Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol MotoGP Team, GP TT Assen – June 25th 2015
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez lead the way in the Netherlands
Repsol Honda Team riders make excellent start on first day of practice at World Championship’s oldest circuit.
The 85th Dutch TT began on Thursday at Assen, and Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez were the fastest riders at the historic circuit on day one. First and second, respectively, the Repsol Honda Team riders were able to take advantage of two sessions on a dry track to begin preparing for Saturday’s race.
A scare in the early stages of the day did not prevent Marc Marquez from completing a positive first day at Assen. The Spaniard crashed before completing his very first lap, but was able to get back on his Honda, return to the garage, reassess with his team and go back out. He was eventually one of the fastest riders on Thursday. In the morning session, after 20 laps, he finished second behind Valentino Rossi. Dani Pedrosa was in third place after putting in 19 laps.
In the second session, the Repsol Honda team riders again took the initiative. Pedrosa set the fastest time on lap 18 of his 20, with a 1:33.450 that broke the circuit record. Second after 19 laps was Marquez, who on his fifth lap stopped the clock at 1:33.589.
“We started well today. Above all, we wanted to take advantage of the track being dry and in good condition, because here in Assen the weather is always a little unpredictable and so it was important for trying out tyres and bike setups. We have made a good start comparing different exhausts and working on setup, so tomorrow we will aim to continue in the same way.”
“Today went fairly well and I’m happy because we had some more normal free practice sessions ‒ riding with a good pace and used tyres ‒ and I enjoyed myself on the bike. It’s clear that we still have to work hard and improve, but I’m happy with how things went. We expected Jorge and Valentino to be further ahead of us at this circuit, but this has not been the case. Dani was fastest and I was second which is good for the team. However, this is only practice and we must continue to progress, and I think that Valentino especially has a strong pace.”