2013 Assen MotoGP Thursday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Assen:


Crutchlow fast in wet and dry conditions in Assen

Preparations for the unique Dutch TT started in contrasting weather conditions at the historic Assen track today, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow demonstrating a fast and competitive pace in dry and wet practice sessions.

The British rider made a confident start to the seventh round of the 2013 campaign in cool and overcast conditions this morning and a lap of 1.35.613 placed him second on the leaderboard behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Crutchlow was the only rider to lap within 0.5s of Lorenzo’s blistering FP1 pace and he was optimistic he could have challenged for the top three again this afternoon.

Torrential rain started to hammor down on the Assen track, which hosts the only Saturday race on the MotoGP schedule, just 15 minutes before the start of FP2. Crutchlow started the session supremely confident of his potential in the rain after he raced to a career best second position on a wet track at Le Mans last month.

His confidence was well placed and he led the timesheets in the final stages of the session but rather than take unnecessary risks he opted to pull into the pits and was not out on track when a host of riders improved their pace right at the end. He eventually finished seventh.

Today was a positive experience for Bradley Smith, the British rider producing another impressive display just 10 days after he underwent double surgery on his left hand and wrist in Barcelona.

The 22-year-old had a screw inserted in the scaphoid bone in his left wrist that he damaged in a crash during practice for the recent Mugello round and while the operation was a success, he is still experiencing pain and discomfort in the hard braking zones at Assen.

Smith was immediately fast on his YZR-M1 machine in FP1 though and a personal best lap of 1.37.002 placed him 10th and just over a second outside of the top three.

With FP2 a rain-soaked affair and with further wet weather forecast for tomorrow, Smith’s outstanding effort to finish in the top 10 this morning could have earned him a deserved place in tomorrow afternoon’s QP2.

Cal Crutchlow 2nd 1.35.613 – 38 laps:

“I am really happy with today. I was second in the dry this morning although I need to improve my pace in the first sector because the gap to Lorenzo in that section was pretty big. The gap of everybody else was pretty big to be fair and Jorge was doing an amazing job. It’s a huge shame that he got injured in FP2 and I wish him a speedy recovery because the Championship is not the same with him not in it. In the rain this afternoon I was very comfortable and I am one of the fastest on track. Before the end of the session I didn’t want to take any risks so I came into the pits and lost a few places. Had I stayed out I am sure I could have been in the top three again but I am happy enough with my performance in both conditions.”

Bradley Smith 10th 1.37.002 – 31 laps:

“This morning was very positive being in the top 10. I was determined to try and get in the top 10 in case the rain continues and it means I am immediately into QP2 and that’s very good. I don’t feel too bad physically at the moment but my wrist is still hurting quite a lot and I need to see if I can reduce the pain, especially in the braking area. I had a good pace in the wet and I got behind Valentino for three laps and that helped and he didn't really pull away. I only did 11-laps in the rain because it wasn’t worth taking too many risks and I didn’t want to stress the wrist too much.”


Mixed conditions on day one in Assen for Pedrosa and Marquez

The Dutch TT has begun under mixed conditions today in Assen. This morning's FP1 session was a chilly 14ºC with a low track temperature of 17ºC and both Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez set to work on soft front and soft rear Bridgestone tyres. On his last exit, Marc tested a hard front to asses the difference and on his final lap of 19, he put in his fastest lap of the session with 1'35.883, placing him third in the standings. Dani remained on the soft option tyres for the whole session and was fifth fastest with 1'36.034 on lap 13 of 19.

In the afternoon, with temperatures similar to the morning, the riders had a new element to deal with as rain arrived for the entire session. Marc took the fastest time with 1'47.617 on his final lap of 18 and Dani was third with 1'48.240 on his last lap of 17.

Marc Marquez 3rd 1'35.883

"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 5th 1'36.034

"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"


ADVERSE ASSEN WEATHER STRIKES ON DAY ONE

A dry track in the morning and rain in the afternoon was not the ideal way for the teams and riders to begin work at the Dutch TT today, as they prepare for qualifying tomorrow and the race on Saturday. However, this event is n ever known for its straightforward conditions so the goal in the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini garage was to gather as much data as possible in both conditions to try and be as well prepared for whatever the skies throw at Alvaro Bautista and Bryan Staring over the next two days.

