Assen, The Netherlands
Kenan Sofuoglu was fastest in this session, as almost everyone set their fastest times of the weekend. Michael Van Der Mark, Florian Marino and Kev Coghlan all set times under 1'39. Jules Cluzel was just outside that time, fifth fastest, but he set a 1'38 time yesterday and is the only top rider unable to improve on his best time from Friday's sessions.
A red flag for a Team Toth crash, a second red flag for the oil not having all been cleaned up from the first, and Davide Giugliano was unable to match his speed from the later, warmer session yesterday. Tom Sykes and Loris Baz, however, did just fine, recording the two fastest times of the day, and taking second and third fastest of the weekend.
Niccolo Canepa was the fastest in the Evo class and is the only Evo bike to qualify directly for Superpole Two.
It threatened to rain at Assen, but the weather behaved for once. A cold morning, 16ºC and drying from overnight rain, gave way to a warm afternoon, reaching 24ºC for the second Superbike session.
Press releases from the series organizer and some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Assen:
Davide Giugliano eclipsed Jonathan Rea by almost half a second, but followed his fast lap with a crash at the end of the session, ruining his changes of improving further. He was unhurt.
Florian Marino sets the fastest time in the second session, beating Michael Van Der Mark's time from this morning. Van Der Mark was only third fastest with a time slower than his first session's best while Jules Cluzel was second fastest in this session and third fastest of the day overall.
Jonathan Rea tops the charts at his team's home track, under a tenth of a second ahead of Loris Baz.
Michael Van Der Mark opened the weekend with the fastest time, over four tenths quicker than Kenan Sofuoglu and the only rider under the 1'39 mark.
Press release previews from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's races at Assen:
The FIM has today released the final, official version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar. As expected, the Brazil round has been dropped, after it became clear that construction work at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia would not be completed in time for the September round. To ease the congestion in that part of the season, the date of the Aragon round has now been pushed back a week, and will take place on 28th September, the date originally scheduled for Brazil.
The dropping of the Brazil round had been expected almost from the moment it was placed on the schedule. There were serious doubts that the circuit would be able to make the necessary changes in time for September 2014, and teams were informed of the doubts which Dorna and IRTA had. The inclusion of Brazil was a statement of intent, with both Dorna and the manufacturers keen to return to South America, as both Brazil and Argentina are key markets. Actually racing in Brazil will depend one of the circuits still in the country being able to make the necessary modifications to make it safe enough for Grand Prix motorcycles.
Below is the official, finalized version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar:
The first major change to the 2014 MotoGP schedule has been announced. Though the dates remain the same, the order of the Asian flyaway triple header has been reshuffled, with Sepang moving from first of the three to last. The Grand Prix classes will now head to Japan first, for the Japanese GP at Motegi on 12th October, before heading south to Australia for the Phillip Island round a week later, on 19th October. The weekend after that the MotoGP paddock visits Malaysia, for the last of the three overseas races at Sepang on 26th October.
The change is unlikely to be the last. It is widely anticipated that the new track in Brasilia will not be ready for the Brazilian round of MotoGP on 28th September, and that the Motorland Aragon race, due to take place on 21st September, will be rescheduled for a week later. That decision will not take place for some time, however, as the Autodromo Brasilia Nelson Piquet will be given a few more months before the mandatory circuit homologation inspection.
Below is the updated, and still provisional, 2014 MotoGP calendar, with changes highlighted in bold. You can always find the latest, most up-to-date version including all changes on this page.
The 2014 MotoGP calendar:
2014 World Superbike, World Supersport and FIM Superstock 1000 calendar (provisional)
At long last, the FIM and Dorna have released a calendar for the World Superbike and World Supersport classes for 2014. The calendar features fourteen World Superbike events, but it is still very much a provisional list, with three of the fourteen still subject to contract, and the final race still marked as to be confirmed, with neither the location nor the country known.
The season kicks off as always in Australia, the World Superbike and World Supersport classes headed to the Phillip Island circuit for the opener on 23rd of February. There follows another WSBK tradition: the interminable wait for round 2. In 2014, there are seven weeks between the first and second rounds, with the second event taking place at the Motorland Aragon circuit just outside of Alcañiz. The WSBK circus then takes off for a tour through Europe, heading to Assen, Imola and Donington Park, before heading overseas again to Sepang, and a Malaysian round. Two rounds in Europ follow, at Misano and Portimao, before the World Superbike class heads to Laguna Seca, taking the slot vacated by the MotoGP class.
The FIM have today released the provisional version of the MotoGP calendar for 2014. As expected, there are few surprises: with the addition of Argentina and Brazil, there will be nineteen races on the calendar, though Brazil is not expected to be ready to host a race next year, the event likely to be postponed until 2015. Laguna Seca is gone from the calendar, leaving just two US races on for 2014. And once again, there are four Spanish rounds on for next season, although Jerez is marked subject to contract.
The season opens with the night race in Qatar on March 23rd, though this decision is likely to face criticism from the riders. Moving the race two weeks earlier increases the risk of the evening dew which settles on the surface hitting earlier, while the bikes are still out on track. That was the case in previous years, when the race was held earlier, with some major crashes as a result. The dew settles quickly and is impossible to see under the lights, but renders the asphalt extremely slippery within a very short period.