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Spies sets pace at Assen


The whole MotoGP™ field was treated to a warm and dry first day at the Iveco TT Assen, where last year’s race winner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, laid down the benchmark for tomorrow’s qualifying by setting the fastest time of the day in the second practice session ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Nicky Hayden.

In a tightly fought afternoon session, Spies set the fastest lap in the high 1.34’s, narrowly relegating Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow into second, who is still recovering from a fractured left ankle. Third place went to Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who looks to be continuing his excellent dry pace on the Desmosedici.

Last race’s pole sitter, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, finished the day fourth fastest, after putting in yet another good showing on board his satellite Honda machine. In fifth, Spies’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo could not match the American’s pace, loosing out in particular in the final sector of the track. Lorenzo however, had not switched to the soft rear tyre like the riders in front of him, instead focussing on race pace.

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa ended the day in sixth, and will be looking for a significant improvement tomorrow if he is to start his championship challenge. Behind him was teammate Casey Stoner, who only completed eight flying laps in the afternoon session, as he was struggling with issues on both his bikes. Stoner was another rider to not post a fast lap with the soft rear compound.

Eighth place went to Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who is looking to make amends for his crash in the last race. In ninth, Ducati’s Valentino Rossi showed some improvement throughout the day, yet still looked to be struggling compared to his American teammate. Both him and Hayden sighted a quick drop-off in rear grip as the main problem to solve this weekend. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá finished the practice in tenth, after recovering from a crash early in the session.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró put in a solid performance to finish as top CRT machine, ahead of his teammate Randy de Puniet.

1 Ben Spies 1'34.866 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
2 Cal Crutchlow 1'34.872 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
3 Nicky Hayden 1'34.968 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
4 Alvaro Bautista 1'35.008 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Jorge Lorenzo 1'35.057 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Dani Pedrosa 1'35.080 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Casey Stoner 1'35.181 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
8 Andrea Dovizioso 1'35.257 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Valentino Rossi 1'35.296 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Hector Barbera 1'35.298 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
11 Stefan Bradl 1'35.337 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
12 Aleix Espargaro 1'36.615 ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Randy De Puniet 1'36.871 FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
14 Michelle Pirro 1'37.057 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
15 Yonny Hernandez 1'37.572 COL BQR-FTR BQR
16 Karel Abraham 1'37.628 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
17 Mattia Pasini 1'37.657 ITA ART Speed Master
18 Colin Edwards 1'37.669 USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
19 James Ellison 1'37.973 GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
20 Ivan Silva 1'38.279 SPA BQR-FTR BQR
21 Danilo Petrucci 1'38.373 ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project