miller (1’33.874, + 1.236 from P1)
The race pace is very incisive but in the time attack with the soft tire, Jack cannot find the right conditions to stay in Top 10.
P11 – Pecco Bagnaia
We’re still a long way from the leaders but we got closer to the other Ducati also thanks to a good idea my crew chief Cristian Gabarrini had after FP1. The race pace with the hard tyre is good but we need to improve, especially in corner entry.
P13 – Jack Miller
I’m satisfied in general. The race pace is good and the feeling is positive. I wasn’t able to make the most of the soft tyre in FP2 but it was the first time attack of the weekend and I think that tomorrow in FP3 we have the right chances to qualify directly to Q2.
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
Quartararo second on opening day of Dutch GP
French rider shows great speed at Assen, with team-mate Franco Morbidelli in 14th position.
2nd FABIO QUARTARARO +0.180
14th FRANCO MORBIDELLI +1.325
Fabio Quartararo made a brilliant start to the Dutch GP on Friday, as the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider finished the first day at Assen with the second fastest time – also having led the morning session. Franco Morbidelli was 14th on the combined timesheets after a day focused on race pace.
Frenchman Quartararo was immediately fast at the historic circuit, topping the order in FP1 thanks to a time of 1min 33.909secs on his third and final run. Morbidelli undertook several 6-lap stints with a focus on Sunday’s race, with the Italian clocking the 17th best time of the session with a 1min35.505secs.
In the afternoon, Quartararo continued his excellent dynamic, and at the end of FP2 he claimed second place, courtesy of a great lap on his last stint. He stopped the clock at 1min 32.818secs, being one of only three riders able to break into the 1:32s. Morbidelli, finished Friday in 14th place (1min 33.963secs), and tomorrow will have to look for a direct spot in Q2 in FP3.
The two PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders will have tomorrow another 45 minute session – FP3 – in which to confirm their presence in the fight for pole position. Qualifying will take place at 2:10pm local time (Q1) and 2:35pm (Q2).
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“I struggled a little today. I wasn’t fast on the quickest parts of the circuit. I need more stability, because I couldn’t attack the corners the way I would have liked. We will try to find out where we can find speed. In comparison with Barcelona, we are further behind the frontrunners, but we have a lot of room for improvement. I’m not very consistent with the hard tyre, so we have to understand what is happening. Little by little we have improved the set-up today and there’s more to come. Assen is a track that I like and that I’ve always been good at, so we’re already focused on tomorrow.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“Today was a positive day even though I think it’s the toughest circuit of all those I’ve ridden at with a MotoGP bike so far, with a lot of quick changes of direction. In the afternoon we tried some small changes to the set-up and also put on used tyres in the afternoon, and the pace didn’t change. It was a good first day at Assen, so for tomorrow I hope to be on the front two rows and find out which tyre we will use in the race during FP4.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP TOP OPENING DAY IN ASSEN
Assen (The Netherlands), 28th June 2019
GRAND PRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have kicked off their race preparations ahead of Sunday‘s Motul TT Assen. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi got a feel for the TT Circuit Assen and finished in first and ninth place respectively in the combined timesheets.
1st MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’32.638 (FP2) / 23 + 23 LAPS
9th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’33.517 (FP2) / 19 + 23 LAPS
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi started their challenge at the TT Circuit Assen today. Their efforts in the opening sessions of the Motul TT Assen weekend paid off as they banked first and ninth fastest time in the combined results so far.
Viñales was quick to head out and get to work in the morning. He continued the good feeling he had in Catalunya, quickly putting his YZR-M1 at the top of the timesheets in the early stages, before getting serious with his bike‘s settings. He soon found a good rhythm and took the provisional P1 spot once more and held onto it for the majority of the session. In the zone, he even further improved the benchmark-lap three more times to end the session with a 1‘33.986s. That lap ultimately earned him second place in the FP1 ranking, 0.077s from first.
The number-12 rider kept up his impressive pace in the afternoon. He began with fine-tuning his bike‘s set-up a bit further and set the provisional third-fastest time with 15 minutes still on the clock. However, he soon turned up the heat further when he started his final run on a fresh set of tyres. The Yamaha man set the first 1‘32s lap of the weekend and followed it up with a 1‘32.638s to defend his P1 status. Thanks to this, he ended the session solidly in first place in the FP2 and combined timesheets, with a 0.180s advantage over his closest rival.
Rossi had to be patient at the start of the morning session. He lost 15 minutes due to a minor technical issue. Despite the delay, the Doctor still made the most of the track time he had left and completed two full runs in total. His fondness for ’the Cathedral of Speed‘ shone through as he picked up his pace. He steadily fought his way up the order to secure 12th in the timesheets as he dropped a 1‘34.746s fastest lap, 0.837s from the front.
The Doctor kept chipping away at his time in FP2 whilst making the nimble character of the Yamaha suit the twisty sections of the Assen track. Riding on the medium tyres, he bettered his personal best lap to a 1‘34.513s. After completing his second run, he switched to soft tyres in the final ten minutes for a top-10 shoot-out. The Italian made strides and wrapped up the session posting a 1‘33.517s lap for ninth place in the FP2 and combined results, with a 0.879s margin to his team-mate.
