Aleix and Pol Espargaro ensured top spot stayed in the family on Thursday by topping a practice session each on the opening day at Assen. The siblings shone in dry conditions in the Netherlands, something we may not see much more of this weekend, with Aleix going on to top the combined classification.
Pol was the man to beat in a morning session dominated by the Yamahas but he slipped to eighth in the afternoon as his older brother took over, Aleix breaking the circuit record to outpace Marc Marquez. The Forward Racing rider is targeting a top three result in qualifying on Friday and thinks the advantage provided by the open-class soft tyre could carry over to race day.
“I love Assen and I didn’t expect to be so fast from the first day. It’s a great satisfaction to sign the new Circuit Best Lap, especially on this legendary track. I’m confident as we have a good rhythm with both soft and hard tyres and tomorrow we will keep on working with the soft tyre, that can be an option here for the race. Our target is to finish tomorrow on front row. We arrive after a very positive race in Barcelona and we want to continue in this direction”.
After Yamaha’s impressive start, Repsol Honda began to assert their authority in FP2 with Marquez taking second ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa. Jorge Lorenzo showed his usual consistency over longer runs with an eye on Saturday, setting the fourth fastest time along the way, while Andrea Iannone led the Ducati challenge in fifth.
Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi set identical times to end the day sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Espargaro the younger while Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso complete the top ten, giving them an automatic spot in Q2 if the rain arrives in FP3. Alvaro Bautista and Cal Crutchlow are the two factory riders exposed to the elements in final practice, sitting outside the top ten as things stand, and the Ducati rider was even outpaced by compatriot Scott Redding today after an excellent run on the production Honda.
|2014 IVECO DAILY TT ASSEN – COMBINED FREE PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION|
|1||41. ALEIX ESPARGARO||FORWARD YAMAHA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:33.653||FP2|
|2||93. MARC MARQUEZ||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:33.864||FP2|
|3||26. DANI PEDROSA||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:34.069||FP2|
|4||99. JORGE LORENZO||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:34.148||FP2|
|5||29. ANDREA IANNONE||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:34.277||FP2|
|6||38. BRADLEY SMITH||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:34.286||FP2|
|7||46. VALENTINO ROSSI||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:34.286||FP2|
|8||44. POL ESPARGARO||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:34.408||FP2|
|9||6. STEFAN BRADL||HONDA||LCR HONDA MOTOGP||1:34.457||FP2|
|10||4. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:34.460||FP2|
|11||19. ALVARO BAUTISTA||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:34.466||FP2|
|12||45. SCOTT REDDING||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:35.445||FP2|
|13||35. CAL CRUTCHLOW||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:35.469||FP2|
|14||68. YONNY HERNANDEZ||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:35.537||FP2|
|15||5. COLIN EDWARDS||FORWARD YAHAMA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:35.590||FP2|
|16||7. HIROSHI AOYAMA||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:35.787||FP2|
|17||69. NICKY HAYDEN||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:35.891||FP2|
|18||17. KAREL ABRAHAM||HONDA||CARDION AB MOTORACING||1:35.925||FP2|
|19||23. BROC PARKES||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:36.046||FP2|
|20||8. HECTOR BARBERA||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:36.270||FP2|
|21||70. MICHAEL LAVERTY||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:36.280||FP2|
|22||9. DANILO PETRUCCI||ART||OCTO IODARACING TEAM||1:36.657||FP2|
|23||63. MIKE DI MEGLIO||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:36.724||FP2|