Espargaro under lap record on Day 1 in Assen

Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 26 Jun 2014

Espargaro smashed Casey Stoner's lap record

The eighth round of the MotoGP Championship got underway today at the TT Circuit, Assen. As is tradition with the Dutch TT, racing will take place on Saturday meaning the practice and qualifying sessions are also shifted forward a day. There were two practice sessions for the Grand Prix riders today around the 2.82 mile course, formerly dubbed the ‘Cathedral of Speed’.

While Yamaha were expected to be fast at Assen, with the circuit having widely favoured the YZR-M1 in recent year, it perhaps wasn’t expected that the Japanese marque would be represented at the top of the timesheets by the Espargaro brothers.

In the cool morning temperatures, the younger of the two brothers, Pol, led the way in free practice one on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha ahead of his brother Aleix, on the NGM Forward Yamaha Open bike.

The session was dominated by Yamaha, with M1-powered machinery occupying five of the top six spots, with Jorge Lorenzo third, Bradley Smith fifth and Valentino Rossi sixth. The only exception to this rule was unsurprisingly Marc Marquez, who set the fourth fastest time on his Repsol Honda just two tenths off his former Moto2 rival at the top of the pile.

Andrea Dovizioso was the best placed Ducati in seventh, impressively ahead of the Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa in seventh while the satellite Honda boys of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl rounded out the top ten. Brits Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding were thirteenth and fourteenth respectively.

Pol topped the morning session

The sun came out ahead of the second practice session this afternoon; with track temperatures almost double what they were in the morning. As such it is no surprise the open-specification bikes wheeled out their extra soft tyres. It was on this tyre that Aleix Espargaro stormed to the top spot with minutes to go, smashing Casey Stoner’s lap record from 2012.

The NGM Forward Yamaha rider was chased by 2013 champion, Marc Marquez in second and an improvement his morning performance saw Dani Pedrosa sit third in the times.

Lorenzo set the third fastest time, towing Bradley Smith to fifth while Iannone was sandwiched between the pair in fifth after hooking onto the back of Marc Marquez. Valentino Rossi ended a somewhat lacklustre day in seventh position, over six tenths off Espargaro’s fastest time.

Fastest in the morning, Pol Espargaro struggled to improve in the warmer temperatures, setting the eighth fastest time ahead of Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top ten. Alvaro Bautista set the eleventh fastest time ahead of team-mate Scott Redding with Cal Crutchlow thirteenth once again.

Jorge Lorenzo’s ability to lap consistently in the 1’34 bracket signals the Spaniard’s clear intention to take his first race victory of the season come Saturday, while the Repsol Hondas seemed to enjoy the afternoon’s warmer conditions slightly more than the cooler morning.

Qualifying gets underway tomorrow.

Free Practice 1 Results

1

Pol ESPARGARO

 

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

 

1'34.530

 

 

2

Aleix ESPARGARO

 

NGM Forward Racing

 

1'34.719

 

0.189 / 0.189

3

Jorge LORENZO

 

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

 

1'34.736

 

0.206 / 0.017

4

Marc MARQUEZ

 

Repsol Honda Team

 

1'34.770

 

0.240 / 0.034

5

Bradley SMITH

 

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

 

1'34.915

 

0.385 / 0.145

6

Valentino ROSSI

 

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

 

1'34.974

 

0.444 / 0.059

7

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

 

Ducati Team

 

1'35.069

 

0.539 / 0.095

8

Dani PEDROSA

 

Repsol Honda Team

 

1'35.187

 

0.657 / 0.118

9

Alvaro BAUTISTA

 

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

 

1'35.364

 

0.834 / 0.177

10

Stefan BRADL

 

LCR Honda MotoGP

 

1'35.885

 

1.355 / 0.521

11

Andrea IANNONE

 

Pramac Racing

 

1'35.888

 

1.358 / 0.003

12

Colin EDWARDS

 

NGM Forward Racing

 

1'36.269

 

1.739 / 0.381

13

Cal CRUTCHLOW

 

Ducati Team

 

1'36.295

 

1.765 / 0.026

14

Scott REDDING

 

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

 

1'36.353

 

1.823 / 0.058

15

Yonny HERNANDEZ

 

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

 

1'36.363

 

1.833 / 0.010

 

Free Practice 2 Results

1

 

Aleix ESPARGARO

 

NGM Forward Racing

 

1'33.653

 

 

2

 

Marc MARQUEZ

 

Repsol Honda Team

 

1'33.864

 

0.211 / 0.211

3

 

Dani PEDROSA

 

Repsol Honda Team

 

1'34.069

 

0.416 / 0.205

4

 

Jorge LORENZO

 

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

 

1'34.148

 

0.495 / 0.079

5

 

Andrea IANNONE

 

Pramac Racing

 

1'34.277

 

0.624 / 0.129

6

 

Bradley SMITH

 

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

 

1'34.286

 

0.633 / 0.009

7

 

Valentino ROSSI

 

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

 

1'34.286

 

0.633

8

 

Pol ESPARGARO

 

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

 

1'34.408

 

0.755 / 0.122

9

 

Stefan BRADL

 

LCR Honda MotoGP

 

1'34.457

 

0.804 / 0.049

10

 

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

 

Ducati Team

 

1'34.460

 

0.807 / 0.003

11

 

Alvaro BAUTISTA

 

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

 

1'34.466

 

0.813 / 0.006

12

 

Scott REDDING

 

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

 

1'35.445

 

1.792 / 0.979

13

 

Cal CRUTCHLOW

 

Ducati Team

 

1'35.469

 

1.816 / 0.024

14

 

Yonny HERNANDEZ

 

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

 

1'35.537

 

1.884 / 0.068

15

 

Colin EDWARDS

 

NGM Forward Racing

 

1'35.590

 

1.937 / 0.053

 

All times courtesy of MotoGP.com
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