Alvaro Bautista (8th 1’ 36” 763) “It was a really mixed day with dry and wet conditions. The bike felt nervous this morning and we were struggling to find a setting. We wanted to try some changes for the afternoon but we didn't get chance because of the rain. We struggled for rear grip in the wet and even though we worked to improve it, it wasn't enough to give me complete confidence. We'll see what happens tomorrow and find out if the data we have gathered is useful or not.”

Bryan Staring (22° 1’ 39” 708) “Knowing the track as I do I was hoping to go a bit better than this today but I was lacking confidence in the bike in T3 and T4. I need to adapt my riding to find some speed in these two sections and I need the team to make some changes to the bike too. We have a lot of work to do but I am confident we can find something. Obviously the weather will play a big role but that is a secondary concern.”

Fausto Gresini “It wasn't a great day in terms of results but hopefully it will prove productive depending on what the weather does tomorrow. The team has gathered a lot of data in both conditions and we're ready to make up positions. Assen always has a surprise for us but we are ready and confident for qualifying and the race.”


Wet and cloudy first day at Dutch TT

The weather conditions that welcomed the 24 riders of the MotoGP World Championship to the Assen TT circuit were very different from those at the last GP, in Spain.

The first free practice session took place in low temperatures—15° C air and 33° C asphalt (59° F and 63° F, respectively)—and the mercury dropped further during the second session, which was also marked by a heavy rain.

It was a day of learning for Andrea Iannone, who concluded with a result that wasn’t particularly satisfactory. Still, he was able to begin the setup work that will continue tomorrow, when he hopes for better weather conditions.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

"It 's been a difficult day. We weren’t very fast this morning. At first I focused on the track, in order to understand how to approach it aboard a MotoGP bike, and we’re still working to get faster. This afternoon in the rain, I immediately had a hard time, but then we made some small changes that helped me to improve my lap time a bit. Unfortunately, the session finished before I could do much more. In any case, we still have tomorrow’s entire FP3 session to use to see if we can be faster and more effective."


Wet and cloudy first day at Dutch TT

The weather conditions that welcomed the 24 riders of the MotoGP World Championship to the Assen TT circuit were very different from those at the last GP, in Spain.

The first free practice session took place in low temperatures—15° C air and 33° C asphalt (59° F and 63° F, respectively)—and the mercury dropped further during the second session, which was also marked by a heavy rain.

The Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider enjoyed a progressive improvement in lap times in the morning, ending the first free practice in ninth place. In the wet afternoon session, his 1:49.730 time put him in 13th position.

Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team

“I'm satisfied because we did better in dry conditions compared to Barcelona. The feeling with the bike was definitely different, and I felt pretty good. In the wet, however, I wasn’t really comfortable, and I was trying really hard. We took the all information possible from both the dry and wet, and now we’re ready for any conditions. We didn’t make too many changes between the two sessions, in order to maintain a base for the race, even though the weather was completely different. We’ll see what awaits us tomorrow and we’ll try to use the data collected as best as we can.”


MIXED CONDITIONS WELCOME PREMIER CLASS RIDERS AT ASSEN ON DAY ONE

Assen, 27 June: the Dutch track provided dry conditions this morning for the first day of free practices but the second free session was affected by some rain in the beginning with Yamaha rider Lorenzo suffering a high-speed accident and the fracture of his left collarbone. LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl placed his RCV in 7th place in the morning dry session testing new front suspension parts, whilst the German impressed in the wet posting the 4th quickest lap time (1’48.594).

“Actually it was a first good day for us because in the dry this morning we gradually adapted to new front suspension parts and it took us some laps to get the proper feeling. We ran both machines and probably we lost a bit of track time but in the end we have done a good job in the dry. Then our focus in the wet was just to try to improve lap by lap because in the beginning the track was very slippery. In the last part of the session the conditions improved and I could do acceptable laps. We are not far from the top guys in the wet but we just miss something to be faster in the dry”.


Challenging first day at Assen TT

The first day of on-track action at the Assen TT featured a dry morning free-practice session and a rainy afternoon session. Both presented challenges for the Ducati Team, but as is often the case, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden fared better in the wet.

