Dutch TT, Assen: Bridgestone Practice Review
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo suffered a tragic change in fortunes on the first day of action at Assen, as the reigning champion clocked the quickest time of the day before sadly breaking his left collarbone in a crash during a wet Free Practice Two.
In a day of contrasting weather conditions, Lorenzo quickly established himself as the pacesetter by setting a time of 1’35.263 on softer option slicks front and rear in FP1, finishing the session 0.350 seconds clear of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow. Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – who was quickest in the wet FP2 session this afternoon – was third overall on the first day of practice, with a personal best lap time of 1’35.883. Aleix Espargaro exploited the grip of the CRT-only soft compound rear slick to pilot his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine to P6 and lap within just 1.167 seconds of Lorenzo’s benchmark time.
Weather conditions were cool today, with track temperatures in both the dry FP1 and wet FP2 session barely reaching the 20°C mark. The cool asphalt put a premium on good warm-up performance and grip levels, so softer rubber compounds for the slick and wet tyres were preferred by riders today. The softer rear slick options were used exclusively in FP1, although both the extra-soft and soft front slick options were used. The main wet tyre for Assen is the soft compound option and in FP2 no riders elected to try the alternative hard compound wet tyre on the cold and soaking track surface. Although no riders were able to improve upon their FP1 lap times in the wet second free practice, with further rain expected this weekend the session provided valuable setup data for the teams.
Cool conditions with a possibility of rain are forecast for tomorrow, the next session on the programme for the MotoGP riders being FP3 at 0955 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 – Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 18-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 – Wet. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 18-20°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s changing weather allowed riders to work on their dry and wet setups and the cool track made conditions in both sessions a bit tricky. In the morning session all riders started on the soft option slicks front and rear, but after their first stint some riders felt comfortable enough to also try the harder front slick. Both of our front slicks this weekend are towards the softer end of our allocation, so the warm-up performance and grip of both options are well suited to these cool conditions. Grip levels from the track were reported to be adequate and now that we have had rain, I believe the grip level will not be any better tomorrow. Finally, I am very sorry to hear that Jorge has broken his collarbone, everyone at Bridgestone Motorsport wishes him a full and speedy recovery and we hope to the see the MotoGP champion back on his bike very soon.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport