Lorenzo takes early Assen advantage

Lorenzo takes early Assen advantage


Lorenzo takes early Assen advantage


Jorge Lorenzo took the early advantage as MotoGP’s Assen weekend commenced with free practice on Thursday morning.

The Hondas had set the initial pace, but a mid-session 1m35.3s lap from Lorenzo put the Yamaha on top by 0.7 second. Lorenzo later improved to 1m35.263s, which kept him 0.35sec clear of the field as others improved.

A last-gasp lap from Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow made it a Yamaha one-two, the Briton demoting Honda’s Marc Marquez to third just moments after the Spaniard had grabbed second.

Valentino Rossi was Lorenzo’s closest rival for a long while and ended up fourth, ahead of championship leader and early pacesetter Dani Pedrosa’s Honda.

Top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro took a remarkable sixth overall, beating satellite Honda men Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista as well as all the Ducatis.

Michele Pirro, again riding the factory development bike under the Pramac banner in place of Ben Spies, was fastest Ducati in ninth, with works men Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden both outside the top 10.

Bradley Smith steadily worked his way up to 10th in his first ride since hand surgery to repair the damage caused in his Mugello crash.

Hiroshi Aoyama’s stand-in Ivan Silva marked his return to MotoGP with the 23rd-fastest time.

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike             Time       Gap
 1.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                1m35.263s
 2.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m35.613s  + 0.350s
 3.  Marc Marquez      Honda                 1m35.883s  + 0.620s
 4.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                1m35.958s  + 0.695s
 5.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda                 1m36.034s  + 0.771s
 6.  Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia         1m36.430s  + 1.167s
 7.  Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda             1m36.559s  + 1.296s
 8.  Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda         1m36.763s  + 1.500s
 9.  Michele Pirro     Pramac Ducati         1m36.910s  + 1.647s
10.  Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m37.002s  + 1.739s
11.  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                1m37.041s  + 1.778s
12.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati                1m37.153s  + 1.890s
13.  Karel Abraham     Cardion Aprilia       1m37.346s  + 2.083s
14.  Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m37.456s  + 2.193s
15.  Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia         1m37.489s  + 2.226s
16.  Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati         1m37.538s  + 2.275s
17.  Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m37.654s  + 2.391s
18.  Yonny Hernandez   PBM Aprilia           1m37.917s  + 2.654s
19.  Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m38.147s  + 2.884s
20.  Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m38.334s  + 3.071s
21.  Michael Laverty   PBM-Aprilia           1m38.874s  + 3.611s
22.  Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda     1m39.708s  + 4.445s
23.  Ivan Silva        Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m39.950s  + 4.687s
24.  Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m41.692s  + 6.429s