FP1 AND FP2 AT ASSEN
Two extremely heated sessions characterized the first day of MotoGP practice at Assen. FP1 was suspended after a few minutes because of oil on the last sector of the track, resuming about 20 minutes later after clean-up operations. Aleix Espargaró used the session to gain familiarity with the track, using the same tyres on his Aprilia RS-GP for the entire session without attempting a flying lap. Determined to launch an assault on the top-10 in FP2, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider held on firmly until a few minutes from the end. In preparation for his final attempts, a misunderstanding in the garage concerning the front tyre cost Aleix precious minutes, keeping him from being able to improve on his position. The time of 1'34.491 earned him thirteenth place in the combined standings.
Sam Lowes was satisfied with his performance today, very much at ease on the Dutch track and improving consistently throughout the two sessions. The English rookie found a good setting for dry conditions, putting some interesting times on the sheets, even with a hard tyre. On his flying lap in FP2, Sam fell victim to a crash just as he was significantly improving his time. There was not much damage to his RS-GP or to Lowes' confidence in view of the race. His best time of 1'35.039 earned him twentieth place at the end of the day, less than a second behind the top-10.