The Assen circuit had mixed conditions and a new track surface for the first two Free Practice sessions of the weekend.
Pol Espargaró completed the first session of the day with the second best time. Due to the rain that appeared in the afternoon session, in which he was tenth fastest, it was his morning lap that put the Repsol Honda team rider provisionally into Q2.
With a time of 1:33.183, Espargaró had his best Friday since joining the Repsol Honda Team.
Marc Márquez also had a positive day at the legendary Dutch track. In the morning he clocked the ninth best lap, but in the second session of the day, in mixed conditions, the Repsol Honda Team rider was one of the few who improved his times.
Márquez suffered a spectacular crash in the second session, but escaped unharmed and set a best lap of 1:33.560 for a provisional spot in Q2.
“First of all I have to say I feel lucky to escape in a good condition overall, these kinds of crashes can be very hard and very dangerous. It’s painful, but nothing is wrong. It was a strange crash because I didn’t think that I was over the limit and I was riding like I was in the morning, finding the limit and what way to follow. In this corner we rely on the Traction Control a lot, but it wasn’t there and when I shifted the rear started sliding and then I fell. We need to understand what happened to get the confidence to push through that corner again because right now, there will be a lack of confidence tomorrow. Before this we were having a positive day and in Free Practice 2 I was feeling good.”
“Today has been a good day, the bike was working well, I was riding happy, and I was riding really how I wanted to. Everything was coming in an easy way; I wasn’t having to push or override the bike. In the afternoon we had plans to try some other things, but the track changed a lot even with light rain. Overall, the result is very good and I’m really happy with how the day has gone. The new asphalt is really good, it has a lot of grip and helped make it a really good first day. The crash today was a very small one, my leathers weren’t even damaged! Today the lap time shows how happy I am riding the bike.”