“Overall, this was a good day for us. Maverick is looking very strong and he is feeling comfortable. Even if it’s just the first day, it’s a warm welcome to the weekend and the top result bodes well for the next few days. On the other hand, we started the day with a bit of a delay on Vale’s side of the garage, due to a small technical issue. But in the end, he managed to limit the damage from loss of track time, so he is still inside the top-10, which was the target for today. During tomorrow’s FP3 we will be completely focused on going straight into Q2 with both riders, and in the afternoon, in FP4, we will put all our effort into preparing for the race, because we expect the conditions to be similar to those of Sunday’s race. This will also be the right time to decide on the tyre specs.”
“The feeling I have is pretty similar to what I had in Montmeló. I think I made some improvements regarding my riding style, and I take a bit a of profit from it here in Assen. But it’s only just the Friday. We are keeping our heads down, working very hard for the race. It’s very important to get a good result and create good momentum, so we are going to try our best. We’re pushing. We know the bike needs to improve in some areas, so we’re going to try to do that tomorrow. Our main focus is the race and the first laps, so I’m going to do the same as I did in Catalunya and see if it works on Sunday. I will try to be on the front row, so I can make a good start. I also have some things to try tomorrow to see if I can improve my rhythm a little, because some riders are very fast. Let’s see what we can do, but anyway it has been a good day. Even in the hot conditions I felt good on the bike with hard tyres, which means the bike is working.”
“So far it’s not fantastic. At the end I’m in the top-10, this is already quite good. On the other hand, especially my pace is not great. The top guys are a little bit faster, because at some places at the track I’m not very good. So, we have a lot of work to do, also deciding on the tyres and everything, and we have to improve in these places.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
TENTH FOR CRUTCHLOW ON DAY ONE AT ASSEN
With sunny conditions bathing the famous Assen circuit, Cal Crutchlow made a solid start as free practice for the Dutch Grand Prix started on Friday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider was in and around the top 10 throughout and remains on course to qualify for Q2 after finishing tenth overall on the opening day.
Despite track conditions not being so warm in the morning session, the Briton was seventh fastest in FP1, just behind factory Honda colleague Marc Marquez. He improved by almost a second to claim tenth spot in FP2, but acknowledged that, with so many riders close behind him, he still faces a battle tomorrow to seal an automatic Q2 place in Saturday’s qualifying.
Cal Crutchlow – 10th
(1’33.727 – lap 20 of 20)
“Quite an uneventful day I suppose. Tenth isn’t obviously where we want to be, but overall I’m happy to be here riding my bike and, with the sun shining, hopefully we’ll have a bit of a better day tomorrow. The problem is that everybody is so close, one tenth was covering seven guys this morning at one point, FP2 was similar because I was tenth and 17th was only 0.2 seconds behind me. I think there are a few guys who have got really good pace this weekend, at the moment I’m not one of them but I plan to be.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
MIXED DAY FOR TAKA AT ASSEN
Takaaki Nakagami experienced a mixed first day as free practice got underway ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen on Friday. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider saw his fortunes vary dramatically in the morning and afternoon MotoGP sessions at the famous Dutch circuit as he eventually finished the day in 16th position on the timesheets.
Things did not start well for Taka in FP1 as he suffered an early crash but, having walked away uninjured, he responded in superb style by posting the fifth fastest lap. But he was unable to maintain that level in the afternoon as he tested a hard rear compound and now has work to do ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.
Takaaki Nakagami – 16th
(1’30.040 – lap 21 of 21)
“First of all, I had a crash right at the beginning of the session (FP1) which I didn’t expect as I wasn’t pushing too much, we checked the data but it showed nothing strange. Maybe it was the track condition, or the tyre temperature was a little bit lower. After that, we recovered well and the lap time was good, although I know that it is not enough and we can improve a lot. This afternoon the conditions got better and better and we tried the harder compound on the rear because we need to know how it will work in the race. I’m not that confident with the hard on the rear, but we tried to get in as many laps as possible. At the end we put on a soft rear and tried to improve the lap time, but we struggled a bit. This is a little bit of a special track with really high speed and changes of direction, so we need to think about a special setting for Assen.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
A tale of two Yamahas: it’s a Viñales vs Quartararo duel on Day 1
The duo head two Ducatis on Friday after making it one session apiece
Friday, 28 June 2019
It was a tale of two men atop the timesheets on Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) fastest on Friday morning from Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) before the duo switched around in the afternoon. Viñales’ fastest overall, however, was a margin further ahead – with the Spaniard 0.180 faster than the Frenchman. In the morning, Quartararo’s advantage was less than a tenth.
One big headline outside the timesheets on Day 1, however, was Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), with the Spaniard declared unfit for the rest of the weekend. The five-time World Champion fractured a vertebra in his fast FP1 crash at Turn 7 and is now expected to head for Barcelona for further examination.
