Assen MotoGP | Friday Report/Results/Notes/Quotes/Images

Round Eight – Assen

Friday Report/Results/Notes/Quotes/Images

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.

Maverick Viñales – P1

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Fabio Quartararo – P2

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Lorenzo Out!

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 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.

Jorge Lorenzo

“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.”

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.

Danilo Petrucci – P3

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

‘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.

Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

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.

Alex Rins – P5

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Rins
Alex Rins

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.

Andrea Iannone – P6

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Marc Marquez – P7

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Marquez
Marc Marquez

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.

Joan Mir – P8

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Mir
Joan Mir

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.

Valentino Rossi – P9

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Cal Crutchlow – P10

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) took P11 and impressed to better teammate – and 2016 Assen winner – Jack Miller, who was 13th. Miller was inside the top ten in FP1 on used rubber the whole session but then struggled on new rubber when aiming for a time in FP2.

Jack Miller – P13

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd Assen Miller
Jack Miller

Dutch TT Combined Free Practice Classification
Pos Rider Bike FP1 FP2
1 M.Viñales YAMAHA 1’33.986 1’32.638
2 F.Quartararo YAMAHA 1’33.909 1’32.818
3 D.Petrucci DUCATI 1’34.169 1’32.952
4 A.Dovizioso DUCATI 1’34.756 1’33.223
5 A.Rins SUZUKI 1’34.423 1’33.305
6 A.Iannone APRILIA 1’34.698 1’33.355
7 M.Marquez HONDA 1’34.522 1’33.413
8 J.Mir SUZUKI 1’35.134 1’33.415
9 V.Rossi YAMAHA 1’34.746 1’33.517
10 C.Crutchlow HONDA 1’34.589 1’33.727
11 F.Bagnaia DUCATI 1’36.168 1’33.815
12 K.Abraham DUCATI 1’34.596 1’33.854
13 J.Miller DUCATI 1’34.674 1’33.874
14 F.Morbidelli YAMAHA 1’35.500 1’33.963
15 P.Espargaro KTM 1’34.659 1’33.971
16 T.Nakagami HONDA 1’34.441 1’34.040
17 J.Zarco KTM 1’35.759 1’34.194
18 T.Rabat DUCATI 1’34.988 1’34.370
19 A.Espargaro APRILIA 1’34.921 1’34.537
20 M.Oliveira KTM 1’35.769 1’34.628
21 H.Syahrin KTM 1’36.321 1’35.250
22 J.Lorenzo HONDA 1’35.661 /


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.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Moto Binder
Brad Binder

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.

Pos Rider Bike FP1 FP2
1 B.Binder KTM 1’38.328 1’37.398
2 R.Gardner KALEX 1’38.231 1’37.530
3 S.Lowes KALEX 1’38.151 1’37.592
4 M.Schrotter  KALEX 1’38.388 1’37.685
5 J.Navarro SPEED UP 1’38.324 1’37.687
6 T.Luthi KALEX 1’38.289 1’37.694
7 L.Marini KALEX 1’38.391 1’37.716
8 L.Baldassarri  KALEX 1’38.157 1’37.801
9 A.Marquez KALEX 1’38.236 1’37.864
10 J.Martin KTM 1’38.809 1’37.872
11 S.Chantra KALEX 1’38.845 1’37.889
12 A.Fernandez KALEX 1’38.455 1’37.911
13 T.Nagashima KALEX 1’38.890 1’37.913
14 J.Folger KALEX 1’38.199 1’37.982
15 A.Locatelli KALEX 1’38.758 1’38.007
16 X.Vierge KALEX 1’38.918 1’38.043
17 E.Bastianini KALEX 1’38.644 1’38.055
18 F.Di Giannanto  SPEED UP 1’38.337 1’38.106
19 N.Bulega KALEX 1’38.913 1’38.159
20 S.Manzi MV AGUSTA 1’39.063 1’38.204
21 I.Lecuona KTM 1’38.960 1’38.512
22 M.Bezzecchi KTM 1’39.398 1’38.556
23 S.Corsi KALEX 1’39.219 1’38.641
24 B.Bendsneyde NTS 1’38.948 1’38.661
25 J.Dixon KTM 1’38.804 1’39.260
26 J.Roberts KTM 1’39.296 1’38.994
27 S.Odendaal NTS 1’39.206 1’39.009
28 D.Aegerter MV AGUSTA 1’39.041 1’39.268
29 L.Tulovic KTM 1’40.256 1’39.279
30 P.Oettl KTM 1’40.899 /
31 X.Cardelus KTM 1’41.740 1’41.284


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.

MotoGP Rnd Assen Moto Jakub Kornfeil
Jakub Kornfeil

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).

Pos Rider Bike FP1 FP2
1 J.Kornfeil KTM 1’42.818 1’41.782
2 T.Arbolino HONDA 1’43.244 1’41.880
3 N.Antonelli HONDA 1’43.580 1’41.893
4 R.Fenati HONDA 1’42.931 1’41.896
5 G.Rodrigo HONDA 1’43.075 1’41.979
6 C.Vietti KTM 1’45.553 1’42.037
7 D.Binder KTM 1’44.351 1’42.058
8 K.Toba HONDA 1’43.911 1’42.086
9 A.Ogura HONDA 1’42.738 1’42.134
10 M.Ramirez HONDA 1’42.798 1’42.316
11 L.Dalla Porta  HONDA 1’43.056 1’42.374
12 J.Masia KTM 1’43.947 1’42.385
13 J.Mcphee HONDA 1’43.134 1’42.385
14 M.Yurchenko KTM 1’43.635 1’42.431
15 T.Suzuki HONDA 1’43.533 1’42.454
16 F.Salac KTM 1’43.589 1’42.529
17 C.Oncu KTM 1’43.677 1’42.542
18 S.Garcia HONDA 1’43.105 1’42.586
19 A.Migno KTM 1’44.574 1’42.587
20 T.Booth-Amos KTM 1’45.031 1’42.592
21 D.Foggia KTM 1’43.507 1’42.703
22 A.Canet KTM 1’44.115 1’42.761
23 R.Fernandez KTM 1’44.098 1’42.785
24 A.Sasaki HONDA 1’43.683 1’42.899
25 K.Masaki KTM 1’44.358 1’43.042
26 A.Lopez HONDA 1’44.520 1’43.299
27 A.Arenas KTM 1’43.362 1’43.382
28 R.Rossi HONDA 1’46.874 1’44.232
29 S.Nepa KTM 1’46.087 1’44.247
30 R.Van De Lage KTM 1’46.560 1’45.442


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