Both riders struggled to find grip in chilly FP1, finishing with the eleventh and twelfth best times. Things also proved difficult in the early going of the afternoon outing, but adjustments resulted in improved rain settings by the end of the 45-minute session, at which point the teammates sat tied at fifth-best with identical times of 1:48.682.

However, the faster morning conditions mean that Dovizioso and Hayden were still eleventh and twelfth best on combined times after FP2. The Ducati Team hopes for good conditions tomorrow morning so that they’ll have an opportunity to move into the top ten and thereby advance directly to Q2.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 11th (1:37.041)

“We did okay in the wet this afternoon, as we know that our bike has good rear grip in these conditions. In the dry session this morning however we struggled a bit, and we’re still some way off the fastest guys. I made a small mistake in a corner during a fast lap, but that’s not important, as our pace in the wet is good. I’ve learned from experience to never wish for rain, as something bad can always happen in those conditions, but it was tough this morning. I don’t know if we’ll be able to reduce the gap in the dry, so at this point I prefer the wet! In the end, although the track’s grip isn’t bad, the white lines are slipperier than at other circuits, and a couple of times, I risked having a crash like Lorenzo’s.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 12th (1:37.153)

“It’s been a very difficult day, especially this morning. I don’t know if it’s due to the tyre, but I really had no grip, particularly on corner entry. The bike was moving a lot, and it was hard to go fast. Even in the rain this afternoon, it was hard to get any feeling. I certainly need to do a better job tomorrow, and hopefully we can find something to make the bike work better. The forecast says it might not be dry again until race day, so it’s going to be really interesting. We’ll just keep plugging away and see what we can do.”


ALEIX ESPARGARÓ SIXTH FASTEST AT ASSEN DESPITE CRASH

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider enjoys season best session whilst Randy De Puniet lies fifteenth with grip issues

Whilst the opening free practice for the Dutch TT took place in dry conditions under heavy skies at Assen the heavens opened for the afternoon session, giving the CRT riders their chance to shine. It was an opportunity the dominant rider in the category had already taken, however, Aleix Espargaró leading the morning dry session before finishing up sixth fastest. The headlines, though, were set in both sessions by Jorge Lorenzo, who clocked the fastest time of the morning only to crash in the wet this afternoon and break his collarbone, leaving him out of action for Sunday's race.

Sixth place for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Espargaró represents his best day of the season so far even though it ended in less than ideal style with a crash. The Spaniard has been in fine form this season and after making improvements to his ART package in recent tests following the Catalan Grand Prix he took another impressive step forwards today. Unfortunately he was unable to back up his dry pace due to a crash in the wet. Randy De Puniet continues to struggle for front grip, meanwhile, the Frenchman also unable to find sufficient rear traction today and finishing up in fifteenth position.

6º Aleix Espargaró 1.36.430 (29 laps): “I love this circuit and I had a great feeling with the bike this morning in the dry conditions. The new chassis is working perfectly here and I can change direction really quickly. I have finished up sixth fastest, my best result in any session so far this season, and I am really happy with that. I also had a good feeling in the wet this afternoon and I was high up on the timesheets but as the track started to dry I came in to make some changes and when I went back out I lost the rear and crashed. Thankfully I wasn't hurt so we can take the positives from the day.”

15th Randy De Puniet 1.37.489 (34 laps): “Today was a tough day and I am not happy. We struggled to find a set-up for the rear and I didn't have any grip. Then in the wet I was also struggling for feel on the front. We kept trying things in an attempt to improve but the bike was sliding around all over the place and I didn't have the confidence to push it and have a big crash on the first day. We'll keep working tomorrow to get on the pace and change this strange feeling with the bike from day one.”


POSITIVE START FOR THE CAME IODARACING TEAM IN HOLLAND

ASSEN, June 27, 2013 - The first day of practice very positive for the CAME Iodaracing colors in the Holland Grand Prix. In MotoGP class, Danilo Petrucci has set the fastest time in the second free practice session between the CRTs in 1.49.031. This reference is the eighth best performance of the day. Petrucci, started his weekend with the 17th fastest time in the first practice session in the morning, less than a tenth from the MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone (Ducati). Partial satisfaction for Lukas Pesek, who finished the second free practice session with an encouraging 21st fastest time in 1.52.485.