Back to the timesheets though and despite the Yamaha duo at the top, it wasn’t complete domination on Day 1 for the Iwata marque. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) was third overall and that despite suffering a fast crash in FP1, with teammate Andrea Dovizioso slotting into fourth. ‘DesmoDovi’ had a better latter session, improving from outside the top ten on Friday morning to set the initial pace in FP2 and eventually just beat Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to fourth. Rins, who came second last season at Assen, completed a top five where the timesheets really started to tighten with less than a tenth splitting him from Dovizioso.
It got even closer just outside the top five. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) put in an impressive day and his best showing yet for Noale factory Aprilia as he took sixth, up from ending FP1 just outside the top ten. The Italian was 0.050 off Rins and 0.058 ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), and although he did suffer a crash near the end of play, he was unhurt and happier with direction.
In P8 it was an infinitesimal 0.002 that separated rookie Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) from Marquez after another top day for the 2017 Moto3™ World Champion, and he beat ten-time Assen winner Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) by a tenth too. Rossi takes P9 overall after a late lunge up the timesheets, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) doing the same to take the final provisional place in Q2.
Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) took P11 and impressed to beat veteran teammate – and 2016 Assen winner – Jack Miller, who was 13th, with Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) impressing in P12 on Day 1.
The top ten after FP3 will go through to Q2, and that final chance to move up the timesheets starts at 9:55 (GMT+2) on Saturday morning. Will Quartararo strike back? Can the likes of Miller move forward? Find out then, before qualifying from 14:10 decides the grid for Round 8 at the awesome TT Circuit Assen.
Binder back in business at Assen
South African ends Day 1 of the Dutch GP on top as KTM strike back
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder ended Day 1 at the Motul TT Assen in top spot after setting a 1:37.398 at the very end of Moto2™ FP2, putting the Austrian factory back at the sharp end after a tougher run of form. He was 0.132 ahead of second fastest Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), with FP1 pacesetter Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top three.
Lowes had once again set the pace throughout the afternoon session but Gardner, who finished fourth in FP1, topped it in the final ten minutes to sit top of the tree before Binder’s final assault. Having just saved a crash at Turn 9, the South African set the timing screens alight to have the final say on Friday. Have KTM found the improvements they have been looking for?
Fourth on Day 1 is Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who ended the day 0.287 down, with another on-song day for Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) seeing him pipped to P4 by just 0.002. In turn, Navarro sits only 0.007 ahead of title rival Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) – a swap from what we saw in FP1 – as the riders all improved their times towards the end of FP2.
Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) sat second at one stage but the Italian had to settle for P7 at the end of the day, just ahead of compatriot Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40). Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), the winner of the last three races, was ninth overall, with Binder’s teammate Jorge Martin completing a top ten covered by just four tenths.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was 11th, but it was a tougher day for his teammate Dimas Ekky Pratama. After a heavy crash in FP1 at Turn 9, the Indonesian has been declared unfit for the Dutch GP after sustaining cranial, thoracic and abdominal trauma. Pratama suffered a concussion and had a CAT scan which confirmed that but also ruled out any further injuries. He will remain under observation for 24 hours.
Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) was just behind Chantra and took P12, with Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) in P13. Jonas Folger (Petronas Sprinta Racing), replacing the injured Khairul Idham Pawi, put in a much improved performance on Day 1 at Assen as he settles back into competition and he was 14th.
That’s all from Friday. Will Binder hold his advantage ahead of qualifying? Automatic Q2 places are still up for grabs and with dry weather expected, FP3 could well decide the Q1 and Q2 places yet. Don’t miss a single lap of the action in the Moto2™ class on Saturday morning, with FP3 going green at 10:55 local time (GMT+2).
Kornfeil deposes Arbolino on Day 1
Czech rider makes his mark with some prime tactics and solid speed, Canet ends the day outside the top twenty
Thanks to an electric final flying lap, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) ended Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen as the fastest man in Moto3™, timing his attack to perfection to tuck in behind VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino, fastest at the time, and pip him to the top on his final lap of FP2. His 1:41.782 saw Kornfeil finish up 0.098 ahead of the Italian, and that’s the biggest gap across the entire top nine on the combined timesheets.
The entirety of the field improved their times in the afternoon and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was just 0.013 off Arbolino by the end of play, making him the highest-placed Championship contender on Day 1 after a tougher Friday for the two men ahead of him in the standings. The Italian invasion near the top continued in fourth with Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), with Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo rounding out a top five split by less than two tenths.
Sixth went to the ever-impressive Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), and he was half a tenth ahead of Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) after a solid day for the South African. Kaito Toba headed teammate Ai Ogura as the two Honda Team Asia teammates put their stunning 60th anniversary liveries into eighth and ninth respectively, with Catalan GP winner Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) completing the top ten.
His teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta took P11 on Day 1 and will be looking for more to gain on Championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) in the Motul TT Assen, although Canet ended Friday in P22 after a mechanical problem and then a collision with Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), so of the top three in the standings overall it’s Antonelli who holds the cards so far. Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was P12, ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race).
The fastest 14 on the combined timesheets after FP3 go straight through to Qualifying 2. Will the list of names change on Saturday morning? Tune in to see how the pack shuffles from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying begins from 12:35.