Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi both demonstrated how important horsepower is at Aragon. The first two provisional rows were filled with BMWs, Aprilias and Tom Sykes.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Assen:
Casey Stoner has taken his third pole position of the season at Assen, posting a scorching lap in the final minutes of qualifying to secure the top spot.
In a session that was slightly slower than this morning's free practice, Sam Lowes once again pulls out a provisional pole position, bettering his time at the flag, even if the time is three hundredths off his morning's time. Broc Parkes was unable to match his morning's blistering speed. Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu is over two seconds off the pace in 15th place.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class at Assen:
Max Biaggi did fewer laps than most riders, but set a fast lap early on that proved to be unbeatable, even by qualifying sensation Tom Sykes. Eugene Laverty showed that the factory Aprilia was fast quickly by setting a time that was good enough for second place until Sykes's at-the-flag fast lap and World Supersport champion Chaz Davies put his privateer Aprilia in fourth place. This has very quickly become a game of beat the Aprilia.
The German round of MotoGP is to stay at the Sachsenring circuit until 2016. Dorna announced today that they had signed a five-year deal with the ADAC, who own the Sachsenring, to keep the race at the circuit. The race had been under threat earlier, after projected losses for the event meant that circuit feared not being able to afford the event.
Dani Pedrosa topped a rain-hit practice session on Friday morning, leading the session once the brief rain shower which hit in the early part of practice had passed. The shower passed quickly, leaving the track fairly dry, with just a few wet patches, one of which caught Casey Stoner out, the Repsol Honda man suffering a huge highside on a damp patch at De Bult. Stoner was slow to get up, but eventually rejoined the session, ending in 6th.
Broc Parkes was within under half a second of his own lap record from last year at the end of the first Free Practice session. Sam Lowes was half a second slower while Fabien Foret was a further half a second off. Expect the lap record to be broken today or tomorrow.
The times were close after the first day of practice, closer than they have been for a very long time. Just 0.471 seconds separates the top 11 MotoGP prototypes (Karel Abraham is barely fit enough to ride, after breaking fingers in his left hand, and is way off the pace), with Ben Spies leading Cal Crutchlow by just 0.006, just a tenth separating Nicky Hayden in 3rd from Dani Pedrosa in 6th, and less than a tenth between Andrea Dovizioso in 7th and Stefan Bradl in 11th. It has all the makings of a great race, right?
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Assen:
Courageous Crutchlow makes fast start in Assen
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's eighth round of WSBK at Aragon:
Press releases after the first day of practice at Assen:
Viñales and Oliveira head opening day standings at Assen
World Championship leader dominates opening Moto3 practice, followed by Portuguese. Fellow Repsol rider Álex Rins places ninth on first visit to Assen.
Repsol Media Service - Netherlands, Assen Circuit - Thursday 28/06/2012