In Moto2 class Johann Zarco sets a very positive performance riding the CAME Iodaracing Team's Suter in third place after the second free practice session of the Dutch GP (1.48.759). Zarco was immediately competitive in the afternoon session at Assen, taking in along the top of the time sheets. The provision of Zarco, excellent in the wet is also confirmed in the morning session which was held in dry conditions, in which the French rider clocked the fourth fastest time.

In the first day of testing at the Assen circuit, the CAME Iodaracing Team's riders were able to test their bikes in both the dry and wet in the morning, in the afternoon, collecting valuable data for every possible condition for the race on Saturday.

DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 8th TIME FP2 - 1.49.031 - "We are pleased with this day because we quickly found the way forward on both dry and wet. We have still to make better of few tenths in the dry than our competitors, in the wet weather, however, we went much better and in the last laps I was able to take advantage of the references of Valentino Rossi and I understand better where to put my wheels. In the CRT subclass we are the first of the day and this can only be a good start for the weekend. This performance is due the fantastic job of the team that is working really well, putting me in a position to be competitive right from the start of the week end. "

LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 21 ° TIME FP2 - 1.52.485 - "I hope that tomorrow will be dry because we have to work even on the set up. Today I had many difficulties with the electronic of my bike and are not able to make good use of the available time in the session. On wet in the afternoon things went much better and I got a better lap times compared to how it was started the day. "

JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - 3rd FP2 TIME - 1.48.759 - "I can only be happy with today's result. Dry this morning I was immediately in front of the others with a bike setting similar to the Barcellona's GP. This means that we have grown a lot and we were constantly in the top positions. Halfway in the second practice session, I stopped in the pits, and after a change in the set up I went much better, passing in the first position almost until the end of the session. I'm still happy because the team did a great job and we hope to repeat the results tomorrow in an official test. Here it is important to start from the front row as I did at Le Mans because the first corners are very tricky. "


Lorenzo suffers cruel twist of fate after topping Thursday practice at Assen

Round 7: Dutch MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two

Assen, Thursday 27 June 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 18-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)

FP2 - Wet. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 18-20°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo suffered a tragic change in fortunes on the first day of action at Assen, as the reigning champion clocked the quickest time of the day before sadly breaking his left collarbone in a crash during a wet Free Practice Two.

In a day of contrasting weather conditions, Lorenzo quickly established himself as the pacesetter by setting a time of 1'35.263 on softer option slicks front and rear in FP1, finishing the session 0.350 seconds clear of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow. Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – who was quickest in the wet FP2 session this afternoon - was third overall on the first day of practice, with a personal best lap time of 1’35.883. Aleix Espargaro exploited the grip of the CRT-only soft compound rear slick to pilot his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine to P6 and lap within just 1.167 seconds of Lorenzo’s benchmark time.

Weather conditions were cool today, with track temperatures in both the dry FP1 and wet FP2 session barely reaching the 20°C mark. The cool asphalt put a premium on good warm-up performance and grip levels, so softer rubber compounds for the slick and wet tyres were preferred by riders today. The softer rear slick options were used exclusively in FP1, although both the extra-soft and soft front slick options were used. The main wet tyre for Assen is the soft compound option and in FP2 no riders elected to try the alternative hard compound wet tyre on the cold and soaking track surface. Although no riders were able to improve upon their FP1 lap times in the wet second free practice, with further rain expected this weekend the session provided valuable setup data for the teams.

Cool conditions with a possibility of rain are forecast for tomorrow, the next session on the programme for the MotoGP riders being FP3 at 0955 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow.

Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Today’s changing weather allowed riders to work on their dry and wet setups and the cool track made conditions in both sessions a bit tricky. In the morning session all riders started on the soft option slicks front and rear, but after their first stint some riders felt comfortable enough to also try the harder front slick. Both of our front slicks this weekend are towards the softer end of our allocation, so the warm-up performance and grip of both options are well suited to these cool conditions. Grip levels from the track were reported to be adequate and now that we have had rain, I believe the grip level will not be any better tomorrow. Finally, I am very sorry to hear that Jorge has broken his collarbone, everyone at Bridgestone Motorsport wishes him a full and speedy recovery and we hope to the see the MotoGP champion back on his bike very soon.”


Round Number: 
7
Year: 
2013

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