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Simoncelli fastest at Dutch TT

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Simoncelli fastest at Dutch TT

The 45 minute morning free practice was completely wet as rain fell intermittently all morning, never giving the tarmac a chance to dry. In the conditions, Simoncelli topped the standings ahead of Valentino Rossi on a heavily revised Ducati with Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner third fastest.

The inconsistent nature of Assen’s tarmac, brought about by the many circuit revisions over the years, makes conditions ever trickier in the wet as the grip is unpredictable. The newer sections are slippery whereas the older parts are more abrasive and thus more grippy, and managing the transition from one to the other is crucial.

 

The forecast for the rest of the weekend is for the overcast weather to continue, so although today’s running was reduced by half and many riders and teams had hoped for dry conditions in which they can gain more valuable setup data, at least the teams and riders have now completed laps on Bridgestone’s wet tyres already.

 

Running will recommence tomorrow with the next MotoGP free practice starting at 0950hrs local time. In a change to the schedule brought about by today’s events, tomorrow morning’s free practice will be doubled in length to 90 minutes to make up for the loss of this afternoon’s track time.

 

Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division

“Obviously it is a shame that the afternoon session had to be cancelled, but of course we support this decision from the officials on the grounds of safety. It will have interrupted the teams’ schedules for this weekend, but at least they will get the track time back tomorrow with the extension of the final free practice session. This morning the track was very wet and slippery and the temperature was quite low at just 18 degrees Celsius, but the performance of our soft wets was good and the times at the front were competitive. Many riders used just one set of wets for the whole session and performance was consistent so although today’s running was short I am satisfied.”

 

Top ten combined times from FP1 and FP2 (Thursday FP1: 10:10 – 10:55. FP2: Cancelled GMT+2)

 

Pos

Rider

Team

Practice Time (Ses)

Gap

1

Marco Simoncelli

San Carlo Honda Gresini

1m49.036s (FP1)

 

2

Valentino Rossi

Ducati Team

1m49.396s (FP1)

+0.360s

3

Casey Stoner

Repsol Honda Team

1m49.527s (FP1)

+0.491s

4

Andrea Dovizioso

Repsol Honda Team

1m49.640s (FP1)

+0.604s

5

Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha Factory Racing

1m49.995s (FP1)

+0.959s

6

Cal Crutchlow

Monster Yamaha Tech3

1m50.386s (FP1)

+1.350s

7

Karel Abraham

Cardion AB Motoracing

1m50.413s (FP1)

+1.377s

8

Colin Edwards

Monster Yamaha Tech3

1m50.968s (FP1)

+1.932s

9

Nicky Hayden

Ducati Team

1m51.277s (FP1)

+2.241s

10

Ben Spies

Yamaha Factory Racing

1m51.590s (FP1)

+2.554s

 

Weather:               FP1: Wet. Ambient 16-17°C; Track 16-18°C (Bridgestone measurement)

                                FP2: cancelled

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