Andrea Iannone made the perfect start to a tough weekend by setting the pace in both Friday practice sessions at Assen. The Italian will start the Dutch TT, held for the first time in MotoGP on a Sunday this weekend, from the back of the grid after his controversial collision with Jorge Lorenzo in Barcelona but the Italian didn’t put a wheel wrong today.
Iannone led a Ducati-dominated morning session with four Desmosedici machines of various specifications filling the top five places but Marc Marquez, who hadn’t even broken into the top ten in FP1, made a bright start to the afternoon session by immediately beating Iannone’s benchmark.
With Saturday morning’s final practice session looking likely to be affected by rain, most of the field switched their attention to qualifying simulations late on in an attempt to secure a spot in Q2. Marquez was the first to up the pace, clocking a 1:33.724 to open up a half-second lead over the field. Valentino Rossi responded by usurping the championship leader two minutes from time but Iannone would have the final word, pipping his compatriot by four thousandths of a second.
Marquez held onto third despite a flurry of late improvements which saw Maverick Vinales climb to fourth ahead of Jorge Lorenzo while Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci emphasised the strength of the Ducatis around Assen, taking sixth and seventh respectively.
Aleix Espargaro was eighth fastest, just ahead of younger brother Pol, with Scott Redding claiming the final top ten spot at the expense of Dani Pedrosa. Should FP3 prove to be a washout, the Spaniard will be joined in Q1 by British pair Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, the former suffering a crash on his quickest lap this afternoon.
2016 Motul TT Assen (Free Practice Classification)
|1||29. Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:33.591|
|2||46. Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:33.595|
|3||93. Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:33.724|
|4||25. Maverick VINALES||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:33.892|
|5||99. Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:33.991|
|6||4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:34.011|
|7||9. Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:34.065|
|8||41. Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:34.087|
|9||44. Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:34.163|
|10||45. Scott REDDING||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:34.172|
|11||26. Dani PEDROSA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:34.206|
|12||8. Hector BARBERA||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:34.404|
|13||35. Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||LCR Honda||1:34.480|
|14||38. Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:34.531|
|15||50. Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:34.789|
|16||43. Jack MILLER||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:35.008|
|17||6. Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:35.056|
|18||68. Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:35.125|
|19||51. Michele PIRRO||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:35.220|
|20||19. Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:35.284|
|21||53. Tito RABAT||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:36.582|