Luis Salom, like all other riders, had an unexpected day off. All free practices on the Dutch TT track were cancelled in the afternoon, after Alex Baldolini blew up his engine in the morning practice in Moto2, leaving an oil track on the tarmac of at least one kilometer long. Due to the rain the oil spread over the track leaving a spillery film on the wet tarmac.
The organisers tried to clean it with watertanks, vacuum cleaners and even the fire department but after two hours the oil still wasn’t cleaned up completely. Race direction then decided to call it a day. It was not only a matter of safety first, but the schedule had such a big delay already it would be impossible to let all practices take place in reasonable time range.
Salom was not happy with the time off. In the morning practice he had not been able to use all the 40 minutes due to the changing circumstances.
,,It was difficult,” according to the Spanish rider, dressed in TVM colors for the occassion of his teams home race. ,,Wet and dry changed all the time. Therefore especially tyre choice was not that easy. To be honest: I could only do one decent lap, which put me in eight.”
Crew chief Hans Spaan, who won the 125 race in Assen in 1989, advised Salom to start on slicks. ,,But after two laps he got a bit scared when it started to drizzle. I think he could have continued for a while but when a rider gets scared you have to listen to him. So we put rain tyres on.”
The rain wasn’t very hard and thus the rain tyres were worn out after a few laps already. ,,So we waited for a whole and changed to slicks again,” Salom said. ,,That went quite well, but in the last section of the track the rain got worse. I got off the gas and looked behind me to make sure there were no faster riders close behind. Then I saw three, four guys crash. So I made a good decision to close the gas!”
Spaan and Salom are hoping for dry practices on friday. At 8.40 (local Dutch time) the 125’s have a one hour free practice. Qualifying practice is at 13.00. ,,I’m afraid it will be cold and wet that early in the morning,” Spaan said. ,,But the circumstances are the same for everyone and that is an advantage for us. We have ridden and tested in Assen so often, we know by now what to do.”
Source: RW Racing GP
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