Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has finished the opening day of the 65th Assen Grand Prix in third overall with mixed conditions, but was fastest in the afternoon just 0.252 ahead of Valentino Rossi in second.
|Marquez secured the fastest time in the wet this afternoon
Photo: Repsol Honda
The Spaniard finished in third in the damp FP1 behind Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, and was able to secure a dry set-up for the weekend. When the rain came in the afternoon, Marquez was able to set the fastest time of the afternoon despite Lorenzo breaking his collarbone. Marquez’s time of 1.35.883 secured him the third fastest time overall and a 1.47.617 which was the fastest time this afternoon.
The 20 year old has won in Holland for the past three years in both 125cc and Moto2 “I’m happy because today went pretty well. From the beginning I felt good on the bike, both in the dry and wet conditions. Obviously there are still things to improve, especially in the dry, but overall I felt very comfortable and we’ll see if tomorrow the weather holds out for us, although the forecast is not too good. I hope for at least one dry practice in order to try to improve the setup, so fingers crossed we can have that tomorrow. As for the injury suffered by Jorge, he has been very unlucky. I think it’s only the second crash that he has had this year, and it’s resulted in injury – which you never wish on any rider. I hope he makes a speedy recovery; I’m sure that in Germany he will be ready for battle again”
Dani Pedrosa secured the fifth fastest time of the opening day at Assen, 0.151 seconds behind his team-mate, Marquez’s time in third.
Having only ever won once in Holland back in 2002 on a 125cc machine, Pedrosa has seemed to struggle however with Lorenzo now out of the race with a broken collarbone, the Spaniard’s team-mate Marquez is his clear main rival for the race win, in an attempt to increase his championship lead of seven points. The use of dry and wet track time should help Pedrosa to be prepared for the race on Saturday, although he still has things to improve on. His time of 1.36.034 put him 0.771 behind Lorenzo in first position.
Pedrosa said “In today’s sessions we rode on both dry and wet asphalt. In the dry the feeling was a lot more difficult than usual. With such a cold track it’s difficult to get grip in the tyres and you skid a lot when cornering, so we could not ride comfortably. We’ll see if it’s possible to improve the bike with regards to this over the next few sessions if we have dry conditions again. In the rain we improved a little and we were able to try some things out. The downside of today was the injury to Jorge. It’s a shame that he crashed and that it turned out so badly for him. As a rider, I know that now is a difficult time for him, so hopefully he can get through these days as best he can, as things like this are very painful”