Marco Simoncelli has topped the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Assen, but all eyes were on Valentino Rossi and the new Ducati GP11.1. The first impression of the bike is that it works well, Rossi being either at or near the top of the timesheets all session, but given the soaking nature of the track, it is hard to tell how much of that is Rossi and how much is the new Ducati. Rossi did at least finish ahead of his bitter rival, Casey Stoner, the Repsol Honda rider being a little over a tenth slower than the Italain, while Stoner's Repsol teammate Andrea Dovizioso clocked the 4th fastest time. Jorge Lorenzo was the last man inside a second of Simoncelli, over a third of a second slower than Dovizioso.
The chance of rain during this afternoon's session of free practice is much lower, offering the tantalizing prospect of some dry track time. But this is Assen, and with nothing between the track and the North Sea but a few rows of trees and miles and miles of flat fields, the wind brings rain showers in fast here, so that could all change.
|17||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||1'53.562||4.526||0.209|