Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at the Sachsenring:
The final chance for the intermediate class to find some pace was accompanied by sun but not everyone got to fully enjoy the conditions. Tom Luthi did it from the top of the timesheets until the top 14 shootout brought lots of red sectors but only Brad Binder followed it all the way through. The KTM rider took over the lead in the final handful of minutes, courtesy of the only 1:23 time of the day. Luthi kept second position, a tenth and a half off the leader and only narrowly ahead of Remy Gardner.
After an underwhelming morning, the men left stranded outside the top 10 in FP1 fought back and held the lead throughout the second practice session, starting with Luca Marini, continuing with teammates Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge and finally Brad Binder taking charge for the final handful of minutes. The KTM rider followed through on the promise he showed in Assen and finished the day almost four tenths faster than his rivals. Brushing off an early off-road adventure in turn one, Vierge recovered to second position, setting an identical time to Iker Lecuona in third.
The perhaps unexpected championship lead gave a little boost to Tom Luthi, who set an early benchmark before the intermediate class went for a bit of a shootout due to very slight concerns about the weather on Saturday. A hint of sun was casting shadows on track for the attack in the final ten minutes and the third session of the day brought some joy to the local crowds as Jonas Folger continued his comeback by leading the way in FP1.
When we say that conditions make a huge difference in MotoGP, we usually meant that a track which was drenched in rain, or a one which was drying and changing, effected the outcome of the race. But there are a couple of race tracks in the world where the wind can have a huge impact on the way a race plays out. One of those places is Assen, where the wind sweeps up from the south east unimpeded by any geographical obstacles and straight into the faces of the riders coming out of the Strubben hairpin and heading down the Veenslang back straight. (Though like all of the straights at Assen, it isn't really that straight. It weaves and winds down to the fast right at the Ruskenhoek.)
On Sunday, the wind, which had picked up significantly compared to the day before, produced three barnstormers of races. It kept a huge group together until the end of the Moto3 race, it produced a thrilling Moto2 race decided in the last laps, and it even helped to bunch the MotoGP riders up, and create drama for most of the race.
The wind, combined with the fact that Assen has so many high-speed changes of directions make it immensely physically demanding. Hustling a MotoGP bike from side to side is never easy, let alone when you have to do it at over 200 km/h. The laws of physics turn momentum into an unstoppable force which you have to overpower if you are to make the next corner.
Moto2 standings after Assen:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Assen:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Assen:
The intermediate class enjoyed lovely warm weather for their final practice outing of the race weekend but the replays from the gravel trap did not reduce too much. Not a problem that Remy Gardner had, the Australian posting the first and only 1:36 time of the weekend, which put him half a second ahead of the field and guaranteed a Q2 spot early on. Augusto Fernandez was the closest challenger but perhaps the biggest surprise came from Jorge Martin, the KTM rider making an impression in third position.