A cool Assen welcomed the premier class and invited them to put on some soft rubber to get reacquainted with the track and do some housecleaning. Fabio Quartararo did the best job of that and robbed Maverick Viñales at the very last minute, the Spaniard having led for most of the session. The Frenchman had the advantage of a brand new medium rear tyre and he put it to good use to finish yet another session at the top of the timesheets. Viñales settled for second after setting an excellent pace throughout the session, while Danilo Petrucci had a bittersweet morning. The Italian’s day started with an extremely fast tumble at turn 14 but ended in the top three.
Alex Rins added a Suzuki to the mix in fourth but half a second off the leader, while top Honda was Takaaki Nakagami, the Japanese rider also recovering ground after an early off track adventure. Marc Marquez was the early leader but slid down to sixth, ahead of an under-the-weather Cal Crutchlow and a fairly impressive placing for Karel Abraham in eighth spot. Pol Espargaro and Jack Miller completed the top ten, seven tenths off the lead.
A front wheel sensor issue hindered Valentino Rossi’s start of the session but the Italian recovered to finish 12th, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who had a calm session compared to his teammate or the man just behind him, Aleix Espargaro. The elder Espargaro made his return from injury only to go down at turn five halfway through the session, as the cool condition caught out plenty of other riders.
Another example was in the non-championship-leading half of the Repsol Honda garage, where experiments continued with a new aerodynamic fairing and the carbon reinforced chassis. However, the notorious black chassis ended up tumbling through turn seven together with its unlucky rider, Jorge Lorenzo gingerly walking out of the gravel trap and towards the medical centre.